It is a country of amazing diversity, with breathtaking rice terraces filled to the brim with culture, from modern super shopping malls in the cities, to un-spoilt idyllic beaches where it looks like no person has ever stepped foot before you. The Philippines is home to some of the World’s most beautiful white sandy beaches and almost unbelievable turquoise waters, you will never get bored of the feeling that you are in paradise while you are visiting the Philippines. You can surf/dive/snorkel and if you are really lucky swim with the Whale Sharks that regularly visit the surrounding seas of the Philippines. There are active volcanoes, caves, an underground river, ship wrecks and so much more ready to be explored.
There really is something for everybody in the Philippines. You can adjust your Philippine experience to your mood, kick back on the beaches and relax or plan an action packed trip, jumping from one adventure straight into the next.
- The Country is named after King Philip II of Spain
- The Philippines is the only country in the world whose flag is hoisted upside down when at war.
- Manila is considered the world’s most densely populated cities 955,446 people per square mile)
Travel Highlights in Philippines
- Island hop and snorkel around the beautiful Bacuit archipelago off of northern Palawan.
- Snorkel with Whale Sharks, these magnificent creatures are regularly spotted in Donsol, Cebu, and Palawan.
- Wreck Dive in Coron, 11 amazingly well preserved shipwrecks from WWII.
- Hike to Batad, North Luzon, to the rice terraces which are a UNESCO world heritage site for good reason.
- Take a boat trip on the underground river in Puerto Princesa’s Subterranean River National Park.
Where is The Philippines?
The Philippines is an Archipelago of 7,107 Islands in the Western Pacific Ocean, in South East Asia. The Philippines is south of Taiwan, East of Vietnam and Malaysia, and north of Indonesia. There are 3 main geographical divisions of the county; Luzon (in the North), Visayas (in the middle) and Mindanao (in the South). .
The Philippine’s Climate
The Philippines has a Tropical Rainforest Climate, with high temperatures and high atmospheric humidity throughout most of the year. The summer months between March and May can see very high temperatures, this is followed by a typhoon season from June – October when a lot of rainfall should be expected. Although at specific times the climate can be very diverse across the country, with different regions experiences different patterns in climate.
Language in The Philippines
The official languages of the Philippines are English and Filipino. English has been an official language since 1935 (when under occupation of the US) and Filipino an official language since 1973, Filipino is made from the native language of Tagalog. Often people in the Philippines will use both Tagalog and English interchangeably in one sentence, resulting in ‘Taglish’. There are 13 different recognised indigenous languages however over the different regions of The Philippines there are thought to be between 120 & 175 different languages.
The People of The Philippines
The Philippines has one of the largest groups of Christians in Asia, 80% of the population are Roman Catholics, due to Spanish influences in the country for over 300 years. The people of the Philippines are renowned for their hospitality, being a guest in a Filipino home will see you eating the best food they have to offer and sleeping in their best bed. Filipinos are a very passionate and emotional nation with very close family relations.
The people of The Philippines love to sing at karaoke, so when visiting the country you will be sure to pass a karaoke bar or two (or a hundred).
Travelling in The Philippines
The Philippines is as close to paradise as you can get, the white sandy beaches full of beautiful tropical shells and the pristine clear waters just perfect for snorkelling and diving. It is the perfect country for Island hopping, where you can be on your own private paradise all day long.
Nothing will prepare you for the first time you see a ‘Jeepney’, one of the main forms of local transport which were originally made from US military jeeps left behind from WWII. They are like nothing you will have seen before and you won’t believe how many people they can squeeze in there.
Exploring the North of Luzon you will experience a very traditional side of the Philippines, very different to the Islands, trek through the thousand year old rice terraces of Banaue, watch the horse and carts on the cobbled streets of Vigan and hire a tour guide to soak up the culture of Sagada where you will learn why there are coffins hanging on the side of a cliff.
Climbing the country’s tallest peak Mount Apo (2956m), a semi active volcano in Davao will leave you with memories you will never forget. ‘The Chocolate Hills’ are a must see when visiting Bohol, 1500 mounds as far as the eye can see is a truly spectacular site.
Gap Year and Career Break Travel in The Philippines
The Philippines has the perfect blend of qualities needed to be a perfect gap year destination, white sandy beaches, active volcanoes, UNESCO world heritage sites, world class diving and surf spots. Join a gap year project in the Philippines now and you won’t regret it.