Travel destinations in the Philippines. Palawan, Boracay or Cebu?
The Philippines is located in 7100 islands in Southeast Asia. Only 860 of the 7100 islands are populated. The capital city is Manila. The Philippines, bordered by Taiwan in the north, Malaysia, and Indonesia in the south, the Pacific Ocean in the east, and the South China Sea in the west, has an area of 300,000 square kilometers and a population of 82 million, most being Filipinos. 47% of the population lives in cities. The official language is Filipino. Spanish and English are also spoken here. The climate is sub-equatorial and tropical. It rains from June to September. The average annual temperature is +28°C in summer and winter. The largest islands are Luzon, Mindoro, Samar, Panay, Palawan, Negros, Cebu, Leyte, and Mindanao. The area comprising 75% of the plateau and mountain ranges is divided into 74 provinces. The Republic of the Philippines is located in an active seismic zone. There are about 50 active and extinct volcanoes. The rivers are running rapidly. The currency is the peso. The official name of the country is the Republic of the Philippines since World War II.
Fiesta is an integral part of the country's culture. Filipinos have a lot of holidays and festivals held in the state, village, and city. There is "Dinagyang" holiday (18-19 January) celebrated in Cebu, flower festival in Baguio (February 23-March 3), "Kaamulan" in Malaybalay (February 28-March 1), Moriones on Marinduque Island, international bamboo in Las-Pinas, "Bonok-bonok" in Surigao, and mango and pineapple festivals during the summer months. Besides, we can name the Filipino fishing tournament within these festivals. There is a beauty contest on the holidays, "prince" and "princess" of the university, city, and villages are selected on the fiesta.
Filipino cuisine is also abundant. Its geographical location has played a significant role in this. The seas washing the coast of the island bring to the Philippine table some of the blessings of the water, especially the tuna and the scallop. Rice grown in all Asian countries is also essential here. Meat is cooked in various ways in this country. One of them is an adobo (the meat is kept in vinegar with soy sauce, garlic and pepper, and then fried). In each province, local ingredients such as coconut cream or turmeric are added to the adobo. I recommend tasting the famous desert, "Leche Flan."
We got acquainted with the territory, culture, and cuisine of the Republic. So what are the 7100 islands that make up the Republic of the Philippines? Of course, it would be hard to put them all together in one article. That is why we have explored three of the most popular and most touristy islands in the Philippines.
Palawan Island is one of the most popular islands in the Philippines. Luxury hotels, perfect white sandy beaches, wildlife, untouched forests, and national parks make this place irreplaceable for tourists. In 2007, National Geographic Traveler magazine chose this place as the most beautiful island in East and Southeast Asia. The island of Palawan, which was listed as the thirteenth most beautiful island in the world, was circulated under the heading "An island rich in flora and fauna, with a land and sea view of irreplaceable beauty."
Palawan Island, located in the South China Sea, is one of the most preferred destinations for travelers visiting the Philippines. El Nido is a coastal town situated on the northern tip of Palawan Island and has been chosen as the "best beach location" by Conde Nast Traveler and CNN. It is one of the most loved and visited places on the island.
There is abundant natural life on the island. There are 25 species of mammals on the island of Palawan, of which 11 are found only on this island. As Palawan Island was together with Borneo Island 100,000 years ago, the nature of these two islands, both in the fauna and the flora, is very similar. However, it is worth to note that you will see more animals on the island of Palawan.
The Spaniards arrived on the island of Palawan in the sixteenth century. It is said that the name of the island comes from the Spanish word "parague" as it resembles an umbrella. Several experts claim that the name comes from the Chinese language. Whatever is the origin of the name, Palawan Island is one of the must-see places.
It is possible to reach Puerto Princesa, Palawan's capital, with a one-hour flight from Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Some airlines owned by the Philippines are making several daily flights between the islands. It is possible to travel both by plane and by ship. It's hard to tell which one is more fun and exciting.
Before traveling to Palawan Island, don't forget to take some notes, as there are too many places to visit.
Puerto Princesa is the capital of the island of Palawan. It is one of the thirty-eight self-governing cities of the Philippines without any dependents. The city center in Puerto Princesa, although not very impressive, is one of the best tourist attractions on the island of Palawan. It is also the greenest and cleanest city in the country. The streets of the capital, which is quite broad and with a large population, are quite noisy and mobile while combined with the sound of three-wheeled motorcycles.
You can visit the Butterfly Garden and the World War II Memorial Museum in Honda Bay25 kilometers away from the city.
Those who want to see the crocodile can take the Palawan Wildlife Rescue & Conservation Center tours. After, we strongly recommend you visit the historic place Plaza Cuartel.
The Church of Immaculate Conception is the most beautiful example of architecture in the capital. The Plaza Cuartel Park right in front of the church is an ancient city that witnessed World War II.
You can find all kinds of food in the capital. Local and world cuisine is offered at an affordable price. On Rizal Street, you can find both local restaurants and fast-food restaurants.
