Visiting the Philippines

Thank you for considering our the Philippines as your destination of choice!

Blessed with a wealth of natural resources, a rich history, and a unique culture - you will find that as a travel destination, the Philippines stands out from the rest of our South East Asian neighbors. With 7,641 islands, the Philippines offers varied options to the selective traveler. Whether you are looking for a sunny beach to chill out on, a non-stop shopping trip, or a cultural immersion unlike any other, the Philippines offers all these (and more!). That's why we say "it's more fun in the Philippines”.

Whether you are traveling to the Philippines for business or pleasure, there are a number of things to consider in preparation for your trip.

For your visa application, please refer to the visa guidelines available here.

For currency exchange, local banks and accredited money changers are available in city centers around the country. Please make sure to bring your passport for verification.

For more information, visit the website http://www.itsmorefuninthephilippines.com.tw/



Top Philippine Destinations

1. Banaue Rice Terraces

Because of its high altitude, Banaue is often described as "where land merges with the clouds to meet the heavens" with the rice terraces as "the stairway to the sky."

Banaue is a place for nature adventures and cultural immersion. Days are for indulging in such activities as strolling, biking, and trekking. Evenings are for campfire chats at a village or warm indoor cosseting at the lodges and inns.

2. Chocolate Hills

Chocolate Hills is a series of 1,268 perfectly symmetrical, haycock-shaped hills that rise some 30 meters above the ground. A National Geologic Monument, these unique, rock formations were cast after million years of evolution.

Spread out in the towns of Carmen, Batuan and Sagbayan, the hills are so-called because they resemble chocolate bonbons when their grass cover turns to brown at the onset of summer. Two of the hills have been developed and provided with facilities, including a viewdeck, a youth hostel and a restaurant.

Other hills with a commanding view of the surrounding islands include Banat-I and Elly in the capital city of Tagbilaran, Himontagon in the town of Loay, Sampoangan in Calape and Ilihan in Jagna.

3. Boracay

The code in Boracay is strictly informal.

There is an undeniable easy atmosphere in Boracay where walking barefoot than shod is the rule rather than the exception. White Beach is so, soooo fine, it feels like treading on miles of baby powder! No wonder, even swinging discos have the beach for a floor, giving dance a new twist.

There are no hang-ups either in this island. At daytime, tourists having a soothing massage under the shade of a coconut tree beside the shoreline is a common sight. And from dusk to dawn, Boracay turns into one big party place where everyone is welcome to join in…But first, let's toast that sunset cocktail!

4. Secret Beach

Unique to Palawan is its mega-diversity.

For a long time, Palawan's bountiful resources, abundant wildlife and extraordinary natural beauty are known only to the many ethnic communities that thrive in these islands and a few other daring settlers who wanted to live in unpolluted surroundings.

The island-province first attracted foreign attention in the 1970's when it became a United Nations Vietnamese Refugee Center. At this time, a disturbance in Kenya also saw the transport of endangered animals from its savannas to the plains of Calauit Island.

5. Vigan

Vigan, with its centuries-old edifices, is a breathing reminder of what was once a royal city.

One of the earliest Spanish settlements in the country, Vigan was founded in 1572 by Juan de Salcedo who patterned its design to that of Intramuros (Old Manila). It became the seat of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia and was called Ciudad Fernandina in honor of King Ferdinand.

Today, Vigan retains much of the patina of 18th century Castillan architecture as seen in some 150 stone houses which stand in the town's Mestizo District, notably Mena Crisologo Street. Many of these ancestral homes are still in good condition and some have been turned into cozy inns, museums, and souvenir shops.

Travel Tips
  • Dress for the weather – hot! Light clothing is ideal year-round, and absolutely during the hot and dry months from March to May. Temperatures average from 78°F/25°C to 90°F/32°C. Mean humidity is at 77%.
  • Never leave home without your rain gear, umbrella, and heavy clothing during the rainy months from June to October as well as when setting out to the mountainous areas.
  • When shopping in a public market, it is perfectly acceptable to haggle for the cheapest price.
  • English is the most widely spoken next to Filipino/Tagalog, the national language. Learning the basic local phrases may come in handy. Over 111 local dialects are spoken in the country.
  • Comfortable yet sturdy footwear are best, as travelling the islands will often involve some walking.
  • When headed to the remote areas, come prepared with an insect repellant and even your own water in handy containers. Always have the island map with you.
  • Prepare to hop in a jeepney, tricycle, or pedicab – exotic modes of land transport that are the most commonly available for going around. Always bring loose change when taking public transport.
  • Know the transport schedules. Some destinations are only being serviced intermittently, not to mention extreme weather conditions that will affect these schedules.
  • Air-conditioned taxis should cost PhP40 on the meter. An extra PhP2 will be added for every 500 meters.
  • Casual clothing is acceptable inside churches and business offices. Dining establishments and hotels impose no dress code but shorts and slippers are deemed improper.
  • For formal occasions, the traditional Barong Tagalog, the Philippine national costume for men, is just as suitable as the suit-and-tie.
  • When travelling by car, be mindful of the number coding ordinance for vehicles that is being implemented strictly in selected cities.
  • Do not miss visiting during the summer, when there is a concentration of major festivals, celebrations, and events.
  • Adopt to local customs; accept local differences. The Filipinos are divided culturally into regions a total of 16, at present, each with its own distinct traits and traditions.
  • The Philippine monetary unit, the peso, is generally preferred for financial transactions. Money-changing shops are available in key cities and towns.
  • Tipping is expected for many services. The standard amount is 10% of the total bill. Tipping is optional on bills that include a service charge, which is often 10% as well of the total bill.
  • Be sure to sample the endless variety of native delicacies and local cuisine, which differ in every region. The Philippines is made up of 7,107 different flavors that you will want to take home with you.
Top Philippine Beaches

