The Philippines is located on several thousand islands of various shapes, sizes, climates and topography in the tropics; it is the most remote state from civilization in Southeast Asia. At the same time, local resorts are able to easily plug the resorts of the Mediterranean or Caribbean Seas into their belt. In general, what could be better than a luxurious tropical paradise with crisp and sparkling white sand in the sun, excellent climatic conditions and a significant number of bright and memorable sights? Plus, there is a magnificent and rich cuisine, a vibrant culture with many beautiful and often not very understandable customs and traditions at first glance.
However, studying this fairy-tale world, it should be remembered: a whole life is not enough to inspect everything, so it is important to prioritize correctly and choose the brightest and most memorable places.
Start with the capital
The capital city was founded by Spanish colonialists in the XV century as a fortified outpost. Fort Santiago, located in the center, at a strategic height that allows you to control the harbor, protected it from Chinese or European pirates, as well as unfriendly invasions, but its main task was to protect the Indian fleet - a merchant caravan from the New World, in the holds of which spices, silver and gold were transported.
Other important locations of the capital are the Church of the Immaculate Conception and other churches of this period. The city is heavily overpopulated and has long spilled over the administrative boundaries with kilometers of slums and other manifestations of colossal poverty. Another thing is that in the central part and on the embankments you will not notice this: the colors of lights and skyscrapers do an excellent job of making poverty invisible.
Party on White Beach
Boracay White Beach is the semantic center of the nightlife, party life of not just a city, but an entire country or even a region. Four kilometers of sand, cramped on one side by the sea, and on the other by a detachment of hot spots, casinos, bars and restaurants. Here you can taste outlandish dishes, alcoholic potions and spend the night (or the rest of your life - here someone is lucky).
Most often, tourists settle in multi-star hotels or rent villas, but the format of "rent a granny's apartment" is also quite popular: locals rent out real estate within walking distance by the sea, rent something for themselves in the depths of the island, and live happily ever after.
Look into the mouth of the volcano
Fortunately, there are few active volcanoes on our planet, so a tourist who is eager for vivid impressions should visit Mayon: it is a volcanic mountain two and a half kilometers high near the city of Legazpi.
By origin, it is a shield volcano, but with one noticeable feature: its top seems to have been demolished by a giant spit. The slopes are overgrown with vegetation, but the vent regularly releases thousands of cubic meters of steam into the atmosphere, as if reminding: I'm here, I'm sleeping, but it's not long to wake up. Until this happens, you can tickle your nerves, go upstairs and stick your nose into the fiery abyss, separated from our world only by a thin crust of stone.
Underground rivers of Palawan
There are several dozen known underwater rivers on the planet, but the most famous and longest is located in Palawan - this is Puerto Princesa. Its total length exceeds 8 km, the channel crosses several beautiful caves. Daredevils even raft on this river, but only at a distance of no more than a kilometer, since the water pressure and lack of oxygen in the caves make this place not very suitable for humans.
Architecture of Cebu City
The most popular place among tourists. Firstly, there is all the necessary entertainment: from boarding and scuba diving to excellent beaches. Secondly, the island is very rich in history from different periods. All resort places here are located within walking distance from each other, some half an hour by car or motorboat (some are located on the islands surrounding the coast).
The best place to start sightseeing is from Fort San Pedro. This is a monument to the colonial era and imperial corruption: the fort was built for more than two centuries, and the practical meaning of its construction was lost about 30 years before the flag was hoisted over the bastions. Then it fell into disrepair for many years, serving as the residence of the governor of the city, a prison and a garrison, and in the XX century it became a tourist attraction with an indispensable museum of curiosities and tools of the Inquisition in the courtyard (you can sit on a torture chair or voluntarily install yourself in pads - children are usually delighted with such an experience).
Another important place is Santa Nino, a basilica built exactly on the very spot where the great discoverer Fernand Magellan painted graffiti depicting the Christ child. Now there is a museum, the main exhibit in it is the cross of Magellan himself, left here in memory of the conquest of the Philippines by their Catholic majesties.
Luzon terraced rice fields near Manila are deservedly included in the registers of UNESCO cultural heritage sites. And this is not surprising: there are magnificent places, and multi-storey terraces of greenery are breathtaking and amazing. The total area of the fields exceeds 20 hectares. And most importantly, the old irrigation system is still working, allowing its operator to either flood the plantations or drain them in a couple of weeks, depending on what farmers need now.
See the rarest species
Many rare species live in the Philippines, among them the tarsier is a very friendly, cute monkey with a soft and smooth coat. It is best to look for meetings with tarsiers on Bohol, where there are a couple of reservations: they are located in the towns of Lobok and Corella (just from here the parrots of the same name were brought to Europe).
Swim with whale sharks
In Cebu, you can not only look at houses: there is a place called Oslob, where it is customary to "make a date" with sharks. The local species of sharks are huge creatures up to 20 meters long. However, for humans, and for all other creatures larger than a human little finger, they are completely safe, because they feed on plankton and small fish.
To dive, you need nothing - a boat, a guide, scuba gear, or fins and a mask.
In the vicinity there are many reefs and bays with world fame in narrow diving circles, as well as the skeletons of sunken ships from the Columbian era to the Second World War.
Take a look at the Bohol Chocolate Hills
The unparalleled object of nature on Bohol covers an area of several thousand kilometers and is a hilly area covered with grasses: in the sun they fade, acquiring the characteristic color of chocolate. From a height and at a distance, these hills resemble a giant ant metropolis. On average, the height of one "anthill" is 65 meters, but there are also giants several hundred meters high.
This object for tourists was opened recently, a couple of decades ago, but has already managed to enter all guidebooks. It is believed that if you have not visited the Kawasan Falls, then you have not seen anything in Cebu! The water here is very clean, with a beautiful turquoise hue. The waterfall itself is overgrown with tropical trees and vines, it has three levels and many pretty, and most importantly. inhabitants that are not dangerous to humans.
Getting here is not easy: you need to go a long trail straight through the jungle, vines and ferns above human height. On its way, the trail crosses several deep crevices with a bottom covered with sharp rocks and almost steep slopes - suspension bridges are thrown over them: both modern designs and old ones made of vines and wood.