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Region 1 or the Ilocos Region is composed of four provinces
Transcript of Region 1 or the Ilocos Region is composed of four provinces
Region 1 or the Ilocos Region is composed of four provinces and a city—Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, and Dagupan City. Majority of the population speaks Ilocano, the third largest spoken language in the Philippines, although a significant number also speak Pangasinense.
Laoag is the capital of Ilocos Norte and the hub of everything Ilocano. Just go to Museo Ilocos Norte and you’ll see. The region’s main offices and universities are also located here. World-famous sights such as Pagudpud, Paoay and Vigan are less than an hour’s journey away.
So, what essentially is Ilocano? Well first, you have the language. There are 8 million Ilocano speakers and the language is continuously spreading. Most of the Cordillera Region speaks it, and people in La Union, Pangasinan , and the Cagayan Valley do too. Oh, and some Hawaiians speak it too (The first Filipino migrants in Hawaii were mostly from Ilocos).
And we mustn’t forget the flavors of Ilocos.
Ilocanos love matching bagoong (fish paste) with just about anything, use souring agents such as native palm vinegar, and have a penchant for bitter things like veggies and papaitan. When you get to Laoag, don’t forget to try pinakbet, igado, dinakdakan, and poqui-poqui.
All over the country, pilgrims revere Apo Baket Namacpacan or the Lady of Namacpacan, a wooden image of the Virgin Mary. In 1871, her image was brought on a galleon and for some reason “chose” to stay in the church. Legend has it Lady of Namacpacan has bestowed the town with gifts from heaven, in the form of pebbles—millions of them.
Pebble Beach has a never ending supply of colored stones. Locals say that they’ve been quarrying for years and the stones just keep coming their way. Even local children join in on the fun, placing tiny rocks in old water bottles to sell. On this beach you will also find the remnants of an old lighthouse, built during the Spanish period and used in WWII. Only the ruins remain, but it sure makes a great backdrop for photos.
Head to Don Gonzalo Montemayor wharf in Barangay Lucap and rent an outrigger or two. This is the quintessential island hop, where you’ll be visiting islands of all shapes and sizes. Some simply look like little pieces of land. Others have intact cave systems and hilly terrain; fantastic for all-out hiking and camping. Governor’s Island has a viewing deck, and even a small house that can be rented.
There are 123 islands covering 1,844 hectares. Many of them have attention-grabbing names such as “Devil’s Island” and “Kissing Island.” And of course, like the rest of the country, the water is an exceptional hue of blue-green and holds fantastic coral reefs. Don’t forget to pack your bathing suit!
Small tricycles roam the streets that are marked with charming houses and colonial structures. But up on the higher part of town is its crowning glory. The Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion, known to everyone as Sta. Maria Church, is an 18th century brick church that sits on top of a hill, much like a fortress. The façade, like many Philippine Churches of that era, is imposing and grand. Its bell tower looks like a pagoda, and is curiously detached from the main church itself. From the highway, you simply have to climb 86 steps and you’re there! Walk around the church and you’ll find an even older chapel and cemetery.
In the center of the Ilocos Sur province, Sta. Maria faces the West Philippine Sea and is bounded by Abra on the east. Thus you get the best of both worlds: coastal beaches and mountainous terrain. This mountainous terrain is the backdrop of the legendary giant Angalo, whose massive footsteps span from Abra to Sta. Maria. The tale of Angalo and his wife Aran is one of the few tales in Ilocos mythology, which also includes the Epic of Lam-ang. Angalo’s footsteps are said to have created a gigantic pool that leads to Pinsal Falls—a cascading blanket of water that flows into pools that feed the rivers of Sta. Maria
If you prefer to go off the beaten path, this province is the place to go. There’s a wealth of natural attractions on and around Cagayan Valley’s towering mountains. Sta. Ana and Claveria in Cagayan have dramatic coastlines and unspoiled white sand beaches. Batanes is a less-kept secret that has been a mecca for landscape photographers for the longest time. The Ivatan’s stone houses and culture also add to the island’s raw appeal. Divilican, Maconacon, Dinapigue and Palanan are as un-commercial as it gets. And you’re sure to learn a lot from the Dumagats, a local semi-nomadic indigenous group. Nueva Vizcaya lives up to the local slogan of “Adventure Begins Here.” And Paraiso Tribu Vizcayano really is an adventure paradise. Cauayan boasts of colossal agricultural lands and pastoral enclaves, while Santiago City is a melting pot of diverse religions and ethnic groups. And then there’s idyllic Quirino, full of majestic waterfalls and stunning cave systems.
