An adventure in Southeast Asia: the Philippines, 7000 islands full of surprises

Do you love a white beach that borders a turquoise sea populated by the most exotic underwater inhabitants? But if your intention is not to spend all your days in a lazy seat in the sun, then this mysterious country with its more than 7000 islands is definitely worth a visit.

A city skyline at night

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A brief history lesson

This pristine Pacific territory was first entered in 1521 by Portuguese Fernão de Magalhães, who claimed it for his client, King Phillip II of Spain. This immediately sparked a mass conversion of the local population. Catholicism is still the main religion in the Philippines today.

Spanish rule lasted until 1898 when the two-year revolt against Spanish occupation ended. Spain sold the Philippines to the United States, which would not give the country its independence until 1946. The Spanish and American stamp can still be found everywhere in the Filipino lifestyle.

It is also an archipelago located on so-called ‘The Ring of Fire’, earthquakes and volcanic activity are no exception. In addition, tropical storms often create a trail of destruction.

The capital Manila

Even though the Philippines is on the list of poorest countries in the world, its capital is one of the most modern cities in the whole of Asia. Game designers of live online casino games, such as those of Casino 777, have their recording studios here. You will find indoor shopping malls like you will find nowhere else in Asia. You can buy all the well-known brands here too, alongside homegrown Filipino products and the obligatory array of fast-food chains from around the world.

In the Makati district, you imagine yourself in another country. Beautiful avenues, parks and exquisite restaurants. This is the centre of Philippine banking and business. If you leave the ‘western’ districts of Makati and Taguig, however, you get a culture shock. Indeed, this is where real Filipino life begins: with small crammed wooden houses, colourful shops, fragrant markets and a hustle and bustle. There really is a lot of places to visit in Manila.

Away from the city bustle

A city visit to Manila is fun, but there is actually a lot more to experience in ‘the province’ as Filipinos call it themselves. LIke the crucifixion ceremony in the Philippines. The islands of Borocay and Palawan are the tourist attractions par excellence. Palawan, meanwhile, was voted the most beautiful island in the world several years in a row. El Nido in particular is a wonder of nature there.

All the way in the south you will find the second largest island of the Philippines, Mindanao. Western countries sometimes dare to issue a negative travel advice for this island. However, this is exaggerated. Except for certain regions in the extreme south of the island, there is no feeling of insecurity at all. On the contrary, residents are extremely friendly and hospitable. 

In the far north of Mindanao, you can be ferried to the tiny island of Siargao. This beautiful island is a world-famous place for divers and surfers. 

Above all, remember this in your Filipino adventure:

People are convinced that tourists have a well-stocked purse, whether you’re in Sabang beach or elsewhere. It’s true that the Philippines is one of the cheapest countries in the world to visit. They will therefore assist you with everything, but expect something in return. But if you enjoy the other wonders in the Philippines, you won’t mind at all.

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