One of the most unique countries in Southeast Asia, the Philippines is also one of the most beautiful. Boasting some of the most spectacular scenery in the region, the Philippines is known for its unique culture and history. Due to a unique combination of Spanish, American and Chinese influences, the Philippines has few comparisons around the world, and is well-worth seeking out because of it.
One of Manila’s most recognisable landmarks, Fort Santiago is a major relic of the Spanish Conquistadors. Built under the instruction of Conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi at the end of the 16th Century, Fort Santiago functioned as a defensive fortification and a prison for many centuries, becoming known as a major battleground during a number of conflicts. In modern times, the building has since been converted into a museum-the Rizal Shrine, which houses well-preserved buildings from the Spanish Colonial Period.
San Agustin Church
Manila, and the Philippines in general, is well-known for its collection of Baroque churches, and San Agustin Church is the city’s crowning achievement in this regard. There has been a church on the grounds since the end of the 16th Century although the current building was completed at the beginning of the 18th Century. In addition to its religious significance, the church has played a major background role in a number of important episodes of the country’s history, most notably as a concentration camp during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines during the Second World War.
National Museum of the Philippines
The city’s most important and iconic museum, the National Museum of the Philippines has a number of different sections, including the National Museum of Fine Arts, which is known for its grandiose neoclassical building and extensive art collection. Perhaps the best known of the subsidiary museums is the National Museum of Anthropology, which houses a wealth of anthropological and archaeological relics from a range of episodes of Filipino history. Its most significant treasure is the wreck of the San Diego, a Spanish galleon wrecked in a conflict with the Dutch warship Mauritius in 1600.
One of the most popular islands in the Philippines amongst tourists, Boracay is the epitome of luxury. With its flawless beaches, tropical climate and sporting activities, Boracay is one of the most tranquil places in the world. For those seeking a more vibrant experience, it is also one of the Philippines’ nightlife hotspots. Currently, the island is closed to tourists while the Filipino government overcome infrastructural issues.
The most popular island in the Visayas island group , Panglao Island is a tropical paradise known for its wide range of activities including scuba diving and kite surfing. Its main beach Alona Bach is one of the most beautiful in the entire country .
Another major tourism hub in the Philippines, Mactan is highly popular mainly due to its marine life. It is one of the finest scuba diving and snorkelling hotspots in the country due.The island has a well-established high-end tourism industry .
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
A short distance from the Puerto Princesa city centre, this is one of the most spectacular sights in the country. The national park is known for its visually striking limestone rock formations and diverse range of wildlife, home to 165 distinct bird species.
One of the most idyllic places in the Palawan Province ,Coron Island is a major diving hotspot . It is also well-known for its large number of World War II-era Japanese shipwrecks.
In the city of Vigan lies one of the Philippines’ most unique and colourful neighbourhoods. A very well-preserved historic district, Mestizo illustrates a perfect synthesis of Spanish and Chinese architectural and cultural influences. To get a sense of the country’s unique history and culture, there are few places more authentic than the Mestizo District.
Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary
One of the most biodiverse regions in the entire country, the Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary is a short boat journey from the island of Mactan. Known for its landscape dominated by mangroves ,it is one of the birdwatching capitals of the country, Activities include snorkelling and kayaking.