Saturday, November 5, 2011

5 Must Visit Wonders of Nature in the Philippines

1. Puerto Princesa Underground River
The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP) is one of the most important biodiversity conservation areas of the Philippines. It features a spectacular limestone or karst landscape that contains an 8.2 km long underground river. A distinguishing feature of the river is that it flows directly into the sea, and the lower half portion of the river is brackish and subject to tidal influence. The area also represents significant habitat for biodiversity conservation. It contains a full mountain to the sea ecosystem and protects forests, which are among the most significant in Asia.

The Puerto Princesa Underground River is reputed to be the longest navigable underground river in the World. It is one of the few such rivers which the public can easily experience and appreciate. It is the official entry of the Philippines and is 1 of the 28 finalists to the Search for the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

2. Banaue Rice Terraces

Banaue rice terraces has been described as the eighth wonder of the world. Carved out of the hillside by Ifugao tribes people 2000 to 3000 years ago without the aid of machinery to provide level steps where the natives plant rice. And they are still in use today.

Banaue rice terraces stretch like stepping stones to the sky - some reaching an altitude of 1500m (4920ft). It is considered as one of mankind's greatest engineering feat. If the terraces were laid end to end, they would stretch half way around the world.

One of the major appeal of Banaue rice terraces to the local and international tourist are the many hiking trails in the area. There are many young locals, mostly college students who serve as guides. But with or without a guide, you will find the friendliness and warmth of the Ifugao people endearing.

3. Maria Cristina Falls

Iligan’s greatest heritage, the landmark of Iligan City. The most resplendent among the 20 plus waterfalls. Also known as the “Mother of Industry” and “Fountainhead of Progress.” It is 320 feet high, spews 130 cubic meters per second of water and the veritable source of industrial power in the city. Located at the borders of Barangay Maria Cristina, Ditucalan and Buru-un 9.3 kilometers away from the city proper. Since its water is being harnessed for electric power, full grandeur viewing of the waterfalls is every Saturdays and Sundays at 11:00 in the morning.

4. Mayon Volcano

A mountain, located south of Manila (in Albay province) has a very unique and stunning beauty. Mount Mayon is considered as the most perfect and majestic mountain in the world. Perfectly symmetrical cone shape that makes the attraction for the tourists who want to visit.

5. Chocolate Hills

The Chocolate Hills are probably Bohol's most famous tourist attraction. They look like giant mole hills, or as some say, women's breasts, and remind us of the hills in a small child's drawing. Most people who first see pictures of this landscape can hardly believe that these hills are not a man-made artifact. However, this idea is quickly abandoned, as the effort would surely surpass the construction of the pyramids in Egypt. The chocolate hills consist of are no less than 1268 hills (some claim this to be the exact number). They are very uniform in shape and mostly between 30 and 50 meters high. They are covered with grass, which, at the end of the dry season, turns chocolate brown. From this color, the hills derive their name. At other times, the hills are green, and the association may be a bit difficult to make.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Random Facts about The Philippines and Filipinos

