10 Reasons to Visit the Philippines – Why this should be your next destination

Written By: The Planet D

Am I in South America or in Asia? That was the question while visiting the Philippines. This country is so different than its fellow countries in South East Asia. In this article I will give you 10 reasons why you should visit the Philippines and book an airplane ticket to this amazing country as soon as possible!

Reasons to Visit the Philippines

I must admit, the Philippines wasn’t on my “must visit list” originally.

One day I was spotting Orangutans, Elephants and a lot of other animals in the jungle of Malaysian Borneo.

I had no access to the Internet for a few days. When I was connected again, I surfed to the website of Air Asia to search for my next destination.

One of the first things that popped up was an offer to visit the Philippines for a very cheap price. One of the greatest things of traveling solo is your ability to be very flexible in your travel plans.

So I decided to visit the Philippines, a country I knew very little of!

I am so happy that the offer popped up and I decided to visit the Philippines. This is definitely my favorite country in South East Asia.

Here are my 10 reasons to visit the Philippines and why it should be your next destination:

1. The people

I traveled everywhere in South East Asia. People in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia are really nice and extremely friendly.

visit the philippines for the cute kids and friendly people
The friendly people are the best reason to visit the Philippines

But the people in the Philippines are just simply amazing. Every time I thought people couldn’t get any friendlier they would exceed my expectations.

I was invited in to people’s houses for dinner; I did all night long karaoke sessions with locals (the national hobby in the Philippines) and I was playing with little kids on the beach for hours. This all with a never ending genuine smile!

Visiting the Philippines? Get your Lonely Planet Guide Book 

2. A South America feeling in Asia

Forget about temples and Buddhism! Forget about tuk-tuks! The Philippines is fully packed with churches, people are Roman Catholic and the local form of transport is a Jeepney.

The Philippines is a former Spanish colony, just like a big part of South America.

This gives the Philippines a unique feeling nowhere to be found elsewhere in Asia! If you are “temple” tired, the Philippines is the perfect place to catch a fresh breath of air! 

visit the philippines van
The local form of transportation

3. The Tarsier

If you visit the Philippines you can encounter one of the smallest primates in the world.

This little animal is called a Tarsier and it is one of the cutest animals I’ve ever seen in my life.

On the island of Bohol you will find a Tarsier sanctuary where you can come face to face with this amazing little creature. It takes a lot of effort not to melt when you look into its eyes. 

visit the philippines tarsier
How cute is this tarsier?

4. Malapascua Island

South East Asia has a lot of beautiful islands. The most amazing one, in my opinion, is Malapascua Island.

The island has some of the best beaches and diving spots in the Philippines.

The best feature of this island however is the local population.

The local people on this island are so friendly. Just walk around, talk to the kids and practice your karaoke skills when locals invite you into their houses

things to do in the Philippines

Photo: Wikimedia .

5. The Chocolate Hills

This is one of the weirdest landscapes you will ever see.

A landscape dotted with little green hills with hardly any vegetation growing on them.

A local told me the legend of the two fighting giants. A long, long time ago there were two giants arguing about a girl.

After a while they started fighting and throwing big rocks at each other. They didn’t bother to clean up after so the landscape was dotted with numerous rocks.

You are probably wondering why they are called Chocolate Hills! In the dry season, the grass on the hills will turn brown and they will look like hills made of chocolate. 

visit the philippines chocolate hills
Chocolate Hills

6. The Diving

Most people who travel to South East Asia get their diving license at one point.

I did mine, like many others, at the island of Koh Tao in Thailand. If you are into diving then the Philippines is the place to be.

The country has some of the best diving spots in the world.

Very famous spots are Coron, Apo reef and Monad Shoal.

The last one is the famous Thresher Shark dive. I did this dive on Malapascua Island and it’s absolutely stunning.

It’s almost impossible to describe the feeling when numerous 4-5 meter long sharks surround you.

7. The Beaches

Coming from Thailand and Malaysia I thought beaches couldn’t get any whiter.

Well, I was so wrong. The Philippines has some of the best beaches I’ve ever seen. T

he water is so blue and makes a beautiful contrast with the white beaches. If you’re looking for postcard perfect places, just visit the Philippines.

visit the philippines diving and beaches
These are some of the best beaches for diving

8. El Nido

El Nido is a little town on the island of Palawan.

It is a must visit! The town is a bumpy 5 to 6 hour ride from the islands capital Puerto Princessa.

It takes you through an amazing untouched landscape.

El Nido is surrounded by limestone mountains and the coastal area is dotted with numerous inhabited tropical islands.

I recommend you to book a trip to visit some of the islands and spend the night at one of them.

Be sure not to forget your snorkel gear! Just hop in the water, put your head under water and you’ll feel like you’re swimming in a tropical aquarium. 

visit the philippines beach
The beaches of El Nido

9. Cheap Liquor

Besides being blessed with an astonishing natural beauty, the Philippines also have very cheap liquor.

A bottle of the local beer San Miguel won’t cost you more then 50 cents and a bottle of local rum will cost you around 1.5 dollar.

visit the philippines church
A beautiful church

10. No scams

Scams…. Who doesn’t hate them! If you traveled in South East Asia you can probably remember the many scams in Thailand or Vietnam.

Sometimes I felt like everybody wanted to scam me. The good news is: I didn’t encounter any touts that wanted to scam me in the Philippines.

They seem to be non-existent and it is a great feeling not be harassed constantly.

As you can see there are many reasons to visit the Philippines.

It is a little bit of the beaten track but I can assure you there is no way you will regret visiting the Philippines. It is my favorite country in South-East Asia!

Did you ever visit the Philippines or do you want to visit the Philippines? What would be your reason to visit this beautiful country? You can leave a comment down below!

Visit the Philippines
Why You Should visit the Philippines

This article is a guest post by Bastiaan Blikman. a Dutch traveler and blogger and the founder of Upfrontblogger.com

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About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

Leave a Comment

247 thoughts on “10 Reasons to Visit the Philippines – Why this should be your next destination”

  1. I really believed to what you have shared about the Philippines. I’m Jesson from Roxas, Palawan, another town 3 hours away to El Nido.

