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Traveling to the Philippines is a One of a Kind Life Experience

Hello. Welcome to my country - the Philippines!


I want to promote the Philippines, not just because I am a Filipino who lives here, but because the Philippines is a country that is so welcoming, so beautiful, and so diverse in a lot of ways. In this blog site, I’ve written many articles about the good places to visit here, the realities of life, and the challenges of the modern times we Filipinos are facing. I know those blogs are just a tiny portion of the whole story about the Philippines so in this another post series, I would highlight good stuffs that would more likely make you appreciate the land of the Filipinos in a more positive and engaging way.

Laiya - One of the Most-Visited Beaches in the Philippines During Summer

Boats in Hundred Islands, Alaminos, Pangasinan

If you’re reading this post right now and you happened to be not a Filipino, I suggest you continue up until the last word. You will get to discover what truly a good life is here in the country. Philippines is also known as the “Pearl of the Orient Seas” and this post will attempt to prove that to you, once again.

A Country Surrounded by Seas
You probably heard of Boracay, one of the famous beaches here in the Philippines. With fine white sands, beautiful sunset view, and lovely people, who would not try to be here when given the chance. Even Filipinos can’t resist the inviting beauty of this paradise that we spend our summer vacation here together with our families and friends.

Breathtaking Sunset View in Boracay, the Philippines

The Popular Fine White Sands and Vintas of Boracay Beach in Aklan, Philippines

But Boracay is just one of the thousands of amazing beach paradises in the Philippines. In a sense, the beauty of the Philippines lies within the lovely beaches we have. This is why we’re known to the world. With over 7,100 islands, each of these islands is surrounded with beaches many of which were now developed to accommodate thousands of visitors and tourists from anywhere in the world. Imagine having your lunch under a nipa hut with tasty lobsters, grilled squid and tuna, fresh buko juice, slices of juicy fruits, and plenty of other original Filipino seafood cuisines while looking at the blue ocean one summer day. How relaxing is that!

Caramoan Islands in Camarines Sur, Philippines

Hundred Islands in Alaminos, Pangasinan, the Philippines

If you have the means, why not book a travel in two or three beach resorts here in the country and get to experience the inviting seaside atmosphere of the Philippines. I recommend Coron in Palawan, Santa Fe in Cebu , Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte, Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte, and Laiya in Batangas. These beach places have plenty of hotels, inns, and inexpensive cottages to accommodate you. Aside from the famous ones, I suggest that you also explore other towns where there are beaches still not known to many. Town folks offer room sharing in their own house, renting of private villas, and other inexpensive ways of accommodation. Ever heard of Romblon, Bohol, Aurora, Pangasinan and Tingloy? The pearl of the seas are here.

Beautiful Beach with Crystal Clear Water in Batangas, the Philippines 

The Land of Farms and Plantations
With roughly about 300,000 sq. km land area, agriculture is the main source of living here in the Philippines. If what you want for dinner are those fresh and organically-grown fruits and vegetables, you can certainly find and eat them here. Did you know that Philippines is a major exporter of banana, pineapple, mango, and corn? Bananas are coming from Davao while pineapples are from Bukidnon. Chickens, hogs, cows, goats, duck, bangus and tilapia are also raised in many provinces in the Philippines. I believe this is one of the great reasons why many foreigners decided to stay and live here in the country.

Strawberry Plantation in Baguio, Benguet Province

Farm in the Philippines

Food is not at all a problem here.

With rich soil, tropical climate, and water abundance together with patience and hardwork, you can feel the advantages of becoming a Philippine farmer if you’ll only try. Growing your own tomatoes, pechay, squash, okra, and eggplant can be a good start. You can then plant a huge variety of vegetables as you go on. The abundance of agricultural products on Philippine markets is enough to prove Filipinos will never starve. We have here a local song titled “Bahay Kubo” and this is a song about all the vegetables you can grow at your backyard. The first line of this song says:

Bahay kubo kahit munti, ang halaman doon ay sar-sari…
(Native house even if it’s small, the plants there are in huge variety…)

Farm Valley in Mountain Province, the Philippines

Lettuce Farm in the Philippines

If you’re curious about how farming works here in the Philippines, there is a huge number of farms you can visit. In the province of Cavite alone, there are eco-tourism farms that will allows you to explore the life in a Philippine farm. In Tagaytay, Silang, Alfonso, and Indang, Cavite are where you can find established farms for herbs, honey bees, dragon fruit, and a variety of fruits and vegetables grown organically. In the popular Baguio City, there you can visit the strawberry farm as well the cabbage and carrot farms in the nearby towns of Benguet. In Lipa, Batangas and nearby towns are where the coffee, sugarcane, lanzones, rambutan, avocado, and mango plantations can be found. Living in a Philippine farm is truly a relaxing experience, much more when you get to know how the native Filipino farmers do it on their own traditional ways.