  • The Filipinos were introduced to the English language in 1762 by British invaders, not Americans.
  • Philippines is the world's 3rd largest English-speaking nation, next to the USA and the UK.
  • The world’s longest underground river system accessible to man can be found at the St. Paul National Park in the province of Palawan.
  • Filipinos celebrate the world’s longest religious holiday. The Christmas season begins on September 1st, as chillier winds and Christmas carols start filling the air, and ends on the first week of January, during the Feast of the Three Kings.
  • The popular toy, the yoyo, was invented by 16th century hunters in the Philippines.
  • The word "boondocks," which is now a part of the English language, dictionary, and vocabulary, comes from the Tagalog word "bundok," meaning "mountain."
  • The antibiotic erythromycin — used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections, such as respiratory tract infections, middle ear infections, and skin infections — was created by Filipino scientist Abelardo Aguilar, and has earned American drug giant Eli Lilly billions of dollars. Neither Aguilar nor the Philippine government received royalties.
  • Philippines Herald war journalist Carlos P. Romulo was the first Asian to win a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism in 1942. He was also aide-de-camp to General Douglas MacArthur in World War II; Philippine resident commissioner in the U.S. Congress from 1944-46; and the first Asian to become UN President in 1949.
  • The largest fish in the world, the Whale Shark, locally known as Butanding, regularly swims to the Philippine waters.
  • The world’s shortest and lightest freshwater fish is the dwarf pygmy goby (Pandaka Pygmaea), a colorless and nearly transparent species found in the streams and lakes of Luzon. Males have an average length of 8.7 mm. and weigh 4-5 mg.
  • Of the 500 known coral species in the world, 488 are found in the Philippines.
  • Of the eight species of marine turtles worldwide, five are reported to be found in the Philippines: the Green Turtle, Hawkbill, Leatherback, Olive Ridley, and Loggerhead.
  • Of the eight known species of giant clams in the world, seven are found in the Philippines.
  • The Basilica of San Sebastian is the only steel church in Asia and was the second building to be made out of steel, next to the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
  • Camiguin province holds the distinction of having the most number of volcanoes per square kilometer than any other island on earth. It is also the only place in the Philippines which has more volcanoes (7) than towns (5).
  • Angono Petroglyphs – This cultural heritage site dates back to circa 3000 B.C. and is the most ancient Filipino, or more aptly, prehistoric Filipino work of art. Besides being the country’s oldest “work of art” it also offers us an evocative glimpse into the life of our ancestors. The site has been included in the World Inventory of Rock Art under the auspices of UNESCO, ICCROM and ICOMOS and nominated as one of the “100 Most Endangered Sites of the World.
  • Calbiga Cave – The Philippines’ biggest karst formations and one of the largest in Asia, the 2,968-hectare cave system is composed of 12 caves with wide underground spaces, unique rock formations and sub-terranean watercourse.
  • The world's largest pearl was discovered by a Filipino diver in a giant Tridacna (mollusk) under the Palawan Sea in 1934. Known as the "Pearl of Lao-Tzu", the gem weighs 14 pounds and measures 9 1/2 inches long and 5 1/2 inches in diameter. As of May 1984, it was valued at US$42 million. It is believed to be 600 years old
  • Philippine Airlines took to the skies on March 15, 1941, using a Beech Model 18 aircraft amid the specter of a global war. It became Asia's first airline.
  • The world's second deepest spot underwater is in the Philippines. This spot, about 34,440 feet (10,497 meters) below the sea level, is known as the Philippine Deep or the Mindanao Trench. The Philippine Deep is in the floor of the Philippine Sea. The German ship Emden first plumbed the trench in 1927.
  • The symbolic name for the Philippines, Juan dela Cruz, is not a Filipino invention... It was coined by R. McCulloch-Dick, a Scottish-born journalist working for the Manila Times in the early 1900s, after discovering it was the most common name in blotters.
  • Both Tridacna gigas, one of the world's largest shells, and Pisidum, the world's tiniest shell, can be found under Philippine waters. Tridacna gigas grows as large as one meter in length and weighs 600 pounds while Pisidum is less than 1 millimeter long. A shell called glory of the sea (Connus gloriamaris) is also found in the Philippines and considered as one of the most expensive shells in the world.
  • World's Smallest Hoofed Mammal - South of Palawan, lies the Balabac Island, home of the world's smallest hoofed mammal - the Philippine mouse deer. Locally known as Pilandok (Tragalus nigricans), this ruminant stands only about 40 centimeters at the shoulder level.
  • The Philippines is home to some of the world's most exotic birds. One of the most endangered species is the exotic Kalangay or the Philippine cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia), which belongs to Psittacidae or the family of parrots. Some cockatoos can live up to 50 years. They are known for mimicking human voices. Most of them measure 33 centimeters in length and weigh 0.29 kilogram.
  • One of the world's most dangerous road is said to be in the Philippines: The Halsema Highway in Northern Luzon.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

5 Misconceptions About the Philippines

Here are some list of the most common misconceptions about the Philippines:

1. That Philippines is an unsafe place - The country and its Islands are somehow misunderstood. We are actually sending our guests to safe places. If you're a first time visitor, do not be surprised of the genuinely warm and friendly nature of the Filipino people.

2. That all parts of Mindanao are dangerous - Visit Davao, and experience one of the most safest City in the country.

3. That is is expensive to travel to the Philippines from Mainland Asia - Think again, visit the website of Cebu Pacific, Airphil Express, Air Asia and Jetstar and you will see that is is actually cheap to visit and discover the Philippines.

4. That Filipinos eat dogs - While this is true, only a small percentage of the population are eating dog meat so do not expect to see people killing and eating dogs when you visit the Philippines.

5. That it is difficult to travel inter-island - Definitely not true, lots of budget airlines, ships and buses are connecting the Islands of the the Philippines.

