Bohol is one of the loveliest islands in southern Philippines. It is situated at the heart of Visayas and with coastline skimmed by gentle coves and white-sand beaches. Many highways snake along sparkling beaches or leafy rivers where one can stop at any point and jump in. With its rolling hills and plateaus, crystal springs and beaches, the province of Bohol is a picturesque province replete with ancestral homes and centuries-old churches.
A leisurely cruise of the Pasig River on board air-conditioned, 150-seater ferry boats now affords both domestic passengers and foreign tourists alike a fresh view of Manila and its historic establishments and trading places, thanks to an Asian Development Bank-financed program to rehabilitate the 27-kilometer tributary and make it an alternative transport route.
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.
On the highway to Pagudpud from Laoag City, a left detour somewhere in Burgos, Ilocos Norte is a rustic, dirt road that leads to the South China Sea. On a slope where vehicles cannot pass anymore, tourists get a glimpse of what is about to amaze them. Most would feel the urge to brave the heat of the sun and carefully hop from one rock to another during low tide towards a hill that seems to get brighter every step of the way.
The adventure is a part of the foot trail to the Kapurpurawan rock formation, a hill of white limestone rocks in Burgos, Ilocos Norte. Otherwise known as the Ilocos white rock formation, Kapurpurawn captures the fancy of both old and young alike, thanks to its white marble-like rock surface that shines under the sun.
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.