Top 11 Reasons to Visit the Philippines 
by Counselorhelp on 03/05/09 at 5:59 am

Ever wanted to visit an unspoiled tropical paradise? Or maybe have a new life for a quarter the cost, or perhaps you’re just an intrepid traveler? No matter what your reason, maybe you should consider the Philippines!
No matter what your travel enjoyments are, (unless you like ski-ing or winter sports) the Philippines will have pleasures in abundance for you! It’s a land of smiles, great food, and music everywhere! The Philippines is simply bustling with life, and it’s a must visit for the following 10 reasons!

Tropical Weather
Average temperatures are 30 degrees C, and the beaches are readily available everywhere, and they are clean and safe to swim in! White sandy beaches and beautiful tropical sun are a big reason why people come to the Philippines! Just make sure to enjoy your mid afternoon nap!

Filipinos love to smile! There’s no escaping it! When you leave your hotel room or apartment - wherever you’re staying, you will be greeted by smiles from the staff, then from ordinary people in the street, and in shops and stores and restaraunts! No matter what, you’ll get a smile from people here, so go ahead, get a nice big Air Conditioned Hotel room with US/European/Chinese/Korean/Filipino cable TV, rent a motorbike and just soak in the sun and smiles from the Filipinos here!

Exchange Rate/ Cost of Living
At it’s lowest, $1 US is equivalent to around 50 Philippines Peso. This means a great standard of life for you! Lets look at it:
• The nice A/C hotel room: $20 US
• Renting a motorcycle per day: $3 US
• Enjoying a 3 course meal in a nice restaraunt: $4-5 US
• Buying a new blouse or T Shirt: $7 US
The cost of living is a lot less in the Philippines than in the West, which means you can get more “bang for your buck”!

English Language is Widely Spoken
In fact, it’s one of the official languages of Philippines (along with Filipino - a derivative of Tagalog). If you are in any of the Cities, people will be more than happy to communicate with you in English! This is compared with Hong Kong, or Thailand or Indonesia, where people will perhaps not be so forthcoming with English Language!

Native Food
Food in the Philippines is something of an obsession. It can be sweet, savory, salty, or anything you want. It’s a unique fusion of asian cuisine with Spanish and American Influences! To imagine what it’s like, just imagine mexican food influenced by chinese food and you’ll understand.
My personal favourites are
Chicken Adobo, Chicken sizzig, Lechon Baboy, and Tuyok Manok!
Also, if you like a good barbecue then any beach on any town in the Philippines is the place to go! You can get almost anything you want here when it comes to food, so if you’re a foody, you will definately find something you will love!
If you have a sweet tooth, come here for the Halo Halo or Leche Flan and you will not be disappointed!
Of course, if you like Pizza Hut, KFC, McDonalds etc, Philippines has these also. For less than a quarter of the price of the same thing in US or Europe!

Filipino/Filipina disposition
Filipinos have a special kind of disposition which makes them famous and loved worldwide. Hard workers, Ardent party animals, non- confrontational people who always want to invite you to share any blessings they have! As noted before, they love to smile, so just soak it up and enjoy it! The people here are truly beautiful!

Filipinos Love Foreigners
Call it the colonial mentality, or whatever, the Filipinos will do anything to make a foreigner feel at home when visiting in the Philippines. If you make a cultural mistake, don’t worry, the Filipino will know you are a foreigner and will make exception for you! You really have nothing to worry about when visiting the Philippines!

Beaches, Beer and Babes (for the Guys)
Ok, most guys like to look at nice women, and they are here in abundance. With their brown silky skin and their jet black hair and their Big, genuine smiles, these women will have you enjoy yourself! In addition to that, beer can be bought here for less than a dollar per litre/ 50c for a bottle! So just imagine yourself on a white sand beach with perfect blue water, in tropical sun, relaxing at a bar enjoying your litre of San Miguel and enjoying the view of the beautiful girls in their bikinis, and you’re there!

