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An Introduction to the Philippines

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by Camille (subscribe)
Camille is a freelance ghost blog and web content writer. She's also a musician and an "Autoimmunee". She loves learning and sharing about how to live life with positive energy and meaning. see: and
Published August 30th 2012
The perfect destination for a holiday or weekend stop-over
Since this is the first article on WeekendNotes that features the Philippines, and also that I have had the honour to be the first writer to share about how it amazing it is here on WeekendNotes, I thought it would be fitting to start with just a general introduction to the Philippines and how it offers leisure and tourist activities that could make any weekend an awesome one.

Because there are just so many islands that make up the Philippines, from a geographical view point, it's understandable why the culture of The Philippines is so diverse. Which is why there is just so much that could be written about the country. The country is divided into 3 main parts or groups of islands, these are Luzon (North Philippines), the Visayas (Central Philippines) and Mindanao (South Philippines).

Each area has its own distinct culture and set of traditions, which is deeply based on its history. You can read about the geography and history of the Philippines another time, for this article I'd like to share with you why it's such a great tourist destination. Whether for a stopover weekend or even a few weeks (with several weekends to keep you busy). Whether you're interested in the cultural heritage the country has to offer, or you're looking for an awesome party island for your next holiday (check out Boracay Island in reference to this) – The Philippines has got it.

Boracay Beach
I'm sure there are a lot of amazing photos to show you how beautiful the Philippines is, so I decided to just use a few of my own photos to share some of my own experiences in the Philippines. This photo was taken at one of the many white beaches and yes, it is that powdery white and soft looking at this particular beach in Boracay

Unique bars, international restaurants, 5 star resorts, scuba diving, paragliding, awesome spas – there's just so much I could write right now and review for WeekendNotes (and I definitely will) but these are just some of the leisure activities that one can get excited about and experience while not having to worry too much about the wallet.

Banana Boat
Going on a banana boat ride – I'm the 3rd one from the front

Some people may have heard of the Philippines but sometimes they've only heard about it because of some over-sensationalised story on the news or by a not so true rumour about how it's not that beautiful to risk going there. Well, there's two things I have to say: firstly, a lot of stories on the news while true can sometimes be presented in a not so truthful way.

Meaning while they pick out newsworthy points, they fail to mention that these events are either rare, occur in far off places from where tourists really go, or are just extreme actions that could happen anywhere.

Secondly, if you believed every horror travel story out there would you ever really leave home? Most of these 'experiences' some people talk about or shall I even go to extent by saying complain about are usually caused by a misunderstanding, ignorance or just a bad day or attitude in general that a person may have had.

Of course there are legitimate reasons for not going to a certain area, and you can follow your government tourism boards that alert citizens of areas to avoid all over the world. But if you're looking for a holiday where you can not only have your pick over 7,000 beautiful islands with white sand beaches, but a holiday at a destination where you can feel comfortable going around – The Philippines is your answer because the general populace speak great English.

Did you know that based on population the latest statistics show that the Philippines is the third largest English speaking country in the world? English is one of the two official languages of the country and is the main language taught at schools. Subjects like science and math, are both taught in English, with Tagalog (or Filipino, the other official language) is taught as a course itself. Because of the high standard of English, travelling around The Philippines is a breeze. Like any tourist in a country, you just need to know the best places to go and the secrets of the locals.

Colourful Parades
I love how colourful and large the street parades in the Philippines are - Image courtesy of Ebony Lautner

You might wonder, why am I so passionate about telling people to travel to The Philippines to have a holiday. While I'm not exactly a local I sure am getting to be one. I am an Australian but I'm also part Filipino. So I'm not just any tourist. I'm an insider but I know what it's like to look from the outside. I can see it from both perspectives. The best of both worlds I call it. I can share with you the most unique, memorable and awesome experiences at all kinds of places here in the Philippines.

Some will surprise you and will make you think, "I didn't think I could do that in Asia"; or some will inspire you – you'll be exposed to some beautiful aspects of the culture there; and some will just make you so happy that you decided to give The Philippines a chance because you end up having the best holiday you've had in a while. But like any traveller everything has to be taken into stride. It's still an Asian country, and there will be experiences that won't exactly match your expectations and isn't that sometimes the whole fun of being a traveller? experiencing something different that may reach your expectations in another way.

The Philippines isn't exactly unheard of, in fact there's been a real boom in tourism lately with more and more people coming every year. Don't let that influence your decision though, if hoards of people isn't your cup of tea, there are still some beautiful, almost untouched areas that can be visited.

Apo Island
My fiancés first time to go scuba diving was in the Philippines a couple of years ago at Apo Island located in The Visayas

So there you have it, sort of a basic intro to the Philippines – it's a beautiful country with tons of things to do (and for me to review). The whole country knows and speak English well, making it easier to communicate while on holiday; and because there's so many islands you'll just want to learn more and see more. I'll write more specific reviews about places there, but for this time I just want you to want to go to the country itself if you haven't heard of it or aren't convinced yet that it should be on your list of places to go.
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Why? It's your next holiday destination
When: Best in season November to May, but it's pretty much Summer all year round
Where: The Philippines
Your Comment
I went to the Philippines for a 2-month volunteer trip, and I have to say it was one of the most fascinating and beautiful countries I have ever been to. Great article!
by Bec Ninness (score: 2|215) 3770 days ago
This is a great review. I am going to the Philippines in December but will be staying in Batangas City. I will be hoping to take photos and show WEN readers more place to go in the Philippines besides Manila.
by Miyan (score: 2|169) 3848 days ago
I agree. Most people in the Philippines can understand and speak English so you’ll never get lost. People are friendly and kind. Not expensive and lots of places to go. Great article
by Shbri (score: 0|2) 519 days ago
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