To date, Batan Island still has a few remnants of the Spanish rule, seen its its old fashioned edifices, centuries old Spanish churches and an old Spanish bridge.
Rent a bike and wing through sweeping panoramas of rugged terrains, gorgeous valleys and coastline repeatedly under attack by waves.
Say hello to Racuh Apayaman, touted as the Marlboro Country, a communal pastureland. Marvel at the undulating valley, hills and green meadows where water buffalo, horses and cattle roam freely.
The ancient coastal village of Diura is also worth checking especially during the fishing season when they perform the Kapayvanuvanua ritual.
If you are up for more adventure, you can hike up the dormant Mt.Iraya in Basco, just coordinate with your hotel for a local guide.
Cross to the well-preserved Sabtang Island where you will find well-preserved Ivatan Culture.
Wander around Savidug and Chavayan for the stone houses.
Take home the remarkable hand-woven vakul from Sabtang Weavers Association.
Do not leave Sabtang without exploring the astounding natural arch formation on its shores.
Batanes is bathed in serenity and dramatic scenery. No wonder it has virtually zero crime rate – a testament to which is the Honesty Coffee Shop. Drop by anytime!
Known as the fertile central plains, the rice basket of the Philippines, Central Luzon produces most of the country’s dining staple: rice. And because of this abundance of rice and vegetables, the cuisine is simply superb—from the Kapangpangan biringhe and sisig to Bulacan sweets!
After the Americans left in the 1990’s, Clark, which was originally a town of Angeles, is now called the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ). It is now a 4,500-hectare industrial and leisure hub where Filipinos love to shop and vacation. Enjoy the nightlife and casino at Mimosa Leisure Park; swim in Fontana’s themed-pools; or ride a horse in the old American stables of El Kabayo. Clark is your essential vacation rolled into one area.
Several years ago, Candaba was just a quiet town, a swampland that soaks up water from several rivers, including the Bulu and Penarada.
It turned out, the town plays an integral role in balancing the eco-terrain by acting as a catch basin of overflowing rivers before getting drained into the Pampanga river.
Wetlands. Half the year submerged, while the other half, used as farmland.
Then the birding enthusiasts heard of the ducks and the migratory birds, and suddenly, this wetland was on the tourist map.
The Candaba swamp is approximately 32,000 hectares and is teeming with wildlife.
From the months of October to April, you’ll find migratory visitors such as the Seven purple swamphen or the Chinese pond heron. Oh and of course, the endemic Philippine mallard (wild duck to everyone else).
If pilgrimages aren’t your thing, you can still come over. There’s lot’s more to do in this little town than meets the eye. You can hike several mountains, 4-5 hours will do if you want to do a day trip. But you can also opt to do overnight camping trips with friends in Mount Bungkol Baka. But the newest sport in town is whitewater kayaking. Yup, it’s not a river raft. It’s a river kayak down the crazy Camaling river. Tarlac actually has several rivers to choose from such as the Bulsa and the Nambalan rapids, but if you don’t have your own kayak, it’s best to go through San Jose. Up for more adventure? In between kayaking, why not cliff dive?
And we only found out in 1991. The volcano is part of the Cabusilan mountain range. It was relatively dormant until one fateful day on June 15, 1991 when it spewed an intense cloud smoke, followed by millions of tons of lahar—a deadly mix of volcanic ash and lava. It destroyed entire towns, leaving desolate villages and displaced people. But 20 years later, the locals are reaping the benefits—from lahar, which is quarried and sold as construction material or turned into handicrafts. Tourism is pretty good too! Mt. Pinatubo is now a world-class hiking destination with a caldera lake!
CALABARZON is also rich in cultural traditions. Laguna is known for embroidery, wood carving, and papier-mâché (locally known as taka). Quezon has harvest festivals and flamboyantly decorated houses. Rizal has artisan villages and art galleries. It’s a colorful region.
The St. Mary Magdalene Church in Kawit is among the oldest churches in the Philippines. It was built using wood in 1638, and was reconstructed a century. Go up to the left side of the altar and you’ll see Aguinaldo’s birth certificate.
Visit the Shrine of the Nuestra Señora dela Soledad de Porta Vaga (Our Lady of Solitude of Vaga Gate) at San Roque Church in Cavite City. Also called Reina de Cavite (Queen of Cavite), the image is said to be miraculous.
