By: Sam De Nike
Follow Sam on Instagram @sneadlerstravels
Earlier this year I visited the Philippines for a month. It is arguably my favorite country I have ever gotten the opportunity to travel to and somewhere I desperately hope to return to soon. Here are my top 5 reasons why you need to visit today!
1. The people – On most trips, a huge part of your experience is the people that you meet and the interactions that you have. The Filipino people are genuinely kind-hearted and welcoming people, regardless of what you might read about online or hear about on the TV (And I just wanted to let you know that I never felt unsafe once during my time in the Philippines). Filipinos always seem to have a smile on their face and be ready to help you. Here is something I bet you didn’t know about the Philippines too, almost everyone speaks English! This makes it extremely easy to travel the country and truly engage with the local people. I made friends with local Filipino people that I still talk to regularly today!
2. Nature – The Philippines truly has it all if you are someone who enjoys spending time outdoors in nature. In my short one month stay I found myself cliff jumping off waterfalls, swimming with whale sharks, visiting “The Chocolate Hills” of Bohol, snapping photos of the world’s smallest primates, exploring underground rivers, lounging on pristine beaches, island hopping otherworldly geological formations, scuba diving with sunken battleships, and surfing. The craziest part about that list is that it is only the tip of the iceberg of what you can do in the Philippines! With 7,107 different Islands, the Philippines truly has endless opportunities for you to explore.
3. The diving – The diving in the Philippines is some of the best and most diverse in the world, as you might expect from a nation that is comprised of over 7000 islands. Depending on where you choose to submerge yourself you may find yourself spotting whale sharks, pristine coral, sea turtles, manta rays, WW2 battleships and more! I personally got my PADI Open Water certification on the island of Coron, which is famous for being home to some of the best wreck diving in the world. If you find yourself in Coron I highly recommend having your advanced open water certification because then you can actually explore the insides of the ships!
4. The food – Filipino food is not often mentioned when talking about the best Asian cuisine, but it should be. Like the country as a whole, the food of the Philippines is rather unknown to most, but that is simply unfortunate for the pallets of the rest of the world. Some of my personal favorites that I recommend trying are; Adobo, Sisig, Lechon, Lumpia, and Halo-halo. Wherever you go you are sure to find lots of little local bakeries as well that sell delicious and cheap pastries. And lastly, make sure you try lots of different locally grown fruit and Cebu dried mango!
5. The prices – This one I write with a somewhat conflicted heart. Yes, you can find yourself living a life of luxury for relatively cheap, but that is only because the Philippines is still an underdeveloped nation. As a tourist, I find it great that I can stay in a resort like hostel with a private beach for under $15 a night or that I can eat a delicious meal for $2-3, but as a citizen of the world it sometimes hurts me to see the disparity of wealth that still exists today. Hopefully as tourism grows in the Philippines the country continues to develop in a positive direction, but for now, you should take advantage of the cheap prices and visit today!
For more photos and more in-depth written pieces about my time in the Philippines check out my blog @ www.sneadlerstravels.com