Mt. Mayon - Bicol region, Albay province, outside Legazpi City, some 320 km southeast of Manila - Philippines.
Mayon has the classic conical shape of a stratovolcano. It is the most active volcano in the Philippines. Since 1616, Mayon has erupted 47 times. The beautifully symmetrical Mayon volcano, which rises to 2,460 meters above the Albay Gulf, is the Philippines' most active volcano. The structurally simple volcano has steep upper slopes that average 35-40 degrees and is capped by a small summit crater. The historical eruptions of this basaltic-andesitic volcano date back to 1616 and range from Strombolian to basaltic Plinian. Eruptions occur predominately from the central conduit and have also produced lava flows that travel far down the flanks. Pyroclastic flows and mudflows have commonly swept down many of the approximately 40 ravines that radiate from the summit and have often devastated populated lowland areas.
In June 1991, after more than four centuries of slumber, Pinatubo Volcano in the Philippines erupted so violently that more than 5 billion cubic meters of ash and pyroclastic debris were ejected from its fiery bowels producing eruption columns 18 kilometers wide at the base and heights reaching up to 30 kilometers above the volcano?s vent.
In its wake 847 people lay dead, 184 injured, 23 missing, and more than 1 millon people displaced. Hundreds of millions of dollars in private properties and infrastructure lay in ruins which would require tens of billions of pesos and several years to rebuild. For months, the ejected volcanic materials remained suspended in the atmosphere where the winds dispersed them to envelope the earth, reaching as far as Russia and North America. This phenomenon caused the world?s temperature to fall by an average of 1 degree Celsius. Clearly, Pinatubo?s eruption signals the world?s most violent and destructive volcanic event of the 20th century.
The Chocolate Hills of Bohol
The Chocolate Hills are probably Bohol's most famous tourist attraction. They look like giant mole hills, or as some say, women's breasts, and remind us of the hills in a small child's drawing. Most people who first see pictures of this landscape can hardly believe that these hills are not a man-made artifact. However, this idea is quickly abandoned, as the effort would surely surpass the construction of the pyramids in Egypt. The chocolate hills consist of are no less than 1268 hills (some claim this to be the exact number). They are very uniform in shape and mostly between 30 and 50 meters high. They are covered with grass, which, at the end of the dry season, turns chocolate brown. From this color, the hills derive their name. At other times, the hills are green, and the association may be a bit difficult to make.
About 1 km long White Beach - Mindoro island - Puerto Galera. A small vacation destination with many resorts. This coastal town is well known among tourists for its numerous pocket beaches and many snorkeling and Scuba diving spots. The area was designated a Man and Biosphere Reserve of UNESCO in 1973 and has some of the most diverse coral reef diving in Asia. The marine environment has benefited in recent years from the influx of tourist dollars. This has seen a huge reduction in the number of fishermen in the area, as they gain higher revenue from tourists.Puerto Galera is a listed by the Club of the Most Beautiful Bays In The World, and is the only bay in the Philippines to be listed there.
Boracay is an awesome tropical island about an hour's flight from Manila in the Philippines. Its long white sand beaches rival the best beaches of more popular destinations such as the Caribbean, the South Pacific as well as neighbouring Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Facilities are available to suit different levels of activity. For those wanting to just lounge around and take in some rays, beach-front hotels usually have lounge chairs set up just a few steps away from the hotel entrances. Facilities for the usual water sports activities such as wind surfing, snorkeling, diving and jet skiing are also widely available for those in search of more active pursuits. The fun in Boracay also doesn't end when the sun sets. Boracay nightlife is pulsating with many bars and restaurants serving food, drink and fun until the very late evening.
10° 12.056N 118° 55.476E
The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is located about 50 km north of the city of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. It features a limestone karst mountain landscape with an 8.2 km. navigable underground river. A distinguishing feature of the river is that it winds through a cave before flowing directly into the South China Sea. It includes major formations of stalactites and stalagmites, and several large chambers. The lower portion of the river is subject to tidal influences. The underground river is reputed to be the world's longest. At the mouth of the cave, a clear lagoon is framed by ancient trees growing right to the water's edge. Monkeys, large monitor lizards, and squirrels find their niche on the beach near the cave.