With 7,107 islands, and a coastline twice the length of that of the United States, the Philippines can claim to be Asia's Beach Capital. Enjoy the warm crystal blue waters of both the China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Mention the Philippines and images of long, white sand beaches and bodies of water blessed with a variety of marine life come to mind.

1. Boracay, Aklan

Boracay Island, with its sugary white sand beaches and azure blue waters, is located on the northwestern tip of Panay, Western Visayas. The best of the island is the 4 km. White Beach, touted as the “finest beach in the world.” The water surrounding the island is shallow and the sand is finer and brighter than most beaches in the archipelago.

2. Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

In the Northern part of the Philippines is a beach reputed to have the longest contiguous white sand with mighty waves and strong winds that can compare to Hawaii. Wind and wave surfing are the outstanding activities that Pagudpud beach offers its very discriminating clientele. Not to mention the inviting views, clear blue waters, and white sand. Pagudpud promises its visitors a magnificent experience in a secluded paradise.

3. Mactan Island, Cebu

Lying in the heart of Cebu is the island of Mactan. This tropical-island getaway endowed with a variety of colors – from its beach, hotels, resorts, nightlife, music, food, drinks – will guarantee to spice up every tourist.

4. Panglao, Bohol

Panglao is a perfect for a great dive and beach holiday. It is a small island on the Philippines southwest of the bigger island, Bohol. On the southern beach of Panglao there are several resorts that line up on the beach.

5. Camiguin

Camiguin, which rhymes with “come again,” has been regarded as the most beautiful island in the country. As such, it is also referred to as the Philippines’ “Garden of Eden.” The presence of a number of majestic waterfalls that create both hot and cold springs is only one of the many attractions of this island-paradise. The topography is unmistakably tropical but the ambience is uniquely occidental. A study in contrast, Camiguin is sure to mesmerize anyone who visits with the itch to be back again soon.

6. Honda Bay, Palawan

Framing the rugged and intriguing coastline of the capital of Palawan, Puerto Princesa City is Honda Bay. Its blue cool waters are dotted with islets that assure one of a pure-pleasure experience. From snorkeling in its clear waters to the more adventurous island hopping within its enclaves to simply having a picnic in the fine sand of its beach areas, Honda Bay is sure to leave a lasting impression on the visitor.

7. El Nido, Palawan

Dominated by towering marble cliffs that are homes to a number of tropical birds, El Nido is the source of one of the most delectable soups specially found in Chinese restaurants – the Nido Soup. This soup consists mainly of the birdnests that abound in the area. But El Nido is more than this. It prides itself in having the most beautiful seascapes in the province of Palawan, known as the country’s last frontier. Because of its utter splendor, it has also been called the island of the gods – heaven on earth, that is El Nido.

8. Pearl Farm, Davao

Pearl Farm is located in the Samal Island off the coast of Davao City, Southern Philippines. The premier beach resort, which lies in the pristine island of Samal, used to be a pearl farm. There thousands of white-lipped oysters, transported form the Sulu Sea, were once cultivated for their pink, white, and gold pearls. Today, beach lovers all over the world visit this world-class beach resort for its white sand and panoramic landscape and seascape, bringing with them the memory of a lifetime – a relaxing private retreat in a tropical paradise.

9. Siargao

Siargao, located in the province of Surigao del Norte, is renowned for its curling waves that soar from nine to twelve feet high. It is frequented by surfers from all over the world. Besides surfing, the island of Siargao is well-known for its unspoiled beaches and its rural charm.

Top Dive Destinations

With the richness of the Philippine waters for its fine and world-reknown beaches - we are also known for diversity of our marine life. That is why diving and snorkeling are one of the most popular activities.

1. Puerto, Galera

The foremost asset of Oriental Mindoro, Puerto Galera is blessed with one of the world’s most beautiful natural harbors. Known as the Pearl of Mindoro, it is world-famous for splendid beaches, coral reefs, and exquisite dive sites for new and experienced divers alike. There are shallow coral gardens, interesting rock formations, and colorful species to watch, like crabs, shrimps, sea anemones, moray, and trumpet fishes.

