Craving that cinematic island escape? Enter El Nido and it’s surrounding islands and lagoons for your daydreaming needs. The island of Palawan is where you’ll find El Nido, your base for this venture through turquoise blue waters, hidden lagoons and limestone cliffs towering out of the sea. Head out on a traditional boat to picnic in the sun, snorkel amongst fish and discover untouched beaches.
The Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) is committed to
ensuring the health and safety of its travelers. Please be guided by the major
updates regarding travel-related activities in the Philippines.
the stringent Social Distancing Measures being imposed in the National Capital
Region (NCR) for 30 days starting 00:00 AM of 15 March 2020 until 00:00 AM of
14 April 2020, the following will apply:
All land, domestic air and domestic sea travel to and from the NCR are
All departing passengers shall be allowed transit through the NCR, provided
that proof of confirmed international travel itinerary, scheduled within twelve
(12) hours from entry, is presented at checkpoints. However, outbound travel to
countries where travel restrictions are in place remains prohibited.
All travel restrictions previously issued shall remain in effect. Current
travel restrictions imposed are on foreign travel to and from China, including
its Special Administrative Regions (SARs) Hong Kong and Macau, and the North
Gyeongsang Province of South Korea including Daegu and Cheongdo
Travellers from Iran and Italy (except Filipino citizens, including their
foreign spouse and children, if any, and holders of Permanent Resident Visas or
9(e) Diplomatic Visas issued by the Philippine Government) shall be required to
present a medical certificate issued by competent medical authorities within
forty-eight (48) hours immediately preceding departure signifying that they
have tested negative for COVID-19.
The various local government units (LGUs) of destinations in the Philippines
are required to abide by the directives of the Department of Health (DOH) and
the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in the imposition of
general community quarantine guidelines in their respective jurisdictions.
such, some destinations may already restrict tourists from entering in order to
contain and prevent further spread of the virus.
Mass gatherings such as movie screenings, concerts, sporting events and other
entertainment activities, community assemblies, and non-essential work-related
gatherings shall be prohibited
The Department of Tourism (DOT) celebrates the inclusion of the three popular island tourist destinations of Palawan, Cebu, and Boracay in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2019
Leading the Philippine honorees is the “the perennially popular Philippine island of Palawan,” wrote the magazine. Palawan, which ranked second on the 15 Best Islands in the World list, is home to the enchanting Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Coron and El Nido.
Palawan is also where the DOT’s San Vicente Flagship Tourism Enterprise Zone (TEZ) is located. Master planned as an integrated tourism destination project, it is envisioned as a sustainable investor’s haven that will be a catalyst for inclusive economic growth through public and private partnership.
“We are thrilled that Palawan has improved its ranking this year and is inching closer to regaining its top spot in T+L’s World’s Best Awards. Hats off as well to Cebu and Boracay for being recognized among the best in Asia,” DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.
Cebu and Boracay were voted 7th and 9th, respectively, in the Top 10 Islands in Asia category by the readers of the international travel magazine. The islands were rated according to their activities and sights, natural attractions and beaches, food, friendliness, and overall value. Palawan also came in second on this list.
“This citation by a major publication validates our efforts towards attaining a sustainable tourism industry and now, more than ever, encourages the DOT to work even harder on this advocacy, creating a tourism environment that is recognized and lauded not only today, but for the generations to come,” remarked Puyat.
T+L writer Rebecca Ascher-Walsh quoted one reader naming Palawan as the “single most beautiful place I have ever seen.”
Ascher-Walsh also wrote that the Philippine island triumvirate of Palawan, Cebu, and Boracay are longtime favorites thanks to top-notch reef and wreck diving, white-sand beaches, hiking trails with waterfalls, and welcoming locals.
After getting engaged, many brides get lost in a flurry of tasks: choosing colors, finding the dress, picking out decorations, and what seems like a thousand other things. One of the most stressful parts of planning a wedding is finding the right place for your nuptials. With the average ceremony and reception cost in the … Continue reading “Plan Your Destination Wedding in the Philippines”
After getting engaged, many brides get lost in a flurry of tasks: choosing colors, finding the dress, picking out decorations, and what seems like a thousand other things. One of the most stressful parts of planning a wedding is finding the right place for your nuptials. With the average ceremony and reception cost in the United States reaching $15,163, it is no wonder that the venue takes a toll on a couple trying to find the perfect setting at a reasonable cost.
Although the money-savvy couple can find venues in the U.S. for a modest amount, they are often lacking extras – like seating, food, and decorations – which the couple must furnish themselves or pay extra for the venue to provide. This can leave many couples dreaming of a destination wedding instead. If this echoes your struggle and you’re wondering where in the world to get married, let us recommend some of our favorite places for Filipino nuptials. From the beachy keen couple to those who imagine heart-stopping heights, we have locations for every type of bride!
The Philippines is full of eco-conscious and eco-friendly spaces. Whether you want the whole experience in one of the many eco-friendly resorts or if you want a simple elopement on a breathtaking protected beach, you are sure to find a place that meets both your vision and environmental ethics. Here’s just a quick sample of the exquisite locations you can find.
El Nido owns a group of sustainable resorts that focus on a variety of experiences. Their Pangulasian Island Resort offers the most services, including a coordinator on site who can assist you in planning the wedding of your dreams. In addition to promoting responsible tourism, their entire staff continually undergoes training on conservation, environmental ethics, and waste management.
Maybe the beach or exclusive resort isn’t your style. For those who prefer to get married in a more harmonious setting, with a dramatic volcano rising above you, Fundacion Pacita is waiting for you. Their staff will strive to make sure you cherish your day, from the farm-fresh food to the awe-inspiring views.
If you prefer to get married with the sand between your toes and a rose gold sunset creating a magnificent backdrop for your vows, we have plentiful beaches for you. Let’s face it: nothing says romantic wedding like a sandy paradise.
Kandaya has a pristine white, sandy beach nestled beside a lush landscape. With luxury accommodations and exquisite sunsets, it is easy to see why so many couples choose Kandaya to exchange their vows.
Have you imagined getting married in a Grecian paradise, but want a non-traditional spin? Look no further than Bellarocca, situated on a tiny island off the coast of Buenavista. Book a breathtaking cliffside villa, with infinity pools that seemingly stretch into the space between sea and sky, and you have a perfect escape for both your ceremony and honeymoon.
