Traveling to one of the richest tourism magnet destinations in Southeast Asia, the Philippines, may not be visible to some tourists who plan to travel inbound to the country as the pandemic situation continues to affect the locals.
The Philippines is one of the most visited Asian countries for travel and leisure among multinationals and returning migrants. However, the pandemic continues to increase the number of positive cases in the country and a few countries have red-flagged the Philippines currently.
As of August 2021, the Depart of Foreign Affairs or DFA has listed 10 countries where individuals of origin to these places are not allowed to enter the country premises. The following are India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand but the travel ban may have a few exemptions for repatriated Filipinos and lay-over passengers if they can present requirements.
In this article, you will get to understand why travelers see the Philippines as a tourism eye-candy. Discover the need to travel to this Asian country after the pandemic and experience these wonderful reasons first-hand!
Almost All-Year Summer Season
A tropical country like the Philippines is blessed with the warmth of sunshine all year round. The country has two types of seasons which are dry and wet. Although, the country is relatively warm all year round except when typhoons are approaching during the wet season from June to October.
Meanwhile, the dry season covers the months of November to May; and the summer season which usually ranges at an average of 25 degrees to 32 degrees Celsius is best enjoyed at the beach during March to May. In case you get to plot out your schedule make sure to cover the best island destinations such as Palawan, Cebu, Boracay, and Siargao during those months.
Friendly and Warm Filipinos
Filipinos are proud of their Philippine diversity of cultures and traditions in one heritage therefore any foreign travelers in the country will share the same experience of Filipinos extending their hands to make them involve and discover those things.
Technically, hospitality had been natural for most of the locals where travelers can easily see welcoming smiles and faces to almost any location in the country.
The best thing is communication will not be a problem as English is the second language of command of Filipinos so it will be easy to get or ask for help if you get lost from your detour in the Philippines.
Who would have thought that traveling can be affordable in one place? Traveling to the Philippines is generally affordable where you can tour during the day from one island to a couple with just a minimum cost of 20USD.
Well, commuting to local places in the Philippines is not just the sole consideration to your travel costs. Travelling will also involve your accommodation cost but hotels and other homestays are also cheap in the country where you can get a decent hotel at a minimum of 25USD. Moreover, a few hotels or listing sites do often offer some promotions and discounts during the travel season.
In terms of food, a decent meal in the Philippines usually involves protein, carbs, and some veggies which averagely cost you a minimum of 3USD for a set meal. And the same rates can be expected even for other meals like lunch and dinner.
Pristine Philippine Beaches and Islands
With over 7,000 islands in the Philippines, you can never expect any less pristine white-sand beaches and verdant virgin islands to explore and spend your time for a vacation. The country’s tourism had consistently ranked among other countries with the most beautiful destinations in several local and international magazines, blogs, and media parties.
Renowned island destinations such as Palawan’s El Nido and Coron, Boracay, and the surfing capital Siargao are a few of the most visited spots in the country.
Unique Natural Wonders in the Philippines
Given the fact that most of the scenic travel destinations in the Philippines are natural and God’s gift makes it wonderfully amazing to see and explore. It can be remembered that the UNESCO World Heritage site has listed the Puerto Princesa Underground River of Palawan among the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
Upon exploring through an underground river tour tourists can see the beautiful formations of stalactites and stalagmites inside the cave system.
Another famous natural spot in the country is the Chocolate Hills in Bohol which is best described from its appearance as similarly looking like a hill of chocolates which are formed from coral deposits through rain and soil erosion.
The enchanted river in Surigao is also among the most beautiful destinations in the southern part of the country where a cerulean and clear river with unexplored and unmeasured depths welcomes you to its mesmerizing beauty.
Colorful Philippine Festivals
Festivals in the Philippines are commonly celebrated along the streets that are either religious, cultural, and historical. The country’s population is majorly composed of Catholics so often festivals here are in honor of the religion.
A few are also celebrated for the bountiful harvest as the country is also a major agricultural industry. Some notable events in the past are also honored with the holding of festivals especially in specific localities where important events took place.