This place, known as the Puerto Princesa Underground River, is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This fantastic view consisting of .2 km long underground lakes and caves running as a road at the bottom of the mountains is a must-see place.
At the same time, the place is included in the list of New Seven Wonders of Nature. There are more than 800 plants, 300 species of trees, 195 birds, 30 mammals, and 19 reptiles in the national park.
If you want to visit this place, you need to make a reservation in one of the tourist offices in the capital. Otherwise, it will cost you 700 pesos to visit this place in person.
El Nido, in the north of the island, is one of the most beautiful places. We would not be wrong to say that it provides the tourists with heavenly pleasure with over 45 islands in the Bacuit Bay, which has been protected as Marine Park. Therefore, tourists visiting this place spend their salary here.
To spend a day here isn't enough for the city. Therefore, do not forget to book three days and two nights at the most affordable hotels for boating tours and underwater trips.
Boracay Island is 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) south-east of the Panay Island in the western Visayas region of the Philippines, about 315 kilometers (196 miles) south of Manila. It is a small island about 1 km long. The population in Boracay is approximately 33,000. Boracay has received awards from several agencies for the beaches and numerous travel publications. The island covers Manoc-Manoc, Balabag, and Yapak barangays in the Malay municipality in the province of Aklan. The island is operated by the Boracay Interagency Working Group. Besides the white sandy beaches, Boracay is also known for being one of the best places in the world to relax. Since 2013, the name of the island of Boracay has become one of the best destinations for tranquility and nightlife.
Boracay was awarded as the 2012 Best Island in the World by the international travel magazine. In 2014, the resort island was at the top of the "Best Islands in the World" list published by the international magazine Condé Nast Traveler. In 2016, Boracay headed the magazine's list of "Top 10 destinations to watch."
In April 2018, the Philippine Government decreed a 6-month closure of the island for tourists to undertake major renovation works, especially of the sewage system, which had become obsolete and insufficient. It re-opened in October 2018, with a set of new rules meant to address a variety of issues. At present, it receives around ten thousand tourists a year.
The fauna of this island is rich and strange. At least three species of flying foxes have been recorded to inhabit Boracay, namely the giant golden-crowned flying fox (Aceradon jubatus), the giant fruit bat (Pteropus vampyrus) and the small flying fox (Pteropus hypomelanus). Hunting or causing any harm to them is not only forbidden but even criminal responsibility.
Due to its wind and weather patterns, tourism in Boracay is at its peak during the Amihan season (which starts in September or October and ends sometime in May or June). During amihan, the prevailing wind blows from the east. Boracay's main tourism area, White Beach, is on the western side of the island and is sheltered from the wind. During the Amihan season, the water off White Beach is often glassy-smooth. It makes the reef-protected waters off that beach relatively safe and ideal for diving, windsurfing, and kite-boarding.
In June 2011, it was reported that Megaworld Corporation, a real estate development group led by Andrew Tan, invested PHP 20 billion to develop tourism facilities in Boracay de Cavite. The planned Boracay project, Boracay Newcoast, includes four hotels with 1,500 rooms, a plaza, and an entertainment center.
Other resorts in Boracay include Discovery Shores, a luxury five-star resort with 88 suites, a spa, and four restaurants and bars owned by Discovery World Corp and managed by Discovery Leisure Company Inc, a Filipino group. White Beach is located at First Station and is one of the most visited places in Boracay.
Cebu, located 587 kilometers south of Manila, is one of the islands in the Philippines. Cebu province is known as the main island of the Visayan Islands. The capital is the city of Cebu, which is also the largest city on the island.
Cebu is located to the east of Negros, west of Leyte, and south-east of Bohol islands. Cebu Island is long and narrow, stretching 225 km to the north. There are about 167 smaller islands, which include Mactan, Bantayan, Malapascua, Olango and the Comates Islands.
Cebu is a reasonably important trade center in the region. Agriculture, fisheries, seafood production, shipbuilding, copper, and concrete processing are among the most popular and developed areas here. It is also an important place in education. You can find many universities here, such as the University of San Carlos, Cebu Normal University, University of the Philippines, Cebu Technological University.
It is a crime to come to this island and not to visit the San Pedro Fortress. While speaking of the fortress, do not think of the impassible and tall castles of Europe. San Pedro Fortress is located in the city and on the sea coast. It is smaller than our Maiden Tower (Azerbaijan). However, it is charming and the must-see place as it represents history.
The castle, constructed in 1565, was built by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, known as the Conqueror of the Philippines. In the past, it served as a garrison, prison camp, and zoo.
Magellan's Cross is about 5 minutes from the castle. It is one of the most beautiful examples of Filipino historical architecture. The construction date of this ancient building dates back to 1521.
Another place to visit in Cebu is Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, which is very close to the city center. Its appearance, the garden surrounding the front, and the sides amaze the person at first sight. The church, constructed in 1595, has suffered from earthquakes and World War II in the past. However, its survival up today has made it a tourist attraction because of its history.
Even though Cebu Island has a rich and green nature, the capital city Cebu is far away from nature, and popular with its noisy streets and architecture.