About an hour’s flight away from Manila is Cebu. It is an island in central Philippines with Cebu City as its capital. The island is long and thin with a few smaller islands off-shore. The airport is located on the flat island of Mactan which is separated from the main island by the narrow Mactan Channel. Cebu City is one of the main centres of commerce, trade and industry in the Visayas and Mindanao region of the country. Because of this and other important aspects that Cebu City was given the moniker Queen City of the South.
For local and foreign tourist, there are many places of interest in Cebu. One is “Magellan's Cross” which was named after Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer who came to Cebu in the early 1500s. Pieces of the original cross are believed to be encased in the present cross. The monument is just across the street from the Sto. Niño Basilica in downtown Cebu City. It used to be the only Catholic Basilica in East Asia. The basilica houses the famous “Santo Niño” the patron saint of the Cebuanos.
Another place to see is the Spanish “Fort San Pedro” which is where the Lapu-lapu shrine is (Punta Engaño) it is also where the Battle of Mactan took place.
The “Taoist Temple” is also a good place to drop by. One can see the entire city on top of the hill. Then rent a cab to “The Top” a small park on top of a mountain where one can spend a few hours while having a drink or two. During sunset and at night you can see glowing lights from the buildings and houses below the mountain.
Hundred Islands National Park,Pangasinan
Pangasinan is a province 250 kilometers north on Manila. The province is bordered by the provinces of Zambales and Tarlac on the south, Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija to the east, La Union on the north and the Lingayen Gulf to the west. The name Pangasinan was derived from the word "asin" or salt due to Pangasinan's vast salt making industry. The province is also a major producer of mangoes, rice, milkfish and bamboo handicrafts.Today, Pangasinan is more known for its most popular tourist attraction which is the Hundred Islands National Park. A cluster of more than a hundred islands off the town of Alaminos on the Lingayen Gulf. Of which, the biggest island is named Quezon. Most of the islands are small and uninhabited and are only occasionally visited during the day by local and foreign tourist. Most of the bigger islands have beaches where visitors can spend the day or camp out for a picnic.
However, only a few of these island have facilities. Those that offer facilities are: Quezon Island with viewing decks, toilets and picnic sheds, the Governor's Island has accommodation facilities for those who would like to stay longer and the Children's Island which has bathrooms, camping and sleeping areas.
Baguio City is the summer capital of the Philippines. Located in northern Luzon, Baguio City was established by the Americans in 1909, It is sited about 1,500 meters above sea level, high in the Cordillera mountain range giving the city an almost temperate climate. Baguio is a favorite vacation destination of Filipinos & foreign tourist specially during summer because of its year-round cool climate. It is also known as an educational center with its 4 universities and several colleges and institutes in Baguio City’s 49 square kilometer area.
The centrepiece of Baguio City is the Burnham Park which features a rectangular lagoon and open fields. The eastern part of the city is dominated by high-class residential areas surrounding the Camp John Hay, a former American military recreation zone now turned into a tourist residential-commercial area.
Places of Interest:
Baguio City Cathedral is a majestic church built on top of a hill, and is seen from many parts of the city. On the right side of the cathedral is Session Road. It is the main avenue of the city and is its commercial center. Along the main street and side streets are numerous shops, restaurants, and billiard and duckpin bowling alleys. Session Road is also the place visited by foreign tourists who wish to enjoy the city's nightlife.
Mines View Park, located at the extreme northeast of Baguio City boasts a spectacular view of Benguet's gold and copper mines.
Camp John Hay, once a military recreational camp of the Americans during World War II is now a popular tourist destination for people who wish to see the pine forests in Baguio City. It also boasts of a sprawling country club with a full 18-hole golf course as well as many trendy restaurants and a rather nice hotel called The Manor.
Itogon Wood Carver's Village - fills three kilometers of independent indigenous wood carvers. The works of these carvers range from very small figurines to huge statues.
Banaue Rice Terraces
Banaue rice terraces has been described as the eighth wonder of the world. Carved out of the hillside by Ifugao tribes people 2000 to 3000 years ago without the aid of machinery to provide level steps where the natives plant rice. And they are still in use today. In 1995, they were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Banaue rice terraces stretch like stepping stones to the sky - some reaching an altitude of 1500m (4920ft). It is considered as one of mankind's greatest engineering feat. If the terraces were laid end to end, they would stretch half way around the world. One of the major appeal of Banaue rice terraces to the local and international tourist are the many hiking trails in the area. There are many young locals, mostly college students who serve as guides. But with or without a guide, you will find the friendliness and warmth of the Ifugao people endearing.