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Travel guide for Philippines

Home to over 7000 islands, the Philippines is one of those destinations that is largely underrated. The ones that go will be rewarded with endless white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and a vibrant marine life. Besides, there are also gleaming emerald-colored volcanoes, impressive rice fields and mesmerizing mountains. Make the most out of your trip to the Philippines and read this travel guide from our EH Guru.

LANGUAGE

Despite being home to multiple dialects, Tagalog is considered as the National language. The language was renamed “Pilipino” in 1959 and finally “Filipino” in 1973.  However, one of the most beautiful things about the Philippines is that almost everyone speaks English, which makes it easy to communicate with the locals.

CULTURE

The Philippines is a country that has varied cultural influences. Most of these influences are results of previous colonization, deriving mainly from the culture of Spain and the United States. Despite all of these influences, the old Asian culture of Filipinos has been retained and are clearly seen in their way of life, beliefs and customs.

CUISINE

Adobo

This Filipino dish is made by stewing meat (usually chicken, pork, or a combination of both) in soy sauce and vinegar, adding peppercorns and bay leaves for that special flavour.

Kare-Kare

This rich stew is made with peanut sauce and, customarily, oxtail, but other meatier cuts of beef can also be added in. Many Filipinos will consider kare-kare incomplete without a serving of bagoong (fermented seafood paste) on the side.

Lechon

One of the top contenders among the best Filipino dishes is perhaps the famous lechon. After all, it is hard to top a tasty, fully-roasted pig with perfectly crisp skin and juicy meat. This is a must at any grand Pinoy gathering or fiesta.

Sinigang

Sinigang is a Pinoy classic. A delicious sour broth usually made tangy by tamarind (sometimes kamias), it’s filled with different vegetables and a meat of choice. Popular variants include sinigang na baboy (pork), sinigang na hipon (shrimp), and sinigang na isda (fish).

Kinilaw

The Filipino version of ceviche is light, delicious and is served with many different variations to it. Essentially, it is raw pieces of fish or shrimp marinated in vinegar, lime, onions, and chili.

FESTIVALS

There are a number of holidays, long weekends and top festivals in the Philippines that happen throughout the year. These vibrant festivals are characterized by the history, artistry, creativity, and passion of the people. While some of them take place for just a day, a lot of them are celebrating for a week and even for an entire month.

Ati-Atihan Festival

The Ati-Atihan Festival is one of the oldest and biggest festivals in the Philippines. This mardi gras lasts for a whole week, with activities set from sunrise to sunset. The highlights are the tribal dances, the booming drum beats, the loud chants, and the Catholic rituals, which will surely make any visitor dance their heart out.

Panagbenga Festival   

This festival highlights the bountiful blooming of the flowers and to pay tribute to the rising up of the city from the 1990 Luzon earthquake. During the festival, expect beautiful parades of floats made from different flowers, parading throughout the city, followed by children and adults adorned as flora and fauna.

LUZON

Luzon is the largest island group in the Philippines, where the Philippine capital Manila is located. In the north of the country there are many tourist highlights such as the rice terraces in Banaue, which are often referred to as the “eighth wonder of the world”.

Manila

Manila serves as the center of culture, economy, education, and government in the Philippines. Most travelers see it only as a jump-off point to the country’s stunning islands. But Manila is a great destination, all-year-round. Unlike island destinations in the Philippines, you can still do activities here during the rainy season.

PALAWAN – the most beautiful island in the world

On the island of Palawan, Mother Nature really did her best: bizarre, wildly overgrown rock walls that rise up from emerald green and crystal clear water, in between mystical jungles, hidden dream bays and countless white sandy beaches – you can find all of this here, in Palawan.

El Nido

The black limestone cliffs rise out of the turquoise water like huge walls and tower around the islands as if they want to protect this paradise. Picture perfect lagoons, endless palm forests, and countless little islands are waiting to be explored.

Coron

Just like its neighbor, Coron has natural wonders that defy logic and make you question reality. Swim through underwater mountains, visit hidden lagoons, snorkel over otherworldly reefs, lounge on baby powder sand beaches – the adventures never stop.

Puerto Princesa

The exotic capital Puerto Princesa is the perfect starting point for some of the best attractions in Palawan. Visit the longest underground river in the world, the Honda Bay or go diving for whale sharks.

Borocay

This list of best things to do in Boracay Island puts together the reasons why this tiny island, is one of the most popular holiday destinations in The Philippines. Boracay is a tropical island dream come true: the 17 beaches and coves are simply stunning and on top of that, this island offers great island-hopping opportunities.

VISAYAS

The Visayas, a collection of islands large and small in the central Philippines, are considered to be the cradle of the country. It was here that Ferdinand Magellan laid a sovereign hand on the archipelago for Spain and began the process of colonization and Catholicization that shaped so much of the nation’s history.