Even the festivals are very diverse from their purpose you will expect that a parade and flashes of colors will be present at any Filipino fiesta. Moreover, people will be cooking food and households will open their doors to welcome any guests.
Mouth-watering Filipino Cuisine
Ever tried the crisp and savory taste of Lechon? Heard of the popular known Adobo? Or would you like to taste the talked-about Halo-halo? These are some of the most famous Filipino food even outside the Philippines.
Indeed, Filipino cuisine is a fusion of other cultures, but Filipinos had successfully reinvented and made it to their flavor and liking in so many dishes. Globally, a few of these dishes had been recognized like adobo, sisig, dinuguan, and halo-halo.
If you are traveling to the country to seek after the cuisine, then a good place to start the tour is at Pampanga. It is considered as one of the culinary capitals in the country where you can try several notable dishes such as sisig, laing, and many other mouth-watering local dishes.
Most importantly, what makes Filipino cuisine different is the way food is celebrated and taken, thus; you must experience the famous boodle fight, or a group meal shared at one table for everyone.
Aside from these, you may also try something different such as exotic food locals love to brag about like balut or duck’s egg. You may also discover a few other exotic menus once you go island hopping or on tour.
Amazing Diving and Snorkeling Spots
The Philippines is blessed with how the sea envelopes its more than 7,000 islands which gives the whole country population a chance to bask under the sun, swim, and surf, and more than ever try diving and snorkeling.
There are plenty of diving spots in the country you can try and swim with beautiful marine biodiversity. Palawan is one of the most notable diving spots in the country with the rich diversity of sea creatures to swim with you at the same time.
Living sea corals, turtles, reef sharks, and manta rays are just a few of what you can expect to see under the sea in Palawan. The UNESCO World Heritage site of Tubbataha Reef will let you discover and experience life under the sea in the Philippines.
Another famous diving spot is in Malapascua, Cebu but if you are not fond of seeing sharks then you can just remain onboard. But the beautiful biodiversity of Cebu waters will let you think otherwise.
Outdoor Adventures for Thrill-seekers
If you are an adrenaline junkie, then you will love to get lost in the Philippines! The country has plenty of mountain ranges you can easily hardly trek. Bring your friends and test your adventure spirits because whether you are a beginner or a pro there will always be a trail for you.
One of the most sought-after peaks in the Philippines is probably Mount Apo or the country’s highest peak which can be reached from either Davao or General Santos City via plane. Mt. Apo is also home to a few endemic and rare living species in the Philippines such as rafflesia, Philippine eagle, and a few other flora and fauna which makes the trek more exciting aside from the fact that the trail can be difficult and overwhelming.
On the other hand, if you are a water person then the thrill of trekking is not for you then you can try to navigate your trip to Cagayan de Oro and try the white-water rafting with the pressure of rivers. Meanwhile, you may also check out Cebu’s water-rafting and canyoneering activity if you wish to explore Visayas firsthand.
Presence of Rare Wildlife
The country’s tropical weather and climate make it ideal for several different species to live at. This makes it a conducive spot for them to thrive and continue to populate. If you are planning to discover wildlife in the Philippines on your next travel, then maybe it is about to get to know a few rare faces in the country.
Add to your to-see list the nocturnal creature, Tarsier, which is native to Bohol province in the Visayas where they are taken care of inside a preservation site or an eco-park in the city. These creatures are considered the smallest primates in the world and can be seen with their distinct big eyes.
Whale sharks are also a few of the sea creatures you can get to know by swimming with them at Oslob in Cebu or Donsol in Bicol. Meanwhile in Malapascua, Cebu you can also get to see thresher sharks in the blue waters.
If you go flying to Davao, you may also visit the conservation site or the Philippine Eagle sanctuary to see one of the largest and rarest species of Eagles, the Philippine Eagle.