2. Anilao, Batangas

Located in the province of Batangas, it is not only ideal for poking around and observing marine life but also outstanding for macro photography. Multi-hued crinoids are prolific. The variety of nudibranchs is unmatched. Night dives are especially nice and often reveal unusual creatures like sea hares, sea goblins, catfish eels, ghost pipe fishes, blue-ringed octopuses, mandarin fishes, and snake eels. The area’s best known dive site, Cathedral, is two large mounds with a cross in between at 50’. It is a well established fish feeding station. Covered with corals, the site is spectacular at night. Sombrero has a shallow wall of about 60’ with some good coral growth; offshore but nearby are Beatrice Rock and Bajura. Schools of triggerfishes and sometimes jacks and surgeons swim by, and they appear to have the market on anthias. One of the prettiest dives in the area, Sepok has nice coral gardens and a vertical wall. Devil’s Point Twin Rocks, Coral Gardens, and Mainit are shallow dives with a wide array of invertebrates, especially nudibranchs. Bonete, Arthur’s, and Koala offer good dives for novices, with most to see above 50’. There is a good selection of hard and soft corals, anemones, and clownfishes, and goblinfishes at Arthur’s.

3. Cabilao Island, Bohol

The main reason most visitors come to Cabilao is diving on some of the wonderful reefs that surround the island. On the island are three resorts, that mainly cater to divers, who seek out the undisturbed reefs, the peaceful atmospheer, and especially to see Cabilao's famous shoals of hammerhead sharks.

4. Panglao, Bohol

Panglao is a perfect for a great dive and beach holiday. It is a small island on the Philippines southwest of the bigger island, Bohol. On the southern beach of Panglao there are several resorts that line up on the beach.

5. Balicasag Island, Bohol

Around Balicasag Island, you'll find some of the best diving locations in the Philippines. Just in front of the resort, on the south side of the island is also some 400 meters of successfully protected marine sanctuary.

6. Apo Island, Negros Oriental

Apo Island is one of the smallest volcanic islands in the Philippines. It is one of the world’s best known marine sanctuaries. It began in the year 1982 with the initiative of Silliman University Marine and Biology Department. It became a protected reserve by the National Integrated Protected Area Act under the jurisdiction of the Protected Area Management Board. Diving in Apo Island is perhaps the best marine adventure in the Visayas Region. Beneath the clear sparkling blue waters of the island lies a breathtaking collection of over 600 documented fish species and 400 varieties of corals.

7. Malapascua Island, Cebu

As a diving destination, Malapascua was "discovered" fairly recently, only in the early 90s. The island was first known for its wide white sand beach, known as Bounty Beach; it has also become known for its beautiful coral gardens and excellent dive spots nearby, including Monad Shoal, an underwater plateau where thresher sharks and manta rays can be sighted on a regular basis. To date, this is the only place in the world where divers can reliably sight thresher sharks.

8. Tubbataha Reef National Park, Palawan

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is home to some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world. Rising from the volcanic depths of the Sulu Sea in the western Philippines, these magnificent atolls encompass an astonishing diversity of marine life. The park is an underwater sanctuary where nature thrives. Tubbataha is the Philippines' only marine natural park and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a place of global importance being preserved for future generations of humankind. Tubbataha supports an unparalleled variety of marine creatures. Colorful reef fish crowd corals growing in the shallows while sharks and pelagics haunt the steep drop offs to the open sea. A team of rangers are stationed on the reef year-round and, from March until June, divers visit Tubbataha to experience the wonders of this unique underwater world.

9. Sarangani Bay

A sense of discovery overwhelms one when approaching the eastern municipalities of Alabel, Malapatan and Glan, which face the tranquil waters of Sarangani Bay. These towns have beaches wonderfully preserved by protective coves, and shipwreck diving sites dating back to Spanish times. The bay is more popularly known to be the home of the Sarangani Bay bangus (milkfish). Turn over another stone and one will find that the bay is also home to simple village folk who have lived their lives carving and painting their dreams in the boats they build.

Top Golf Destinations

Tee off and experience the beautiful settings of the Philippines’ unique golfing enclaves, from lush valleys to mountaintops, seaside resorts, or just within the cityscapes. The courses have been designed by golf's premier architects, radiating the strategic brilliance of such greats as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, and Robert Trent Jones, Jr., among others. Play at venues that have been proud sites of some of the most prestigious international and local tournaments, like the Johnnie Walker Classic, the World Amateur Golf Championships, the World Cup, The Asian PGA, and the Philippine Open. Partially excerpted from www.dotpcvc.gov.ph.

