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Little Known Attractions in the Philippines

Landscape shot of Mt. Mayone
Experience the best tourist attractions the Philippines has to offer

There are numerous attractions in the Philippines and many of them are closely linked to the culture of each region. Some of these attractions are natural formations. Others are man-made. And one attraction that can’t be overlooked would be the Filipina.

The world has a lot of famous islands and more than a few of them are in the Philippines. The locals know about these islands and so do many experienced travelers. Now, those that don’t know about these islands and the tourist attractions therein can consult guides to streamline their experience in the Philippines.

Looking at a comprehensive list of islands of the world, more than 7,000 of them will be in the Philippines. Some of the islands are uninhabited. Many of them are teeming with life that’s just waiting to be experienced.

One thing that a tourist needs to know before taking a trip to visit in the Philippines is the climate in the country. It can be hot and humid in the country, with warm and wet weather being a near-constant.

The country also has two seasons - wet and dry. The wet season is characterized by heavy rain and the occasional typhoon. The dry season is characterized by sweltering but manageable heat. Picking the right time to visit the country can set the right tone for a trip.

But do you know what else makes for a memorable trip? The attractions visited and the experiences tried.

1. Hanging coffins

Common funerary practices around the world have the deceased either burned or buried. But there is a variety of cultures, mostly in Asia, that have a unique practice. In the Sagada province in Luzon, the Kankanaey people practice placing their coffins on the sides of cliffs.

While some people may mistake hanging coffins to be the most common practice, it’s believed that this practice is reserved for distinguished community leaders. It’s also hard to tell how far back the practice goes since the coffins have never been thoroughly studied.

2. Active and inactive volcanoes

The Philippines has its own national parks and one of those parks centers around Mayon volcano, which is an active volcano that has erupted numerous times since the 1800’s. Still, the volcano and the surrounding area have become quite the attraction.

Another volcanic attraction is Taal volcano, an active volcano filled with a lake that’s less than fifty miles away from the country’s capital.

Yet another volcano, albeit a dormant one, that attracts tourists is Mt. Apo. The city of Davao rests in the shadow of this mountain.

The Philippine eagle is one of the largest extant eagle species in the world today and is the national bird of the Philippines. Mt. Apo serves as the habitat for one of the most important animals in Filipino culture.

3. The islands

The Philippines has a few of the best islands in the world for vacation. Some visitors will visit one or two of them while on a trip. But other vacationers take an alternate path by finding a boat to hop from island to island, experiencing as much as they have to offer as possible.

Island hopping is a fairly popular activity in the Philippines and it’s relatively inexpensive. There are a number of boatmen who ply their trade taking tourists from one white beach island to another.

The Philippines is smack dab in the Pacific ocean, which makes for some truly spectacular beaches in which to swim.

4. Banaue Rice Terraces

A staple food in the Philippines, and in most of Asia in general, is rice. Filipinos eat rice at almost every meal. They pair it with meat, vegetables, and even refried potato chips.

Rice is so important that one of the most well-known attractions in the Philippines are the Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao, Philippines.

Located some 1500 feet above sea level, these terraces were carved into the side of a mountain. It’s believed that these terraces were made largely by hand. It’s believed that if the terraces were placed end to end, they’d equal half the length of the globe.

The exact age of the structure is disputed with some anthropologists placing the age at 2000 years old but others place the age as much younger than that.

5. The food

Another thing that a tourist must absolutely try when in the Philippines is the food. Sure, Filipino food is available all over the world, but it hits the taste buds different when it’s actually made in the Philippines.

There are a few things that a tourist should try in the Philippines. The first is puso, which is rice cooked in banana leaves. The second is lechon, which is to Filipinos as the turkey is to Americans. The lechon is a roast suckling pig and Filipinos will use any occasion they can to justify ordering one.

If you do manage to get your hands on some lechon, make it a point to go for the skin. The crispy skin of the pig is one of the most desirable parts when it’s presented at a table.

6. Chocolate hills

The Chocolate Hills in Bohol are a popular attraction that, while not actually made of chocolate, bring in more than a few tourists every year. The hills, over a thousand of them, are covered in green grass.

When the weather gets hot, the green grass turns brown. The browning of the grass gives off the appearance of mounds of chocolate, hence the name.

The Philippines is an archipelago composed of over 7,000 islands. Because of the sheer number of islands and the water that separates them, there’s a diversity not just in the people, but also in the natural formations of the country.

Because of how diverse and diversely-located these attractions are, it can take a number of trips to see them all. Even a local is going to need some time to see even half of what their country has to offer.

The attractions in the Philippines can take your breath away, sometimes in a literal sense. But they’re the kind of things that should be experienced should the opportunity to do so ever arise.

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