Have you visited the Philippines? Please share your experience with us by sending us an email through info (@)

10 Things to Do in Bohol

Here are the Top 10 Things to do in Bohol, Philippine:

10. Shop for Souvenir.
Just like any other place in the Philippines, there is always something special anywhere you go. In the case of Bohol, you can try the peanut kisses which can be easily found from any souvenir shops.

9. Food tripping the Boholano way.
Whether you want to eat in a fancy restaurant or in an inexpensive eatery which is equally tasty with high-end restaurant, Bohol is just the right place for you.

8. Explore the nearby islands.
Do not limit yourself to Panglao, there are other beaches which has pristine sand in other Islands of Bohol. You can try Balicasag, a top diving site and has a stunning beauty of marine life by snorkeling or diving.

7. Watch the dolphins. If you plan on doing this, you better have to wake up early before the sun is up. You can spend three hours watching the dolphins and their high-spirited antics without getting bored.

6. Visit the Bohol Bee Farm.
This place is all about the bees, the flowers, the trees, and the sweet honey they make. It’s a perfect place for relaxation and good food, especially if you are up to trying salad made of flower petals.

5. Get a feel of the beach in Panglao.
Panglao Island is a sightseeing spot as well as a diving haven that boasts a wealth of marine biodiversity.Panglao is a beautiful Island with fine, powdery white sand and clear blue waters. The beach is equally good but not as crowded as Boracay.

4. Take some photos at Baclayon Church.
Baclayon Church is the second oldest church in the Philippines and it is located in the town of Baclayon in Bohol. The Baclayon Church looks like a three-tiered squarish cake, with large windows made of coral stone, cut into blocks and piled atop each other.

3. Experience the Loboc River cruise.
Taking a cruise at the famed Loboc River is one of the most interesting activities that visitors could ever do in Bohol. No trip to the serene province is complete without the experience of the Loboc River Cruise. The main feature of Loboc River Cruise is definitely its floating restaurants where you can take a meal while cruising the scenic Loboc River. A floating restaurant is usually two boats connected with a platform where the tables are set. Aside from food, floating restaurants also offer entertainment generously. A band plays while the Loboc River Cruise is ongoing. You must be choosy with your boat because every boat is dedicated to a specific music genre.

2. Get personal and up close with the Tarsiers. The Philippine tarsier, (Tarsius syrichta) is very peculiar small animal. In fact it is one of the smallest known primates, no larger than a adult men's hand. Mostly active at night, it lives on a diet of insects.

1. Be amazed with the Chocolate Hills.
Chocolate Hills is one of the popular destinations you should visit when you go to Bohol. Your Bohol trip will not be complete if you do not visit these lovely hills. It is one of the best attractions the island has to offer. The famed Chocolate Hills of Bohol are not only two but more than 1,268 cone-shaped hills – a very strange geological formation that has baffled a lot of geologists. The hills are spread over an area of 50 square kilometers or more and vary in size from 30 meters to 120 meters in height.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

15 Things to Do in the Philippines

15. Visit Batanes and experience a totally different tradition and culture.

14. Go white water rafting in Cagayan (Luzon) or Cagayan de Oro (Mindanao).

13. Climb Mt. Pulag and be stunned by its sea of clouds.

12. Take a peek of Mt. Pinatubo crater and let it take your breath away.

11. See the perfect cone shape of Mt. Mayon up close.

10. Travel back in the Spanish era—go to Vigan.

9. Cherish the serenity of Pagudpud beaches up North.

8. Enjoy the waves either in La Union, Aurora, Quezon or Siargao.

7. Let Bohol cheer you up with its many offerings—the Chocolate Hills, the tarsier, the Loboc River Cruise, old churches and the beach.

6. Visit the Magellan's Cross in Mactan, Cebu and experience the beginnings of Christianity in the Philippines.

5. Drive up North to the Mountain Province of Sagada. Be entertained with its caves, hanging coffins, waterfalls and enjoy the laidback lifestyle.

4. Swim with the whale sharks in Donsol, Sorsogon.

3. Dive and see the rich marine life of Tubbataha Reefs.

2. Dive, swim and explore Puerto Princesa’s underground river.

1. Party in your bikini in Boracay.

Have fun and take some photos and share it to us!