    Reply
  2. I love everything you listed above! Another thing worth mentioning is it is easy to travel around the Philippines because people can speak English so asking for help or information is not a problem.

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  3. I had never thought of coming to the Philippines. I met a bunch of philipino in Thailand and I found them so kind that I decide to visit their country. It s really awesome highly recommended for everyone!!

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  4. Dave i like you featured the Philippines and reasonable to visit for everybody’s trip. This is such a good chance who are trying or creating there itinerary at the future. Add them up.

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  5. The land where i grow up. I had lots of memorable things happen in Bohol. I love seeing article especially when you feature our place. Chocolate Hills and Tarsier are reputable for its attractive uniquea natural beauty. It was a great content Bastiaan.

    Reply
  6. Nice article! I agree with all points except number 10. While I’m really glad that the author didn’t encounter any sort of scam in his stay. I cringe at the thought that clueless readers of the blog might think that they could just go in the Philippines and not take care of themselves, like they would when traveling in other third world countries.

    Reply
  7. I went to the Philippines 2 times, I absolutely loved this place from food, people to scenery. I am most impressed by the sea and islands here, the blue water is very beautiful.

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  8. Thank you so much for the nice words for my country, the Philippines. The next time you come back please try Sagada, Banaue, Palawan underground river, of course Batanes, and Zambales beach. You may avail of our promo tours, with local air carriers like: skyjet, cebu pacific and PAL.

    Reply
  9. dumaguete is nice place and less people,Manila to crowded much better to visit like a small islands and province and more cheaper,I am happy to read all your comments guys about my country PHILLIPINES.I am excited to visit again my country next year God Willing.i hope my boyfriend will like in the phillipines too,but he is really excited for our vacation soon in the phillipines..

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  10. Ok wow. One of my next destinations will be the Philippines again. Thanks for the remember.
    Have you checked out the Charamoan Islands? It’s still a secret….

    Reply
  11. When was last visiting any countries experience memory live with friends family? We all learn about cultures language “What are your favorite places to visit in the Philippines? Some times they have friends nationality Filipino and Filipinas, better choose subject which are easier “TAGALOG” and “Cebuano”.

    Reply
  12. It is one of the places I have always wanted to visit,
    I am glad that next week is visiting this wonderful country

    Reply
  13. We stayed in Eskaya over the weekend, and it was, as usual, a wonderful experience. Eskaya is really one of the favorite places that contains a special place in our hearts. The Filipino style architecture, the breathtaking views, the wonderful food, the warm service of the heart – all these really special. Eskaya Y — your spa serves as icing on the cake. Philippine theme. Wonderful they were such exclusive relaxing treatments. We have stayed in many hotels around the world, but it is truly special. Eskaya

    Reply
  14. Simply beautiful would come back all the time,
    Its people, its culture is simply the best,
    I love its gastronomy so extensive that they have

    Reply
  15. A very amazing work..!! Philippinesis one of the beautiful travel destinations and has some very pleasant beaches and spots. But how about providing travellers with some to-do-things?

    Reply
  16. My friends are asking me all about the Philippines. When I saw this article, it was the first thing I read! I felt so proud for my country, and its a big help to me also, because my friends are begging me to teach them all about the phillipines! Salamat to the author of this fascinating article!

    Reply
  17. Nice summary! Our highlights were definitely touring the stunning islands off El Nido on Palawan island, Bohol (including the chocolate hills & Tarsiers yeh so cool!) and finally Boracay….which was unexpected as we’d heard it was too overrun with tourism but we still enjoyed it for what it is! Especially the beautiful soft white sand on all its beaches! 🙂

    Reply
  18. I really like to visit the chocolate hills. I can’t wait to try the different activities in that place.

    – Gustavo Woltmann

    Reply
  19. Hi,

    I couldn’t be any happier reading something so positive spick-and-span about the beautiful Philippines! To add, are very resilient people even after Typhoon Haiyan had devastated a huge chunk of it especially on the east part.

    Kudos to the author and this blog!

    🙂

    Reply
  20. A pleasant day,Thank you very much Sir for appreciate my country,You make me smile,while I read all your experiences,take care and May God bless you MORE…

    Reply
  21. You forgot to mention one of the best things about the Philippines….the amazingly beautiful women!! And so many of them! Visit Dumaguete, a great small city in Negros. And then take the ferry to Siquijor. (the island of witches!) 2 great places to include on a future trip. Also don’t even think about not visiting Boracay. You will love it.

    Reply
  22. Hi Bastiaan, thank you very much for the article you wrote. I really appreciate it and I am very sure all of the Filipinos around the world who read your article feel more proud about their country. It is true that usually impression that we have about another country is not what it really is. I am a business traveller and I always tell people whenever I have a chance that the Philippines is as safe as most countries. You will find trouble anywhere if you look for it. I visit Europe every year and I make sure that I fly KLM and stay in Amsterdam for a day. Most people think that Amsterdam is only about the red light but there is more than that: museums, canals, windmills, tulip market (I can go on all day) same as the Philippines wherein the world think that there is a lot of kidnapping, traffic and terrorist. Again thank you very much and I hope you visit us again real soon!

    Reply
    • Thanks Bastiaan Blikman for this amazing article. I really like this blog. After reading your blog i really want to visit philippines especially the chocolate hills. I really want to see chocolate and also want to see how the grass of chocolate hills turn into brown during dry season. Thanks

      Reply
  23. thank you for loving the Philippines Bastiaan, I hope you will be able to come back and explore the country more, I have some travel suggestions for you, try to visit Coron Palawan, Siargao in Surigao del norte, Banaue rice terraces and Batanes group of islands, thank you, and have a great day.

    Reply
    • Thanks jane! I will come back next year! After i travel to my home country the Netherlands I will go back to Asia. The Philippines will definitely be on my to visit list! thanks for your tips!

      Reply
      • Hey Bastiaan! when you come back here I hope you will be able to visit Coron Palawan, it was hit by typhoon Haiyan, but still it is a wonderful place. You will still enjoy the beautiful nature there, and I’m sure your visit will help Coron to rise again. And don’t forget Siargao, Batanes and also Siquijor.