Malls, Pesos and Value (for the Girls)
The Philippines is FULL of malls! People here love to shop, and it’s amazing how little you will pay to enjoy yourself! Let’s say, imagine a typical shopping spree for you in the US or Europe, how much would you pay? Divide that figure by 4 or 5, then that’s how much you’ll spend in the Philippines for your shopping spree! Love it?

Medical and Dental Tourism!
You can get a medical checkup in the Philippines for $2-$3 US. You can have a hospital bed for $4US per night.
I had some orthodental work done by my expert Dental Surgeon and the total for several hours of work came to less than $30 US! In the UK, where I am from the same would have cost more than $450US - and the doctor would have been less polite and friendly in my country!
If this is reason enough to travel to the Philippines, then give it a chance! If you liked this list, then please hit “I like it” and leave a comment!

Did I mention the money?
The Philippines is the perfect place to ride out a recession, credit crunch, or depression!

Bohol, Philippines: A Must-Visit Tourist Destination
by ZiggyZ on 26/04/09 at 4:06 am

Source: http://trifter.com/asia-pacific/philippines/bohol-philippines-a-must-visit-tourist-destination/

An overview of the world famous Philippine destination: Bohol.
Bohol is an island in Central Visayas with an area of 4,117.3 km2. Bohol’s interior is mostly flat but with a number of hills. It is characterized with woodlands, swamplands and grasslands which is perfect for an adventure. Nature’s exotic beauty can be seen in Bohol. Bohol is also a fast developing province in the Philippines focusing more on tourism. Therefore, a major development has been improvised on the province which makes it a perfect tourist destination.
There are a number of natural beauties in Bohol and here are magnificent views in Bohol.


Chocolate Hills- This is the original tourist destination of Bohol long before other tourist spots were developed. It is located almost at the center of Bohol on the province of Carmen. The wondrous Chocolate Hills consists of 1,268 hills. Before reaching to the top of one of the hills you’ll have to climb more than 150 steps up but the view on the top makes you regret nothing as nature’s pleasing beauty mystifies your eyes. Another amazing fact on the hills is that during hot seasons the hills turns brown from far away and turns green during cold seasons. The Chocolate Hills is one of the natural wonders and is running to become one of the world’s natural wonders.


Loboc River Cruise- A newly developed attraction, the Loboc River Cruise features a floating restaurant fitted for lunch or dinner that moves on Loboc River. Its menu features Filipino food and together on board the floating restaurant is a musician that entertains you with music while you dine across the river. While on the river, there are attractions you can pass view as you pass by like kids who jump from trees unto the water, a choir who stays on a separate float and performs as you stop by and Tuntunan Falls, a group of small waterfalls which flows unto the river and serves as the end of the river for the cruise.


Panglao Island- A small island very close to Tagbilaran City. Panglao is perfect especially during summer. The island features fine sand beaches, first class resorts with outstanding staff hospitality, a wonderful scuba diving view, different kind of water activities like boating, etc. and many more. Bohol’s airport is located at Panglao Island which brings no hassle to tourist as it is near to resorts and attractions on the island.


Baclayon Church- One of the oldest church in the Philippines which existed during the Spanish period in the Philippines. Its artifacts and old objects are also preserved in the church. Baclayon Church is located at Baclayon, the next town after Tagbilaran City.

Blood Compact Monument- A monument of Legazpi and Sikatuna having a blood compact as a sign of peace and friendship to one another. This attraction is perhaps the most historical since Miguel Lopez de Legazpi was the Spaniard who conquered most of the Philippines after Ferdinand Magellan and other voyages failed.

Bilar Butterfly Garden- Another new attraction in Bohol particularly in the province of Bilar which features everything about butterflies and moths. You will have a guided tour around the garden as you view the different stages of the butterfly and take pictures together with butterflies and moths.


Hinagdanan Cave- Another marvelous natural attraction, Hinagdanan Cave features a wide range of uniquely shaped caves and underground lake with fresh water. The cave can be quickly accessed and another spot for adventurers.

Hanging Bridge- A hanging bridge made from bamboo and steel wires that cross a part of Loboc River which makes it very exciting especially when you’re at the middle part. At the other end of the bridge the fun doesn’t stop there, you can buy souvenirs on a shop or watch the “Buko King”, the king can cut coconuts using only his teeth.