The Jeepney, Tricycle, and Skylab
You might have heard of the most popular public transport system in the Philippines known as Jeepneys. But have you ever tried one? Well then, as you get to travel in the country next time riding a jeepney will also let you discover how Filipinos interact with tourists and see the camaraderie even during the ride.
Jeepneys are very notable with the distinct outer body features and colorful designs and painted and inscribed with lots of words about the detour of their respective route. Everywhere you go in the Philippines, you will always find a jeepney to take you to your destination.
Meanwhile, in some local suburbs tricycle will be the one in charge of your trip. It is the country’s motorized rickshaw version that can be seen with a motorcycle attached to a sidecar. A bicycle version of this is locally known as a pedicab. Both are usually taken and seen in some short detours in the city.
If you get to travel in some of the remote areas in the Philippines, you will encounter one crazy mode of transport known as Skylab. It is an ordinary motorcycle that is modified to have extension for passengers at its both sides that are usually made of plank wood. Riding the skylab will have to be an act of balance for the driver. This mode of transport is typically present in the country’s southern areas.
Rich Historical Stories in the Philippines
The colorful history of the Philippines is one of the few interesting points you need to discover on your next trip. Being a country where different colonization took place, you can expect nothing less from the well-preserved historical sites and locations.
One of the most popular Spanish-era structures is known as the Walled City of Intramuros which was built in 1521. Intramuros had been the seat of power during the Spanish era. You can get to visit Intramuros in Manila or the country’s capital present-day.
You can also visit the oldest Chinatown in the world at Binondo, Manila, and feast on authentic Chinese cuisines.
Another way to explore the history of the country is to get on a tour to Corregidor Islands and find ruins of buildings and tunnels. You will also find some reflections of the tragic Bataan Death March during the American-Japanese war.
Well to take you away from the tragedy, a more welcoming and colorful tour can be planned to go to Vigan, Ilocos Sur where the popular streets of Calle Crisologo that is included in the New 7 Wonders Cities of the world will amaze through its well-preserved Spanish-era streets and houses made with cobblestones.
Fun Nightlife with Filipinos
The hospitality of Filipinos is indeed known to every visitor in the country, but what makes everyone in awe is the fact that almost all Filipinos can sing. Every night clubs or bars will have karaoke ready for anyone to sing. Somehow, a few bars have their own set of singers or entertainment for good music.
Not to mention these outlets can get you closer to the taste of local beers or hand-crafted beers in the Philippines. Some of these beers will be best partnered with the local ‘pulutuan’ or snacks that are very much commonly served such as chicharron, sisig, and more.
Affordable Property Investments
If you are traveling or plans to travel in the Philippines after the pandemic for business purposes. The least that you can do to enjoy and make the trip worthwhile is to check out the property investments in the country.
Foreigners or multinationals are allowed to own their properties in several conditions but if you are a keen property buyer then the opportunity to own a property in the country is high. Granted that you can own a condominium unit if you have a business in the country which you can suffice with documents.
Having to benefit from the current market conditions right now where promotions and discounts plus extended financing terms are offered is a good way before starting your itinerary in the country after the pandemic.
Generally, property prices in the Philippines are lower compared to any other Southeast Asia but the property appreciates faster, and income can be quite higher if you plan to make use of it for business such as leasing it out or flipping it.
Investing in your property in the country will be a good idea while the pandemic gives you more leniency on investing easily in the Philippine properties. If you are also a returning overseas Filipino worker or OFW, then you might see the opportunity right now to buy your real estate property in the country.
Detour a Post Pandemic Adventure in the Philippines
After the global pandemic, everyone is expected to recover in the Philippines. Thus, you can now plan out a good itinerary for your travel to the country. Sort out the essential things you need to pack and plot out the detour you cannot afford to miss out on.
Before those, you also need to secure your well-being by getting the primary health care safeguard such as the vaccine. More importantly, you must bring some pocket medicines along the way in case of any emergencies.
As your next trip is not yet in possibility, what you can do is stay healthy during this pandemic because the adventure will just start in the tropical islands of the Philippines.