Philippines

Pacific Paradise – The Pearlescent Philippines

There are two distinct, but beautiful, words in the Philippines – the first consists of the underwater kingdom hidden just beneath the blue-green ripples, and the second is the archipelago of islands that complete this country. Both these realms welcome visitors with open arms. The colourful parades and festivals on land are matched by the pageantry of the marine life under the water. Exchange the tangy smell of the sea, for the crisp and rich scents of the land. Climb to the tallest mountains or walk on the beaches till the sand and water meet. Spend a day diving with friendly and shy sharks, and then head to the islands to meet some of the warmest people on earth. There’s harmony here – between the landscapes, the people, the water and the culture. They blend beautifully together, making Philippines Tourism an exciting and soothing venture. 

Philippines Tourism: A Quick Overview

Continent

Asia

Capital City

Manila

Dial Code

00-63-Area Code- Landline

Population

108.12 million

Currency

Philippine Peso

Time Zone

(GMT+8)

Area

300,000 square km

 

Highlights: Choices, Choices, Choices

Philippines Cities 

There are many, many cities to be explored in the Philippines. You could spend your life here unearthing discovery after discovery in this magical country. However, since this is a vacation and you’re pressed for time, we’ll narrow it down to a few. Start with Manila – the capital city of the Philippines. Wander through the lovely Rizal Park, stand back in awe of the weathered Fort Santiago and San Augustine Church, learn all about the marine life of the Philippines and enjoy the shows at Manila Ocean Park – they don’t call this the capital city for no reason! Bacolod – the city of smiles – offers up lovely architecture in the form of the San Sebastian Cathedral, Capital Park and Lagoon, The Negros Museum and the famous Ruins. If you’re visiting this city, try to time your trip with the vibrant MassKara Festival – it’s worth it. Lugon is your retreat from the heat and is perfect for relaxing and taking in the scenic views. Next on the list is Cebu – the majestic “Queen of the South”. Founded by Spaniards, this is the perfect place to do some diving. Meet whale sharks, go scuba diving and snorkelling in the gorgeous waters. For white water rafting, head to Cagayan de Oro. Sample the delicious Dorian fruit and climb the slopes of Mount Avo at Davao. 

Philippines Islands

The Philippines will spoil you rotten when it comes to islands. There are close to 7,100 of these water-based gems to choose from. Narrowing it down is a task we don’t wish upon anyone, and yet, here we go! Palaui is nature’s paradise – the lush green grass of this island clashes against the bright blue sea. Deserted beaches, magical waterfalls, gorgeous caves, endless rice fields and air so pure, you’ll want to carry it home. For the lively side of life, head to Siargao, which is filled with great restaurants, shops, resorts and warm people. The island has its wild side on display with lush mangrove forest reserves, white beaches and deep blue lagoons. If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime dive experience, then the small island of Malapascua is where you need to be. This is where you can swim with Thresher sharks for company and appreciate the raw beauty of this tiny island. Beauty takes on a new definition at Palawan. This is the home of the stunning El Nido island (with its pure, heart-breaking beauty) and the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as Puerto Princesa. Discover all the hidden scenic spots at Bohol – this includes hidden waterfalls, secret rivers, off-the-track markets where you can buy handicrafts. Bohol rewards the hungry and the curious. Other islands to visit are Dumaguette, MoalBoal, Bantayan, Coron, Cambari, Luzon, Guimaras, Siquijor…the list goes on.

Philippines Nature

With so much bounty and beauty on display, is it any wonder that the Philippines has some of the most unique and beautiful natural wildlife spots in the world? Take a mountain bike tour in Tanay, Rizal, and you’ll come across the gush of the Santa Inez Waterfalls. Cruise on the silky, smooth waters of the Puerto Princesa at night and watch the darkness come alive with the glow of fireflies. Take a dolphin and whale watching tour at Bohol and watch these sea creatures slip, dance and leap out of the water. Take a paddleboat underground river tour from Peurto Princesa. Sign up for a safari and interact with animals from Africa at Calauit Island. Your head will spin with the kind of wildlife, marine life and greenery on display here.

Philippines Cuisine 

Combine an abundance of seafood, tropical food and talented cooks, and you’ll experience the best of Philippine cuisine. You must try the world-famous Adobo – chicken and pork flavoured with vinegar, salt, garlic, soy sauce, pepper and spices. Or why not be ambitious and take a stab at Lechon – a whole roasted stuffed pig, served with liver sauce? If you’re partial to seafood, Taba ng Talangka (pressed crabs sautéed in garlic) or Fish Tinola (a sour soup). For comfort food, dig into a dish of Arroz Caldo (a thick chicken and rice porridge). If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try Kamaro - crispy, fried mole crickets for a snack? One thing is for sure, the cuisine here will keep you on your toes guessing which new delight is coming to the table.  

Philippines Shopping

You may not have enough strength to carry all the things you want to buy from the Philippines. Yes, there’s that much to buy. Manila is home to massive shopping complexes where you can buy bamboo products, Philippine pearls, abaca baskets, silk products and more. Head to 168 Shopping Mall and Greenhills shopping centre to satisfy your shopper’s soul in Manila. Cebu also matches Manila when it comes to malls. This is the place to buy clothes, with international fashion brands like Lacoste, Espirit, Armani Exchange and more. Head to the D’Talipapa seafood market in Boracay for some incredible ingredients – you can get them cooked at nearby restaurants or try to cook them yourself. In Bohol, you’ll find exquisitely woven baskets in Antequera. If you’re a musician, then a visit to the Alegre Guitar Factory in Mactan Island is perfection. Pick up some exquisitely crafted ukuleles and acoustic guitars and watch the instruments being made live at the market. Philippines is indeed, a shopper’s delight, so save some pesos to pick up unique Philippino products like jewellery, baskets, brassware, embroidery, wood carvings and mats. 

