The Philippines is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia, made up of more than 7,000 islands. The islands are host to an extraordinary range of landscapes, mountains, volcanos, rainforests, jungles, rivers and lakes. It is an absolutely stunning place, and whilst quite rightly famous for its many beaches, the country has a rich culture unlike any country in Asia.
The Philippines lies in the tropics and sits on the so-called Ring of Fire. This is a large region of the Pacific where volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur. There are 18 actives volcanoes in the Philippines. It is also within the typhoon belt so it sometimes experiences extreme weather patterns.
You can find the Philippines east of Vietnam, north of Indonesia. The islands that make up the Philippines are divided into three regions – Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Some islands have become bustling megacities, such as the capital Manila, and the City of Cebu. However, wherever you go, you’ll never be more than two hours away from a beach.
The Philippines is the only Roman Catholic country in Asia. Spanish colonial rule left a legacy of fiestas and historic buildings and churches. As well as 350 years under Spanish colonial rule, the country also lived for 50 years under American rule. They too left their legacy of shopping malls, fast food chains and English, which is spoken or understood by a lot of Filipinos.
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These photos, I hope, capture the essence of what it is like to travel in the Philippines.
1. The historic streets of Vigan in ILOCOS.
4. Rice Fields, Mindoro.
8. Baguio, “The City of Pines”, North Luzon.
9. Travel around in a Jeepney.
10. White Sand Beach, Camiguin Island, Northern Mindanao.
11. Philippine Festival / Fiesta.
12. Amazing Underwater Wildlife (Lionfish).
18. Island Hopping on a Banka.
19. The Banaue Rice Terraces, Ifugao.
20. El Nido, Palawan.
21. Coron Island, Palawan.
If you like these photos there are more in the Introduction to the Philippines (part 2).