Few days ago I received a mention from @Danetism on twitter that read:
“Read one of your tweets yday that you’ll be back in the Philippines for a visit. I wonder what keeps you coming back.”
Danet was a doctor whom I get acquaintance with when I was planning to visit Bohol, Philippines. But our paths and timings did not match, thus I have never met her in person. But I knew from our few conversations that she has a great persona and we share the same passion that is travel. I figure my answer to her wonder should not be confined to 140 words. In fact, 10,000 words won’t do justice to how beautiful the Philippines are.
The Philippines are too spread out by its 7,107 islands that it requires more than just few visits. Plus, foreigners are only given 21 days visa to be in on the soil of the Philippines.
From the archipelago’s 7107 islands, there are 200 volcanic peak, 18 of which are active. Among these volcanoes are marshlands, highlands, tropical woodlands, rainforests, mud springs, waterfalls, networks of caves and even subterranean rivers. As a volcano climber, my wish list for volcanic peaks in the Philippines covers Mayon Volcano, Mt. Apo, Mt. Makiling, Taal Volcano and Mt. Pinatubo.
Although Manila is not as safe as Kuala Lumpur, the warm hearted people I met during my last visit (be it virtual or physical) is what makes me want to make a second visit to the Philippines.
ALL YEAR ROUND FESTIVALS
Festivals take place all-year-round, much to the influence of old Spanish friars. Some of the best known festivals are Kalibo’s Ati-Atihan festival in January, Maskarra Festival celebrated in the province of Negro Occidental every October and Moriones Festival in the island of Marinduque celebrated in frenzy colours during the month of March and April.
WHITE SAND BEACHES AND AWESOME SUNSETS
The Philippine archipelago is the home to atleast 488 species of coral and 1,000 different species from the smallest fish of sinarapan of Lake Buhi to the largest fish in the world, the whale shark. Having snorkelled at the island of Balicasag and Dohol Beach, I was awed by the stunning colours of corals beneath the choppy ocean waves. The experience brought me to a different level of the underwater life.
Adamant when I finally get a diving license (probably by 2013), I would visit one of the many islands in the Philippine and embrace the true essence of veteran Japanese diver Tokuji Ikeda’s words when he described the Philippine waters as Asia’s best kept secret.
Sunsets by the beach were just as spectacular as the beaches during scorching yet salty island-heat. A day by the beach would be ended by a romantic sunset imprinted in your mind forever and ever. Is not that something to look forward to?
WHERE TO NEXT?
Calamian island group, Northern Palawan
Maquinit Hot Springs
Calauit national Wildlife Sanctuary