The official announcement of the “Visit the Philippines” year has earned the country recognition from different travel organisations. Perhaps the most popular travel guide in the world – Lonely Planet – recently included it in the Top 10 Countries to visit in 2015. Their website cited it “the next big travel destination in Southeast Asia”, and listed out several of the countries many nuances, such as being engulfed in the latest fashions and fads; a love for music exemplified by their almost obsessive affiliation with karaoke; religious piety, an example of which is the voluntary crucifixions that happen on Good Friday every year; and the generally superstitious nature of the population despite being predominantly catholic.
The Philippines offers everything that a country can offer and more. Its many points of wonder are spread around more than 7,100 islands, big and small. From its sandy beaches to the highly metropolitan cities, the mountain ranges, the coral reefs, a range of attractive churches old and new, and a population that is friendly and fun loving, you will always find things to do and things to see wherever you visit in the Philippines,.
Filipinos love their festivals (fiestas), and there are so many throughout the year that counting them will be an exercise in futility. From the smallest village to the city of Metro Manila, festivals are celebrated for a number of reasons, religious and otherwise. The MassKara Festival in Bacolod and the Higantes Festival in Angono are two of the festivals that are unique to the country. Filipinos celebrate the main Christian holidays – Christmas and Easter – with a fervour that is unmatched anywhere in the world. The Christmas season lasts more than three months – from September to the first Monday of January!
The Philippines is a predominantly Roman Catholic country owing to its colonisation by the Spanish in the past. All religious observations are followed quite strictly, and the close-knit community of the Philippines – in villages and cities alike – makes every celebration a memorable one. Attractive churches large and small, old and new are main landmarks in most cities. A few Spanish era churches still exist, which are worth visiting for their aesthetic beauty and historical significance.
What better way to celebrate an occasion than with food and drink? Filipino cuisine has a range of dishes that indulge your sense of taste like no other. It is a cuisine that has evolved through assimilation and localisation, with Spanish, Italian, Chinese, American, and other influences coming together to create local dishes unique to the Philippines. Cuisine also changes depending on where you go: In coastal areas, seafood is aplenty; in other parts, a range of meats, fruits and vegetables, prepared in a variety of ways and eaten with rice, bread, or any other kind of staple are the highlights. Filipinos love their barbecue, and have perfected the art through experience. Local festivals always include a big barbecue, which acts not just as a food preparation method, but also as a spectacle to behold. An eclectic combination of scrumptious street food, fast food, and a range of alcoholic beverages complement the traditional cuisine, adding yet another level of variety.
Although the bulk of the population of the Philippines lives in urban areas, the remote villages are also worth a visit. Great experiences await those who are looking for off-the-beaten-track journeys. Rustic accommodation options and natural surroundings of the rural Philippines offer a wonderful way to get out of the hustle and bustle of city life.
As a collection of islands, Philippines has its fair share of natural wonders. Top of this list is the Chocolate Hills of Bohol. These mounds are covered in lush green grass throughout the wet season, but the heat of the dry season turns the grass brown; this, combined with the fact that they are conical in shape, make the hills resemble chocolates, hence the name. It is estimated that there are as many as 1,700 mounds. The hills are best viewed from high up, so we recommend taking a flying tour of Bohol.
At Mabuhay Travel, we are expecting a busy 2015, and we are geared to give you a wonderful experience. Contact us today and book your tickets to any destination in the Philippines. Don’t miss out on seasonal offers on cheap flights and accommodation options to any Philippines destination.
From Metro Manila to the Chocolate Hills of Bohol, Philippines creates an impression that cannot be matched anywhere else in the world. Whether you are looking for luxury travel, adventure travel, a romantic honeymoon getaway, a historical sightseeing tour, a safari into a wilderness reserve, or a metropolitan experience filled with the sights, the sounds, the smells, and the flavours of the big city, what you want is never far away in the Philippines.