Borocay

This list of best things to do in Boracay Island puts together the reasons why this tiny island, is one of the most popular holiday destinations in The Philippines. Boracay is a tropical island dream come true: the 17 beaches and coves are simply stunning and on top of that, this island offers great island-hopping opportunities.

Cebu

Are you looking for the island where you can experience a lot and relax wonderfully? Then Cebu is the right holiday destination for you, because hardly any Philippine island has so many tastes and opportunities to combine as the island in the heart of the Visayas archipelago.

Bohol

Bohol is located in the center of the Visayas. In addition to the beach and sea, Bohol also has a lot to offer in terms of culture and landscape. Tagbilaran, the capital of the island, is the perfect starting point to explore the surrounding area. Hike to the Cocolate hills or  meet a Leprechaun.

MINDANAO

Mindanao is the big island in the south of the Philippines with a lot of beautiful beaches, coral reefs, volcanoes and landscapes to discover. The golden city of friendship Cagayan de Oro City has been a prosperous city in the north of Mindanao for years, the capital Davao City is booming in the south.

Davao

Davao City, city, southeastern Mindanao Island, Philippines. It lies at the mouth of the Davao River near the head of Davao Gulf. The city is the leading regional centre for southeastern Mindanao and encompasses about 50 small ports in its commercial sphere.

Siargao

Who is ready for a trip to the absolute paradise on earth? Wonderful white sandy beaches, turquoise blue water, hidden caves, beautiful lagoons and so much more. The dream island Siargao in the Philippines is awaiting you

BEST SOUVENIRS

Dried Mangos

These slivers of tangy-ripe mangoes are easy to chew, vitamin-rich, and so delightful for snacking at any time of the day. More importantly, they are very addicting. Word of advice? Hoard as many packs of dried mangoes as you can. You’ll be surprised at how quickly they disappear once you get home!

Coffee

Little do many people know, the Philippines boasts many coffee-growing regions that yield varieties such as Arabica, Robusta, Excelsa, and finally, Liberica, which is known as barako. With delicious flavours across the board, it’s no wonder that specialty coffee is a growing industry in the Philippines

Dreamcatcher

Whether you believe in the legend that they protect you from nightmares or you just want beautiful ornaments to adorn your walls, these dreamcatchers are so soothing to look at. Here, graceful hoops are embellished with beads and drooping feathers. Sweet dreams are made of these, wouldn’t you agree?

Colorful guitars

Handmade guitars and ukuleles will definitely add boho charm to your collection of Philippine souvenirs! Stringing together a tune with these instruments will remind you of laid-back afternoons at the beach and carefree days under the sun.

FAMILY

Go Scuba Diving in Sunken Shipwrecks

For avid underwater explorers, scuba diving in the Philippines is something that you shouldn’t miss. While there are loads of fantastic dive sites in the Philippines, the sunken WWII shipwrecks in Coron, Palawan are considered musts!

TRAVEL TIPS

  • The Philippines has four distinct climate zones. Study the regional forecasts carefully, research when to go and choose your destination accordingly
  • Stay flexible, not everything will go as planned and that’s okay. Sometimes even for the better
  • Try Karaoke and don’t worry about how you sound. Nobody will judge you and you shouldn’t either.
  • Living in the Philippines is cheap. So, don’t get frustrated and make a scene over a dollar more during rush hour. It will make everyone uncomfortable.
  • It’s considered impolite to arrive on time in the Philippines. About 15 minutes late is the socially acceptable arrival time.

BEST TIME

While you can visit the Philippines all year round, it is generally better to avoid the wet or rainy season. During the wet season, except during big typhoons, days are more likely to be hot with short rain showers in the afternoon so it isn’t too bad. In a nutshell, the weather in the Philippines can be broken down into two parts. The dry season (January-May) and wet season (June-December).

VISA

Nationals from 151 countries who are traveling to the Philippines for business and tourism purposes are allowed to enter the Philippines without visas for a stay not exceeding thirty (30) days, provided they hold valid tickets for their return journey to port of origin or next port of destination and their passports valid for a period of at least six (6) months beyond the contemplated period of stay.

Top Itinerary – “Product // Retouch Philippines products for EH website” when you send back the retouch file, I will use it

CONCLUSION

No matter whether if you are a backpacker or a regular traveler, the Philippines will definitely stay a trend destination in the next few years. This paradise has an endearing don’t-worry-be-happy vibe, soothing for first-time visitors. Words just can’t do justice when you are trying to describe your vacation in the Philippines. You’ll have to have experience this heaven on earth yourself, otherwise you will not believe the pictures.

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