1. Baguio, Country Club, Baguio City, Benguet

Tel. No. (074) 442-5060/5069
It is one of the oldest and finest courses in the country. Even at par 61, this does not indicate an easy round due to its restrictive layout of tight fairways and rolling hills.

2. Camp John Hay, Baguio City, Benguet

Tel. No. (074) 442-2101/2102
Smell the pines as you walk through the fairways of this par 69 all-weather course. Laid out about 5,000 ft. above the sea level, it was recently redesigned by the Nicklaus Group.

3. Canlubang Golf and Country Club, Laguna

Tel. No. (049) 549-1362/1363
This 36-hole complex is the largest in the Philippines, masterfully designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. The North course is a championship layout with a rating of 72.4 while the South course also features ravines, a bit of sand traps, and other challenges.

4. Club Intramuros, Manila

Tel. No. (02) 527-2887/6612
Try a superb round of night golf amidst the historic walled city of Manila. It is simply a par 66 course but it can be a real test of your short game, with water or out-of-bounds or both, in nearly every hole.

5. Puerto Azul, Ternate, Cavite

Tel. No. (02) 525-9248 loc.7643
Puerto Azul is a par 72 course that is one of the most scenic in the country, proud of its very famous combination of mountain and sea. Its signature hole is number 17, a par 3 hole delineated by one of the deepest water hazards in the Philippine Golf – the China Sea.

6. Tagaytay Highlands, Tagaytay City, Cavite

Tel. No. (046) 413-0888
The Tagaytay Highlands is a par 71 championship course that will surely put a golfer's power and accuracy to the test. The difference in elevation between the last and first holes of each nine is so dramatic that a cable car system is in place to ferry golfers from the 9th and 18th holes to the 1st and 10th tees.

7. Royal Northwoods Golf Club, San Rafael, Bulacan

Tel. No. (632) 4431656, (6344) 7660278
The Royal Northwoods Golf Club, named as a "Jewel of the North" is a Graham Marsh, first class 18-hole championship masterpiece, showcasing innovation, distinct form and personality. Challenging but fair, the Royal Northwoods' architecture entails a balance of aesthetics and function.

8. The Evercrest, Nasugbu, Batangas

Tel. No. (02) 712-9293
The Evercrest is an Arnold Palmer designed course which has tight fairways blanketed with Tifton grass and guarded by steep hills and deep ravines to give golfers the thrill of playing a par 72 championships course.

Top Wildlife Destinations
Rare and Exotic Fauna

The game preserve and wildlife sanctuary on Calauit Island is straight out of Africa. To add to an array of endangered endemic Philippine animals are 108 African animals transported here. It is also home to the man-eating Philippine crocodile and the endangered “dugong”, or sea cow. Bohol is home to the Tarsier, midget monkey of the Philippines and the smallest monkey in the world. Situated near the foot of the Mayon Volcano, Albay Park and Wildlife boasts of of 347 animals belonging to 75 species. Crocodile Park in Ma-a is the habitat of crocodiles as well as various breeds of birds, from the Philippine sea eagle to kakatoe and Indonesian parrots.

  • Calauit Island (Palawan)
  • Tarsier Site (Bohol)
  • Albay Park & Wildlife (Bicol)
  • Crocodile Park (Davao)
Marine Life

The Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park teems with 300 coral species, 46 coral genera, 7 seagrass species, 71 algae species; large marine life, dolphins, marine turtles; and seabirds. It was honored by UNESCO as the First Natural Site in the Philippines to be inscribed in the prestigious World Heritage List. The Turtle Islands are South East Asia's only remaining major green turtle rookery and a vital nesting ground for the hawksbill turtle. Pamilacan Island in Baclayon is considered a critical marine mammal habitat in the Philippines. Palawan is home to the "dugong" or sea cow, the only herbivorous mammal today, while Donsol, Sorsogon is home to huge, gentle whale sharks which the locals call the "butanding".

  • Tubbataha Reef National Park (Palawan)
  • Pamilacan Island (Bohol)
  • Whale Shark Site (Sorsogon)
  • Seacow Site (Palawan)
  • Turtle Islands (Palawan)
Avian

Olango Island, "The Bird Island of Central Philippines," is a critical stopover of up to 50,000 migrating water birds flying the East Asian migratory flyway yearly. Pacem Eco-Park along Sumulong Highway, Assumption is a haven of over 80 of the country’s 1,600 species of butterflies and a number of native and foreign birds such as mynahs, owls, eagles, and parrots. The Philippine Eagle Research and Nature Center is home to the world’s largest eagle, the Philippine Eagle (once known as the monkey-eating eagle), the country’s national bird. The Center for the Philippine Raptors in Los Baños is a rescue and rehabilitation center for diurnal and nocturnal raptorial birds, and a captive breeding facility for Philippine birds of prey, especially the highly endangered Philippine Eagle.