If you want relaxed nuptials on the beach followed by a toast in the sea, the Crimson Hotel in Cebu is for you. This resort will help take care of everything, plus their stunning location will make the perfect backdrop for memories you will treasure for years to come.
Maybe you want to find a scenic setting off the beaten path. These locales are not for the faint of heart or large groups. If your dream destination wedding involves a beautiful landscape that is out of this world, the next three places are calling you by name.
Mount Pulag – Kabayan, Benguet
Mount Pulag, the Philippines second highest peak, creates an unreal atmosphere above the clouds. You will have to work for the view as it requires a six-hour hike to the top. However, once you get there, the panorama of the Milky Way and the blanket of clouds below creates a backdrop of galactic proportions.
This area was recently made famous by the incredible photos taken while Mount Mayon erupted in the background. With an array of venues for the ceremony, you are sure to find the perfect spot. Then you can capture the active volcano in your couple shots, showcasing how explosive your love is for each other. You will need to keep in mind that flexibility is key in this location; since the volcano is active, you may have to delay your wedding if evacuations are in place.
Sila Island boasts one of the only pink sand beaches in the Philippines. As such, rose gold fanatics can find the perfect spot here, especially if they can catch the golden rays of the sunset hitting the dusty pink beaches. Traveling to Sila Island is not easy, however, as it takes almost every mode of transportation to arrive on its blushing shores. The long travel is worth it as the lack of accessibility means that it is one of the least crowded and tranquil islands the Philippines offers.
The Philippines is full of fantastic and cheap local cuisine. For very little money, you can feed your entire reception with a scrumptious feast. Below are some of our favorite regional treats and where you can find them!
Lechón is a whole pig slowly roasted and basted above a fire pit over the course of several hours. The result is beautifully tender meat with a crispy, flavorful skin that will delight your taste buds. Cebu is known for having the best lechón, but don’t just take our word for it! Even celebrities like Anthony Bourdain had said Cebu lechón is the “best pig ever.” Filipinos typically serve the dish on special occasions, so it is a perfect meal to accompany your reception. Check out favorites, like Rico’s and House of Lechón, or ask your venue to contact their favorite lechón maker.
Adobo – Manila
Many consider adobo the national dish of the Philippines, so you cannot miss it as you plan your nuptials! The best adobo is found in Manila, which is perfect for the bride who still wants the glamor of the city. Adobo refers to the vinegar based marinade and slow cooking method and can be made with pork, chicken, or vegetables. That means no matter what your guests’ tastes are, they can find a way to enjoy this traditional cuisine. Order some lumpias with the adobo and you have a perfect dinner for the occasion.
Since you are planning a destination wedding, you can forgo the traditional wedding cake if you want. You might try out the heavenly local sweets and create a dessert table for your guests to enjoy. Add succulent seasonal fruit to the table and you will have a dazzling array of confections to satisfy everyone. Our favorites are halo-halo, palitaw, puto, leche flan, silvana, sans rival, turon, and maja blanca. If you are unsure of what you might want, spend a day checking out the neighborhood bakeries and pastry shops to find what you love. If you still want a traditional cake, don’t worry! There are plenty of amazing bakers who can create the stunning (and scrumptious) cake you desire.
Weddings…It’s More Fun in the Philippines
Now that you have a handful of places to choose from, we hope you have found the perfect location for your destination wedding. You will find that your wedding is more fun than you could have imagined if you choose to have it in the Philippines.
Your bags aren’t packed yet, but your boss already approved your vacation time, right? Even if Hurricane Irma didn’t care about your vacation destination, your much-needed vacation shouldn’t have to be postponed.
Hurricanes and tropical storms are devastating bringing destruction and grief to many island destinations. We are optimistic that the Caribbean Islands will rebuild better than ever. In the meantime, the Philippines can offer you all the amenities and similar exciting attractions for a vacation you’ll never forget.
Beautiful Diving Destinations
With new resorts and diving tours popping up across the islands, the Philippines is a perfect destination for both beginners and experienced divers. Filipinos have a history of helping divers experience the underwater beauty of the Philippines through Scuba Diving since 1966. Pick your favorite spot and get to diving today!
Shipwreck exploration in Coron
Below the surface, there are several sunken Japanese warships leftover from World War II when the U.S. Navy attacked on September 24, 1944. The ships serve as a host to marine life and are a unique memorial from the war. You can visit the ocean floor to see the damage done to the ships by the 96 American planes, preserved by their home at the bottom of the sea and only available to SCUBA divers.
Hole in the Wall at Puerto Galera
At slack tide, this is a a perfect diving spot for inexperienced divers. Sitting at a depth of only 40 feet, thousands of divers have visited this big rock with a hole only large enough for one person to fit through. You’ll have a good chance of seeing snappers, scorpion fish, and turtles. Also, you’ll be hypnotized by the different soft corals, gorgonian fans, and sponges.
Apo Island Diving
There are dives sites circling Apo Island which offer beautiful seascapes and tons of marine life. The Apo Island Marine Sanctuary and Protected Seascape has been under rehabilitation and is currently prohibited from diving, however, you’ll still be blown away by diving at Coconut Point, Chapel’s Point, Rock Point, and Mamsa Point. Reef sharks, jacks, barracudas, Vlaming Unicornfish, tuna, snappers, eels and many more types of fish can be seen.
Sweet Surfing Spots
Peak surfing season happens in the Philippines September through March. However, in some areas, it is said to be possible to surf all year long.
Cloud 9 on Siargao Island Often the first place Filipinos mention when asked where to go surfing, Cloud 9 landed in the No. 9 spot on the CNN Travel blog, “World’s 50 Best Surf Spots.” This is one spot surfers can catch a great wave all year long and is dubbed the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines”. Each year, surfers from around the globe meet in Siargao for the annual Siargao Cup, a surfing competition sponsored by the Surigao del Norte provincial government.
Charlie’s Point near Baler, Aurora
The movie Apocalypse Now changed life forever for the once-small fishing village of Baler. During filming in 1979, local Filipinos watched as the beach became scenes from the Vietnam war. They also watched the actors surfing, and when the actors left their boards, the locals taught themselves to surf. Each year, tourism grows at Charlie’s Point and the locals will gladly show you where the movie was filmed, teach you to surf, or join you in the waves.
