Traveller Shilpa Mehta visits some of the Philippines’ 7000 islands. She begins her journey in the town of Baguio on the island of Luzon, where she visits the giant statue of Marcos and finds out what life was like in the Philippines during his rule. She also visits a faith healer renowned for his ability to perform surgery without the use of tools or incisions.
From here, Shilpa takes the bus and journeys south to Sagada through the beautiful Filipino countryside, where she visits the famous Hanging Coffins and the amazing rice terraces, often considered to be the eighth Wonder of the World. Next stop San Fernando, where every year on Good Friday incredible real-life crucifixions take place as a form of penance.
Shilpa travels south to Manila to witness one of the Philippines’ most popular sports, cockfighting. She meets a karaoke singing taxi driver and goes to one of the busy ballroom dancing nightclubs, as well as seeing evidence of the darker side of Manila – child prostitution.
A local outrigger boat takes Shilpa to the island of Boracay and its stunning beaches. She explores the old part of Boracay on horseback and goes diving around the corals off its exotic shores.
Shilpa’s next stop is the island of Negros, the sugarland of the Philippines, and the town of Bacolod. She travels on the vintage steam engines still used on this plantation, the largest inthe world, and visits the beautiful but controversial Saint Joseph’s Chapel.
From Negros Shilpa travels to Davao on the island of Mindanao, where she samples local delicacies such as roast pig, the Durian fruit that ‘tastes like heaven and smells like hell’ and a popular aphrodisiac – a duck embryo. She also visits the Sea Gypsies and the amazing Tiboli people that live on Lake Sebu, as well as attending a horsefight.
Next, Shilpa travels west to the island of Palawanand the city of Puerta Princesa, where she visits the open prison. North from here in El Nido, cavers risk their lives collecting swallow saliva, a key ingredient in the local delicacy, bird’s nest soup. Finally, Shilpa visits the last discovered tribe of the Philippines, the Tau’t Batu who live in the caves in the jungle near El Nido.
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