  • Olongo Island (Cebu)
  • Philippine Eagle and Nature Research Center (Davao)
  • Center for Philippine Raptors (Laguna)
  • Pacem Eco-Park (Antipolo)
  • Albay Park & Wildlife (Bicol)
Flora

Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Nature Center in Quezon Avenue boasts of about 38 species of trees and shrubs, representing 2,443 trees commonly found in Philippine forests. More than just a haven for butterflies, Pacem Eco-Park houses various lumber trees, fruit trees, orchids, and flowering plants.



  • Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Nature Center (Quezon City)
  • Pacem Eco-Park (Antipolo)
Top Gaming and Entertainment Destinations

We, Pinoys, are gambling aficionados, no doubt. To prove jus that — every street corner, funeral or barrio fiesta almost always has a cockfighting event and/or card game. And we do have several casinos and betting establishments, even very expansive ones.

1. Resorts World Manila

Close to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), this gigantic resort and casino boasts of 3 hotels with more than 1,500 rooms, a 30,000 sqm shopping mall, and an equally large casino. It’s the first resort and casino establishment in the country with the largest gaming space.

2. The Belle Grande Manila Bay aka City of Dreams Manila

This casino features 6 hotels – 2 L-shaped hotel towers and 4 condotels – with about 1,000 rooms, 350 gaming tables, and 1,900 slot machines. It also has a luxury theater, shopping mall and restaurants. It had a budget of $680 million during its construction phase.

3. Solaire Resort and Casino

Its press release stated Solaire being a $1 billion casino resort with 500 hotel rooms, 1,200 slot machines and 295 gaming tables, as well as 8 restaurants, spa and night club, and a 1,800-seat theater. It’s a candidate for being one of the largest casinos in the world.

4. San Lazaro Leisure Park & Racino

This is Asia’s first racino facility, with a 77-hectar expanse managed by Manila Jockey Club Inc. Its casino lies at the fourth floor under the supervision of Casino Filipino, offering a good view of the racetrack below.

5. Midas Hotel and Casino

This hotel and casino establishment is located right across Manila Bay. Its hotel has total accommodation space composed of deluxe rooms (3rd to 7th floor) and executive rooms (8th to 10th floor); 220 hotel rooms in all. The Midas Casino operates 24 hours a day, showcasing world-class gaming equipment including 310 gaming machines and 54 table games.

6. Networld Hotel Spa and Casino

Networld follows the Japanese standards of hospitality and entertainment. It has 224 gaming machines and table games, a hotel with 89 rooms, as well as spa and restaurants. The casino occupies two floors of gaming and fun – at the basement and at the 2nd floor of the establishment.

7. Wild Orchid Resort & Poker Room

Wild Orchid is a luxury resort in Angeles City equipped with a poker room where gamers can enjoy all sorts of card games, as well as slots, roulette, mini-baccarat, keno and a lot more. The resort also offers a maritime theme restaurant, cocktail lounge, and a host of outdoor adventures.

8. Thunderbird Resorts Rizal

Its casino facility features roulette, slot machines, table games, and raffles. Its hotel offers deluxe rooms at P7,000 a night and suites at P12,000 a night. Thunderbird Resorts Rizal in Binangonan has a restaurant and 2 bars. It has a sister resort, Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point in La Union.

9. Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino

Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino offers a host of 561 rooms and suites, gym, concert halls and restaurants. Its gaming facility is run by Casino Filipino located at the second level featuring 24-hour gaming entertainment of baccarat, black jack, super 6, pontoon, paigow, stud poker, roulette, craps, etc.

Top Beauty and Wellness Destinations

World class spas, wellness retreats and detox retreats, housed in luxury resort settings in Palawan, Boracay and Cebu and the capital city of Manila itself have elevated Philippines to one of the top choices when it comes to taking a wellness vacation in Asia.

Comprising of 10,000 islands, the resorts in Philippines offer complete privacy, with many resorts being the solo property in the island . Abundant in natural beauty and local wellness wisdom, the country is endowed with healing and restorative properties. We have researched the most authentic and luxurious spa and wellness experiences and compiled them in the list of top Beauty and Wellness Resorts in Philippines.

1. Amanpulo Resort

The name Amanpulo came from Sanskrit and Tagalog. Aman means peace and pulo means island. True to its name, Amanpulo is an island of peace, relaxation and wellness.

A large spa is set on a hillside above treetops with far-reaching views to the turquoise waters. One of many soothing therapies available in the spa, the Hilot massage is derived from the traditional healing arts of the Philippines. It makes use of local products such as banana leaves and cold pressed coconut oil.

Pamalican Isaland, Philippines
Tel: (63) 2 976 5200
Fax: (63) 2 976 5204
Email: amanpulo@amanresorts.com
Website: https://www.aman.com/resorts/amanpulo/
2. The Farm at San Benito

Regarded as one of the best medical resorts in the world, The Farm at San Benito is an eco friendly, world class medical spa destination.