Bagasbas Beach in Daet, Camarines Norte
Bagasbas Beach is known for being both long and wide with fine sand. The Pacific Ocean provides big waves that are known to become barrel waves between July and November. Waves break both to the right and left, providing a good learning spot for inexperienced surfers. The sandy bottom below the waves also helps beginners keep from scraping themselves up as they learn to surf.
Wildlife Swimming Companions
Have you ever wanted to swim with dolphins? Have you dreamed about a dive with sea lions and sea turtles? You can do it all in the Philippines!
Swim with the Sharks in Oslob
The largest fish in the world, the whale shark, can be seen in the water at Oslob, Cebu. Tourists gather along the beach and catch boats out into the water to get a closer view. Those who have paid to swim with the sharks must remove all sunscreen and agree to stay at least four feet from the sharks. There are fines for anyone who touches the beautifully-massive creatures. From 6 a.m. until noon, groups of people called “feeders” drop krill, small fish, and sea plants to keep the whale sharks in the area. You can set up tours and even combine the experience with a trip to the turquoise pools at Tumalog Falls.
Experience an Animal Encounter at Ocean Adventure In just one place, you can swim with sea lions and dolphins or dive with sea turtles, blacktip reef sharks, and giant jackfish. At Ocean Adventure, you can even get a fish spa pedicure where live fish tickle your feet as they nibble away all the dead skin. You can tailor each part of your day to fulfill your every expectation. Spend the day as an animal trainer, see the shows, and even dine by the bay.
Unique Catches for Fisherman
With more than 2,000 species of fish living in or around the islands of the Philippines, there is no shortage of places to fish. You can hire guided tours and boats, which also have rental fishing equipment. Take your chance at fishing for a record in the Philippines.
Go sport fishing in Cagayan
Fishing is one of the most popular pastimes in Cagayan. While you can productive fishing all year, the best times to catch fish are from March to June. During that time you can find fishing tournaments, or arrange for your trip to avoid the tournaments if you don’t want to fish with a crowd.
Fish for Largemouth Bass
Both Lake Lumot and Caliraya Lake on the island of Luzon are known for their bass fishing. Even though the American Largemouth Bass is not native to these waters, they thrive there. You might even be able to find bass larger than 10 pounds!
See How It’s Made
Spend more time getting to know the people of the Philippines and how they live through tours of local farms. Experience a day in the life on a Filipino farm and you’ll find something delicious to take home with you.
La Huerta de Rosario – Baao, Camarines Sur
La Huerta de Rosario is a privately-owned farm and tourist stop where visitors can experience harvesting fresh, local produce. In addition, guests are then served food–freshly harvested and cooked in the local style. La Huerta de Rosario is also a haven for local artists and their work is displayed throughout the buildings on the farm.
The Coffee Farmhouse, Cavite
From coffee to bean, serious coffee connoisseurs can enjoy a stay at the Coffee Farmhouse. About two hours away from Manila on the outskirts of Tagatay, you can escape the bustle of the city and learn about how coffee is raised, processed, and served on a family farm in the Philippines. In addition to the tour, you can play games, enjoy a bonfire, or schedule a relaxing massage.
Malagos Chocolate Cacao Farm, Davao City Known for their excellent quality, the Malagos Farms’ chocolate bars start from cacao beans grown, harvested, and processed on their farm in Davao City. Chocolate lovers can take a half-day tour of the farm to get an idea of how the chocolates are made. For serious chocoholics, a three-day cacao farming seminar is also an option.
Sneak a Peek at Nature
The list of flora and fauna you can only see in the Philippines is extensive, both on land and underwater. Even if you aren’t a hiker or a diver, the people of the Philippines have found ways to share their unique landscape with you.
Bird Watching at Olango Wildlife Sanctuary
The first preserved wetland of international importance for waterfowl, the Olango Wildlife Sanctuary offers trekking tours with knowledgeable guides. Vulnerable and threatened species like the Chinese Egret and the Asian Dowitcher are protected here and can be seen while taking the tour. The amenities of the sanctuary are minimal, but guides will help you see the natural aviary on this important migratory route as well as arrange for your group to have fresh coconut juice.
Watch Whales and Dolphins at Pamilacan Island
The Pamilacan Island Dolphin and Whale Watching Tours began with one man’s dream to provide an eco-tourism adventure for the people living on Pamilacan Island, as an alternative to hunting whales and dolphins. Now, you can create a tour to satisfy your need for adventure, see dolphins and whales at play, swim and snorkel on white sandy beaches, tour the Bohol countryside, or visit the village on Pamilacan Island.
Create the Vacation of Your Dreams in the Philippines
When you come to the Philippines, people will make you feel at home. You can enjoy adventures of all sorts, lay on white sand beaches, or get treated like royalty at the spas and resorts. Don’t let mother nature steal your vacation plans, let us help you craft the most memorable vacation of your life today.
Have you been saving and searching for a dream vacation? Well, stop searching, because we’ve got a bucket list full of the best things to do in the Philippines that’ll have you booking your flight in no time.
For the Avid Hiker
The Philippines consists of 7,641 islands with a tropical maritime climate–which means it’s warm and humid the majority of the year. The extensive coastlines and rainforests on the islands provide a perfect habitat for plant and animal life to flourish. Hiking expeditions through this exotic wildlife offer unique experiences at sites that are inaccessible by car.
Explore the Banaue and Batad Rice Terraces
Carved into the mountainside more than 2,000 years ago, the rice terraces created–by the ancestors of indigenous Filipinos–are a sight to behold. The rainforests above the terraces provide water to the ancient irrigation system, which is still used today.
Catching a ride in a Jeepney–which provides local transportation across the Philippines–is the suggested way to start your hike. Guided hikes can be negotiated and purchased when you arrive in Banaue or before leaving for the Philippines.
Learn more about Lotte, a travel blogger from the Netherlands, and her hike through the rice terraces on her blog, Phenomenal Globe.
Backpack Mount Apo
Backpack to the top of Mount Apo, the tallest peak in the Philippines archipelago. The best known starting point originates in the national park located in Kidapawan City, the capital of Cotabato Province. The hike is expected to take three to four days and is considered a seven out of nine-difficulty rating, according to the local mountaineering guide.
