Hi, my name is Phoenix Hutton and I’m a travel blogger. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and I’ve always had a passion for traveling. I’ve worked as a flight attendant for seven years before choosing this career path. I’ve felt I had to make a change because I was traveling across the globe and I wasn’t getting acquainted with the cultural heritage, people, and traditions of the places I was in. After quitting my job, over a course of five years, I’ve managed to visit 50 countries. One of my favorites is the Philippines.
If you must limit your visit to the Philippines to ten reasons, be sure that your bucket list of things to do in the Philippines includes seeing the smallest monkey, fish, and volcano in the world. In addition to luxuriating on pristine white sand beaches, astonishingly pink ones, or even those whose sand is pure black, take time to also hike a volcano and to ride aboard the country’s famous jeepney.
10. Hop on a Jeepney Ride
At the top of the list of unforgettable things to do in Philippines is a jeepney ride. These unique vehicles are the result of the ingenuity of natives who took left-behind jeeps from World War II and added a bench-style seat on each side enabling these vehicles to transport as many as 20 passengers at a time. Needless to say, the exterior of a jeepney is an awesome art gallery. If you’re lucky you could spot the Hello Kitty Jeepney. Many visitors report seeing men seated on its flat top roof, standing on the rear bumper or with at least one foot firmly planted on its running board.
9. Various Cruise Options Available
While many visitors arrive Philippines via a luxury cruise travel package, another unique cruise option that definitely should not be missed is a bangka cruise. Your craft for this cruise is a bamboo outrigger powered by a truck engine and guided by two experienced seamen along a five-mile underground river that occupies a place on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. One of the highlights of your Puerto Princesa Underground River cruise is the chance to see the mouth of a cave that is now included on the list of the world’s seven natural wonders.
8. Coron Bay
History buffs, especially those of the military genre, will enjoy a visit to Coron Bay for the adventure of a lifetime as gained from exploring the wreckage of several Japanese World War II ships resting deeply below the surface.
7. Chocolate Hills
Chocolate aficionados will enjoy feasting their eyes upon the Chocolate Hills to be found in Bohol. Some of these chocolate colored limestone mounds estimated to be 400 feet tall make hiking an ideal way to get a close view of them.
6. Magic, Sorcerers, and Shamans
One island that definitely deserves a place on your list of things to see and do in Philippines is Siquijor Island., where black magic relative to both its positive and negative aspects is still practiced today. Its two types of magical beings are sorcerers known to rain down evil spells on their victims and shamans who are known for their healing and lifesaving powers.
5. Smallest Animals in the World
Bohol Island is home to the smallest monkey known to exist on Planet Earth. The average size of a mature Tarsier equates to a human fist. Their actual size ranges from three to six inches in height. Like the owl, the eyes of these creatures are rigidly fused to the socket. Their field of vision is facilitated by their ability to turn their heads in a 180-degree direction. Known to have a lifespan of about 24 years, trees and high grass areas are the favorite habitat for these furry brown and/or gray creatures.
Two other of the world’s smallest creatures to be included on your bucket list of this genre are the Bamboo Bat measuring one and a half inches in length and to date the smallest of some 1,000 bats in the world. Last on your list of smallest creatures of the world is the mouse deer known as the Pilandok. The Philippines area of Palawan functions as a haven for these tiny four-footed creatures. Unlike other deer whose antlers are their defense mechanism, the Pilandok relies upon canine tucks to function as its defense tool.
4. Banaue’s Rice Fields
Flat land hikers are guaranteed to enjoy walking along the walls surrounding Banaue’s rice fields. These formations are believed to be a result of the natural buildup of mud mounds over the past 2,000 years. Local legends say that if the steps were put end to end, it would encircle half the globe.
3. Go Fishing
Whether their pursuit is for pleasure or commercial purposes, fishermen who enjoy sharing stories relative to their largest or longest specimen may be mind boggled by the opportunity to catch the smallest fish in the world while in the Philippines. The Sinarapan is an edible fish that measures about one-half inch in length or about the size of a Dwarf Goby.
2. See the Smallest Volcano in the World
Situated near Manila is Mt. Taal that is home to the smallest active volcano in the world. Accessible only by boat, the island upon which the volcano is located requires riding a horse or hiking on foot to fully experience this awesome site. At its peak, is a breathtaking vista of a crater lake from which steam still rises. Also, unique to this area is a small village boasting wooden hut-style homes situated on stilts rising high above the lake.
1. Enjoy the Festivals
Those who enjoy something more than just seeing and doing touristy things will find that the vast archipelago of the Philippines boast of festivals, also known as fiestas, that occur somewhere every month of the year.
One of the most popular of these festivals in dubbed “The Filipino Mardi Gras”. Dancing in the street with facial features hidden behind black soot, this gala honors Senor Sto. Nino. In 2013, 400 million participants were in attendance for the Cebu Island gala also known as The Jesus Festival.
The Pahiyas or Harvest Festival occurs each year around the middle of May. Homes and buildings are adorned with all sorts of produce ranging from fruits to eggplants and beans. In this same vein, the Davao Festival features fruits, flowers, and decorated floats as they wend their way down the parade route.
Regardless of whether you elect to arrive in the Philippines aboard a cruise ship from ports of call around the world or by airplane, you are guaranteed to return home with enough memories to last a lifetime derived from a plethora of places to visit, local cuisine to consume and things to do in the Philippines.
About the Author
Phoenix Hutton is an avid traveler and photographer. After working 7 years as a flight attendant she decided to follow her real passion and became a travel blogger. She has travelled across 53 countries in the last 5 years and hopes to visit them all. Follow Phoenix at www.luxurytravel.info