Once a sleepy coastal village located at the northwestern tip of Sorsogon province, this town now eyes to be a first-class municipality, thanks to giant sea creatures that are now attracting hordes of foreign and local tourists who infuse millions of pesos into the local economy. "Donsol was elevated to a third-class municipality in 2006 from a fourth-class status in 2003 and fifth-class in 1998, because of the butanding," Mayor Salve Ocaya said, while giving tribute to the whale sharks, considered as the world's largest fish that have found a home in the plankton-rich municipal waters of Donsol.
Take a peek into Filipinos' history and culture mirrored by century-old churches, ancient forts and modern museums. See the best of nature in our white-sand beaches and three-layered virgin forests.
Blessed with an extensive coastline, the Philippines is ringed with unspoiled beaches and first-class resort facilities. Its deep-blue, crystal-clear waters offer about 40,000 square kilometers of coral reefs teeming with a wide variety of marine life.
Endowed with a tropical climate, the Philippines offers a perfect treat to enjoy the sunlight. Lying in southeast Asia and surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, the Philippines boasts of unsullied beaches, spectacular sunsets, luxuriant pastoral lands, cool mountain weather, brilliant man-made resorts and dazzling islands.
The Philippines boasts of some of the best beaches and scuba diving waters in the world. Witness the vast expanse of nature's splendor under the spell of cool mountain breeze. A perfect setting for romance or nature tripping, the country's mountain villages serve as a perfect hideaway from the lowlands' summer heat.
Feel the breeze of summer at white-sand beaches of Boracay, Panglao and Palawan deemed as among the world's finest; be fascinated at the spectacular view of Baguio, Sagada and Tagaytay; and take a dip in the refreshing waters of modern resort facilities.
If you have yet to see the Philippines, then embark now to what promises to be a trip to paradise. Watch our special video. Click here.
Century old wrecks, mating mandarin fish, threatening thresher sharks, meter-long giant clams. These are just some of the reasons why professional divers from the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) are getting more and more drawn to the Philippine’s underwater paradise.
“With over 60 registered sites spread out in our islands, the country has one of the most diverse highlights for diving,” said Tourism Secretary Ace Durano.
Shopping in the Philippines
As a shopping haven, Metro Manila offers almost all kinds of products, from the most fashionable to the rarest items. And they can be found almost anywhere, in the most luxurious department stores as well as in small bargain shops. Depending on the traveler's budget, there is always a place where one can find the best buys. The giant shopping malls, SM, Robinson's, Glorietta, Shangri-la, and Rustan's, carry most of the well-known international labels. They also have stores, which sell the best of Filipino products.
Tourism Secretary Ace Durano has asked hotels, resorts, spas, tour operators, and transportation stakeholders to create more options and flexible packages.
"We have a very broad range of options to offer the most picky tourist. Group tours will also be big as we all know that Filipinos love to travel with their families and friends," he said.
Tree Top Adventure Philippines (TTA), the Subic-based company that operates canopy ride, Superman ride, Silver Surfer and Interactive Free Fall will be offering Camp John Hay tourists in Baguio City the same thrills by October 2010.
This time, Tree Top’s rides would allow tourists to accelerate above the pine trees and touch the crows, and then to plunge suddenly from a height of 120 feet. “Only some of the rides would be longer and more exciting and the views more dramatic and breathtaking,” said Mr. Mario Montejo, CEO of Tree Top Adventure.
Rizal Park and Intramuros are undergoing a facelift, which are expected to restore the status of the two sites as major tourist destinations in Manila. A musical dancing fountain measuring 20 by 40 metres has been erected by the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) at Rizal Park, which became an instant favorite among visitors.
About half a million tourists visited the dancing fountain at Luneta on Christmas day (December 25, 2010) alone, according to news reports. The NPDC has also strengthened Rizal Park’s security force, which now consists of 10 policemen and 60 guards working in shifts for 24 hours. Four security cameras were also installed in the park.
Villa Escudero, a coconut plantation village in San Pablo City, was developed by its owners into a tourist destination complete with swimming pools, picnic area, fishing grounds, and modern amenities. Special packages can be arranged to include overnight stay with food and accommodation.
Binondo China Town
Across the Pasig River from Intramuros is the Binondo area, home of Chinatown. The district is filled with all things Chinese from Peking duck and Buddhist temples to gold watches, snake soup, and wonder herbs. The high chords of Chinese songs and the permeating smell of incense complete the uniquely Chinese ambiance. It is said that this quaint district was already a hub of Chinese commerce even before the Spaniards came in 1571.