Another article from Jeff the Migration Agent. Thanks again Jeff.
Here are the Philippines’ Top Ten based on chatting to holidaymakers I have spoken to over the last few years.
Here are just a few reasons why my clients so love the Philippines
Palawan is the Philippine’s last frontier, and as such, abundantly blessed by all imaginable attractions that any traveller could possibly wish for. Sights, scenes, lagoons and lakes that will take your breath away. It is stunning and beautiful and places on Earth to visit before you die. Not over selling it am I?
The place is ultra clean and yet jungle like. Puerto Princesa is the capital. White sand beaches are scattered everywhere, it will not possible to remember every beach you visit by boat and to see karst limestone formations that rise out of emerald-turquoise waters yet unspoiled by commercial fishing
Ensure you visit Tubbataha Natural Reefs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Try the recently proclaimed member of the New7Wonders of Nature, Puerto Princesa Underground River. Then visit the vanishing Batak tribe on north-eastern Palawan. The list of possibilities could go on. With Palawan comprising more than 1,700 islands.
Batanes is maybe the smaller province and has only come to national attention when brave adventurers started coming back from these islands of far north and shared tales of rapture and longing at the sight of Batanes’ pristine and rugged landscapes, idyllic rolling pastures, nature-compatible architecture, and a distinct culture suggesting Austronesian and Taiwanese ancestry. Rising out the blue Pacific Ocean and China Sea the unspoilt natural beauty is more than just skin-deep: The Ivatans, as the people of this province are called, are famed for their culture of honesty, a rare value reflected in unmanned “Honesty Cafe” where shoppers can just come in, serve themselves or pick up needed merchandise, and leave their payments in a drop box.
3. Davao City
Travel to the country’s south and Davao is the safest city in the Philippines with the city being a non-smoking city and clean. Davao City is situated on the beautiful, but sometimes troubled Island of Mindanao.
From Davao City you can see the Philippine’s highest peak, the almost-3,000-meters-above-sea-level Mt. Apo. It is also home to the rare Philippine Eagle, bred here in captivity.
4. Mountain Province
Northern Luzon has long been a long time tourism favourite. It was the site of the original Filipino pride, the rice terraces.
Bohol is the home of the Philippine’s chocolate hills, which are mounds of earth raising out of the plains. It would have been less mesmerizing if there are only a dozen of them, but these perfect creations of natural phenomena spread out for miles and miles that you cannot believe the hills were an accident of nature. Beyond the hills, Bohol is also fringed with the requisite white sand beaches that easily rival Boracay’s.
A big destination for tourists who like to have a night life and full amenities. Cebu has one of the most colourful religious festivities in the Philippines, being the first province that Magellan landed on when the Spanish arrived in 1521, an achievement of the Crown represented by Magellan’s Cross.
7. Vigan, Ilocos Sur
The Philippines where Spanish architecture remains intact and well-preserved on a citywide scale, it is in the city of Vigan in the province of Ilocos Sur. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vigan boasts of cobblestone streets that have been first laid down when the Spanish arrived in 16th century
8. Camarines Sur
Naga, its capital, is already famous as the home of the miraculous “Lady of Penafrancia.” Today, CamSur is better known for literally making waves in the surf- and wakeboarding arena. Caramoan Islands off the coast of CamSur came to media attention when “Survivor” chose it at its Philippine location.
9. Donsol, Sorsogon
This is the place to see whale sharks. Donsol, Sorsogon, once a fishing community, rose to tourism prominence when pods of whale sharks or “butanding” were “discovered” off its shores in 1998.
10. Negros Occidental
Popular to Filipinos as the home of authentic chicken “inasal” (grilled chicken), Bacolod, Negros Occidental’s capital, entices visitors with more than just a generous helping of juicy “pechopak” (chicken breast and wing) and garlic rice. Home to the majestic – and active! – Mt. Kanlaon, Negros Occidental delights travellers of all colours and stripes with jaw-dropping views of the volcano’s summit, breath-taking vistas of the Sulu Sea from Sipalay to the south, and well-preserved Spanish-era mansions in Silay to the north. It also doesn’t hurt to come during the wildly bacchanalian MassKara Festival in mid-October.
Jeff Harvie is an Australian Registered Migration Agent (MARN 0959797) who has given up the quiet life in Australia a few years back for one more adventurous with his Filipina wife and kids in Manila, Philippines. He runs Down Under Visa, which specialises in Australian partner visas for those Aussie men who fall madly in love with the local girls and want to bring them to Australia.