Interesting facts about the Philippines:
– The Philippines is named after King Philip of Spain. It is the third largest in the world and the only Catholic country in Asia. It is also one of the most densely populated countries on the planet. And its capital, Manila, is therefore one of the most densely populated cities in the world. People live even in cemeteries! On the graves of your relatives – free of charge, rent from relatives of other deceased – a few dollars a month.
– In wartime, the Philippine flag is turned upside down and the red color is on top.
– This country is one of the most popular destinations for sex tourism. However, condoms have only recently appeared there. There is also no official divorce procedure in the Philippines.
– Armed police officers are on duty in banks and large stores in the Philippines.
– The famous yo-yo toy, the fluorescent lamp, the antibiotic erythromycin were invented in the Philippines. Like karaoke! After that, it migrated to relatively nearby Japan. Filipinos really do sing or listen to music all the time.
– The Philippines has a beautiful underwater world. Almost all known species of coral grow here (488 out of 500). The largest pearl in the world (almost 7 kg) was also found in the Philippines. And the famous Tubbataha Reef, teeming with wildlife, is on the UNESCO list.
– The most expensive, because the rarest shell in the world, Conus Gloriamaris, is one of the 12,000 varieties of beautiful shells that are “grown” in the Philippines. Local shells became popular when Elizabeth Taylor wore a necklace made of them. Note to the tourist: it is prohibited to export seashells from the Philippines, as well as from most maritime countries. At airports, they really check whether there are no prohibited shells in the luggage.
In general, the Philippines is a country that you definitely want to visit. There is a lot of interesting things here, but there are also many shortcomings that can significantly spoil the vacation.
Advantages of the Philippines:
– Extremely friendly, open Filipinos with excellent English. This is the second state language and everyone speaks it. I also want a second state English in Ukraine!
– One of the most beautiful beaches in the world, an amazing underwater world. In the Philippine seas-oceans, you can meet whales, dolphins, dugongs, manta rays, hammerhead sharks, whale sharks, a lot of bright small fish, snakes, turtles, thresher sharks – local endemics.
– In the Philippines, tourists raft down the world’s longest underground river (8 km), dive with whale sharks and look in natural conditions at the most adorable animals in the world – tarsiers. And this is the fantastic experience for which you have to come here.
Cons in the Philippines are much more:
– Far to fly, really the edge of the continent. The most optimal flight is Emirates or Qatar Airlines with one stopover.
– You will spend half of the trip on the road, even if you choose only a few islands. The roads are bad, communication is poorly developed, plus traffic jams, plus crossings-flights from island to island.
– Ukrainians need a visa. It is made at the Consulate in Museum Lane for $40. Sometimes there are not enough forms there, so visas are sent to embassies abroad.
– The food is not tasty. This is often written about in tourist forums about the Philippines. I also can’t remember any other country where it was so tasteless. A vegetarian in the Philippines needs rice, fruit and a slim figure. Or look for accommodation with a kitchen.
– As for Asia, it is not cheap, most of the prices are higher than in Ukraine, at the same time there is no service. A lot of garbage, few curiosities except natural ones. Nothing unique, almost everything in the Philippines (except nature) is borrowed from someone.
– The country is located in the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire and is subject to all natural disasters. Typhoons, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and earthquakes often occur here. And this is a real problem. When we flew from Kyiv, a strong typhoon passed in the Philippines, and when we arrived, another one started. We had to cancel a reservation for 3 nights on one of the islands because another typhoon was passing through it.
On the eve of the eruption of the world’s smallest Taal volcano in the Philippines, which is only 60 km from the capital Manila, we managed to fly from there to the Malaysian island of Borneo. The next day, the local airport and others nearby were closed, the population was evacuated. Such a country – two typhoons and a volcanic eruption in just one month.
The only thing for which, in my opinion, you should go to the Philippines is nature. And besides, you have to love it so much that the lack of comfort will not prevent you from enjoying its uniqueness.
Perhaps the most interesting tourist attraction on the islands is diving for whale sharks. These are the largest fish on the planet, but their life depends on the smallest organisms – plankton. Like other heavyweights, the whale shark is a good-natured vegetarian, absolutely safe for humans and other animals. Vietnamese fishermen call her “Ka Ong” – “Fish Lady”.