General wellness treatments like organic weight loss, beauty and longevity and environmental detox are provided. Specialised services like Diabetes Prevention & Management, Heart Health & Stress Reduction, and Integrative Cancer Care are also offered. All the treatments are offered under the guidance of licensed medical specialists.

119 Barangay Tipakan, 4217 Lipa City, Batangas, Philippines
Opening hours: Fri after 3 PM, Every day 6-9 AM
Tel: +632 884 8074
Phone: +63 918 884 8078
Fax: +632 889 1150
Website: http://www.thefarmatsanbenito.com/
3. Nurture Wellness Village

Received the Certificate of Excellence 2014 from Trip Advisor, Nurture Spa combines the restorative and healing powers of local and foreign massage therapies.

Nurture Spa Village was one of the first one to offer distinctly Filipino spa treatments. Some unique and popular ones being “Nilaib” massage, a Filipino version of hot stone massage, “Magsing-irog Massage” and “Abel”.

Nurture Spa Village was one of the first one to offer distinctly Filipino spa treatments. Some unique and popular ones being “Nilaib” massage, a Filipino version of hot stone massage, “Magsing-irog Massage” and “Abel”.

Pulong Sagingan, Barangay Maitim II, West Cavite, Tagaytay, Luzon 4120, Philippines
Tel: +632 710 9786 | +632 401 9030 | +6346 512 6273
Mobile: +63917 687 8873 | +63918 8888 772 | +63922 8988 654 | +63920 950 5724
Email: info@nurture.com.ph
Website: www.nurturewellnessvillage.com
4. Mandala Spa & Resort

The idyllic hilltop tropical sanctuary is surrounded by an untouched natural landscape. It is designed carefully to sustain ecological balance of Boracay.

Pampering and wellness come together in ancient Asian traditions with modern western techniques. Including the finest freshly-prepared natural ingredients in the treatments is one of Mandala Spa’s statement techniques. Few of the award winning treatments are Hilot Trilogy, Shodhana Karma and Watsu.

Station 3, Barangay Manoc-Manoc, Boracay Island, Malay Aklan, Philippines 5608
Opening hours: daily from 10am to 10pm
Tel:(+63 36) 288 5858 (+63 36) 288 5857
Mobile:(+63 917) 634 8430
Email: reservations@mandalaspa.com
Website: http://www.mandalaspa.com/
5. Sonya's Garden

At Sonya’s Garden Spa, clients have the option to experience the healing power of touch in the open, surrounded by the greens and flowers. The masseuse’s oil drenched fingers run along the spine then curves around the shoulder blades to melt the tension, disappointments and cold. At the end of the treatment, warm tea is served and a soft blanket is placed over guests to warm them as they sleep.


Barangay Buck Estate, Alfonso, Cavite, Philippines (near the vicinity of Tagaytay City, Philippines
Tel: Ma. Sybelene Penano +63-9175231080
Email: info@sonyasgarden.com
Website: http://www.sonyasgarden.com/
Top Things To Do

The Philippines, being an archipelago, offers countless of destinations to see, adventures to experience and activities to do. The country is blessed with a rich environment— lush forests, tropical islands, white sand beaches, lakes, rivers, mountains— and friendly, artistic and hardworking people who are always happy to welcome visitors and friends. When you come for a visit, be sure to stay for a long time so that you can enjoy the different exciting experiences that the country has in store for you. Here is a list of ten things to do in the Philippines to help you plan and maximize your stay.

Do all ten for a unique and complete travel experience— a guaranteed unforgettable vacation.

1. SEE some sites

There are a lot to see in the Philippines. The country is blessed with a beautiful environment and skilful people whose talented hands created some of the most magnificent man-made structures in the world.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Banaue Rice Terraces; The well-preserved Spanish-style architecture in the historic town of Vigan, Ilocos Sur; The Baroque-style Philippine World Heritage site churches: the San Agustin Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte, the Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion Church in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur, San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila, and the Santo Tomas de Villanueva Church in Miag-ao, Iloilo.

The smallest active volcano in the world Taal Volcano in Batangas; the volcano with the most perfect cone, Mt. Mayon in Legazpi, Albay; the unique land formation that is the Chocolate Hills in Bohol. Marvel at the endemic Philippine fauna: Tamaraw, Tarsier, Phillipine Eagle.

2. GO on a beach holiday

The Philippines is a tropical country with one of the longest coastlines in Asia at 36,289 kilometres. It has numerous beaches most with fine powdery white sand and clean, clear and cool blue waters.

Be sure to bask in the warm tropical sun and get the perfect tan that will be the envy of your friends back home. Top Philippine beach locations: Boracay Island, Aklan; El Nido, Palawan; Camiguin Island; Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte; Puerto Galera, Mindoro; Nasugbu and Lian in Batangas; Ternate in Cavite.