Tarsier Viewing- Tarsiers are the smallest monkeys in the world and can only be seen at Bohol. These cute little creatures can be viewed by many especially foreign tourist since it is endemic only to the Philippines.

There are many more attractions in Bohol that are developing very fast and is on the road to become first class tourist destinations like the Bohol Bee Farm which features everything about bees, the town of Albuquerque which is home to native objects and the newly Danao which features another natural beauty with many activities like a very long zip line.

Top 3 Destinations In The Philippines
By: Joie Charles   

Source: http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/207171/asia_destinations/top_3_destinations_in_the_philippines.html

The Philippines is an archipelago, having 7, 107 islands, and is abundant in nature, warm people, natural wonders, and filled with pleasant discoveries. Philippines is now considered as one of the top destination in the world, having 1.5 million foreign tourist arrivals for the first semester this year.

With hundreds of destinations in the country, the top 3 on my list are the following:

1. Boracay
Boracay is located in the northwest corner of Panay Island that belongs to the Visayas island group of central Philippines in the Pacific. It is one of the country's most popular tourist destinations, and now, became an international destination too. The White Beach and Bulabog Beach are just the two primary tourism beaches, which are located on opposite sides of the island.

Aside from taking dip of the crystal blue water, you can also take a boat around the island, hire a motorbike or scooter to explore the place, or go horse back riding, and experience the native villages and sceneries that usual visitors don't do.

And, did I tell you that Boracay has one of the most beautiful sunsets? Well, you don't surely want to miss it. And, the fun doesn't end there yet, since Boracay nightlife is pulsating with so many bars and restaurants around that will give you fun until dawn.

2. Bohol
Located in the Central Visayas region, Bohol is the home of hospitable and warm people. Boholanos, as what the natives are called, are very proud of the natural wonders that are bestowed in the island. To name a few, it is the home of the famous Chocolate Hills! Imagine seeing no less than 1268 hills, that are uniform in shape and will turn chocolate brown during summer, and from which the name was derived. You can also see the Tarsiers, one of the smallest known primates and be amazed when they turned their heads by 180 degrees.

Bohol is also blessed with a numerous white sand beaches, and Panglao Island is one of the famous destinations, having powdery sand. It has a large number of top class diving sites, which both foreign and local divers would consider it as diver's haven.

3. Palawan
Palawan is located in the Western Visayas Region and the islands stretches from Mindoro to Borneo in the southwest. The place is for adventure seekers and nature lovers and its famous for its marine sanctuaries, white sand beaches, and exotic wildlife.

One of the "a-must-see" in Palawan is the Tabon Cave. It is a 138-hectares, of rugged cliffs and deep slopes. Because of its importance to Philippine History and heritage, the site was declared a Museum Reservation Site by virtue by the Philippine Government.

Another is the El Nido marine reserve. The scenic landscapes, crystal clear waters and the isolation from the big crowd of the city usually attracts and fascinates the travelers of the place. Kayaking, snorkeling, diving, hiking to the peak of the island, bird watching, sunbathing in a white beach are just some of the activities you can enjoy.

There are still a lot of things that Philippines offers, and it's just there, waiting to be discovered. So, travel in the Philippines now!

Top Tourist Destinations in the Philippines       
Source: Manila Standard Today / as of July 30, 2009

The number of foreign tourists who visited the Philippines' top 16 regional destinations outside Metro Manila rose 6.4 percent year-on-year in the first six months of 2009, according to the Department of Tourism or DOT.
"Foreign arrivals in key destinations increased 6 percent in the first half of the year despite a decrease of 6 percent in inbound visitors into East Asia and the Pacific," Tourism Secretary Ace Durano said in his semestral report.

While the DOT did not release the complete international visitor arrivals data in Metro Manila for the period, there was a decline of about 5 to 7 percent in arrivals from other countries this year, according to other government offices. Data from the Bureau of Immigration show that a total of 1.22 million foreigners arrived in the country from January to May 2009, compared to 1.31 million who arrived in the same period last year.