  24. Wow! Thank you for appreciating the beauty of my country. I mean coming from a Western guy like you. I hope my boyfriend will enjoy it as much as you did. He will visit me come Feb. 2014. He is from Ann Arbor, Michigan. I hope u go back here and continue to explore. And continue to spread the very good experiences you have had. You made me proud to be living here. Thanks again. 🙂

    Reply
  25. You beautifully explained the attraction of Philippines. If someone is looking for great holidays with his partner then they should visit this place atleast for once in a lifetime.

    One can click lifetime memories and enjoy not to forgettable moments at this place.

    Reply
  26. thank you for loving the Philippines, you are always welcome to come back. I recommend you to visit Zambales and Camiguin, beautiful beaches and very clean environment. Thank you and hope to see you here in the Philippines.

    Reply
  27. Nice blog man……..i’m planning to visit philippines from india in december for my honeymoon…..we both love travel, beaches n partying plus we want to see cebu, manila, el nido n boracay…..we have 10 days, wanted to know any other special places beside these 4 or a rough itinerary….

    Reply
  28. I have been visiting the Philippines regularly since 2009 and have never been scammed. This is NOT to say that the tourist doesn’t have to be on guard. Just use common sense everywhere you go.

    The place has lots of beautiful islands, but what keeps me coming back are the warm, friendly people and their smiles! My “home” in the Philippines is Bantayan Island. Scenic and idyllic, not yet overrun by tourists.

    Sometimes I hate to read blog posts that promotes the country as a tourist destination, but it is true that the country needs a bit more tourists. However, don’t become like Thailand please!

    Reply
  29. Im so happy to have been stumbled here! Im glad you love my dear little country! Hope you can come back soon 🙂 Id be glad to tour you around the “mountainous” of the Philippines.

    Reply
  30. Hello Civ, Thanks for your wonderful comment! I’m really glad to hear I put a smile on your face! I’d love to go back to the Philippines one day….

    Reply
  31. Hey Bastiaan, Thank you for visiting the Philippines and for promoting it to the World. I read your article with a smile, a never ending smile with teary eyes.

    I’m happy that you enjoyed your short stay here, I hope you can find much more fun in your next visit.

    1 month or even a year is not enough for you to see all the best tourist spots in the Philippines. You seems forgot to visit the Underground river in Palawan, it is considered as the longest underground river in the world and was recently named as one of the “New 7 Wonders of Nature”…
    I could really feel your happiness with your words in your article, I don’t know how would I say THANK YOU or SALAMAT for appreciating our mother land.

    I’m just a little bit jealous, ’cause unlike you, I never had a chance yet to explore my own country, ‘coz what I’m earning is just enough to support the needs of my immediate family. That’s why reading an article or seeing photographs from travelers are making me also feels like been there in that place. Thank you again.

    MARAMING SALAMAT!

    Reply
  32. Hey Bastiaan, Thank you for visiting the Philippines and for promoting it to the World. I read your article with a smile, a never ending smile with teary eyes. 🙂

    I’m happy that you enjoyed your short stay here, I hope you can find much more fun in your next visit.

    1 month or even a year is not enough for you to see all the best tourist spots in the world. You seems forgot to visit the Underground river in Palawan, it is considered as the longest underground river in the world and was recently named as one of the “New 7 Wonders of Nature”…

    I could really feel your happiness with your words in your article, I don’t know how would I say THANK YOU or SALAMAT for appreciating our mother land.

    I’m just a little bit jealous, ’cause unlike you, I never had a chance yet to explore my own country, ‘coz what I’m earning is just enough to support the needs of my immediate family. That’s why reading an article or seeing photographs from travelers are making me also feels like been there in that place. Thank you again.

    MARAMING SALAMAT! 🙂

    Reply
  33. this is a great read! i’m glad you loved the Philippines. I’m searching for tips on travelling alone when i chanced upon this post. this makes me more excited. I’m from the Philippines and reading great reviews like this makes me proud. i’m heading to Cebu and Bohol this weekend. 😀

    When you come back to the Philippines, please include Batanes on your list. it’s in the northern part of the Philippines. Haven’t been there but I am planning to do my first Solo trip there. 😀

    Thanks for the love for the Philippines. Mabuhay! (Long live!)

    Reply
  34. Ik kom uit de Filipijnen en ik woon in Belgie al één jaar en halve. Ik mis mijn land! Ik hoop dat ik toekomst kan terug komen. Thank you for your nice article.

    Reply
    • Geen dank en graag gedaan! Ik hoop net als jij dat ik op een dag weer terug kan gaan naar de Filippijnen.. Ik ben helemaal verliefd geworden of het land 🙂

      Reply
  35. It is truly amazing , refreshing and inspiring to hear of someone (non Filipino ) to talk how wonderful is the Philippines – its people and places.

    My favorite place is Boracay .. I got married there on a floating barge by the sunset and had a party to meet year 2000 with fireworks and to this day , it has been the best wedding party I have ever been – proud to say it was my wedding!. Shortly after that , it became a destination for romantic weddings by the sugar fine white sand beach in Boracay.

    So if you are in to surprise your partner .. Boracay is the best place to do it.

    Thanks for the good words about my beloved country. Truly appreciated!!

    Agnes

    Reply
  36. enjoy the Philippines, it has a lot to offer. However, spend as little time as possible in Metro Manila. Go straight to the beaches, provinces, and the diving sites.

    Reply
  37. Thanks for the positive write-ups mate! Come back again – there's still a lot more to see & discover in the Philippines 🙂

    Happy & Safe travel!

    Reply
  38. If and when you go back to the Philippines I recommend that you save up a lil bit more for your travel expense coz I am recommending to you a part of paradise in AMANPULO. link – copy paste to your browser:

    http://www.amanresorts.com/amanpulo/home.aspx

    – man, that place is heaven… a lil too steep (in terms of price) though but If one has got the means well definitely this place is a go go.