Go Spelunking in Cantabon Cave
Described by some as an experience much like an obstacle course, you can try spelunking into one of the least corrupted caves in the Philippines when you visit Siquijor. The professionally guided caving experience at Cantabon Cave may leave you wet, dirty, and tired–but it’s unlike anything else you will see while visiting the islands.
The 800-meter hike into the cave is expected to take around two hours to complete. Watch this video of one group’s experience in the cave.
For the Divers and Swimmers
Under the clear blue water, the flora and fauna of the Philippines provide a spectacle any diver would enjoy. In fact, you can find more than 500 types of coral and 2,400 species of fish. Beyond the natural wonders of the area, you’ll find sunken ships to discover, special swimming classes, and friendly boat captains.
Attend the Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy
Photo used courtesy of the Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy[/caption]
Have you dreamed of swimming through the seas with one fin like a mermaid? The Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy will teach you how! Start your introduction to a mermaid’s life in Boracay, Cebu, or Manila. For more in-depth courses, you’ll have to visit Boracay.
Initial intro classes include tail measurements and fittings, safety and photo training, and free swim time in shallow water. Advanced classes further teach safety, methods for swimming in deeper water, and lessons on how to act more like a mermaid by doing handstands and blowing mermaid bubbles.
Discover the Coron Bay Reefs and Wrecks
With more than 1,000 types of marine life to discover among the reefs and a dozen wrecked World War II ships, the area around Coron Bay is a diver’s paradise. It has been named among Forbes Traveler Magazine’s Top 10 Dive sites. Rock formations in the area also provide a lively snorkeling experience for those who like to stay near the top of the water. One famous dive site is known as Gunter’s Cave, where you can visit a naturally lit, underwater cave. At certain times of the day a beam of light shines through the opening in the cave and illuminates the entire space.
Scuba at Tubbataha Natural Park
While visiting the sites at Tubbataha Natural Park, you must schedule a boat and stay on board during your trip. Its location in the middle of the Sulu Sea, with no human-inhabited land, makes visiting without a boat impossible.
Experienced divers, as well as newcomers to the hobby, will be impressed with no less than 360 coral species, 600 types of fish, 11 different shark species, and 13 whale and dolphin species that call the area home. Since December of 1993, the area has been considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is protected and loved by those who Scuba dive there.
For the Natural Wonder Enthusiasts
The climate and location of the Philippines creates natural wonders you won’t find anywhere else. Some of the natural wonders require boat rentals and some you might want a guided tour to enjoy. Either way, these are experiences you don’t want to miss.
Tour the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River and National Park
Copyright by Eric Beltran[/caption]
Under the island of Palawan, you’ll find an exciting experience. The Puerto Princesa subterranean river flows directly beneath the St. Paul Mountain Range, weaving through cave-like structures beneath the mountains for 8.2 km. Getting to the starting point of the underground trip at Sabang is only about a 40km trip from Puerto Princesa. Once you’re there, this “New 7 Wonders of Nature” site will amaze you with waterfalls flowing from cave walls, ancient fossils, and creatures that live nowhere else in the world.
Don’t forget to get a permit to travel there, or else you won’t be allowed in. If you book a guided tour, your permit, boat, guide, lunch, and transport are usually all included. If you are staying in Sabang, you can opt to buy everything separately and use your negotiation skills to save some pesos.
Soak in the Hinatuan Enchanted River
Copyright Dennis Onashi[/caption]
The Hinatuan River is a deep spring, saltwater river on the island of Mindanao, which flows directly into the Philippine Sea and onto the Pacific Ocean. Catching a ride on a habal-habal motorcycle is the preferred way to get to the river once you arrive in Hinatuan.
The enchanting color of the water has long left local people to believe the water holds secrets. Whether the water itself has healing powers or if spirits keep the place safe, no one knows for sure. However, novice adventurers or advanced swimmers alike can find an area of the river they enjoy.
For the History Buffs
The history of the Philippine Islands is diverse. Different regions have unique stories and not all the islands have the same background. Travel the islands and sample cultures from around the world without having to get additional stamps in your passport.
Step Back in Time on Corregidor Island
Corregidor is an island found at the mouth of Manila Bay, in the southwestern part of Luzon Island. It has long been fortified by the reigning military forces to protect the most important seaport located in Manila. During World War II, the area was of great importance to both the Japanese military and the Allied Forces.
Today, the ruins of the fortifications from that time serve as a memorial and reminder to visitors about the cost of war. Families from around the world visit the site to remember loved ones and learn more about the history of the Philippines during WWII.
Hanging Coffins of Sagada
The practice of burying the dead in hanging coffins predates the Spanish colonization of the Philippines. Hoping to get the dead closer to the spirits of their ancestors, Filipinos hung or nailed the coffins to the sides of cliffs. However, the tradition is practiced today on a much smaller scale than in the past.
Today, the burial ceremonies are only held by the elders of Sagada, as the younger generation have adopted more modern burial traditions and enjoy being able to visit their ancestors on All Saints Day.
Walk the Cobblestone Streets of Vigan
Vigan is one of the oldest cities in the Philippines, but its structures have mostly been preserved and restored. The cobblestone streets and unique architecture–which marry the Philippines’ traditional Filipino structures with those of the Spanish-colonial era–make it a popular vacation destination.
One can visit preserved houses near the central park, known as Plaza Salcedo, which surrounds Plaza Burgos. You’ll also find a museum along Crisologo Street with unique antique collections of memorabilia and vehicles. When your feet tire of walking along the cobblestones, snag a ride in a kalesa and complete your journey back in time.
For the Nature Lovers
The unique land, as well as the special plants and animals that call the Philippines home, often require protection. Unfortunately, it would be easy for these unique plant and animal species to be endangered without formal conservation efforts. While you’re there, visit a few of the reservations dedicated to protecting the Philippines’ natural wonders.
Experience Everything El Nido Marine Reserve Park Has to Offer
Located on the northernmost tip of the Palawan mainland, El Nido Marine Reserve Park is a perfect example of the diversity you’ll see when traveling through the Philippines. You can fly into the airport at Puerto Princesa or travel by boat. When you arrive, you’ll see white sand beaches and limestone cliffs, high-end resorts, endemic and endangered species of birds, and lush forests.