This was supported by Carmelo Arcilla, executive director of the Civil Aeronautics Board, who said there was a 5 percent drop in international airline passengers in the first semester.

What made up for the slack in foreign visitor arrivals was the double-digit growth in domestic tourism which provided the impetus to sustain tourism growth in the midst of challenges brought by the global financial crisis and Influenza A (H1N1).

"This feat is attributed to the substantial increase in domestic tourism by 20 percent in the second quarter of 2009, which enhanced the business and investment confidence in the sector during the period January to June 2009," Durano said.

He said the changing lifestyle and travel pattern of more Filipinos and Philippine residents to spend their Holy Week, long weekends and summer/ holiday vacation in the various tourist areas of the country boosted tourist flow.

Altogether, foreign and domestic tourist arrivals in the top 16 tourism destinations were up 16.5 percent to 4 million in the first half from a year ago.

The department was targetting at least 3 million foreign visitors this year, up from just over a million tourists in 2000. Durano said that as tourist arrivals rose, some 8,000 hotels rooms have been created in the Philippines over the past five years.

"As tourism facilities and products continue to expand, the DOT anticipates greater growth in tourist arrivals in key destinations towards the end of 2009. The growing interests among LGUs and private sector to offer innovative tourism experience for visitors will greatly enhance the quality of Philippine tourism products," Durano said.

Camarines Sur emerged as the country's top tourist destination, after it saw its tourist arrivals triple to 902,202 in the first half of the year from only 306,841 a year earlier.

The province, known for its wakeboarding destination, accommodated 147,504 foreign guests and 754,698 domestic tourists in the first half.

"The success of this local government unit initiative serves as a model for other LGUs to harness their tourism potentials and optimize local resources to create more economic activity," Durano said.

Cebu was the second most visited tourist destination with 830,599 visitors, up by 2.3 percent from a year ago. It continues to be the top destination for foreign tourists with 321,116 in the first semester, although this was down 3.5 percent from the same period last year. Domestic tourists in Cebu rose 6.3 percent to 509,433.

Durano said the expansion in air access from major tourist markets, including the new charter flights from Incheon, Busan, Shanghai , Guangzhou , and Kaohsiung as well as increase in room supply, aggressive promotion, public and private sector partnership to diversify the tourism products greatly contributed to the hike in visitor volume to Cebu .

Boracay was the third most visited destination, receiving 383,813 visitors in the January-June period, up by 6 percent from a year ago.

While the volume of foreign visitors in the resort island went down 4.0 percent to 112,315, domestic tourists rose 10.7 percent to 271,498.

Baguio was relegated to the fourth position, following a 14.5 percent drop in arrivals.

Other top destinations in the first semester were Davao , Puerto Galera, Bohol, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Ilocos Norte, Masbate , Camarines Norte, Puerto Princesa, Legaspi, Catanduanes and Sorsogon.

Visitor count in Puerto Princesa and Bohol went up by 63 percent and 16 percent, respectively, as diving, ecotourism, birdwatching, adventure and incentive tourism products were jointly launched by the DOT, LGUs and the private sector, according to Durano.

Five of the 16 destinations are now in Bicol region.

PANGLAO Island, Bohol (06 May 2007) - Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano has inaugurated the first phase of a P600 million upscale resort complex that is riding on the tourism boom in this province.

"This is a clear, big investment that is testimonial of the health of tourism in Bohol," Durano said, referring to the 10-hectare Eskaya Beach Resort & Spa, which is building 70 luxurious villas catering to the rich Filipino tourists and visitors from Europe, the United States, Australia, Japan and Korea.

Richard Lim, who is involved in salt production and shipping, said some 300 construction workers are being employed to finish the five-star project, that is expected to employ at least 120 resort and restaurant employees once completed.
Lim, the incoming president of the Greenhills Rotary in San Juan, said the first phase of the project, involving P150 million investment, is expected to be completed by July this year.

The project provides commanding views of the magnificent Mindanao Sea and features exotic villas, infinity pools and luxurious facilities.