    Reply
  39. I visited the Phillipines many years ago., traveling with a backpack and a shoe string budget. Yes – the people are the kindest sweetest most generous I’ve ever met. From the rice paddies of Banawe to the tip of the southern islands, it was great. We took a tramp steamer ship out of Manila and went all-inter-island for two weeks in the south china sea, stopping at Boracay, Dumagetti, Zambwanga, Cebu – OH OH OH, so beautiful !!! Would love to return

    Reply
    • Hello Surati, great to hear you had the same amazing experience in the Philippines as I did! Like you, I’d love to go back one day!

      Reply
  40. Nice article! I agree with all points except number 10. While I’m really glad that the author didn’t encounter any sort of scam in his stay. I cringe at the thought that clueless readers of the blog might think that they could just go in the Philippines and not take care of themselves, like they would when traveling in other third world countries.

    Though I must admit its refreshing to read that a tourist really enjoyed his stay and never felt harassed in this country of ours.

    Reply
    • Hey Atticus, Thanks for your comment. For me the Philippines was a fresh breath of air. I was constantly being harassed in countries like thailand or vietnam. Did didn’t happen to me in the Philippines.

      But you’re right, probably there are scams in the philippines (like in every country). Im glad I didn’t encounter them. When you’re traveling you always have to cautious and use your common sense!

      Reply
  41. The initial plan was to travel in the Philippines for 2 months, but I ended up spending 6 lovely months on the islands! What I loved most is the People! Not a single negative experience.

    Reply
    • Hey Harebat, Thanks for your comment! Sounds like you had the same amazing experience as me! A bit jealous of the fact that you spend 6 months in the Philippines ;-).

      Reply
  42. Big thanks to Bastiaan for sharing his amazing experiences from travel through the Philippines. It seems to have inspired many, and it has definitely inspired us.

    Reply
    • Hey Dave and Deb, I hope you guys will visit the philippines soon and enjoy this amazing country! Looking forward to reading your stories when you visit!

      Reply
  43. Nice article. A bit similar like the one that I’ve written a half year ago.

    Coincidence or was my article an inspiration? Anyway, Philippines is a wonderland and probably the most underrated paradise on earth. Good choice.

    Reply
    • While your article is another one of many top 10 post about the Philippines, did you realize that there are all kinds of similar blog posts out there on the Internet? I’ve seen many of my peers write similar posts to something I wrote before (sometimes merely weeks later) and I’ve never once said to them “Looks a lot like the one I wrote last year.” If they’ve been to the same destination as me, there’s a good chance they are going to write a similar article to me. But we all do it with our own personality and flare like Bastiaan did for this article. You both have a different Top 10 List and that is what makes the Internet great. People should be able to see several different perspectives.
      It’s too bad you jump to conclusions. You could have simply said, “Check out my article on the Philippines and see why I like it too” and I would have left your link in for more people to read it.

      Reply
      • I didn’t had a negative voice in my post, please read again what I’ve said 🙂 I was just curious, since we both started with the post about people and talk about the cheap booze. Like I said, nice article. And a good choice to travel the Philippines, amazing country indeed 🙂
        Peace.

    • Hey Sab, Thanks for your comment! To answer your question, your article wasn’t an inspiration for me. The first time I saw your article was because of a comment from Russel on my article (july 5).

      It’s great you also have 10 reasons to visit the philippines and glad to hear you like the country as much as I enjoyed it. We all have our own experience in a country and this is mine. It’s not fair to suggest that your article was an inspiration for mine….

      Like Dave and Deb said, there are many top 10 articles about everything and it’s a very common style of writing because people like lists.

      Reply
      • That’s fine, I was just curious, pls don’t feel offended. I’m glad you loved the Philippines 🙂

  44. Thanks for the article about our country! Truly, it’s more fun in the Philippines :)) Boracay is the place to be! It is the most popular vacation spot in our country! Try to visit it next time ü Anyway, I’m here in Australia too, it’s less crowded than the Philippines but yeah, way too expensive. :p Enjoy your winter stay here too! 🙂

    Reply
  45. Great review about the Philippines, I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay in our country. One good thing about this country aside from scenic places, great beaches and amazing dive spots is that they speak English and Natural friendly.

    I would just like to share to you if you ever comeback to our country, this is one of my wishlist but i haven’t tried yet, its not common to every backpacker but this one would be a backpacker’s ultimate dream.

    http://www.taophilippines.com/

    Reply
  46. Just read this article. Thanks so much that the author for the compliments about the Philippines … as we say it here, “nakakataba ng puso”… especially as two of the 10 reasons are about my home province … BOHOL …

    Reply
  47. You can also explore coron in palawan, also one of the amazing places to conquer in the philippines — lots of adventures there.. Apo Reef, Tubbataha Reef, Our Majestic waterfalls in different regions, pearl farm in davao, just to name a few.. There’s just got to be a very very long list when you talk about scenic beauty in the Philippines!..

    Reply
  48. Big thanks to Bastiaan for sharing such a wonderful article on the Philippines. You’ve inspired us to go! On our next trip to South East Asia, it’s going to be our first stop!

    Reply
  49. Yes there are indeed scans in the Philippines that even we as locals need to be cautious about. But I’m glad you had a great time in the Islands. I particularly love your pic with the kids on the beach.

    Reply
    • Thanks for letting us know about the scams. Nowhere is perfect and it’s good to go into a place knowing that you can be scammed. I want to make sure that people don’t go in thinking that anywhere is perfect, there is crime and scams all over the world, but I have a feeling Baastian meant that there are far less scams than other places in Asia.

      Reply
      • i totally agree! there’s no such thing as a perfect place. scams are everywhere. I am glad to read positive feedback from you guys about my country. been reading a lot about politics lately. this is really a breath of fresh air. i think i should pack my bag and charge my camera now. 😀

    • Yeah the Kids on Malapascua island were amazing! Probably there are scams. I’m really glad I didn’t encounter any. What I mean with this point is that in comparison to Thailand of Vietnam the Philippines was a nice fresh breath of air because people weren’t trying to scam me all the time.

