Need a distraction from 2020? Look no further than The Philippines. This maritime nation offers plenty of blissful beaches, interesting food, and friendly people. After a trip here, it won’t be long before you’re planning a return visit.
Wonder what tourists do while travelling in the Philippines? In this post, we’ll reveal five facts about this country.
1) The Philippines is the World’s Second Largest Archipelago
Think tourists have discovered all the paradise beaches in the world? Think again. While generations of backpackers uncovered white sand gems in Southeast Asia, The Philippines hid in plain sight. With over 7,000 islands, the second-largest archipelago on Earth still has countless secrets waiting to be found.
From Palawan To Siargao, your beach is out there – go find it.
2) The Philippines is an English-Speaking Nation
Asia is the last place you’d expect to find an English-speaking nation. Sure, it’s well-spoken in Hong Kong and Singapore, but that’s about it. China, Japan, Thailand – all are massive nations where competent English speakers can be hard to find.
Not in The Philippines. A lengthy occupation by the United States introduced Filipinos to English. Not long after, the government’s desire to establish a lingua franca led to it being taught in the school system.
Today, most Filipinos speak the world’s most-spoken language. However, their brand of English has its own words, expressions, and grammar. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – Filipinos are proud of their culture.
3) The Philippines is a Culture Onto Itself
Speaking of Filipino culture – it stands out noticeably from the rest of Asia. Thanks to 500 years of Spanish and American colonization, you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve arrived in Latin America rather than Asia.
Instead of Buddhist temples, you’ll mostly find churches. While Spanish is no longer spoken by most, Spanish words like basura are common in the Filipino lexicon. Also, Filipinos regularly enjoy fiestas, where they engage in dances heavily influenced by Spanish traditions.
And nobody celebrates Christmas harder than Filipinos. Unique Christmas decorations (like Parol stars) go up in August and stay up until the second week of January.
4) Never Challenge a Filipino to a Karaoke Contest
You’ll probably lose. From an early age, Filipino kids sing their favourite songs at family gatherings. In every community, Karaoke contests are commonplace. At the national level, the best singers can parlay a great showing into commercial success.
So, if you find yourself at a karaoke bar – just sit back and enjoy the show.
5) The Philippines’s Nature: Volcanoes, Tarsiers, and More
The Philippines owes its existence to the Pacific Ring of Fire. Many islands rose from the Pacific thanks to undersea volcanoes, a process that continues to this day. Mount Mayon, a volcano known for its near-perfect cone, rises 2,400 metres above the surrounding landscape.
The Philippines also has its share of unique wildlife. On the island of Bohol, you’ll find the tarsier, one of the world’s smallest primates. This tiny monkey is best known for its bugged-out eyes. True to form, the poor things get stressed out easily. Don’t get too close – use your telephoto lens instead.
In 2021, The Philippines Awaits You
When we can travel again, The Philippines should be at the top of your travel list. If you’re looking for an A-list beach getaway or your next big adventure, this nation delivers in spades.