Cavite is also for the foodie. Here tamales are filled with chicken, pork, boiled egg, and chickpeas. Pancit (a noodle dish) specialties include pancit pusit (squid), made dark with squid ink; and pancit puso (heart), made with kilawing puso ng saging (pickled banana blossom).
Together with nearby Caballo Island, Corregidor actually forms part of a volcanic crater called the Corregidor Caldera. But you don’t need to worry about volcanic eruptions any time soon. The crater was last active around a million years ago.
“The Rock” was the largest of a group of four islands designated to defend Manila Bay during World War II. Japanese, American and Filipino troops all fought in Corregidor. In May of 1942, the Allied forces surrendered Corregidor to the Japanese Imperial Army. But General Douglas MacArthur recaptured the island less than three years later, in March of 1945. The Allied forces then used it as their headquarters. And President Manuel Quezon used it as his seat of government.
The name of this region is an acronym that combines the names of its provinces: Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan.
Some of its islands take some effort to get to, but this contributes to their allure. Virgin forests, secluded beaches, thriving marine life, beautiful waterfalls, magical caves, and warm people will make your trip special.
Marinduque has unique cultural traditions such as the Moriones tableau – where locals dress up as Roman centurions during the Lenten season to reenact a Roman Catholic scene.
But this is a province of varied delights. You’re sure to enjoy its fine beaches, nature scenes, native crafts, delicious delicacies, and traditional Filipino hospitality.
Let’s start with Coron. The town of Coron is one of the four municipalities of the Calamian group, and is the second northernmost municipality of Palawan. It covers the southern half of the island of Busuanga, and includes the off-shore island of Coron. This island of the Tagbanua people has steep limestone cliffs, white sand beaches, and seven mountain lakes. The Kayangan Lake is a Hall of Fame Awardee for the Cleanest and Greenest Inland Body of Water in the Philippines. Back on Busuanga Island there are resorts, a public market and restaurants. You should also check out Maquinit Hot Springs.
The craftsmen of Romblon are best known for marble-making. They can make everything from house tiles to tiny art pieces to life-size sculptures. The marble industry in Romblon, which owes its roots to 1950s Italians, is the country’s best. It’s also certainly the most unique.
Another remarkable thing about this province is the legendary hospitality of the people of Romblon. The province has a nearly zero crime rate. Combine that with the pleasant demeanor of the locals, and it’s no wonder that visitors are comfortable with Romblon.
“Bicolandia” is made up the provinces of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes and Masbate. You can find it at the southern tip of the island of Luzon. Bicol is one of the Philippines’ best-known tourist destinations. Some of its more famous treasures are the gentle butanding whale sharks of Donsol, the fierce and fiery Mayon Volcano and Bulusan Volcano, and the popular Cam Sur Watersports Complex (CWC).
It’s best to get into shape before visiting. You never know what adventures are in store.
Wind-and-kitesurfers will enjoy Bagasbas Beach in Daet. Beach lovers might enjoy visiting the surrounding islets, not missing out on the Calaguas Islands of Camarines Norte.
The beauty of Catanduanes has been talked about since 1987, when photographers and surfers from Surfer magazine visited Puraran Beach and hailed the island as a wave-rider’s dream. Drawn by stories of the waves’ perfect barrels, surfers from all over have been converging in Catanduanes. Especially during the peak months of August to September.
From the coast, you can sit for hours watching the waves cascading endlessly.
If you’re looking for a change of pace, go from the laid-back countryside to the provincial capital of Naga. Locals are used to seeing vacationers, and will be glad to give you directions. They generally speak Bicolano, but most people understand both Tagalog and English.
The Ligñon Hill Nature Park is at a relaxing height of 511 feet above sea level. It’s a popular place for joggers and families. People also troop to it for the zipline with a view.
Cagsawa Ruins is another place of interest. When Mayon Volcano erupted in 1814, everything in the area was buried save for the Cagsawa church bell. Go to see it, and you’ll find the currently quiet volcano in the background as a reminder of nature’s unpredictable temper.
The cattle branding and farming that you see in places like the Kho-Ranch, Jadeco Farm and Crown B traces its roots to the Manila-Acapulco trade from the 16th to 19th centuries when cattle was imported from Mexico.
Visit during the Masbate Rodeo Festival (the annual National Rodeo Competition) to see cowboys and cowgirls do what they do best. But don’t get too excited. Leave the action to the professionals. In this dangerous sport, only the best try their skills inside the fenced arena.