      Reply
  50. Hi Bastian,

    Thank you for liking the Philippines a lot. I suggest for your next trip explore: Siargao Island (Cloud 9 waves for surfing. International surfing competition is held annually between October-November), Camiguin Island (soda waterpool, naked island, awesome waterfalls, pristine beaches, most succulent lanzones fruit), Tubbattaha Reef in Palawan (world heritage site, most number of marine species), Boracay (finest white sand, crystal clear waters, several white beaches, water sports, judged best beach in the world by some travel mags), Iligan (amazing Maria Christina Falls and Tinago Falls with 100 steps climb up/down), Guimaras Island (sweetest mango in the world), Banaue Rice Terraces. Ican go on and on…

    Just be travel savvy then you’ll be safe.

    Reply
    • Hey Lorna, Thank you very much for your great tips of places to visit! I’ll keep them in mind the next time I’ll visit the Philippines!

      Reply
  51. Thank you for your positive thoughts of our country. Such insights provide us Filipinos with deeper appreciation of our country and hopefully, encourage us to love our it even more.

    Reply
    • I have a feeling he created a lot of love for the Philippines, it seems like everyone who has been there loves it and now more people want to go, including us!

      Reply
  52. Hmm If you need assistance in Malapascua, Cebu My beautiful place, I could ask my friends to give you a tour there. My friends loves to travel and they are pleasant. My friend also know the place very well so that they can guide you and to avoid some scam. Actually, yes there are some scam there but for very few times. They are honest people most of the time and loves to entertain foreigners because we like visitors and we treat visitors as our friends. I live in a town in the North of Cebu, Dalaguete wherein you can go to Sumilon Island. It is a very small island where you go around in less than an hour. All people who are interested to visit there just message me in my facebook account so that I can ask my friends to assist you there. Enjoy your vacation and God bless.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the heads up about the scams, like anywhere, we do all have to keep our heads about us and be aware. I am thinking that it is far less than other places in South East Asia though yes?

      Reply
    • Lucky you! It sounds like you live in an amazing country. I am loving how proud everyone is of their homeland. So wonderful to see.

      Reply
  53. Hi Bastiaan!
    Thanks for the good words on my old country! (in Canada now).
    Across from Bohol is Oslob, Cebu, about two hours in the outrigger boat.
    You could have swam with the whale sharks there to add to your experience… Also, good diving spots in Panglao, Bohol, Moalboal, Cebu and Coron, Palawan to name a few… Happy trip around the world!
    By the way, have you been to Canada, yet?

    Reply
    • Hey Pablo, welcome to Canada. Where are you living and how long have you been here? Canada is our home country and we’re here right now as a matter a fact.

      Reply
      • Thanks Deb & Dave!
        Been here since 1976…. 5 yrs in TO and in Calgary since then…
        Been to Php yet guys?

    • We haven’t been to the Philippines yet, but we are planning on it in the near future, this post has certainly inspired us to do so. We’re heading to Calgary later this summer, I hope you did ok with the floods, what a rough go for the city

      Reply
  54. Beautiful, have always wanted to go. Especially curious about Palawan – is there any of getting there from Sabah? (ie. not having to fly through Manila)
    Frank (bbqboy)

    Reply
      • We just about had the chance to go to Palawan 2 years ago while we were in Thailand, but we had to change plans because we had to take a contract somewhere else. We were so close and yet, so far. Will go soon!

  55. I spent a few weeks in the Philippines back in 2010 – I would love to go back, as I feel that I only had a small taste of the country. I was certified to dive in Koh Tao in 2011 (what you said is true, we really are all certified there), and so I’m dying to head back to El Nido and the other spots you mentioned to do some diving! Great article, thanks for sharing this beautiful country.

    Reply
    • You are so right, so many people get certified in Koh Tao. Obviously a great place for it right? We were actually certified in Canada, now that’s an odd one isn’t it.

      Reply
  56. Its nice to see an article praising the Philippines, I am British and came here around 20 years ago, I’m still here! The people are truly wonderful, sometimes its a little embarrassing that they are nicer to me than their own countrymen 🙂

    The beaches and countryside are so picturesque, I’m not a a beach person so Boracay is not for me, although I have been there two or three times.

    I live in Naga city which has several tourist attractions nearby, Pasacao, Caramoan, Cam Sur Water Complex and several adventure parks. The local govt. is very accommodating to foreigners. Take a visit here, lots of places to see and bed down, can offer you a room if you need it.

    Reply
    • Lovely to hear that you loved it so much, you moved there. That is such a romantic notion for so many people and you did it! Can’t wait to go ourselves soon.

      Reply
  57. Thank you very much for your truly wonderful words about my country. Please do come back and enjoy the other sights and sounds like Coron, Pagudpud and Batanes.

    Again, Thank you for your kind words and for taking time to post the awesome pictures. Cheers!

    Reply
  58. A must see is also a town in the north – Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

    It is a World Heritage Site in that it is one of the few Hispanic towns left in the Philippines, and is well known for its cobblestone streets, and a unique architecture that fuses Philippine and Oriental building designs and construction, with colonial European architecture. – Wiki

    Reply
  59. This article makes me really proud that I live in the Philippines. I’m glad you enjoyed your stay here. There are more to discover and I hope you’ll be back soon. 🙂

    Reply
  60. “I have been travelling the Philippines since 2008 and have seen so many amazing places but there are more that I haven’t tried and seen.Each experience,each place seem to exceed the other.There are simply so many things to see and do and to marvel at.My trip in El Nido last March blew me away.I say, I am proud to be living in paradise.We’ll be flying to Coron this Sepg and I can’t wait!I heard it can give El Nido a run for the money because of its unbeatable clear water and underwater life.I am yet to see other places like Camiguin, Siargao,Malapascua,Oslob,Dinagat Island.Not to mention many other exotic destinations. There are sooooo many places!If we could roll out good infrastructure and transportation system, I see the Philippines become a tourism giant like our neighbors.Let mainland Southeast Asia have the temples.We have nature here and the friendly people.I say, the Philippines is the beach capital of the world! Thanks Bastiaan!!!!