Great Wonders of Nature
Philippines is home to hundreds of nature reserves, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and marine reserves. Yes, this country still has its resources to provide to the future generations. Known to be rich in natural resources, perhaps, this is one of obvious reasons why Filipinos wherever they go still choose to go back to their homeland. It is good to retire in the Philippines.

Snorkeling Spot in Bicol, the Philippines

Ocean View in Northern Philippines

Underground River in Palawan Island, the Philippines

Wonders of nature truly captivates both the local and foreign visitors.

If you’re into hiking, camping, or mountaineering, then Philippines is the best place to be. Pico de Loro, Banahaw, Mount Pinatubo, Mount Apo, and Mount Pulag are among of the best places to go camping and hiking. Of course, every beach is the best place to build your tents in the sand and make bonfire at night. There are also places where you can go for bird watching. You can go to Candaba in Pampanga, La Mesa Eco Park in Quezon City, Angat Dam in Bulacan, Olango Island in Cebu, or Mount Palay-Palay in Cavite. If you want to encounter marine wildlife up close and personal, visit Donsol in Sorsogon for whale shark called “butanding”. You can go to Anilao in Batangas or Samal Island in Davao if you love snorkeling and scuba diving. Rich coral reefs are why our seas are a bit different from the rest of the world.

Burnham Park in Baguio City, Philippines

Kaybiang Tunnel in Mount Palay-Palay Nature Reserve

Mines View Park in Baguio City

Epic View of Taal Volcano at the Center of Taal Lake from Tagaytay City, the Philippines

My Travel Tips

Get ready those digital cam, smartphone, or GoPro cam and experience the breathtaking beauty of the Philippines. It is not that expensive to be in these places, really. Also, Filipinos are very hospitable, friendly, and nice to be with.

While travel websites, social media sites, and review sites are there to assist you on what you need to know about traveling around the country, it is always good to get in touch with someone who’s familiar with the place you want to go. There are no specific rules actually, but there are things you need to at least keep in mind if you want to enjoy your vacation in the Philippines. It is always exciting to know the culture of the country or place you want to go to for in that will help you truly appreciate everything.

That conversation with the local people is something that cannot be bought by money. I suggest that you ask, shake hands, and smile and laugh with Filipinos. Truth is, Filipinos working in the tourism industry are among of the best-in-class if it’s about hospitality services despite of the fact that they are also the people whom are mostly in the lower class of the society. Mingle with them as if they are your friends and everything will be cool and fine.

In the next post, I will share a few more stuffs that would let you love the Philippines even more. Watch out for the next post.



There Exists the Hundred Islands and They’re Beautiful

A New Life, a New Beggining - A Boracay Getaway of Elliezer and Marivic

Oh Tagaytay Oh Tagaytay – You’re Truly a Paradise


About the Author
Noriel Panganiban is a Filipino blogger/writer who wants to introduce the Philippines to the people of the world. His posts expose the truth about becoming a Filipino, the good and the bad. Noriel's vision is to inspire Filipinos to do good for the interest of the entire nation and not just for their own benefit. The ultimate goal is to welcome the good changes and make the Philippines a better nation, a first world country. As a writer, Noriel also wants to bring free education to the Filipinos who needs it the most. You can get to know more Noriel by visiting his educational website, www.knowriel.com and by following him on his social media channels - LinkedIn and Facebook.

Most-Read Posts of the Month

“I Love Baguio City” - My Travel Story in the Summer Capital of the Philippines

The Strawberry Farm, Burnham Park, Mines View Park, the Mansion, Wright Park, Lourdes Grotto, and Session Road; these are among of the popular landmarks in the more commonly known “Summer Capital of the Philippines” – Baguio City. Why so? Well, the temperature here seldom exceeds 26 degree centigrade. During the cold season of December to February, the temperature falls down to even below 10 degree centigrade. The record low temperature was 6.3 degree and that was on January 18, 1961.

