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Eight Reasons to Visit The Philippines

Malapascua Island Beach

People often ask me which countries they should visit in South East Asia. Most of the time, they have Thailand, Vietnam or Cambodia in mind. I often ask if they’ve considered the Philippines. Most of the time the answer is “no.”

I’ve been to the Philippines almost ten times and I’m not sure why the Philippines isn’t on the top of the list of countries to visit for most people, but I definitely think it should be. Here’s why.

ONE : AMAZING BEACHES

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Being one of the largest island groups in the world, it’s not surprising that the Philippines is home to an incredible amount of awesome beaches. Some of the more well-known ones are the beaches in Boracay, Alona Beach in Bohol and the beaches in El Nido. But other places like Siargao Island and Malapascua Island also offer great beach options. In fact, it’s hard to go to The Philippines and NOT run into an awesome beach.

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TWO :THE PEOPLE

Filipinos Happy

The Filipinos are some of the happiest people in the world, as reported by many reports including on by the Business Insider. They say “a problem is only a problem if you make it one,” and this seems to be firmly hard-wired into the Filipino brain. Any inconvenience or issue is swiftly laughed off and countered with an “it’s ok” or “it will be fine.” With an average yearly income of about $5,000 and under the constant threat of some of the world’s most powerful Typhoons, the Filipinos deserve praise for their positive attitude towards life. They have personally inspired me to complain less.

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THREE : YOU CAN SPEAK ENGLISH

In most countries outside the western world, English is only spoken in the touristy areas. For those who are looking to spend a week relaxing, reading a book at the side of a resort pool, this is not a problem. However, as any seasoned traveler knows, to learn and understand a countries culture it’s essential to be able to communicate with the locals, not just with the waiter at the hotel. In the Philippines, English is widely spoken across the country. Even in the most remote places, the basics are generally understood. This really helps when you’re looking for local information as well.

FOUR : AMAZING NATURAL BEAUTY

Chocolate Hills

The Philippines is home to a wide variety of majestic landscapes and natural beauty, such as the Chocolate Hills in Bohol, the Rice Terraces in Banaue and the world’s second longest underground river in Palawan.

FIVE : A SCUBADIVER’S PARADISE

Balicasag Diving

Few countries on our planet can compete with the Philippines as a scuba destination. If big fish is your thing, Apo Island, Apo Reef and Tubbataha Reefs offer a variety of Tuna, Sharks and schools of Jacks and Barracudas. For beginners, Boracay and Puerto Galera are great spots. Malapascua Island is one of the few places where the Thresher Shark can be seen, while Coron is famous for it’s WWII Japanese warships, making for excellent wreck diving.

SIX : ADVENTURES & ACTIVITIES

Longest Zipline In Asia

The Philippines offers a wide variety of awesome adventure opportunities. The city of Butuan (on the island of Mindanao) is home to the longest zipline in Asia, stretching for over 1300 meters. On the same island, nearby the city of Cagayan de Oro, you’ll find great white water rafting opportunities.

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You can go snorkeling in the tropical, crystal clear waters almost everywhere in the Philippines. On the island of Cebu, near the village of Cebu, you can even snorkel with Whale Sharks. For a stunning hike, climb Mount Apo in Davao, the country’s highest peak at 9,689 feet, or trek Mt. Pinatubo in Luzon. This famous volcano erupted in 1991, producing the second largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century.

The wonderful island of Siargao has some of the best surfing on the continent. As the island is quite remote and relatively unknown, you’ll have more waves for yourself than other surf spots like Bali and Thailand.

Siargao surfing

For kite-surf fans will love Boracay, which is constantly mentioned as one of the best kite-surf spots in Asia and the only spot to make it to this list of best kite-surf locations in the world.