    Reply
    • Thanks for your amazing reply! I totally agree! More people should visit the Philippines! There is so much to discover in this country :-).

      Reply
    • Wow! It sounds like you are a Philippines expert. Have you been traveling solid through there since 2008 or going back for regular trips each year?

      Reply
  61. Aww! how sweet of you…thanks for loving the Philippines…hope on your next visit u could explore more wonders in our country…but be careful next time there are scams here you’re just lucky on your first visit…thanks again for this good article about our country…more power and God bless! ^_^

    Reply
  62. Aww! how sweet of you…thanks for loving the Philippines…hope on your next visit u could explore more wonders in our country…but be careful next time there are scams here you’re just lucky on your first visit…thanks again for this good article about our country…more power and God bless! ^_^

    Reply
    • Hey Aby, Thanks for your wonderful comment! I’m glad you liked my article! There are probably scams like any other country but i’m glad I didn’t encounter them.. Hope to be back one day!

      Reply
  63. Aww Man, your article just made me miss Malapascua badly! Those dawn wake-up times were certainly worth it when the Threshers arrive. Just awesome! Not to forget the mantas that likewise show up, mostly in the afternoon….

    Reply
    • Hey marc! Thanks for your comment! The wake up times were more than worth it! What was it again…? 4 in the morning if i remember well :-). I was the only diver with my divemaster and we were surrounded by 6 big threshers…. amazing!

      Reply
  64. I’ve been around the country (Philippines) and have witnessed with my own eyes, the beauty that you have seen. Im a Pinoy and I havent been out of the country yet. Its just that there’s so many places to go to!

    Hopefully you did the Island tour C in El Nido. It was rainy season when I was there and the secret beach just was so near, yet so far from my grasp. Monstrous waves prevented me from seeing what “Alex Garland” saw. Oh well, one more reason for me to go back!

    Reply
    • Hello George, I did the island in El Nido! It was amazing. We spend the night at a inhabited island. such a great experience. Talking about it now makes me wanna go back there :-).

      Reply
  65. Hi. Thanks for the wonderful comment! I am Filipino, but I’ve never been to the places you’ve mentioned. It’ll be in my bucket list soon. The Philippines is not a perfect Country. Of course, there are robbers, scams, traffic, pollution etc. But other Countries have it too. All tourists must be vigilant and should not be too trusting. I hope with your article more tourists from around the world will come and visit our country. It’s more FUN in the Philippines! MABUHAY!

    Reply
    • I agree. There are more robbers and scammers in other countries. And yes, the Philippines is not “perfect” but I must say that it is a “paradise” country! It is more fun in the Philippines! 🙂

      Reply
    • Thanks for the reminder Susan, Good point for anywhere that you go. All tourists should always be careful when visiting anywhere. No place is perfect.

      Reply
      • Of course, like other countries, the philippines probably has its share of scammers/robbers. Like dave and deb said, always be aware of this and careful. But don’t be to anxious or it might control you and you’ll miss out on great experiences.

        I had a great time in the Philippines and wasn’t scammed or robbed. Maybe I was lucky. But everybody I met was so friendly and amazing!

  66. You’re right about the alcohol, it is really cheap compared here in Canada. I just migrated here Canada from the Philippines. For diving, try Apo Island in Negros Oriental. Thanks for your appreciation of the Philippines.

    Reply
    • Yes, it’s really cheap… I’m in Australia now and it’s sooo expensive! I’m glad you liked my article and I will add Apo island to my list!

      Reply
  67. thank for liking our country, next time you must come to Davao City an hour and a half plane ride from Manila, and experience an adventure “From the Islands to the Highlands”.

    Reply
  68. Both the tarsier and the Chocolate Hills can be found in Bohol, right? We’re going to Bohol this August and we hope to see those lovely creatures and places. 😀

    Reply
  69. Thank you for visiting Philippines and hopefully you can visit our country again! Anyway, have you tried any of our local dishes such as adobo, balut or our national fruit which is mango?

    Reply
    • Hello Kristy! Thanks for your comment! I will visit it again! I’d love too! I tried a lot of local dishes but I can’t remember their names… :-(. But it was delicious!

      Reply
  70. Also add Ifugao, Mountain Province and Ilocos in your “Visit List” next time you come here in the Philippines. These are very scenic places very cultural as well. These places are found in the northern part of Luzon.

    Reply
  71. Hello to you.

    Thank you for the nice compliment about our country. If you wanna go back here in Our Country, Please do visit our Island. Siquijor Island. We have lots of Beaches here, and a white sand. (Just like Boracay.) Salagdoong Beach Resort, Coco Grove Beach Resort just to name a few. If you like diving then you must visit Coco Groove or The Danish Lagoon. Everybody who lives here in the island are friendly and Hospitable. No scammers around.

    I can tour you around Siquijor island, if I have enough time. Just contact me.

    By the way, I work at a Local Travel Agency. If you have any questions regarding cheap Plane fare here in the Philippines, Just contact me via my facebook account. https://www.facebook.com/angielyn.zoilo

    Happy Traveling and Enjoy every moment of it. See you soon.

    Pls visit this site:

    http://www.siquijor.gov.ph/tourism%20attractions.php
    http://wanderingdylan.com/2011/03/13/siquijor-beaches-explore/
    http://www.salamangkaresort.com/
    http://thedanishlagoon.com/
    http://www.siquijorcasa.com/beach_resort_siquijor.htm

    -Angie

    Reply
    • Hello ruel, That’s sad to hear you had such a negative experience in the Philippines. Did it influence your opinion about the country?

      Reply
    • Ooh, sorry to hear you were robbed. Unfortunately there are bad guys everywhere no matter how great the place it. Glad you are ok though.

