If you ask different people, they will give you different reasons why they love traveling to the Philippines. The country’s official tourism tagline is “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” and for sure, massive fun is part of any holiday in the 7,641-island country. Visit the Philippines so you can come up your own reasons!
(1) It’s an affordable travel destination.
For the budget-conscious traveller/adventurer, the Philippines is a great option. Food, transportation and lodging are very affordable. The current exchange rate is US$1 = 50 Philippine pesos. Your dollar can buy you a can of the local beer and a couple of meat skewers from the local hawkers. An end-to-end ride in the capital’s above-ground train system (LRT-MRT) will only cost $ 0.60.
(2) There are more than 7,000 islands to choose from.
Yes, according to the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority, the Philippines has 7,641 islands. The Philippines is also home to the world famous Boracay Beach, which has consistently ranked as one of the world’s top beaches according to the world’s top travel experts such as Condé Nast Traveler, TripAdvisor and Travel+ Leisure, among many others. A four kilometre-long perfect white sugary, powdery-sanded beach, it is a place where you can find tranquility and excitement, relaxation and sport, glamour and leisure. And yes, Boracay Beach has resorts that cost less than $50 per night, including breakfast.
(3) Everyone speaks English.
Chalk this up to the American colonial history of the Philippines. From 1898-1946, America imposed its education system throughout the country. Until this day, English remains pervasive throughout the islands, where all road signs, public area signs and announcements are provided in English. Needless to say, this helps tremendously when going to the Philippines as a tourist, especially if it’s your first time.
(4) It is among the most bio-diverse countries in the world.
For diving enthusiasts, marine and wildlife fanatics, and anyone who appreciates nature, the Philippines is heaven on earth. Located in the planet’s Coral Triangle, the Philippines is home to the highest concentration of coral, flora and fauna, marine, bird and reptile species in the world. Scientific researchers have found that the country has the highest concentration of animal, plant and coral species per unit area in the world. For this, the Philippines has been dubbed “the centre of the centre of biodiversity”.
(5) Shopping. Home to the world’s most expansive malls, shopping in the Philippines is an experience in itself.
Inside a shopping mall, you can find not only a myriad stores selling high quality local and international brand items, but also…prayer rooms, banks, bill payment centres, courier services, repair shops, medical and dental clinics, gaming arcades, spas, pet shops, conference centers, trade and convention halls and fitness clubs.
(6) Food. While Filipino food has not yet gained the same international fame as other Asian cuisines, it has certainly tickled the taste buds of foodies around the world.
After spending 300 years under Spanish rule, Philippine cuisine bears the indelible mark of Spanish flavours blended seamlessly with native flavours and spices. Anthony Bourdain, world-renowned food expert, has touted Filipino cuisine as the next big thing in the world food scene. Try the sisig (chopped pork ears and face served on a sizzling plate), lechon (chicken, pork or beef slow-roasted to perfection), and adobo (the national dish made of marinated meat, vinegar, soy sauce and spices).
(7) Festivals – a feast for your eyes.
The Philippine calendar is marked with dozens of colourful, music-filled festivals. Schedule your visit during one of these festivals and you will find yourself dancing to the beat of drums and festive music that reverberate throughout the towns. Gorgeous costumes and amazing decorations and lights adorn entire villages during festivals. It is a delight to behold.
Do you want to go skydiving? White-water rafting? Scuba diving? Sand-buggying? Kayaking in an underground river? The Philippines offers dozens of options to choose from to give you an adrenaline rush. Have you ever been to a lake inside a crater inside a volcano inside a bigger lake? See how many “likes” you will get if you use this as your Status Update on Facebook when you visit Taal Volcano in Tagaytay.
(9) Health and Wellness.
The Philippines is currently ranked eighth in the world as the preferred destination for people seeking treatment, consultation and diagnostics. Many international insurance providers and networks are already in partnership with various Philippine hospitals and medical centres such as Asian Hospital, The Medical City and St. Luke’s Hospital. A hub of cutting edge medical technology and a vast array of expertise in Asia, coupled with professional and high quality care from medical professionals, the Philippines is an excellent option for receiving medical treatment, followed by rest and recuperation at world-class hotels and resorts. Medical tourism clients of the Philippines include patients from China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, United States, Australia and Europe.
(10) Finally … The People.
Filipinos are known for their fun-loving, kindhearted and hospitable nature. Generally speaking, locals are very friendly and helpful. They will make you feel right at home in the Philippines. Filipinos are also a musically inclined people. Did you know that Bruno Mars is part Filipino? Even our national boxing icon, Manny Pacquiao, sings and sold hit record albums. Most people jokingly say that karaoke singing is the national pastime – which can be proven by the fact that most karaoke machines in the Philippines have a score-giving feature (which can be switched off).
People also love taking photos, of others as well as themselves, which is why it is considered the Selfie Capital of the World. Many mobile phone companies test their products in the Philippines first, before rolling them out into the world market, due to the tech-savvy milieu in the Philippines.