The Philippines is maybe one of the most sought-after countries for travellers – and I can totally understand the reasons why. I have to be honest: I have already seen a couple of Southeast Asian countries in my life now and I have to admit that the Philippines is easily in the top 3. I wanted to go there since I traveled through Thailand. I had heard of it from heaps of other travelers. I got told you can find the best scuba diving spots in the whole world there. And not only that! Everyone I talked to was absolutely fascinated by the beauty of this country, which was one of the reasons why I just had to take a flight and explore this unique country on my own.
5 Reasons to Visit the Philippines
The first thing that really cast a spell over me was the absolutely incredible landscapes you can find in the Philippines. I have been to raw jungles in Banaue, seen the huge Kawasan Falls, gone to the most remote beaches I have ever seen, and gone to paradise in Palawan and Coron. 3 weeks of total fascination. I did not expect it to be that great. I really didn’t.
What got me hooked the most was the variety of everything you can find in the Philippines. Besides the jungle and paradisaic beaches, you can take a look at gigantic volcanoes, huge caves, 2.000-year-old rice terraces, “Chocolate Hills”, underground rivers, and much more.
This country is full of UNESCO World Heritage sites and that was another big reason for me to visit.
The Philippines is full of cute and impressive wild animals. Besides wild monkeys, big insects and other species you might already know, you can also see some of the biggest eagles in the world, as well as the distinctive tarsier, mousedeers (combination of a deer and a mouse), and the famous whalesharks.
The whaleshark is especially interesting to me because I love to scuba dive. It is the world’s biggest fish and it is truly beautiful. It is completely harmless for humans, so if you ever get the chance to see it, go for it.
The countless adventures in the Philippines also belong to this country just as the landscape and the wildlife do – and this country is full of them. You can hike around the UNESCO World Heritage rice terraces in Batad (and feel like Rambo in the process), go canyoneering at Kawasan Falls, swim with whalesharks in Donsol, jump from a 12-meter tower into a perfect turquoise ocean in Siquijor Island, and go surfing in Siargao, amongst other things.
I loved the El Nido (and Coron) island hopping tour and the scuba diving in Coron the most. While all the other stuff has also been incredible, seeing the incomparable landscape around El Nido and diving at real shipwrecks from the 2nd World War was truly unforgettable.
The Philippines has so many adventures available you could probably go on one each day for a whole year and you would still have plenty more to look forward to.
Don’t forget to try out as many different kinds of food as you can. This is the fourth point on the list because Filipinos have incredible dishes. The streetfood is especially delicious in my opinion. Literally everything can be found on the table and everything is surprisingly cheap, too.
I payed around $4 in Cebu City for about 6 different dishes, for example – all fresh, healthy, and really tasty. Filipinos like to eat spicy (lots of chili); they eat simple dishes a lot (rice with veggies, etc.) and exploit almost anything that’s possible. I had a soup cooked with pig’s brain…
I admit that some Western people might need to get used to some of the food in the Philippines, but it is definitely worth a try. You’ll love it!
The fifth and last point are the Filipinos themselves. This might be the most important reason to visit the country, actually. Filipinos are soooo nice, it’s almost unbelievable! They are so gentle and friendly all the time. They smile, they wave at you, they are really relaxed, and they are just always in a good mood. I don`t know where this comes from. Maybe it is the good weather, maybe it’s the wonderful country they live in, or maybe it’s just their culture.
Even the sales people have always been pretty friendly. It just amazes me how friendly these people have been – so different to what I am used back home in Germany. That’s why this really is a big factor to me to visit the Philippines!
If you want to know see another cool place, you should read this article.