4 Wonders of the Philippines
The Philippines is an island country in Southeast Asia, consisting of over 7,000 islands and islets. From rolling chocolate hills to caves and beaches for exploration, the Philippines has many places to explore and learn about!
Sagada is a relaxed town within the Mountain Province, known for its hanging coffins. Sagada’s terrain is known to be quite remote and steep but boasts beautiful views of rice terraces, limestone caves to explore, and rich indigenous history. For thousands of years, Sagada locals have been following a unique burial ritual, where their burial coffins are hung inside mountainous caves or on the face of cliffs.
In addition, Sagada is well known for Sumaguing Cave or the “Big Cave”. This cave houses impressive natural pools as well as stalactites and stalagmites. Commonly, locals and tourists visit these caves to experience spelunking or exploring caves.
El Nido is a part of Palawan island and houses everything from secret lagoons and idyllic cliffs to hidden beaches and waterfalls. Miniloc Island is known as Small and Secret Lagoons, where visitors can kayak and swim in the turquoise waters. The surrounding limestone cliffs and greenery make the waters serene and calm. El Nido is estimated to have some of the oldest rock formations and fossils in the Philippines. The oldest rock in El Nido called “Bacuit” is estimated to be around 270 million years old.
Bohol is known for its Chocolate Hills, which are unique and wondrous views of rolling “chocolate” hills. This beautiful landscape is made up of thousands of hills within the towns of Carmen, Batuan, and Sagbayan. These almost symmetrical hills look so perfect that one would have guessed they were man-made. But, these chocolate hills don’t always look chocolatey. In their off-season, these hills are covered in green vegetation and grass that begins to turn into chocolatey brown during the Philippine dry season.
The Philippines is home to about 2,000 whale sharks and has the second-largest whale shark population in the world. Whale sharks or known locally as butanding, are most prominent in the Donsol, Sogod Bay, Oslob, and Palawan areas. Local organizations like LAMAVE, are working to create awareness for sustainable tourism and environmental practices that allow whale sharks to thrive. These majestic fish are easy to spot in the hotstop areas between November and May during their migration.