Region six is home to the world-renowned beach of Boracay, and some of the country’s top festivals — Dinagyang, Masskara, and Ati-Atihan. This is a place of color and excitement!
Aklan province is more than just Boracay. Unravel the treasures of the municipality of Buruanga — uncharted dive sites in Batabat Coral Reef and palm-fringed beaches in Malalison Island included. Explore hidden caves clad by dense jungles. Plunge into waterfalls. Visit the Kalibo Piña Village and see how locals turn plant fibers into stunning clothing.
Buruanga is an off-the-beaten-track destination full of natural attractions. Plunge into the turquoise waters of Ariel’s Point (formerly called Batason Point). The cliff diving is amazing. Buruanga Point is a haven for snorkeling and diving. Nearby Wasak-Wasak Beach in the village of Alegria has crystal-clear emerald waters. You’ll also find Tuburan Beach and private Hinugtan Beach, fringed by coconut trees and wilderness.
Discover diving at Nag-asog White Beach, with its kaleidoscopic corals and fishes. Other diving spots in Aklan are Black Rock (ideal for Nitrox diving and good for all skill levels), Panay Wall (Dof Drift II), and Santander Wall.
Bulabog Beach, on the eastern side of the island opposite White Beach, has large waves and strong winds year-round. This makes it a hotspot for windsurfing and kiteboarding. In fact, Bulabog Beach is considered Asia’s top kitesurf destination.
Whichever side of the island or end of the beach you choose, there’s a room for every type of traveler here. Budget accommodations start at around US$ 17, and can go all the way to US$ 300 per person at prime resorts like Discovery Shores.
And because Boracay gets tourists from different parts of the globe, you’ll find a wide variety of food choices: Chinese, Indian, American, Mexican, French, Italian, Swiss —even Moroccan food! Fresh seafood is a given.
The Central Visayas region is a contradiction. This is a place where hip, cosmopolitan avenues are as well-loved as solemn, centuries-old landmarks. Where you can stay at a posh hotel while exploring rural villages and rugged shores. Where religious devotion exists alongside folk superstition.
Malapascua’s secluded beaches offer some welcome solitude, and make a great place for a seaside barbecue. But it was Monad Shoal that launched the island as a premier diving destination. Monad Shoal is one of the few places in the world where the thresher shark is a regular sight. Although these sharks often favour much deeper waters, they visit the shoal to enjoy the services of cleaning wrasses. Devil rays, eagle rays, and even manta rays and hammerheads can be sighted here.
Make a quick escape to Mactan Island to enjoy the beach, and try out water sports like jet skiing, parasailing and windsurfing.
The surrounding waters are also full of dive sites that range from easy to advanced, including prime underwater spots like Kontiki Reef, Tambuli Reef and the Hilutungan Island Marine Sanctuary.
Or you can just park yourself at a beachfront resort in pursuit of the perfect tan.
Accomodations in Mactan range from affordable inns to the ultra-posh Shangri-La Mactan Resort & Spa, hailed as one of the top resorts in Asia by Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler.
As the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines, it has some of the country’s most iconic heritage spots. As a major trading port and site for some of the nation’s fastest-growing industries, it reinforces its multiculturalism with progression. This heady mix of urban vibes and casual provincial airs makes it a favorite destination of those seeking a showcase of the harmonious co-existence of history, culture and modernity.
The region consists of the provinces of Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Samar and Southern Leyte and the cities of Baybay, Borongan, Calbayog, Catbalogan, Maasin, Ormoc and Tacloban. Tacloban City is its regional center. The local climate varies between wet and wetter — the region’s perpetually lush landscapes reveal the absence of a real dry season.
The province holds a multitude of photogenic waterfalls, whose features range from impressive drops to inviting swimming spots.
The Tomalistis Falls are most notable for its water’s peculiar sweet taste — the sweetest in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
The Tinago Falls make for a good photo-op, steadily plummeting down to an enclave surrounded by verdant rocks.
Get up-close to the majestic Ulan Ulan Falls (ulan is the Filipino word for rain) to hear and feel the thunderous sound of a heavy downpour.
Find your own small tropical haven, whether it’s the creamy sands and azure waters of Suluan Island or the marine life sanctuary of Kantican Island, which also houses an experimental pearl farm.