With more than 30 dive sites, there’s more to see while diving than you’ll be able to fit in during most trips. The resorts on nearby islands offer snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, and spa treatments in addition to the diving expeditions. You can even find a secret beach hidden among rocks if you’re brave enough to swim through a hole in the limestone.
Visit the Tarsier Sanctuary
The Tarsier, one of the world’s smallest primates, is indigenous to the Philippines. You can visit the Tarsier Sanctuary while you are in Bohol and, for a small price, you can pay for a guide to help you trek through the sanctuary and spot the Tarsiers in their natural habitat. Your guide will be glad to help with taking videos and photos along the way. The tour lasts about 30 minutes and culminates on a viewing deck over the sanctuary.
See the Ruins at Mount Mayon Active Volcano Natural Park
Mount Mayon is the most active volcano in the Philippines and is located on the island of Luzon. The most destructive eruption happened in 1814. Five towns were destroyed in that eruption, but each one was rebuilt, demonstrating the resilience of the locals.
The Cagsawa Ruins are the remnants of a Franciscan church destroyed in the 1814 eruption and are one of the most visited areas of the Natural Park. Near the ruins, you will find the Cagsawa National Museum, which helps the local government care for the park and ruins.
Live Like a Local
One of the greatest treasures you will find while traveling the Philippines are the people who live there. Learn about how they live while doing things the Filipino way. Get to know them, make friends, and let them show you the best ways to enjoy your time in the Philippines.
Preparing for a wedding can be too arduous and time-consuming which makes newlyweds crave for the events to follow the wedding itself. Still overwhelmed with so many options? Listed below are three destinations you can spend that sweet honeymoon like no other. Cebu Cebu, the Queen City of the South is one of the most … Continue reading “Top 3 Honeymoon Destinations in the Philippines”
Preparing for a wedding can be too arduous and time-consuming which makes newlyweds crave for the events to follow the wedding itself. Still overwhelmed with so many options? Listed below are three destinations you can spend that sweet honeymoon like no other.
Cebu, the Queen City of the South is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines. In fact, back in 2010, Cebu was chosen as the best honeymoon destination at the World Travel Fair Awards which makes Cebu’s strong foundation as a honeymoon destination recognized worldwide.
Taking a boat tour around dusk would give couples that unparalleled moment of watching the sun fall while holding hands. The night breeze and atmosphere might even join in the fun which would create nothing but memories for the two of you.
If you and your partner are inclined more towards attaining adrenaline, then fret not as Cebu is also known for water activities. You can either visit Moalboal to get a glimpse of the rich marine life underwater which cannot be seen in other places besides Cebu or Kawasan Falls, listed in Travel + Leisure’s beautiful waterfalls around the world where you can raft through the three levels for a cascading massage. You can certainly never run out of things to do together in Cebu.
Not too far from Cebu, another famed tourist spot known as Bohol sits by. Newlyweds can witness majestic landscapes such as the awe-inspiring Chocolate hills or drop by the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary, home to one of the smallest known primates, where a couple of Tarsiers are carefully taken care of without destroying their niche. At the sanctuary, the lovely wide-eyed tarsiers are trained to roost in during the day but are active and hunting at night which makes them free to roam around the area which is several hectares large.
One cannot leave Bohol without the fireflies encounter experience. Fireflies can be found in Loboc River in which you would have to rent a boat to visit. Five minutes in and you’ll be guaranteed with small blinking lights swarming in and around the mangroves. The surreal atmosphere and gentle breeze while traveling along Loboc River will leave you and your partner reminiscing the day you met.
Certainly not what you have expected, Palawan makes its mark as the last one on our list. Sometimes referred to as Asia’s Garden of Eden, Palawan will be able to give you and your spouse-to-be the once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon both of you have always been dreaming of. Unlike the crowd favorite that is Boracay, Palawan provides the much-needed privacy to create lasting moments with only the two of you.
Known as the Philippines’ last frontier, the well- preserved Palawan offers so many couple activities you are encouraged to do. Kayaking your way to the amazing turquoise-green Big and Small Lagoons of Palawan where you could seclude yourselves and be astonished by the beauty of untouched nature. Explore the overwhelming Honda Bay and tunnel through the ravishing underground river of Palawan and leave nothing but priceless moments that you’ll cherish for your life as one.
Want to make your honeymoon struggle-free? Leave it to our travel experts and they’ll make your dreamy honeymoon come true.
It’s time for you to let your taste buds join the adventure and get to munching as you travel through the streets of the Philippines. The endless choices from street vendors will get your stomach rumbling.
Admit it, you love trying new food. Everyone from Food Network to Bloomberg claims 2017 is the year Filipino flavors will explode onto the food scene. Bon Appétit named the D.C.-based Filipino restaurant “Bad Saint” the second-best new restaurant of 2016, providing evidence for the claims that Filipino flavor is about to find fame. And now, Netflix’s Street Food featured Tuslob Buwa to the world! While eating his way through food-friendly cities around the world for television audiences (since 2002), Anthony Bourdain has shown some serious love for Filipino street food. He claims his favorite street food in the Philippines, sisig, is “possibly the best thing you could ever eat with a cold beer.”
It’s time for you to let your taste buds join the adventure and get to munching as you travel through the streets of the Philippines. The endless choices from street vendors will get your stomach rumbling. Some of the foods you’ll find may test the limits of your palate, but if you’re craving adventure, you can find it among the stalls of Filipino food markets.
However, if eating from a stall in the street seems too extreme, choose these items from a menu in a bar or restaurant. Many places offer wine or local craft beer pairings with these traditional street foods.
Savory Snack Foods in the Philippines
You can find a variety of grilled, barbecued, and roasted savory dishes on Filipino streets. Don’t forget, as you snag your street food, it is proper to stop at the sauce station and add salt, vinegar, onions, chilies, and various sauces as the Filipinos do.
You won’t want to miss trying the national dish of the Philippines, roasted suckling pig known as Lechón. It is prepared throughout the year for special occasions, celebrations, and holidays. After removing the insides of the pig, it is seasoned and skewered by a large stick. The skewer is then placed in a large rotisserie and the entire pig is cooked over a charcoal pit for several hours.