He said this early, 15 villas are already available for occupancy, with overnight rates ranging from $300 to $2,100. Some of the villas have own private swimming pools, whirlpool tub, outdoor spa, king-sized bed, spacious bathroom with vanity, mini-bar, and Internet connection.

Until recently, Panglao Island has stolen some of the glitters of the world-famous Boracay Island. Located at the southwestern tip of Bohol province, Panglao boasts of a long stretch of white-sand beaches embracing crystal-clear and blue waters.

Durano said the opening of the Panglao resort forms part of the additional 3,000 hotel and resort rooms that will be made available this year, to accommodate the growing number of international visitors and domestic tourists. International visitor arrivals peaked at 2.84 million last year and are expected to breach the 3-million mark for the first time this year, he added.
This idyllic island, one of the fastest growing destinations for foreign and local tourists, has also caught the attention of at least two international resort operators.

Durano said the Kingdom Hotel Investments which carries the Raffles and the Four Seasons brands, are looking at several properties in the island, lying about 370 kilometers south of Manila.

Another potential investor, Durano said, is the Singapore-based Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts, one of the world's leading luxury resort and spa operators, which has recently found an island in Northern Palawan.
"A lot of things are really happening in tourism. We just need to sustain the demand. The private sector can do a better job in supply," he said.

He said Bohol is fast rising as a prime tourist destination for Japanese and Korean markets and will benefit from the construction of the P3.6-billion circumferential road and the proposed Panglao international airport.

Durano said the construction of the airport will start in 2009, once the procurement of land is completed this year. The project is seen to be finished by 2009.

"Bohol is becoming so popular that in Japan, Bohol is now packaged as the prime destination, with Cebu as the secondary," he said.
Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud has teamed up with Ayala Land to invest $150 million for a resort project in Bohol. The Saudi Prince is reportedly interested in the property of the Fonacier family, which owns the 168-room Bohol Beach Club.

Nearly half a million tourists, including about 40,000 foreign guests, visited Bohol last year, and the Department of Tourism expects this number to increase soon with the construction of more resorts and completion of vital infrastructure projects.

Executives of the nearby Bohol Beach Club, the largest resort in Panglao, confirmed this, saying that more than 80 percent of its 168 rooms were occupied.

Bohol Congressman Edgar Chato, who chairs the House committee on tourism, said there are only 2,500 hotel and resort rooms in Bohol at present, which are not enough to accommodate the influx of visitors.

Fe Ginete, sales and public relations manager of Tambuli Resorts, which operates the Bohol Beach Club, confirmed this, saying that Tambuli plans expansion projects for its resorts in Bohol and Cebu in the coming months in response to rising demand for accommodation in Central Visayas.

Congressman Edgar Chato said a masterplan for Bohol tourism is now being finalized, making it the first and only province developing a system for the tourism industry.

"Bohol is in the right place and the right time for the industry," Chato said. "It is a province worth investing in."

Aside from Panglao, other top attractions in Bohol include the 1,268 perfectly cone-shaped Chocolate Hills, the town of Corella which is home to endemic tarsiers, and the diving spots near Cabilao and Balicasag islands. 

By:Roderick T. dela Cruz

NEDA OKs P4.17-B Panglao airport project
01/10/2008 | 01:58 PM

More The National Economic and Development Authority Board has approved a P4.17-billion project to build an airport in Panglao, Bohol.

In a statement released Thursday, NEDA said the airport supports the government's thrust to make Central Philippines a major tourist destination.

"The Panglao Airport Development Project... envisions opening up Central Visayas to more economic activities as well as enhancing the tourism potential of Bohol," NEDA said.

"This is expected to reduce travel time and cost of transporting goods and people. The project will also serve as a gateway for major tourist destinations in Bohol from other parts of the country and abroad," it added.

The proposed airport will be built on 216 hectares of land approximately 15 kilometers from Tagbilaran City, and will have a runway of 2,500 meters by 45 meters and passenger and cargo terminal buildings.

The project will be funded wholly by government funds from the Manila International Airport Authority, the Department of Transportation and Communication and some of its attached agencies, and the Department of Tourism. It will be jointly implemented by the DOTC and the MIAA.