Amandaraga is the name of Lawaan’s waterfalls which resembles a maiden’s hair. Favorite island hopping destinations are the twin islands of Ando and Divinuvo in Borongan City. For camping and trekking, explore the Borongan-Llorente Closed Canopy Forest.
The ultimate crowd-drawer, however, is the rising star that is Calicoan Island. Despite the allure of its inland lagoons and wild virgin forests, both locals and foreigners head here for one thing: surfing. The ABCD Beach, the shoreline of choice if you’re staying at The Surf Camp or the Calicoan Villas, offers waves suitable for both beginner or advanced surfers. The local surf season runs from April to November.
For starters, beaches are plentiful here. Stay at one of the local resorts to enjoy a stretch of sand to yourself and savor cold drinks and good conversation under the moonlight.
Pick from the honey-colored shores of Onay Beach in Laoang and or the sparkling white sands in San Antonio Island, Dalupiri Island, or Spice of Life.
For somewhere off the beaten path, explore the Naranjo group of islands such as Sila Island with its pinkish sand and Panganoron Island with white sand.
The Zamboanga Peninsula is Mindanao’s smallest region. Located in Southwest Philippines, its 958 islands and islets make up the Diadem of the Philippine South. Two bodies of water form a ring around it – the Sulu Sea to the north and west, the Moro Gulf to the south.
Three provinces and five cities make up the Zamboanga Peninsula Region — the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga Sibugay; and the cities of Dapitan, Dipolog, Pagadian, Zamboanga City, and Isabela. Zamboanga, Pagadian, and Dipolog are the major hubs of trade, commerce, industry, and education in the region.
The region hosts one freeport and special economic zone and an international airport in Zamboanga City. Ten other secondary airports operate in the region.
Visit the Yakans and see their amazing handicrafts at the Yakan Weaving Village. This is a remarkable group of artisans; some of the finest weavers in the Philippines. They use pineapple and abaca fibers to make strong and intricate and colorful patterns. Traditional Yakan loom weaving takes its inspiration from nature — snakes, fish, leaves and the like. Support this cultural treasure by buying bags, table cloths, coasters or shirts straight from the source. All the village’s handicrafts make outstanding souvenirs.
Zamboanga seafood is a sensory overload. We recommend crabs steamed in coconut milk, or tossed with garlic and chili. The gigantic local curachas are a lobster-crab hybrid that you’ll only find in Mindanao. They’re also delicious. Zamboanga’s lapu-lapu (grouper fish) are also exceptionally large.
The perfect trip to this city includes visiting sun-kissed Pink Sands Beach, and catching a colorful vinta boat race – a highlight of the Zamboanga Hermosa festival.
Locals say he decorated the central plaza by planting gumamela (hibiscus) and acacia trees, and helped create a relief map of Mindanao to teach locals about geography.
After winning a small lottery, he built a house for his family on a 16-hectare property. This plot of land is now The Rizal Shrine Park. Stop by to enjoy the park’s tranquil atmosphere, and learn more about this Filipino icon.
The Dakak Beach Resort welcomes weary travelers with a white sand beach about 800 meters long. For a more local feel, you can choose to stay in a bahay kubo (native hut).
For kids and kids at heart, there’s Gloria de Dapitan Amusement Park – also known as Gloria Fantasy Land. This guilty pleasure is the largest theme park outside Manila, with over 30 rides.
Rock climbers looking for a more natural high can scale the Sicayab Cliffs.
There is a strong military presence here. Security is a concern in this part of Mindanao. But Zamboanga’s people are a mix of Spanish and Muslim and light-skinned and dusky. If you look closely, you’ll find a people more together than apart.
Don’t miss visiting the mangroves, catching a glimpse Badjao houses on stilts by the water’s edge, and touring one of the surrounding rubber plantations and factories. American Rubber Co., the Philippines’ first commercial rubber plantation, was established by Dr. James Strong in the early 1900s.
Northern Mindanao’s topography is varied. There are plains, forests, mountains, hills and coastal areas. The area supports agriculture and aquaculture. The soil is rich in minerals. There are hydro-electric plants to provide a steady supply of electricity. Northern Mindanao has a wealth of natural resources.
The highlight of any trip to Lanao del Norte has to be the waterfalls. It has more than 20. Take a 500-step trek to the ravine that houses Tinago (hidden) Falls. Mimbalut Falls is much easier to get to, as it’s accessible from the national road. The 98-meter Maria Cristina Falls is more than a tourist spot. It also provides most of the electricity for Iligan City, the province’s industrial and commercial center. Then there’s the two-tiered, 265-meter Limunsudan Falls - the second-highest in the country. Hindang Falls is also two-tiered, but at 12 meters isn’t much of a threat to Limunsudan.
