The Philippines is one of the most spectacular places in the world. It has beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, great food, and it’s also very affordable, which is why my girlfriend and I go there at least once a year. A common misconception is that the Philippines is some sort of remote, desolate island. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The country is extremely modernized. There are banks for you to send money to the Philippines, Starbucks, and it is home to the seventh largest shopping mall in the world. These are some of the reasons why millions of people visit the country annually.
Many people do not realize how delicious Filipino cuisine is. This is mainly because there are not a lot of Filipino restaurants in the United States, but once you try it, you’ll be hooked. The best way to understand Filipino culture is through their food. They harvest an abundance of fresh seafood and vegetables daily, which draws inspiration from unique Pinoy flavors and cooking techniques that have continued to evolve for decades. Filipino food is deeply flavorful, which can vary depending on the season. Steamed, fried, roasted, or boiled, the food is seasoned to perfection, creating a truly unique dish which incorporates sweet, sour, and savory flavors. The food culture of the Philippines is something you have to experience in order to fully appreciate. Some of these dishes include:
- Tocino, which is a Filipino version of bacon made from pork belly
- Kinilaw, this seafood dish is often served raw, with salt, pepper, and vinegar
- Kare Kare, if you’re a stew lover, you have to try Kare Kare, the ingredients include oxtail and vegetables, served with a peanut sauce
- Pancit Guisado, which are fried noodles, there are 3 varieties, including Pancit Canton, Pancit Sotanghon, and Bami
- Buko, Buko is sold along roadsides throughout the country, which is a green coconut
- Halo Halo, which means mix mix. This delicious dessert is something everyone should try at least once, the ingredients are mango, red beans, and coconut, served in a bowl with a scoop of purple yam ice cream, then topped off with condensed milk. This layered sugary mess is utterly delicious.
The country is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Just imagine calm, clean, sparkling, blue waters and majestic white sandy shores; something so picturesque, it could be on a postcard. These beaches include Bantayan, which is known for its beautiful sunset view, pool caves, and shimmering waters. There’s also Pagudpud Beach, which is not only one of the country’s best surfing spots, but it’s also one of the less crowded beaches. If you want undisturbed greenery, white sand beaches, cool waters, and scenic views, you should visit Palaui, which is located off the tip of Luzon and is extremely remote and completely untouched.
The Philippines also has plenty of magnificent caves, which are beautiful, yet mysterious. These caves include Odloman Cave, which is one of the most visited caves in the country. It is located in Mabinay and stretches over 6 miles, making it the 6th deepest cave in the country. There’s also Sumaging Latipan Lomyang Crystal Cave, which features crystal clear streams and limestone formations. The cave was previously used by soldiers in WWII as a fortress to hide from conquerors and is the country’s fifth longest cave. Palawan Underground River is probably the most visited cave in the Philippines. Located on the island of Palawan, the subterranean river stretches more than 5 miles and is considered to be one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World.
Volcanoes are one thing the country clearly isn’t lacking; there are hundreds of both active and inactive volcanoes throughout the Philippines. Being able to stand on a dormant volcano will give you a truly unique perspective on life and a greater appreciation of its beauty.
Diving and Snorkeling
There are plenty of great diving spots throughout the country where you can even swim with sharks. If you’re a diving or snorkeling enthusiast, you should definitely consider visiting the Philippines. With its crystal clear waters, it provides you a breathtaking view of all of Mother Nature’s beauty. You can also go whale watching or even swim with dolphins. This gives you the opportunity to witness these marvelous creatures in their natural environment, as they move freely through the water.
The first thing you’ll notice as soon as you step off the plane is the beautiful weather. It’s neither too hot nor too cold, which allows you to easily adapt to the tropical climate.