Friday, August 26, 2011

7 Top Destinations You Shouldn't Miss

1. Boracay
Boracay Island, Philippines is known as an island paradise. Boracay has charmed vacationers with its powder white sand, crystal blue waters and purposely laid-back pace. Located at the northern tip of Panay province, Boracay is about three hours away from Manila. Sun lovers from all over the world visit Boracay yearly, and some have even made it their second home. It is no wonder therefore, that French, German, Spanish and English can be heard spoken in the Island. The culinary fare is equally exciting featuring a wide range from Thai and Austrian to Belgian and Filipino. Numerous water sport facilities, including dive shops are on hand as well as a sprinkling of bars and discos. Most visitors, however prefer to sit back and enjoy the sun. More on Boracay...

2. Palawan

Known as the Philippines' last ecological frontier, the province of Palawan harbors vast tracts of tropical rainforests and huge expanse of marine wilderness. Thick canopies of trees carpet mountain ranges running the length of the mainland. Fringing reefs and coral atolls open a new realm to discover under the clear waters surrounding this archipelago of more than 1,700 islands. Ribbons of meandering streams and rivers wind through the mountains, nurturing robust stands of mangrove in the lowlands before flowing out to the sea.

Palawan probably has more protected areas than any other province in the Philippines. The Calauit Wildlife Sanctuary in the northern Calamianes islands is home to exotic and endemic species of animals that roam freely in its verdant hills and plains. On the northern coastline, the El Nido Protected Area is noted for its edible birds' nests and limestone cliffs. In the middle of the Sulu Sea lies the Tubbataha Reefs, a pair of coral atolls recently named as a World Heritage Site for its highly diverse collection of fishes and other marine life. Along the west coast, the St. Paul Subterranean National Park features old-growth forests, cathedral caves, white sand beaches and one of the longest underground rivers in the world. In the south, Ursula Island is a haven for migratory and resident birds. More on Palawan ...

3. Bohol

Bohol is like a jade brooch set on a velvet-blue sea. Its fertile land has hills that roll gently around lush forests and grassy meadows. Marine life - from schools of tiny reef fish to bigger pods of dolphins and whales - teem in the surrounding waters.

At the market, one can have a pick of the day's fresh sea catch and have them cooked home-style at any of the food stalls. More on Bohol ...

4. Cebu
Cebu is a cultural and historical hub with plenty of interesting landmarks and historical towns to keep you busy between island hopping. Start by visiting Magellan's Cross which marks the beginnings of Christianity in the Philippines. Take a stroll down to Colon Street, the oldest street in the country , then visit the nearby Carbon Market, a bustling maze of fruits and vegetable stands, fish mongers and clothing vendors. Short after your cultural and historical tour you can grab your snorkel mask and fins then head for the many beautiful islands, beaches, marine sanctuaries and dive spots in Cebu. Discover Mactan Island, swim in the crystal clear waters and dive with thrasher sharks at Malapascua and Moalboal, have an adventure at Camotes and Badian Islands. If this is not enough, you can have a raft ride under Kawasan Falls or waddle over the cold springs in Tuburan. More on Cebu ...

5. Sagada
Popular as a destination of foreign adventurers, Sagada features caves that can be explored (even by non-experts) with the aid of local guides, an interesting hike along an underground river, a waterfall and pool to cool off in after a day of exploring, and a quiet serenity only found off the beaten path. The forebears of the current residents practiced an unusual burial practice by hanging and stacking coffins, hewed from tree trunks, in the limestone karts cliffs and caves near town. More on Sagada ....

6. Pagudpud
Pagudpud is an enormous place to visit if you're looking for the comparatively perfect charms of the Philippines. Pagudpud is a wide and beautiful town on the northwest tip of Ilocos Norte, Luzon, bounded to the south by the town of Bangui and to the east by the Cordillera Mountain Range, the town of Adams and the province of Cagayan. The South China Sea lies to the west and north. Its white-sand beaches and crystal-blue water makes Pagudpud a haven for tourists. More on Pagudpud ...

7. Davao
Davao City is a progressive city located in the southern part of the Philippines. It is a laid back city where the beach and the mountainside are just a few minutes from the urban center. Its most known symbols are Mount Apo (the highest peak in the Philippines), the exotic wild orchid Waling-waling, and the Philippine Eagle (also known as the Monkey-Eating Eagle). The city is also well-known for being one of the most peaceful and safe cities in the country. More on Davao ...

Aside from these Top 7 Destinations, there are still more to discover in the Philippines. Enjoy your Visit to the Philippines and let us know your experience. You can share it with us and we might be able to publish it here.

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