The province’s caves and mountains are also worth exploring. The 487-meter Mt. Agad-Agad is an easy climb that rewards hikers with a panoramic view of Iligan City and the bay.
Much of the island was formed through earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In the late 1800s, for example, the eruption of Mt. Vulcan submerged the old town of Catarman – pushing it below the sea, leaving behind the ruins of a church and its bell tower. The Sunken Cemetery, now marked with a huge cross, was also one of the areas in this old town.
Aside from this, Camiguin’s natural attractions keep visitors coming.
White Island, a sandbar, and Mantigue Island, a smaller island off the shores of Camiguin, are great for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.
The city’s cool climate is a result of it being a plateau some 915 meters above sea level, surrounded by mountain ranges.
One of the area’s top natural attractions is Mt. Kitanglad – an inactive volcano that is the fourth highest peak in the Philippines at 2,899 meters, and an Association of Southeast Asian Nations Heritage Park. Another is the Pulangi River – one of the major tributaries to the Rio Grande de Mindanao.
If it’s plain adrenaline you’re after, then Dahilayan Adventure Park is the place for you. It has the longest zipline in Asia, offers ATV rides, and has activities for the whole family. There’s also Kampo Juan, which boasts of a 120-meter hanging bridge suspended 165 meters over a river.The city’s cool climate is a result of it being a plateau some 915 meters above sea level, surrounded by mountain ranges.
One of the area’s top natural attractions is Mt. Kitanglad – an inactive volcano that is the fourth highest peak in the Philippines at 2,899 meters, and an Association of Southeast Asian Nations Heritage Park. Another is the Pulangi River – one of the major tributaries to the Rio Grande de Mindanao.
If it’s plain adrenaline you’re after, then Dahilayan Adventure Park is the place for you. It has the longest zipline in Asia, offers ATV rides, and has activities for the whole family. There’s also Kampo Juan, which boasts of a 120-meter hanging bridge suspended 165 meters over a river.
Region 1 to NCR with their Popular Places
The region consists of the provinces of Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur and Davao Oriental. Davao City is the regional center, and its Francisco Bangoy International Airport is the third busiest airport in the country. The region is strategically situated outside the typhoon belt, making for a uniform distribution of rainfall throughout the year.
One of its most famous natural sights is the Rafflesia mira, a parasitic plant that is the world’s largest flower, also notorious for its rotting odor. The Rafflesia mira is endemic to Southeast Asia, and more than 10 species have been recorded throughout the province, including in the foothills of Mt. Candalaga.
If you prefer less malodorous pursuits, you can check out the rest of the province’s promising attractions.
The most famous is the Pearl Farm Beach Resort — a name nearly synonymous with Davao itself. Formerly an actual pearl farm, this world-class resort is known for its striking architectural design, which was inspired by local culture and carried out by renowned Filipino architect Bobby Mañosa. Its luxurious guest rooms, cottages and villas sit above the gulf, giving you gorgeous panoramic views. The resort also houses a Mandaya Weaving Center, where Mandaya women weave products adorned with colourful and intricate patterns.
The Davao Riverfront Complex houses the Crocodile Park, one of the city’s most popular attractions. The park showcases more than just crocs — it is also home to a variety of wildlife. Be sure to catch feeding time, educational talks and other shows. The complex also contains the Davao Butterfly House and the Tribu K’Mindanawan, a cultural village that holds an impressive fire-dancing performance. When you’ve worked up an appetite, try Filipino fare or exotic crocodile and ostrich-based cuisine at the RiverWalk Grill.
In the 1930’s President Manuel Quezon deemed portions of this area a wild forest and pushed for resettlement in the provinces of Sarangani and South Cotabato. Homesteaders from Luzon and Mindanao arrived here carving vast tracks of farmland. The original groups that lived and toiled the land, the T’boli, Maguindanaon, Ubo, Blit, Blaan still live in the area although populations are not as large compared to the Hiligaynon, Cebuano and Ilocanos who have resettled the area in the early 1900’s and now call it home.