Interesting facts about Philippines: Breaking Records

  • The Philippines are named after King Philip II of Spain
  • The country has the highest discovery rate of new animal species
  • It was the first country to gain independence after World War II in 1945
  • Of the top 10 largest shopping malls in the world, three are found here 
  • The largest pearl in the world was found in the Philippines in 1934
  • This is the only majority Christian nation in Asia
  • Mt. Pinatubo on the island of Luzon erupted in 1991 creating the largest mushroom cloud the world has seen (in terms of affecting a densely populated area)

Location of Philippines: World Waters

If more than seven thousand emeralds were dropped into the blue ocean, that would accurately describe the Philippine archipelago. Located in the western part of the Pacific Ocean, bounded by the South China Sea in the west, the Philippine Sea in the east and the Celebes Sea on the Southwest this archipelago is swimming in powerful waters. Taiwan lies in the north, Japan in the northeast, Vietnam in the west, Palau in the east and Indonesia and Malaysia in the South. 

Best time to Visit Philippines 

All of the Philippines opens up during the dry season – from November to April. Many remote areas and islands are open to tourists during these months. It’s important to note that both February and March report higher temperatures, so visit Philippines between November and January, if you’re looking for cooler weather. So choose the best time to visit Philippines wishly

How to Reach Philippines

By Air: Cebu, Angeles, Davao, Manila, Zamboanga all boast of international airports. The busiest are Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila and the Cebu Airport known as Mactan-Cebu International Airport. You can fly to the Philippines via Air Asia, PAL Express, Cebu Pacific and Skyjet.  

By Sea: You can travel to the Philippines by sea by catching a daily ferry from Manado in Indonesia to General Santos in Mindanao. If you’re travelling from Malaysia, then you can catch a ship from Aleson Lines, which runs twice a week. You can also check out more ways on How to Reach Philippines

History of Philippines : Wave after Wave of Settlers

In prehistoric times, Negritos (diverse ethnic groups that lived in isolated Maritime Southeast Asia) lived in these islands – making them the earliest inhabitants to be recorded in the Philippines. Wave after wave of Austronesian people (locals from Taiwan, Oceania and Madagascar who speak the Austronesian language) followed the Negritos. Many Chinese, Indian, Arab and Malay citizens also landed on Philippine shores. The different states were then brought under the rule of a variety of rajas and sultans. 

The Hispanic Colonization of the Philippines began in 1521, when Ferdinand Magellan (a Portuguese explorer leading a Spanish Fleet) landed on Homonhon Island. In 1543, the island was named the Philippines after Philip II of Spain (Las Islas Filipinas). In 1565 the first Hispanic settlement was established in the archipelago. For the next 300 years, the Philippines would remain under the Spanish Empire. Following a Japanese Occupancy and American Sovereignty, the Philippines was recognized as an independent nation after World War II. 

Are your bags half-packed already? If yes, then head to our tour packages page to check out our Philippine Holiday Packages and book one that suits you best!

Language Spoken

English, Filipino

Currency used:

Philippine peso

NOV-FEB 24 - 30oC
MAR-MAY 25 - 33oC
JUN-OCT 26 - 32oC

Have Queries?

Fill in the form below & get the best deals.
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid Email-ID
Please enter a valid mobile number
Please enter Holiday Type
Please enter the destination
Please enter hub

I accept Privacy Policy and I authorize Thomas Cook to contact me with details.

Best Philippines Tourism guide

With over 7,000 islands, the island country of Philippines is known for its beautiful landscapes. From pristine beaches and picturesque volcanic mountains to marvelous historic sites and spectacular paddy fields, Philippines offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences to the travelers. A number of Philippines tour packages are offered online, making it easier for the tourists to visit and enjoy the picturesque sites.
 

The capital city of Philippines, Manila is a popular tourist attraction. This densely populated city is situated on the bayside of the island of Luzon, and houses a mix of Spanish colonial architecture along with modern skyscrapers. The 16th-century San Agustin Church as well as the Fort Santiago is popular tourist attractions. The best places to visit in Philippines are Tubbataha Reef, Mayon Volcano, Malapascua Island, Puerto Galera, Donsol, Chocolate Hills, Boracay, Banaue Rice Terraces, Palawan and much more.        
 

Philippines tourism maintains the heritage sites and they are open for public viewing. Most Philippines tour packages include sightseeing’s and visits to the famous monuments. Individual Philippines tours can also be taken when one needs to simply go on a sightseeing tour and have a view of the city.
 

The season between the months of November and April are considered to be ideal to visit this island country. During this dry season, the country is packed with tourists. These months are also considered ideal for sightseeing visits and, accordingly, a number of Philippines tour packages are also available during these months. One can also avail basic Philippines tours during this time. The other seasons are also considered ideal for visiting the country.
 

Thomas Cook is known for offering affordable and lucrative tour packages, making it a premium travelling site. We offer some of the best Philippines tour packages online, making it easier for the tourists to choose. We also enable you to modify your existing package, giving an opportunity to you to select your desired destination. We also provide individual Philippines tours as well. Adding services to the existing packages can be easily done online, with a number of additional services available like flight booking services and even forex services. Reliable currency convertor services are available online, providing exchange services like INR to PHP and even PHP to INR online.

What People are Saying