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Tour / Sightseeing

About Tour / Sightseeing in Philippines

Most travelers find it tricky to define the Philippines as an Asian destination—this comes as no surprise. Like most of its neighboring Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines has an assortment of tropical wonders that continue to dazzle the world like virgin beaches, hidden islands, and lagoons. Yet, taking a trip to its cities and towns for some cultural exploration may bewilder even the most experienced tourist. It is an Asian country not known for temples, monks, the language, and variety of street food. What you will find, instead, are numerous churches (both old and modern), colorful jeepneys plying the roads, crowded markets and malls, and the multilayered Filipino language combined with English words or phrases.

Asia’s melting pot

It’s been said over and over again that the Philippines is a melting pot of numerous cultures. Thanks to its location, it was easily reached by colonizers Spain, America, and Japan, but even before the colonial period, its islands has been visited by traders from the Middle East, India, China, and the nearby Malayan countries. For centuries, the outside influences helped shaped what Philippine culture is now—intriguing, vibrant, puzzling at times, but uniquely Asian.

The country’s natural beauty

A tour of a Philippines will be a memorable experience for vistors as it has almost everything you can ask for: amazing natural wonders, remarkable cultural and historical destinations, and exciting activities. For starters, touring the country will not be complete without seeing marvelous stretches of powdery white sand and crystal-clear waters. There are plenty of beaches in the Philippines, and it comes in different settings: within stunning rock formations and islets, near a modern resort or a quiet fishing village, or surrounded by nothing but the gorgeous blue sky. Meanwhile, beyond the beaches lies the country’s fascinating underwater world teeming with colorful coral gardens, schools of colorful fish, native marine creatures, and even shipwrecks.

For adventurers, there is nothing like exploring the wondrous mountainous landscapes of the Philippines. With varying heights, the mountains and volcanoes offer different hiking experiences for visitors, which all lead to spectacular views of the surrounding areas—with or without a sea of clouds. Another astonishing landscape to see are the rice terraces in the northern provinces of the Philippines. Estimated to be more than 2,000 years old, these ancient wonders were carved by hand and are maintained by the villagers that plant rice and vegetables on the rice paddies. Listen to their stories to know more about myths and legends that surround these mystical terraces.

More adventures await in the other natural wonders of the Philippines like numerous caves, raging rivers, and imposing waterfalls.

The historic towns and cities

The towns and cities in the Philippines are inhabited by some of the friendliest and most hospitable people on earth. Expect to be invited to share a meal with them, especially during a celebration of a fiesta, which happens every year. But as you visit a town or city, devote some time to check-out some of the historical spots to help you understand the story behind the smiles of the people you meet along the way.

Churches are a dime a dozen in the Philippines, which speaks volumes of the influence of Roman Catholicism among its people. Some of the baroque churches in the Philippines have been around since the 16th century, and they house historical artifacts such as statues, paintings, and ancient altars. Even the coral stones and rocks that were used to build the structures as well as the bells in the towers are considered national treasures. Even if you are not catholic, you can feast your eyes on the impressive Spanish architecture and other artforms that make up these important buildings.

Speaking of architecture, some cultural trips around the Philippines involve visiting an old Spanish house or even a whole town. The houses often double as museums, where the antiques, furniture, and possessions of the original owners are proudly displayed. Listen to your guide to understand the significance of these houses and how their stories were involved in shaping the culture and history of the city or town they are in.

Also worth seeing are the statues and monuments dedicated to important Filipinos. Most of them are national heroes who made contributions to the establishment of a Philippine government that is independent from colonizers.

The traditions and cultures in focus

Touring the Philippines can be tiring, and as such, refreshments are often included in the whole experience. Filipino food is just misunderstood, according to some culinary experts who believe that it will soon be as popular as other Asian cuisines. Its flavors have various levels of sweet, sour, and salty, but they are not as spicy compared to Thai or Indonesian food. The secret to enjoying Filipino food is to just go for it—you’d be surprised with how delightful some of the dishes can be. In addition, be on the lookout for some of the fresh produce from the places you are visiting when dining. The Philippines is one of the world’s top sources of tropical fruits like bananas, pineapples, jackfruit, coconuts, mangoes, and the infamous “King of Fruits,” durian.

Filipinos are known for the creativity that has allowed them to create a lot of unique handcrafted items. In some towns, visitors can be invited to try their hand in making some of these products. Watch closely as the women guide you in weaving cloths, rugs, and bags. And when given the chance, don’t be afraid to get dirty with pottery making.

When to tour the Philippines

When planning to go sightseeing in the Philippines, it would be wise to research about the weather first. Some outdoor trips will not push through in case it rains, so it’s better to avoid the rainy season from June to September. The Philippines is also very warm on most days so don’t forget to pack umbrellas, sunscreen, hats, and wear comfortable clothing, especially for walking tours.

Lastly, think about your safety at all times. This means you should always stay near your group especially during outdoor activities like diving, snorkeling, caving, or hiking to avoid any untoward incident from happening.