      Reply
  72. Cool. Would love to meet you. I love traveling as well. True, there are lots of nice places to see here specially the diving sites. I am a diver too. 🙂 thanks for loving our country

    Reply
    • Hello Sara, Thanks for your comment! Yeah the diving in the Philippines is amazing! I really like Malapascua and El nido for diving. Maybe one day our travel paths will cross and we can meet 😉

      Reply
  73. Philippines is one of the most amazing country in SE asia people are really hospitable and kind hearted. Manila is the capital city and manila is the dirtiest city around the country. Philippines is extremely an amazing country because the beauty of it is unexplainable. Especially Boracay, you must visit it the next time you go to the Phil. It is really awesome, i tell you it’s a paradise. And of course Batanes. Batanes is really a sacred place in the Phil because of it’s stunning comeliness. Try to search batanes in you internet then you would probably go back to Philippines as soon as possible! 🙂

    Reply
    • Hello Milton! THanks for your comment! I just did a quick google image search on Batanes and it looks absolutely stunning! I will ad it to my “to visit” list when I go back to the philippines!

      Reply
  74. Come back any time. There would be loads of reasons and places to visit the Philippines. Bring friends next time. <3

    Reply
    • Thanks for your reply! These were my best 10 reasons to visit the philippines. Of course I think of a lot more reasons! I hope I will come back one day!

      Reply
      • I think you are right, it sounds like there are tons of great reasons to visit the Philippines, we’re looking forward to making our own list one day soon.

    • Thanks for your comment Roselyne! I'd love to come back and discover more of this wonderful country! So many islands that I still didn't visit!

      Reply
  75. There’s a lot more the Philippines can offer aside from the list mentioned above. Thanks for featuring the Philippines 🙂

    Reply
    • Hello rjdexplorer, thanks for your comment! Of course there is more to visit then my list of reasons! I visited only a small part of the philippines and already found 10 reasons to visit. Unfortunately 3 weeks (visa) is not enough to visit everything in the Philippines. You can probably write a never ending list 😉

      Reply
  76. you should visit again the country and go to Batanes. this place is really amazing. people who already visited the place described it as “local new zealand” 🙂 happy travelling 🙂

    Reply
  77. Thank you for the heartwarming blog about our country. Please feel free to send me email when you come back to visit. My husband and I will tour you around in Metro Manila.

    Reply
    • Hello Susan! You’re more than welcome! I’m glad you liked the article! When I go back to the Philippines I will definitely send you an e-mail! thanks for the invitation 🙂

      Reply
  78. Love th Philippines, my kids cried when the plane took off from Manila.they wanted to go straight back. Have a house in Sagada.

    Reply
    • I can imagine your kids crying. I didn't want to leave! Too bad they only give a 3 week free visa for the Philippines :-(. I'd love to have a house in the Philippines. Maybe one when my financial situation allows it 🙂

      Reply
  79. I’m planning on doing SE Asia in the winter but I never had the Philippines on my list of go-to countries. I’m definitely going to look into it now. Thanks for the info!

    Reply
    • Hello Scott, You should look into it! It wasn’t on my list. A lot of people who visit South East Asia don’t visit the Philippines. I don’t know why actually because it’s such a wonderful destination! If you go there let me know what you think of the country!

      Reply
  80. if want to relax and you want it to be near manila you can go to tanay rizal… you can see a lot of falls in there!,… and even cave if you want to experience spelunking in an affordable or tight budget! =)

    Reply
  81. So, how can I get to the Philippines very cheap from Kentucky & after I get there, get from island to island very cheap & very cheap places to stay?

    Reply
    • Hello Kenneth, thank for your comment and questions! For cheap flight to the Philippines are other places you can check a site like skyscanner.com. In the Philippines it’s also common to fly around, airfares are pretty cheap with companies like airasia or cebuair. You just gave me an idea for a new post. I will make an article for my site about how to get around for cheap in the philippines 😉

      Reply
      • Thanks Bastiaan for appreciating my country. You can go back to the Philippines anytime and be a tourism ambassador for writing beautiful articles about my country. Hehe! 🙂 People, especially like you, are most welcome to the Pearl of the Orient Seas – the Philippines. 🙂

    • Hi Kenneth,
      Call me at 757 689 3237 to book your ticket to philippines. I will also connect you with my friend in PI to go around. I pretty much go home every year. But never been in palawan. Been in bohol and boracay but there is a lot more to see like bastiaan said. Thanks Bastiaan for blogging about philippines. Mabuhay!

      Reply
    • Ah, I’m afraid I don’t have the answer to that. Flights are always the toughest part of travel, but if you can get yourself to a destination like the Philippines, you’re dollar will stretch much farther.

      Reply
  82. It’s Absolutely More Fun In The Philippines! where peoples smile are pure from the heart! Karaoke is a every sunday session in all villages, wither birthday party, wedding, baptism or just group of friends having fun. im glad you had fun there.
    this blog makes me misses my home Bohol. 🙂

    Reply
  83. HELLOW I TRAVEL EVERY YEAR TWO TIMES TO THE PHILIPPINES VERRY NICE , ALL THE PEOPLE ARE VERRY FRIENDLY I have a girlfriend to in philippines but its not so easy for her to come Belgium I hope soon that we are together I love the philippines.

    Reply
  84. Hi there. I couldn't agree more on your perception! I've travelled the whole world with my backpack, till I finally decided to visit Las Pilipinas. I've never met such friendly, beautiful, straight, sincere and honnest people, nowhere! I met a nice girl and we made a nice son. Finally her visum is getting released (why is it so hard to get that done?) and in september I'm going to get my new family to live with me here in Belgium. Meanwhile I keep on going back to the Philippines as many times as we can. Later I will spend most of my time over there, better then 'over the hill' Europe… If you look at the photo beside, you see my wife and son Alexander, and her brother… Beautiful people, aren't they? MAHAL PILIPINAS!

    Reply
  85. Thank you for the very nice words about the Philippines. If you decide to come back, i will treat you with an all-night karaoke session. Salamat! 🙂

    Reply
    • No worries! My words reflect the amazing time I had in the Philippines! I'd love to have a good Karaoke session! I'll email you if I go back to the Philippines 😉

      Reply
  86. Dear Bastiaan Blikman, Thank you for writing something good about my country. It's a good change from all the negative things about we as a people (and as a country) out there. So again, thank you.