How to Travel to Baguio City?
Going to this cold city in the mountainous province of Benguet, Philippines is a six to seven hours travel by passenger utility bus from Manila. Starting from EDSA, traversing the NLEX, entering SCTEX, exiting the province of Tarlac and going through the neighbouring provinces of Pangasinan and La Union, and then exploring the zigzag road of either the Marcos Highway, the Kennon Road or the Naguilian Road, the coldest place in the Philippines will be reached. Baguio is about 2…

"Business as Usual" as the Filipinos Define It (Vulcanizing Shop, Sari-Sari Store, Bakery) – Part 1

I asked the shop owner about these old unused tires on what are they doing with it. The Vulcanizing shop owners says, “Oh, someone will pick up those tires and pay us 5 or 10 pesos each. Sometimes they just take it for free”.


Vulcanizing Shop - A Classic Example of Filipino Business
You’ve most probably seen and been into a local, typical vulcanizing shop like this one in the photo. The business concept is very simple. Here’s a customer with his flat or deflated tire and the vulcanizing boy will repair it using a rubber compound patch, a heating tool, and an air pump. If it’s a regular car or van tire, repairing one may only take 10 minutes the cost of which is around 30 to 60 pesos. If it’s a tire from a truck or bus, it could be around 30 minutes and the repair would cost the vehicle owner around 100 to 150 pesos.

Here’s the thing. A shop like this one could potentially earn a revenue of 1000 up to 2000 per day just by repairing a flat tire. Why? Well, with thousands of vehicles like j…

The Divisoria Malls - Defining Shopping in the Philippines

They call it the 168 Mall. It is one of the busiest places in the Philippines during shopping days like Christmas season when longing for enjoyment and relaxation is on the air once again. From Cavite, my home place, going to Divisoria, it will take you about an hour travel under normal traffic flow.

What is in this place? Well, Divisoria is the Bargain Shopping Capital of the Philippines. This is where wholesale and retail prices make shoppers say “WOW!” on delight. Visiting this place will definitely give you a realization about shopping on a different dimension. Find out why on the next paragraphs.

On the Photo: The Popular 168 Mall in Divisoria, Manila, Philippines


Divisoria is located in Binondo, Manila. It is accessible via Quiapo(where the famous Black Nazarene of Quiapo Church is) thru Recto Avenue and via Lawton near Manila City Hall. Divisoria has been there since the early 90’s. As it is near the North Harbour, Manila’s main seaport, the freshest and cheapest products usuall…

2016 Philippines Presidential Election - Could this be the Politics that Will Save Us All?

Re-post: As the Philippines barangay elections will be held on May 14, 2018, I think it is good to remind Filipinos once again the essence and flow of elections in the country. Local or national elections, not much of a difference if its about our culture of voting. Choose the right candidate, vote him or her. And with this post, you can be guided.

Suffrage is the right to vote. With over 54 million voters, the Philippines has long been a country known for promoting this right of every Filipino citizen. With a relatively simple process of registration (but a bit time consuming) thru the Commission on Election (COMELEC) post, known as biometrics registration, anyone who is at least 18 years of age will have that freedom to choose the candidate he or she wishes to lead the country over the next 3 to 6 years. In the national level, these candidates will hold the offices of the President, Vice President and Senators, among others.


On the Photos: Ad Banner of National Election Candidates (po…

“Fixer” in Philippine Government Agencies Like the Social Security System (SSS) and Land Transportation Office (LTO) – What We Filipinos Can Do About it?

Maybe in this post, I can clearly explain how “fixing” works in many government offices in the country. The idea is first, to warn you that such illegal fixing happens, and second, to give you tips on how you should avoid them. Plain and simple, we will not in anyway damage or speak against anyone or any particular office of the government in this post. It just happened that this is about my experience with LTO and SSS Tagaytay. I want to emphasize that still many government employees in the Philippines are doing their jobs right - including those who are working in the said branches.
If you have experienced transacting with any government offices here in the Philippines, whether you're a Filipino or not, you should already be familiar with these signages.



Here’s a bit of knowledge for you to digest first.
What is “fixing” or who is a “fixer” by the way?
In the Philippines, these good words happened to have a negative connotation over the past decades. Good words? Yes, indeed. When …

MONTEMARIA

Catholicism from another perspective – this is how I understand the pilgrimage site of MonteMaria in Batangas City, Philippines. It was a huge site development project with the 96-meter tall Mary, Mother of All Asia statue as the centerpiece. You have to see it for yourself to believe!