The Lechón is usually crispy on the outside due to the method of basting and the hours on top of the coals. During his visit, chef Anthony Bourdain claimed Cebu had the most delicious version of the dish, but Skyscanner claims they know the nine best places to grub down on some Lechón.
If you’ve seen Street Food’s Cebu episode, then you’ll be familiar with the first exotic street food straight from Cebu. Tuslob Buwa consists of a pig’s brain, liver, and spices mixed and cooked in one pan. Usually, this is eaten by hand with puso or hanging rice wrapped in woven coconut leaves.
The Cebuano delicacy is known for its aromatic flavors and smell to which tourists enjoy.
Next on the list is one Asian delicacy found in Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, and other parts of Southeast Asia. But here in the Philippines, the most common type of fish balls is usually made from cuttlefish or pollock served with a sweet and spicy sauce. Another alternative for sauces may include a spicy and tangy white sauce that contains vinegar, diced onions, and garlic. And you can actually find them in pushing wooden deep-frying carts sold by vendors everywhere.
Walking around a local market is one of the best ways to try the adventurous and famous street food snack, Balut. The partially developed duck egg embryo is often referred to as the king of Filipino street foods.
You eat it by first cracking open the top of the boiled egg and drinking out the broth or the soup. Then you peel the rest of the egg and season it with vinegar and salt before finish eating the snack. See how Americans react to the dish in this Buzzfeed video.
A famous Filipino street food, isaw is the barbecued intestines of a pig or a chicken coiled on a skewer and grilled until smoky and crispy. Of course, the intestines are cleaned, then turned inside-out and cleaned again, with this process occurring multiple times before cooking.
During the afternoons, you can find vendors selling isaw on street corners across the islands. While visiting an isaw vendor, pork barbecue, atay (liver), and adidas (grilled or barbecued chicken feet) are usually available for your culinary pleasure.
Isaw is popular across the country, but comic book artist Maniz Abrera’s “KikoMachine” comic strip made the food a staple at the University of the Philippines Diliman. The comic strip featured in the Philippine Daily Inquirer began with many scenes featured on the campus around the isaw vendor’s stall. Abrera’s comic is now a daily find in the newspaper and even though it deals with weightier topics most days, people still visit the university as homage to the origins of the comic strip.
Kwek Kwek is a tempura-like battered and deep fried street food. The batter is dyed orange and when you bite through the batter you find a soft-boiled quail’s egg. It’s much like a corn dog, only with egg inside instead of a hot dog. Sounds like a perfect street snack, doesn’t it?
Get psyched for your Filipino food tour with a virtual tour alongside Mark Wiens of Migrationologythrough the Quaipo Market in Manila.
Sweet Treats You Need
Savory isn’t the only flavor you’ll find when trekking through the streets in the Philippines. Sweets are often flavored with the abundant fruits of the islands including ube (also known as purple yam), coconuts, and mango.
In a typical Filipino morning, many people wake up when a see hawker yells “taho.” Then everybody rushes to get a taste of this sweet pudding-like dessert. Taho is made with tofu called soft silken tofu topped with brown syrup called arnibal and sago pearls. Most people eat it during breakfast or eat it in the late afternoon after work and school.
Also known as “dirty ice cream,” sorbets is another traditional dessert sold by street vendors everywhere. The milk used in coconut milk mixed with cassava flour stands out from other ice creams for this version. Flavors vary a lot, but it usually natural fruits and plants like mango, ube, jackfruit, and melon. Different popular flavors include chocolate, cheese and cookies, and cream.
Considered a portion of all-time best-selling street food, the banana cue is every Filipino’s favorite sweet treat. These deep-fried saba bananas are coated with caramelized sugar then skewered on sticks. Plus, Cooking it in margarine – or oil – resulted in a nice texture that anyone would love to eat. Usually, it can be consumed either after work or in a mid-afternoon Filipino food snack.
And, of course, you can easily spot a vendor selling this sweet treat on every street corner in the country.
Suppose the banana cue is saba directly deep-fried in oil. In that case, turon is another sweet banana dessert with jackfruit strips wrapped with spring roll wrappers. The most impressive thing about this dessert is that everybody’s go-to merienda and after-school or work snack. Pair it with a cold soda then you are good to go!
Halo-Halo is one of the most popular and inexpensive summertime sweets you’ll find when visiting the Philippines. Halo-Halo is made from shaved ice and evaporated milk. Vendors mix in sweet fruits or other sweet ingredients like corn, coconut, or sweet beans.
The dessert is served in a tall glass or bowl and has been featured in multiple travel and food television shows, including Bizarre Foods and Top Chef.
While there are lots of different desserts which feature ube, from ice cream to cakes, ube halaya is most common on the street. Ube halaya is ube boiled, grated, and combined with other ingredients like sugar or milk until it thickens. You can then add it to halo-halo or ice cream, or you can eat it like pudding.
This recipe from the blog 196 flavors will awaken your sweet tooth in no time. “Ube halaya was a blissful and unexpected discovery for me, as we featured Filipino last June,” said Mike Benayoun of 196 flavors. “I especially loved making latik, this crunchy residual of coconut milk that adds a beautiful sweet and crunchy note to this dessert.”
The Philippines is made up of more than 7,000 islands, which means that coconuts, also known as buko, are never far away. In the street markets, you can find buko juice, or coconut water, almost everywhere you go.
Buko juice not only tastes good and helps with hydration, but it is often heralded for its health benefits. The juice has been known to help prevent kidney stones, reduce sugar levels, regulate blood pressure, and improve digestion.
Plan Your Culinary Adventure in the Philippines
Explosive flavors and generous portions await your arrival in the Philippines. Whether these flavors seem exciting or extreme, you are bound to find something in the Filipino culinary world which will light your flame.
Let us help plan your next trip! We have great ideas and can help you find experts so you’re never overwhelmed with options. We can’t wait to shout magandang araw–or beautiful day –to you across a market full of Filipino street food.
Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to spoil your mom and give her something extraordinary. While sales and discounts on high-end bags and luxury perfumes can be enticing, ditch the material things and look for something irreplaceable. Here are five reasons why you should consider traveling with your mom on her special day. Spending quality … Continue reading “Why an out-of-country trip is the best gift for Mother’s Day”
Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to spoil your mom and give her something extraordinary. While sales and discounts on high-end bags and luxury perfumes can be enticing, ditch the material things and look for something irreplaceable. Here are five reasons why you should consider traveling with your mom on her special day.