SEVEN :AFFORDABLE LOGISTICS

Cebu Pacific Route Map

With the nation’s low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific serving most major cities in Asia, it’s very easy and affordable to get to the Philippines. The airline also has an extensive domestic network in place. Domestic flights often go for as little as $20 – $50. If you’re on a budget, you can often also get somewhere by ferry, or, for the shorter distances, by a local “banca.”

EIGHT : CLIMATE FROM HEAVEN

With average daily temperatures ranging from 25 to 28 degrees Celsius (78 to 83 F), the Philippines has a very pleasant tropical climate. A light breeze is usually around (as on most islands) that prevents you from overheating. The best time to go is November to April. Expect a lot of rain from May to October. This doesn’t mean it rains all day though; most days it will just pour down pretty hard for an hour or two while the rest of the day it could be clear skies.

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27 thoughts on “Eight Reasons to Visit The Philippines


Comment author said

By Jorja on 18 April 2014 at 05:45

Hi Jasper,

Thank you for the amazing article about the Philippines. Best of luck with your travels. Great blog by the way!

Going to Malapascua next weekend… :)

 

Comment author said

By Noura on 6 May 2014 at 11:46

I envy you Jasper. Haven’t been to those places and being a Filipino myself, it’s a shame. A
Anyway enjoy your travellings and thank you for your blogs…

 

Comment author said

By Eunice on 6 May 2014 at 12:09

Nice article! Though I’d rather not have tons of tourists visiting the country :)

 

Comment author said

By Jasper Ribbers on 6 May 2014 at 13:19

Hey Eunice, that’s always the travel blogger’s dilemma :D

 

Comment author said

By John Power on 6 May 2014 at 15:53

Wake up!!!

 

Comment author said

By Rod Banaag on 6 May 2014 at 19:00

Thanks for your blog Jasper, I really appreciate it. Being a Filipino I’ve always been promoting Philippines as a travel destination everywhere I go as I work overseas. Please don’t mind other people’s negative comments in your blog as they may have different perception of what tourism could bring to everyone.. To me it is more of sharing our natures beauty and benefit from it at the same time. I love travelling too, locally & abroad… So far there’s always been a warmth welcome of people everywhere I go. I’m glad to know that our people does the same from this blog. Everyone is welcome in the Philippines!

 

Comment author said

By Jasper Ribbers on 7 May 2014 at 09:23

Thanks for commenting Rod. My experience definitely has been that the Filipinos are some of the most welcoming people in the world. Cheers!

 

Comment author said

By John Power on 6 May 2014 at 15:56

No need to apologise to people like Eunice, Jasper. They don’t want Americans here, they don’t want tourists, just poverty.

 

Comment author said

By Bert Kuipstra on 6 May 2014 at 22:18

Ofcourse they don’t want snobby Americans in their country… who does!

 

Comment author said

By Evelyn Tadena on 7 May 2014 at 00:58

Hey your comment that we Filipinos would rather have poverty and tourists to come to the Philippines is a lot of bullshit. That comment is way below the belt. We do not want americans to occupy the bases here is the main reason. If you are an American then don’t come here if that is your thinking. If you don’t have anything nice to say about the Philippines SHUT UP. We don’t need tourists like you coming here.

 

Comment author said

By karen on 6 May 2014 at 18:51

cagayan de oro the best! nice article btw! I wish i can go around the world too..

 

Comment author said

By Jasper Ribbers on 7 May 2014 at 09:24

Thanks Karen, I have to check that out sometime as well as Camiguin which is nearby I believe.

 

Comment author said

By Evelyn Tadena on 7 May 2014 at 01:02

To Jasper thanks so much for coming and visiting the Philippines. Its thru tourists like you who see the Philippines and appreciate the beauty of my country. I have seen a few tourists spots here in my country and truly I am amaze how my country is. Thank you.

 

Comment author said

By Jasper Ribbers on 7 May 2014 at 09:25

Thanks for stopping by Evelyn, I appreciate your kind words!