3. DIVE

The Philippines is Asia’s Dive Capital. If you are a diving enthusiast— amateur or professional, or someone who is looking for an underwater experience of a lifetime, then you must go to the Philippines if only for the reason that the country has the highest density of coral species in the world. Philippine seas are some of the most bio-diverse and marine-rich waters in the world and home to a diverse species of aquatic resources. Amateur divers can train and get their licenses at any of the diving training centers located in diving spots Anilao, Puerto Galera and Boracay, and once done with training, they can dive side-by-side with professional divers in the country’s other must-see diving spots: the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tubbataha Reef and the location of some of the best wreck diving sites in the world, Coron both in Palawan; Verde Island in Mindoro Oriental; Apo Reef National Park in Mindoro Occidental, the largest atoll-like reef in the Philippines which includes 285 species of fish and 197 species of corals (featured in the SHEDD Aquarium permanent Philippine reef display in Chicago, Illinois, USA) ; the Apo Island Marine Reserve & Fish Sanctuary in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental; Balicasag and Pamilacan Islands in Bohol; and Malapascua and Moalboal/Pescador Islands in Cebu.

4. ENGAGE in your favorite outdoor activity or sports

The Philippines offers a wide variety of sports adventures. Different locations cater to a specific activities: play a few rounds of golf in the different golf courses around the country designed by some of the most famous golf celebrities in the world; Snorkel and interact with the “gentle giants”— the whale sharks— in Donsol, Sorsogon; Surf in Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte, Baler, Aurora, Daet, Camarines Sur and in Catanduanes province; climb the country’s highest peak at 9,689 feet- Mt. Apo- in Davao City, Davao, trek Mt. Pinatubo or explore the Callao caves in Tuguegarao, Cagayan province; go white river rafting in Chico River or in Cagayan de Oro River; go kayaking and canoeing at the Bacuit Archipelago and at the St. Paul Subterranean Cave both in Palawan; windsurf in Lake Caliraya or in Taal Lake, kitesurf in Boracay, wakeboard in Pili, Camarines Sur.

5. RELAX in a spa

There is nothing more relaxing than enjoying the traditional Filipino "healing" massage or touch therapy called Hilot. The soothing touch of this massage relaxes and heals tired muscles and aching joints. Try this and other spa treatments at the Nurture Spa in Tagaytay, Mandala Spa in Boracay, Sanctuario Spa in Manila, Chi Spa Village in Shangri-La Mactan, Cebu, and at The Farm at San Benito in Batangas.

6. FEAST

Be ready to put on a few extra pounds as you satisfy your cravings by indulging in a Filipino feast. Dishes to try: Lechon, spit-roast whole pig served with liver sauce; Adobo, pork, chicken or a combination of both, marinated in vinegar, soy sauce and garlic and stewed until tender; Kare-kare, meat and vegetables cooked with peanut sauce served with shrimp paste; Sinigang, pork, or seafood in tamarind soup; or the freshest seafoods— fish, squid, shrimp, lobsters— grilled to perfection. The more adventurous should try Balut or boiled duck eggs containing a partially formed embryo, and Dinuguan, the pork blood stew eaten with steamed rice or Puto, rice cakes. All around the country, there are restaurants offering different cuisines from American to Chinese, from Indian to Greek, from Japanese to French.

7. SHOP

Shopping in the Philippines is an experience both in bargain and variety. Most shopping places or Malls in Manila, Makati, Cebu and Davao virtually have everything that you will need— from designer western brands to items specifically designed for the tourist market. Around the country, specifically in city centers, Tiangges or the Filipino version of flea markets abound offering quality items at bargain prices. In Manila shop at the third largest mall in the world Mall of Asia, Robinson Place, Balikbayan Handicrafts, Tutuban Center Mall and at the San Andres Market (for fresh fruits and other produce). In Makati and its surrounding areas, shop at Greenbelt, Glorietta, Landmark Department Store, Greenhills Shopping Center, Megamall, Shangri-La Mall and at Tiendecitas. In Cebu, check out the Ayala Center, the Gaisano Malls, Robinson’s Place, SM City, and for native delicacies, fresh produce and fresh and dried seafood, go to the Carbon and Tabo-an Markets. In Davao, shop at Aldevinco Shopping Center (for fabrics, batik, carvings) Victoria Plaza, Gaisano Mall and at the New City Commercial Center department store.

An experience not to be missed in flea market-shopping in the Philippines is the ”bargaining” where shoppers can buy items with big discount, depending on charm and good bargaining skills.