Spending quality time with your mom can be redundant if you go to the same places. Try looking for new destinations outside the state where you can get lost and score an unforgettable experience that only you and your mother can share. This could also be the perfect story you can share on your next family reunion!
Sometimes moms just want to flaunt on social media after days of constant struggle and stress. Help her unwind by adding more selfies and photos on her profile from visits to iconic tourist spots and must-try restaurants.
If you haven’t traveled overseas with your mother before, this could be the start of a new tradition! Help her tick off bullets on her bucket list as she finds home at a different country, or better yet different continent. It can be one of the best gifts you could offer as she may need to leave a piece of her heart there just like how she left a big chunk for you.
It may be cliché but not all superheroes wear capes, moms are known to be the epitome of all superheroes. Wonder woman needs a break from time to time and this is the perfect chance to it. Sometimes all she needs is an adventurous vacation to remind herself of the beautiful life she is living. Give your all in creating a fun but relaxing itinerary for your mom as she de-stresses from all realities of her work life and even family life itself.
Material things can be tempting to buy at first but these could also mean you barely have the time to think your gift through. Planning the best tropical vacation with all the activities your mom could possibly enjoy is intangible and would make her feel even more special than what you intend to. Travelling is known to bring out the genuine personality of a person. This trip may also be an eye-opener on how much you really know about your mom.
You can arrange it for just the two of you, or even for the entire family. What’s important is to spend the meaningful holiday doing something she’ll enjoy immensely. Create an unforgettable bonding experience with your Mother and immerse yourselves on the beauty of the Philippines. Book through our travel partners for an affordable vacation and score an invaluable experience for you and your mom!
Learn more about the different destinations in the Philippines and see some of the latest ongoing travel promos and tour packages here.
Contrary to popular belief, packing for a vacation can be easy with the right gadgets. There’s a certain satisfaction in thinking you’ve brought everything you need after being restricted with your luggage allowance. Bounded by the rules and the baggage load you have acquired, you just can’t bring everything you have. Besides, you wouldn’t really … Continue reading “5 Gadgets to Bring to Your Tropical Island Adventure”
Contrary to popular belief, packing for a vacation can be easy with the right gadgets. There’s a certain satisfaction in thinking you’ve brought everything you need after being restricted with your luggage allowance. Bounded by the rules and the baggage load you have acquired, you just can’t bring everything you have. Besides, you wouldn’t really want to go island hopping with so many things in hand. At the same time, traveling isn’t just about self-improvement, sometimes you may want to brag about it once a while to your peers. Here are 5 gadgets that would make your friends and fellow travelers die of envy on your tropical island adventure.
Wireless Portable Speaker
To make the most of your tropical adventure, a portable speaker is something you can’t not bring. Ideally, it allows people to chill and relax at their own room while listening to their preferred music. It can also connect people together to create a more enthusiastic atmosphere where everyone can have fun. With two 40mm speakers, a built-in microphone, a 10-hour rechargeable battery and being one of the most versatile portable speakers in its category, Scosche’s boomBottle is highly praised for its remarkable mix of high-quality audio and rough waterproof abilities.
Water Purifier Bottle
Unprepared travelers often find themselves in pain after consuming contaminated water, which means they didn’t invest in a water purification system before travelling. Getting yourself, one will be useful in many ways as you travel in destinations such as the Middle East, Central America and even Asia. Rather than a straw or a pumping mechanism, go for the Grayl as it works more like a coffee press. You ought to fill the lower part with water, attach its upper and press down. In 30 seconds or less, you’ve made yourself a 16 oz of purified water in a sophisticated container. It’s simple to use, reliable, safely eliminates unwanted viruses and bacteria.
Solar-Powered Inflatable Light
While checking for your stay in a remote island by yourself, you may want to bring necessary equipment to ensure that your dream-like wishful thinking doesn’t turn into a nightmare. Secure your trip by bringing a solar-powered inflatable light like Luci’s MPOWERED. Luci has produced an inflatable LED light which is ultra-compact, waterproof, solar-powered, has multiple functions and the most important of all, inexpensive! Before going back to your home, you could opt to leave it to the locals to aid a community with little to no electricity.
Scuba Mask Camera
Discovering the diverse marine life underwater is too surreal and sometimes you simply want to capture the whole experience with ease. While mounting action cameras on scuba masks is possible, it just doesn’t help you enjoy and interact with the magnificent life under the sea. Scuba underwater HD recorder masks are now must-haves for people who are basically mermaids and mermans at heart. Liquid Image HD movie mask features a 720p HD quality with 30 frames per second, and also has a light attachment to help you record movie in dark waters. Swimming with schools of fishes will be something you can boast to your friends and family without you worrying about showing proof to support your claim.
Scrubba Wash Bag
To fully experience immersion among locals, one must explore further to rural areas to get the sense and feel of their genuine culture. It would be hard to do this unless you’re open to do lots of physical activities like trekking or walking and packing light. Packing less is actually quite easy but the problem lies on where you could do your laundry. Of course, living in the 21st century, everything is possible! And that includes packing your own washing machine without breaking your back. Scrubba Wash Bag effectively cleans your clothes with the help of hundreds of internal Scrubba ‘nobules’. Simultaneously, you could also use it as a dry-bag which makes it cost-efficient and worth more than you pay for. At the same time, by lessening your luggage allowance, you could allot more of your money into travelling further.
Philippines is an archipelago made up of 7,641 islands. This world-recognized tropical destination is famous for its picture-perfect beaches but since the climate here is very different from what you’ve been accustomed to, you need to know how to prepare so you can maximize your vacation. We’re not just talking about booking your flight ahead … Continue reading “What to bring on a travel to a tropical destination”
Philippines is an archipelago made up of 7,641 islands. This world-recognized tropical destination is famous for its picture-perfect beaches but since the climate here is very different from what you’ve been accustomed to, you need to know how to prepare so you can maximize your vacation. We’re not just talking about booking your flight ahead or reading about the must-visit places on your chosen destination but also about knowing what to pack for your travel to the Philippines or any other tropical country. To help you out, here are a few things your bags should contain:
First and foremost, you can’t go traveling the world without your important papers. Anything can happen during your tropical vacation so make sure to have all these documents ready for a no-hassle getaway.