Mention Agusan del Norte, and its capital city – Cabadbaran – will most likely be overlooked. But it need not be, for this ancient district believed to have existed since 1,200 A.D is oozing with well-preserved old Spanish houses such as the gorgeous Atega Ancestral House. Cabadbaran’s archeological sites Brgy. Calibunan, Sanghan, La Union, Kauswagan and Caasinan are where remarkable artifacts were excavated. The bustling Butuan City is known for its museums and its iconic symbol – the traditional balangay boat and the Golden Tara of Esperanza.
South Cotabato is becoming one of the fastest growing provinces in the Philippines and is home to the ethnic group, T’boli.
It has a microclimate which makes it a whole lot of fun to go around. Marbel or Koronadal, the provincial Capitol of South Cotabato can get quite warm. Lake Sebu, on the other hand, has been described as “Little Baguio.” It’s nice and chilly, and a good place for a breath of fresh, cool air.
Getting here is quick one-hour plane ride from Manila, with General Santos as the main hub. Another 30-minute drive and you’ll hit the township of Polomolok and a 12,000-hectare field of pineapples.
Sarangani is divided into two districts and is intersected by the composite city of General Santos. Here, the adventures are vast and varied from mountain to sea.
Touted as the “Boracay of Mindanao,” Gumasa Beach in the old Indonesian settlement of Glan, has the powder white sand people go crazy for. If you’re looking for overcrowded bars, don’t go here. If you want to kick back and relax with a coconut in hand, then check this place out. It’s also well worth a dive or two.
Also known as the National Capital Region, Metro Manila consists of the cities of Caloocan, Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Manila, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, Quezon, San Juan, Taguig, Valenzuela, and Pateros.
Cagwait Beach may be unheard of—but not for long. This horseshoe-shaped island is fringed with trees and glimmering waters. Swim, get tanned, and camp in this serene enclave.
If you fancy island hopping, then Britania Group of Islands is what you have been missing. Get acquainted with the 24 islets rising above the seafloor. Marvel at the sight of Kanlota, Taguan, Minasingin, Isla Verde, and Panlanggan Forest Island among others. Then end the day by camping in Boslon Island.
Even within heritage districts such as Rizal Park and Intramuros, you won’t be far from a branch of local fast-food giant, Jollibee. University students pile out of kalesas, then walk the old fort’s walls to get to class. The Light Rail Transit (LRT) trundles past as families picnic on Luneta park grass.
Like passengers in a jeepney, the past, present and future sit shoulder to shoulder, flying down Manila’s streets. Get on the same ride. You can sit back, safe, as the city flashes past you. Or you can put your head out, let your hair fly in the wind and see where the city takes you.
It has 1,031 pipes! Visit Saint Joseph Church in the Historical Corridor and you’ll find this imposing instrument on the second floor. To hear its distinctive sound, you have to attend mass. Master organist Armando Salarza and his students play up to seven masses on Sundays, and two on weekdays. Saint Joseph Church is worth a visit in itself, built from adobe or volcanic tuff in the 19th century.
From the Central Cordillera Mountain Range, the largest in the Philippines, six provinces and one chartered city make up the Cordillera Administrative Region—Apayao, Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, and Baguio City.
Here, a whole other culture, or shall we say a set of cultures, awaits. From Benguet’s Kankanaey to the Ifugao and Kalinga to the Isneg in Apayao, the ethnic groups here are distinct. Each town has its own language or dialect.
For some inspiration, go a little further and visit the Bencab Gallery and Museum. Built on the edge of a hill with an incredible view of a rainforest and garden, the museum is owned by the National Artist Ben Cabrera. Ethnographic masterpieces in the form of spoons, pipes and bowls are showcased along with paintings and sculpture.
For a deeper look into the Cordillera life without leaving the city, Tam-Awan Village is the spot to visit. Here you’ll find replicas of native cogon-thatched homes, and get a chance to meet local artists.
The creation myth of the Abraenos says that the first man – “Angalo the Giant” – first set foot in this province. His 15-meter footprint is permanently stamped in the town of San Quintin. And you can still see it, just ask where to find Tugot ni Angalo.
The entire province is dotted with caves and natural wonders, undiscovered by most. The Libtec Underground River is one of these, with its many stalagmites.
Created Region 1, 2 & 3
Created Region 4A & 4B
Created Region 5
Created Region 7 & 8
Created Region 9 & 10
Created Region 11, 12, 13, CAR & NCR
Vernice Santos Manuel
Tricia T. Prado
Honey Grace Sanchez
Ma. Angelina Lumanog
Honey Rose Lopez