8. EXPERIENCE Filipino culture

Philippine culture is best experienced in events and activities that highlight what Filipinos are passionate about— faith, love for country, family, beautiful women, and celebrations. Filipinos love to celebrate, and there is no better way of celebrating than by having festivals: Ati-atihan in Kalibo, Aklan, January, the best and biggest in the country, it commemorates the feast of the Sto Nino with a week-long street party. Groups of dancers dressed as the aboriginal Atis, representing different communities from the city participate in the festive weeklong street party that highlights during the feast of the patron saint; Pahiyas in Lucban, Quezon. May 15, the annual harvest festival and feast of San Isidro Labrador. Witness the colourful display of kiping and other thanksgiving offerings hung in the houses that line the street where the procession of the image of the patron saint will pass. Giant papier-mache effigies join the parade to add to the spectacle of a celebration; Masskara Festival in Bacolod City, October, coinciding with the city’s charter day celebration, the festival features carnivals, fairs and a mardi gras-style parade by costumed and masked street dancers. There are as many festivals as there are towns in the Philippines and when you attend and enjoy a Filipino celebration, you come closer to understanding the culture of the people.

Other unique Philippine cultural events and activities include the cultural spectacle Santacruzan—a Maytime procession of beautiful Philippine maidens staged as a re-enactment of St. Helen’s quest for the Holy Cross; the awesome display of Filipino religiosity in the frenzied Black Nazarene procession during the Quiapo fiesta every January in Manila; the Holy Week rituals in San Fernando, Pampanga— proof of the Filipino’s and Philippine culture’s deep Catholic roots; and the displays (giant Christmas lanterns), rituals (dawn masses) and traditions (noche buena feasts) that mark the Filipinos’ celebration of Christmas.

9. NIGHTLIFE

There is an abundance of places to go to and enjoy a night out in the Philippines. Every major city of the country has a number of nightlife activity hubs with restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs and karaoke bars all promising a good time of fun and entertainment. In the country’s financial district Makati, there is the Greenbelt, Glorietta, The Fort, Jupiter St. and J. P. Rizal Street. In the city’s capital, Manila, nightlife is diverse. There is something for everybody in Malate, and in the newly revitalized Roxas Boulevard and its Baywalk. Quezon City is a popular destination of locals as the club prices are a little lower than those in Makati. Most clubs are close to each other so common to bar hop. Try the establishments along Timog & Tomas Morato Avenues and Quezon Boulevard, and in Eastwood City in Libis. Outside of Metro Manila, there are a number of popular places to go to. The nightlife of Subic in the province of Zambales, is known all over the world because of its history as a former rest and recreation center of the US Navy. The city is still teeming with nightlife activities as the Subic Free Trade Port is home to a lot of expatriates from other foreign countries as well and it is now a major Tourist hub. Foreign Navies still use the port as a rest and recreation spot every now and then.

Check out Subic International Hotel and the Magsaysay Blvd. Angeles City in Pampanga, formerly the home of the US Air force in the Pacific, is also known for its Angeles City nightlife stayed almost the same as a lot of retired US and Australian citizens decided to make Angeles City their second home. Establishments in Balibago are still popular. The central Philippine city of Cebu is a popular destination among tourists because its nightlife is at par if not better than in Metro-Manila. Big development companies have opened up operations in the city as well as major club chain operators have set up their presence. Be sure to go to Ayala Mall and in the different establishments that abound Osmena Blvd. The ultimate island-nightlife location in the Philippines is Boracay Island in the province of Aklan. The island is known for its carefree attitude, and the island is home to a lot of clubs and bars on the beach: Bazzura, Hey Jude, D’ Mall, and the Station 2 establishments.

10. WATCH a performance of World-class Filipino Artist

The Philippines is home to a number of world-class artists. Occasionally, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, show performances by the Ballet Philippines, the Philippine Madrigal Singers, and the Bayanihan Dance Troupe. World-renowned artists Lea Salonga and Cecile Licad, from time to time, give performances in big concert halls in Manila. The Center of Arts in San Antonio (CASA) in San Miguel, Zambales features violinist Alfonso “Coke” Bolipata and his Pundaquit talents. Other groups that showcase the Filipino performing talents are Repertory Philippines, the Loboc Children’s Choir, and the Amazing Philippines Theatre.

In the Visual Arts, works of world-class Filipino masters Juan Luna, Felix Resurrection Hidalgo and Fabian de la Rosa, National Artists Fernando Amorsolo, Carlos Francisco, Victor Edades, Vicente Manansala, other Philippine painting greats and contemporary visual artists can be viewed at the Philippine National Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, the Ayala Museum and in some galleries and University museums around Metro Manila.

Colleges and universities in the Philippines are home to award-wining performance groups that have been recognized internationally for their artistry and excellence in the performing arts: Dulaang UP (student theatre group), the UP Concert Chorus, UP Singing Ambassadors of the University of the Philippines; Ateneo College Glee Club and the Ateneo Chamber Singers of the Ateneo de Manila University; the UST Singers and the Salinggawi Dance Troupe of the University of Santo Tomas.

All around the country in simple stages, live bands and professional singers perform in clubs and music halls showcasing Filipino talent in entertaining.

11. RETIRE in the Philippines (PRA)

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