 

Comment author said

By abner cruz on 7 May 2014 at 03:50

thanks a lot for promoting the beauties of my country not only in her natural and beautiful wonders but also for appreciating the nice and happiest people my country have. I like travelling and ill appreciate the beauty of nature that GOD gave to my country like in El Nido, Palawan, the chocolate hills of Bohol, the Underground river of Palawan and many more. We are blessed that theres a lot more nature beauty my country have and we are blessed that there’s YOU people in other country who appreciate the wonders of our Country and of our Culture and tradition, and especially Our People. GOD BLESS you AND MORE POWER.

 

Comment author said

By Fred on 7 May 2014 at 22:32

Jasper,
i confirm everything you write! I’ve been to Filippins 10 times and more than all the amazing areas, the “country of smile” is a reality, Lovely people.

My favourite locations are Palawan, El Nido, El Coron, Malapascua, boracay, Bohol, Batangas and Legaspi for “Whale shark” swimming experience.

As diver, the list is too long..from Palawan to Cebu. Most of the dives are in the top ten like Maldives Island or Sulawesi.

thanks for sharing your experience.

 

Comment author said

By Jasper Ribbers on 8 May 2014 at 07:13

Hey Fred thanks for leaving a comment. I still have to check out El Nido and Coron for wreck diving. Cheers!

 

Comment author said

By divina on 28 May 2014 at 06:49

Hi jasper! first I’ like to thank you for considering our country as the best tourist destination and I am very proud for all the kind words you used to described your stays in the Phil.your blog are the best so far.Its one of my past time to read diff blogs and found yours a more excited as you put humors to it..hahaha the engine failed(siargao trip)..and looking forward to read another experiences of yours. I d like to congratulates you as you fulfilled your dreams to travel the word!last but not the least I envy you! why? for the reason you have the means to do your dreams and make it possible..I think mine would be just a dream and just be contented to read all your blog as If I traveled also. Good job Dutchman! Hooray!!

 

Comment author said

By Jasper Ribbers on 29 May 2014 at 22:59

Thanks Divina, I appreciate your comments and I can’t wait to go back to your amazing country and write more posts about it :)

 

Comment author said

By divina on 1 June 2014 at 07:51

Thanks for the response..loking forward for your another adventure here in Phil..Suggestion Camiguin is also a great place to stay…

 

Comment author said

By Laika Marasigan on 18 June 2014 at 07:51

Hi Jasper! It is refreshing to see posts like this. I am happy that a lot of tourists have very positive feedback upon visiting the Philippines. Coming from a well traveled individual like you, the validation is even more appreciated. I also do not know why the Philippines isn’t still among the popular destinations to visit in South East Asia, but I do feel that slowly, our country is being recognized. Having folks like you promote our country is a big help to. Our travel management company just recently started forming inbound programs, so we can promote the beauty of the islands of the Philippines, and definitely the people. Thanks to you! Mabuhay ka!

 

Comment author said

By Laika Marasigan on 18 June 2014 at 08:29

*Having folks like you promote our country is big help too. =)

 

Comment author said

By Jasper Ribbers on 19 June 2014 at 00:35

Hey Laika, I also think in the next 5-10 years a lot more people will become aware of the Philippines as a travel destination. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! – Jasper.

 

Comment author said

By josephine on 7 August 2014 at 13:08

We really are in the crossroads whether to let tourism grow (through positive blogs like yours) and our economy too or just have the natural beauty of our country hidden to the outside world. Others see it differently, hence the negative rejoinders. But I for one agree on all the 8 reasons you mentioned and I hope the negatives won’t affect how tourists thinks or discourage them from coming here. I am not sure whether our beaches are exceptional (I haven/t been to another country) but what I am sure of is that, most of the people in the Philippines understand English and one can easily find one who is so fluent in speaking it ( if a tourist is conversant in English too). Only Singapore beats us in English speaking only because they have no choice on the matter. Good luck and come back to explore Batanes and other provinces in the north.

 

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