Of course, this is pretty obvious, you can’t explore the amazing places that make the world without your passport. Wherever you go, it’s best to have this in your purse since it’s also accepted as a valid ID.
Doing various transactions, especially when it involves banks, require you to present at least two valid IDs. Government IDs like your driver’s license and professional IDs should always be in your wallet so in the event you’d be asked to show one.
-Photocopies of your travel documents
It may seem redundant but having photocopies of your travel documents can prove to be helpful. This is one of those instances when it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Have photocopies of your IDs, passport, and birth certificate.
When it comes to other basic necessities you should bring on your travel, there are some things that are specific to a tropical country. We’ve listed a few here including other items your bag should contain no matter what destination you’re heading to:
Whether you’re an old-school physical map user or one who relies on map apps available on your smartphone, having one allows you to roam around and explore your destination much easier. Of course, you can always ask the locals but if you really want to feel like an adventurer, knowing how to read a map could be really helpful on your travels.
-First Aid Kit
This one is definitely a must-have for travelers. Having a first aid kit on your bag allows you to be prepared in case of emergencies. Whether it’s against scrapes and wounds or cough and colds, being ready with band-aids, gauze, and medicine can make you feel a little less worried about yourself and others around you as well.
Since tropical countries are continuing to be a top choice for holiday travelers, scientists are encouraging adventurers to carry and use insect repellent. Remember, tropical destinations like the Philippines are surrounded by bodies of water and are filled with lush forests, mountains, and other landscapes so it’s best to be prepared against mosquitoes and other insects.
If you don’t want sunburns that sting, better apply some sunscreen to your skin before frolicking on the beach. In fact, you could also use this not just on the white sandy shores and blue waters but when you’re about to go on a trek to mountain peaks or just have plans to walk around and explore, protect yourself from the harsh rays of the sun with a reliable sunscreen.
3. Gears and gadgets
Advancements in technology have provided travelers the liberty to document their journeys and turn moments into captured memories. To help make your adventures something you can revisit anytime, here are a few things you can bring to your travel:
It can be another, cheaper phone but having an extra one is not just for picture-taking purposes but for making calls and messages as well. When you’re in a different country, it’s advisable to always be available for incoming and outgoing communications in case you find yourself lost in unfamiliar grounds.
Of course, visiting a tropical country on your dream holiday is not complete without your camera. With social media readily available for you to share your adventures, this particular gadget continues to be a travel necessity, so you can post your favorite views and moments real-time.
The lifesaver of the new generation. If you have this on your travel, you don’t have to worry about low or empty batteries for your smartphones. Just make sure it’s fully charged before your every adventure; believe us, it’s a great help if you like documenting your travels.
We’re not going to list three clothing items in this part but instead give you a piece of advice- it’s all about layering. Tropical countries like the Philippines experience mostly hot or humid weather but when you’re staying somewhere in the rural areas where the great beaches usually are, it could get pretty cold at night even without air conditioning. Our suggestion? Learn to layer clothes. Bring summer clothes, of course, like tank tops, swimsuits, and shorts but don’t forget to pack light cardigans, leggings, or jogging pants when the nights prove to be a little cooler than usual.
So, there you go! Make sure to check this list out every time you’re about to take on a new tropical country and remember, the best way to maximize your vacation is to always be prepared no matter the situation.
Sunny days, white sand beaches, diverse marine life, interesting culture, accommodating locals and delectable food! Southeast Asia is the paradise on Earth where many tourists flock each year to the thousand islands searching for the ultimate Asian adventure. No matter how much you search for flights and accommodations, you’ll always be behind in preparation until … Continue reading “5 Travel hacks when travelling to Southeast Asia”
Sunny days, white sand beaches, diverse marine life, interesting culture, accommodating locals and delectable food! Southeast Asia is the paradise on Earth where many tourists flock each year to the thousand islands searching for the ultimate Asian adventure. No matter how much you search for flights and accommodations, you’ll always be behind in preparation until you get there. Here are some of the best travel hacks to save you the trouble as you explore South East Asia.
1. Pack as light as possible
Travelling as light as possible not only saves you money on luggage fees but also lightens your actual travelling process. Frequent travelers tend to carry two bags – one for clothes and a slightly smaller one for airport essentials and toiletries. Before starting your journey, make a list of the things you’ve brought so you could check everything before you return home. Everyone knows the rolling clothing trick, but don’t forget to use vacuum seal bags or ziplock bags. It would allow to use every nick and cranny of your suitcase and at the same time, make your things more organized.
2. Travel during the Shoulder season
The monsoon season, usually from June to October, are most commonly avoided by rookie traveler. Little did they know that during that season, you could easily haggle for lower prices on accommodation, transport, and activities. It will certainly rain from time to time during the monsoon season but it won’t hinder the experience to seeing the astonishing beauty present throughout Southeast Asia, plus you’ll get to save some bucks along the way.
3. Book Flight connections wisely
One of the most common mistakes first-time travelers make is that they add too much on their itinerary leaving no time for unprecedented events. Southeast Asia is full of islands, mostly reachable through diverse modes of transportations such as airplanes, buses or boats but it doesn’t mean it can be easily accessed. It will take hours and hours before you can get to your uninhabited destination. And you also have to factor out schedule delays which is very common in Southeast Asia.
4. Bring skin protection
Take note that you are travelling to a tropical destination, surrounded by lush forests, rice fields, rivers, and mountains. Protect your skin from the sun as well possible insect bites by buying a good and efficient sunscreen and insect repellent.
5. Take your time
Spending more time in a foreign country may require bigger budget. But it doesn’t need to be expensive if you research and plan well. Inquire with tourism information offices or check with travel websites and blogs for tips and recommendations. Make sure to spend enough time to immerse yourself with a culture you could only search about on the internet before. Learning more about the locals and savoring the beauty found nowhere else is undoubtedly priceless.
Ready to embark on a new tropical vacation? Choose among our 7,641 islands – from our multi-awarded destinations like Palawan, Boracay, and Cebu to the best-kept hidden gems such as Banaue, Albay, or Vigan.