What (not Who) is MONTEMARIA? Just for clarity, MONTEMARIA is the name of the 130-hectare township or development site project. Also, Montemaria is a place in Batangas City to which the site more likely is named after. The statue or monument or tower is called "Mother of All Asia - Tower of Peace". You may simply call it Tower of Mary or Statue of Mary. The surrounding place meanwhile is known as the Mother of All Asia Shrine.

Holy Week in the Philippines
We visited this place during the Holy Week of 2018. During this week, many Filipino Catholics are visiting religious places which is part of what they call "Visita Iglesia". It is not uncommon for a pilgrimage site like the MonteMaria…

Who are These OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) and Why are They the Modern Heroes of the Philippines

After the turn of the millennium, the Philippine government launches this campaign program calling the overseas Filipino workers or OFWs as “Mga Bagong Bayani ng Bayan” (Modern Heroes of the Nation). From then onwards, different organizations established programs giving awards and recognitions to selected OFWs who did a remarkable contribution or action to their family, friends, work or in general, to the country.

Q1: OFW ka ba? Q2: Bakit? A1: Eh kasi dating mo pa lang, mayaman ka na. Boom!
(Q1: Are you an OFW? Q2: Why? A1: Because with just the way look, it seems that you’re rich. Boom!)




At present, OFWs around the world are estimated to be around 12 – 14 million. This is approximately 10 – 12 percent of the Philippines total population. These OFWs are distributed to many countries all over the globe majority of whom are in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Singapore, Hongkong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Italy. Immigrant workers in the United States, Australia and Europe are als…

My Red Owner-Type Jeep Driving Adventures in Cavite, Philippines

About a year ago, I was really fortunate for having this second-hand owner-type jeep. Since then, I was given the chance to drive on nearby places here in Cavite I always wish I had been into before. I am also happy to say that my low-cost camera now has a good companion in blogging, a low-cost red jeep. I could say that telling good stories is now a bit better for I can capture the right views at the right angle, at the right point (not when I used to commute and take photos from the passenger’s window, just like when I travel to Baguio City years back). Now, I can pull over and take the best shots I can, though not at all times.


My Red Owner-Type Jeep 
And so I have this great experiences in exploring the inner side (places not often talked about) of the province of Cavite where I had been living for almost a decade. Places like Pala-Pala, Trece Martires, Aguinaldo Shrine, Indang and Tagaytay are now within reach, of course with some money for the gasoline and eating. The previous blo…

“Pasalubong” – What Makes this Filipino Word Very Special?

Probably next to the beauty of a tourism spot, if it’s about the real reasons for traveling there, is our search for the best “pasalubong”. It’s the tagalog word for “gift” or “souvenir” and it can be anything from foods, toys, clothes, handicraft, furniture, soaps, wearables, or household items. It’s practically anything, big or small, cheap or expensive, edible or not. And for as long as that special item was bought somewhere else and then given to someone as an act of love and kindness – the true purpose has been served.


A simple gesture of “Salamat po” (Thank you) for sharing that pasalubong is enough to make you feel the love and kindness back. There is the best pasalubong for kids, for grandmas and grandpas, for a favorite grandson, for a close neighbor or friend, for the workmates, for the boss, for a former enemy, for a religious brother, and even for a complete stranger. Yes, indeed!

Well, “pasalubong” is actually different from a gift for birthday, wedding, or special gatherin…

Lobo, Batangas – a Place of Wonder and Simplicity

Simple life? In the beach or mountain side? Lobo is the place to be.

This Holy Week 2018, me, my wife, two of our friends, and their parents, visited Lobo in the province of Batangas.

There are three passages going here. One is thru the main town of Taysan, Batangas via barangay Dagatan. The other one is via Gov. Antonio Carpio Road, stretching from Batangas City to barangay Mapulo also in the town of Taysan. Both passages will merge into barangay Bacao in Taysan. The road from here are zigzag that the local people have called it “bitukang manok” (chicken intestine – like). Green mountains and narrow roads will make your travel more exciting in going here.


The third one is thru Batangas City entering barangay Libjo. This path is quite longer than the first two. Also a bit zigzag but as you are traversing roads mostly on the beachside, the driving experience would be full of wonders. Aside from the ocean view, there are landmarks here that will make you say to the driver to stop for …