    Reply
  87. Thank you for having a great time on the Philippines and I'm glad you did not encounter any scams. However it doesn't mean it's non existent in my country. It's always a good idea to be a little wary to avoid unpleasant experiences.

    Reply
  88. philippines is not just beautiful & amazing' it's more than you could ever imagine how wonderful the place was.

    Reply
  89. Awesome article! Its true, tends to get bored of the “temple” scene haha so guys..pack your bags and head to the Philippines! #itsmorefuninthePhilippines

    Reply
    • Agreed, temples are awesome, but it is easy to become “templed out” I think that is a big way how we got started in Adventure Travel. We toured so many temples during our very first trip to South East Asia, that we needed a break and started doing some hikes, kayaking and climbing. We then decided that we loved that way more. Beaches are always a blast.

      Reply
  90. Great post! I think I’m going to move the Philippines up to the top of my list! No scams?! Amazing. How’s the food??

    Reply
    • Hello Joy! You should move it to the top of your list! It’s a great country! I didn’t encounter any scams and I didn’t have to tip toe like in other countries. As you can see there are some people who encountered scams. I think every country has some scams till a certain extend, but everybody I met in the Philippines just felt so genuine and sincere!

      Reply
      • Well said Bastiaan, even though you didn’t encounter scams, there is a risk anywhere in the world. Just as long as Joy goes in with her eyes wide open, knowing that there is a possibility anywhere in the world to be scammed…

    • We feel the same way. I feel terrible that the last time we were in South East Asia, we missed the Philippines. Now it’s shot up to the top of our list too

      Reply
  91. Philippines are amazing! You needed to check out Bantayan as well its awesome! There are scams in the Philippines I've seen it many times!

    Reply
    • If a foreigner acts and travels around the Philippines with confidence, alert, knows how to haggle/ask for discount on merchandise, (if in doubt, go ask for several price quotes), not too fast in pulling out his wallet, look at the dealer/ storeowner in the eyes, I think he won't be scammed or be overcharged. I won't recommend dealing with or going out with a group or a team that seems to be loitering around, too friendly to take you around, talking among themselves out of your hearing. Deal with somebody that looks clean. decently-clothed/dressed, no blood shut eyes . Don't be arrogant and acts so superior when dealing with Filipinos as there is a big chance that you are talking with a professional also with a degree. Even the uneducated will hate you if you act so superior. Further, it would be a good idea to follow the travel advisory of your embassy on what sections of the Philippines to avoid, mostly in southwest Mindanao. Avoid not-well-lighted and quite deserted streets in Metro-Manila and other big cities.

      Reply
    • I hope to go back one day! I will definitely check out Bantayan then! I haven't been scammed in the Philippines, as in countries like thailand and vietnam i've been scammed multiple times. Maybe I just met the right people ;-).

      Reply
  92. Wait until you try exotic foods from diff. regions. And with 7,100 plus islands, there’s a lot of white beaches, caves, mountain trekking to explore.

    Catch my Foodamn Philippines blog http://www.foodamn.com/ 🙂 Big thanks for recommending the Philippines!

    Reply
    • Hello! Thanks for you comment! I’d love to go back to philippines and visit every island and try all the food :-). I only discovered small part of the Philippines. Unfortunately a 3 weeks visa is by far not enough to discover everything. Thanks for sharing your blog, it look great!

      Reply
    • Yum! I can’t wait to go to try all that food! It will take a lifetime to explore 7,100 island. I bet you can find many a deserted beach there too.

      Reply
  93. I almost agree with this article completely. I adore the Philippines and think it’s one of the few places left in SE Asia that’s not been completely taken over by mass tourism. I definitely agree with you on Malapascua too. I ended up spending six weeks there just bc I could pull myself away from it. But there are definitely scams. In fact, I found there are more in the Philippines than in other countries in SE Asia. There is a classic one en route to Malapascua. Since there isn’t really a port there to take people over and only a few ferries leaving through the day, that only charge, I believe 50 pesos (PLEASE DO NOT QUOTE ME ON THIS I TOTALLY FORGET THE EXACT PRICE). Locals with boats will say it’s finished for the day and try and charge you a ridiculous amount to get over to the island. It happened to me and I would have fallen for it if I didn’t have an LP book. Still, I don’t think that should let that stop people from going. It’s a wonderful country and a truly unique experience in SE Asia.

    Reply
    • Hello Bobbi Lee, Thanks for your great comment on my post! I can image you got stuck on Malapascua…. It’s a wonderful little island. And in general the Philippines feels more untouched and yes not taken over by mass tourism like some other destinations in South East Asia. All the people I met were really friendly and genuine, I never had the feeling somebody tried to scam me. A lot of times when traveling in certain places thailand or vietnam your scam radar is constantly buzzing. It didn’t in the Philippines. Of course there will probably be scams like every country has some scams. I didn’t get scammed on my way to Malapascua. Maybe thats my luck then. It certainly shouldn’t stop anybody from going there! 😉

      Reply
      • Lovely to hear that there still is a place in South East Asia that has an untouched feel. Why didn’t we go there sooner! Definitely has shot to the top of our list since this article. Thanks.

  94. There are quite a lot of beautiful places and sandy beaches so it’s definitely a place to visit. I really like the Chocolate Hills. An amazing sight. Beautiful photos and great reasons to visit there!

    Reply
    • Hello Salika, thanks for your comment! The beaches are simply amazing. The best in South East Asia. And yeah the chocolate hills are a weird landscape… I never saw something like that before. I like the legends behind the hills!

      Reply
      • I was told by someone local that the hills are actually corals. The area was submerged a very long time ago. That is why grass grows a bit, but no real vegetation.

  95. This list will definitely be longer if you happen to visit Cordillera Region – Sagada, Banaue, et. al. And also other amazing places in the country Baler, Siargao, Batanes, Zambales, Bicol, etcetera and etcetera. 🙂

    Reply
    • Hello Angel, I visited only a small part of the philippines. 3 weeks is not enough to discover everything this amazing country has to offer. I hope to go back one day and visit more places! Undoubtedly there are many more reasons to visit the Philippines!

      Reply