The project is expected to start July this year and finish by April 2010. - GMANews.TV
Click image to zoom

P4-B Panglao airport ready in 3 years
By Recto Mercene

PRESIDENT Arroyo Tuesday joined the capsule-laying ceremony of the planned Bohol-Panglao International Airport (BPIA), an ambitious P4-billion project envisioned to be the center of commercial and other business activities in Central Visayas.

Mrs. Arroyo was flown in by helicopter from Cebu and landed at the cleared spot where the future runway would be located.

She was greeted with cheers and applause by residents, who were housed in a temporary shelter. She approached and shook hands with a few of them.

Mrs. Arroyo, in a brief speech after the capsule-laying, said the future airport would be a magnet that would attract development and benefits not only for the 1.3 million Boholanos but for the whole country, as well.

“We will see to it that Bohol would be the center of tourism in Central Visayas and strive to make the Chocolate Hills [included in] the seven [natural] wonders of the world,” she said in Visayan, to the shout of approval from the locals.

The island, she noted, has world-class resorts, unparalleled dive sites and the famed Chocolate Hills to attract tourists from around the world.

Manila International Airport Authority (Miaa) general manager Alfonso Cusi said the BPIA would be finished in 2010, complete with the needed infrastructure and passenger terminal.

The Miaa provided P3 billion of the airport’s capital, while the transportation and communications department gave P1 billion.

“This is a major infrastructure development that we were able to achieve without the need of a foreign loan,” Cusi said.

He said the Miaa raised P3 billion from the payment made by Philippine Airlines to cover back accounts of aeronautical fees.

Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza, in a media briefing, said the Panglao airport is envisioned to be a hub of various activities in the area, generating thousands of jobs and spurring a construction and real-state boom when finished.

“The BPIA will be the center of export-processing zones like the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, and will employ skilled workers to provide the manpower for industrial projects, parks and export-processing zones,” Mendoza said.

He said the government had completed 100-percent expropriation of the surrounding lands.

“The aerodrome [for air traffic control] is done, and we have a very good forecast that Bohol will be a prime tourist destination now that it is directly accessible by plane from the rest of the world,” Mendoza added.

Panglao Island is 10,000 hectares in area, bigger than the 7,000-hectare Mactan, where the Mactan-Cebu International Airport is located.

The airport complex will occupy 216 hectares, of which 4.8 hectares is subject to expropriation, according to Bohol Gov. Erico Aumentado.

He said the runway is 2.5 kilometers long with reserved area for a 3.5-kilometer extension.

Bohol counts among its visitors tourists from South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan.

Meanwhile, Cusi said the Miaa, being a major source of capital, has the option to securitize its investments by selling to potential investors the airport’s surrounding real estate and various projects. “The island has plenty of room for development,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Mendoza disclosed that part of the “aeronautical highway” is the plan to connect all the major tourist spots and potential business hubs in the country. This is set for completion in 2009.

He said the plan is the answer to the call of foreign businessmen to have airports that could be directly accessed by foreign air carriers. This is seen as a measure to increase the volume of tourists coming to the country.

Travel agencies were reported to have avoided the Philippines and concentrated on Thailand and Bali in Indonesia, and other countries in the region where air carriers could directly deliver their tourists, avoiding the hassle of airport transfers.

The DOTC chief said that since the Philippines has already been connected by a “nautical highway” provided by roll-on, roll off ships, the next move is the establishment of the aeronautical highway to connect the rest of the country’s prime tourist spots.

Besides Panglao and the airports in Palawan as part of the aeronautical highway, Mendoza said the airports targeted for upgrading are those in San Vicente, Palawan; Laguindingan, Cagayan de Oro; Siargao, Butuan, Zamboanga and Jolo.

Also included is that in San Fernando, La Union, which is seen to make the famed Sagada in the Mountain Province and Alaminos or Sta. Barbara in Pangasinan accessible.

“Before 2010, we will have the new aeronautical highway in place,” Mendoza assured the public. 
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