Top Ten Philippine Attractions

Top Ten Philippine Attractions

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       The Philippines Islands are a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam. The Sulu Sea to the southwest lies between the country and the island of Borneo, and to the south the Celebes Sea separates it from other islands of Indonesia. It is bounded on the east by the Philippine Sea. Its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire and its tropical climate make the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons but have also endowed the country with natural resources and made it one of the richest areas of biodiversity in the world. An archipelago comprising 7,107 islands, the Philippines is categorized broadly into three main geographical divisions: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Its capital city is Manila. With an estimated population of about 94 million people, the Philippines Islands are the world’s 12th most populous country. Multiple ethnicities and cultures are found throughout the islands. In prehistoric times, Negritos were some of the archipelago’s earliest inhabitants. They were followed by successive waves of Austronesian peoples who brought with them influences from Malay, Hindu and Islamic societies. Trade introduced Chinese cultural influences which remain to this day. The arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 marked the beginning of an era of Spanish interest and eventual dominance. Manila became the Asian hub of the Manila–Acapulco galleon fleet, which brought Christianity to the country. As the 19th century gave way to the 20th, there followed in quick succession the Philippine Revolution, spawning the short-lived First Philippine Republic, the Spanish-American War, and the Philippine–American War. In the aftermath, the US emerged as the dominant power. Aside from the period of Japanese occupation, the US retained sovereignty over the islands until the end of WWII when the Philippines gained independence. Since independence the Philippines has had an often tumultuous experience with democracy, with popular “People Power” movements overthrowing a dictatorship in one instance but also underlining the institutional weaknesses of its constitutional republic in others.

  1. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
    Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National ParkPuerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park1Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park2Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park3Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park4Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park5
           The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is located about 50 km (31 mi) north of the city center of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. The National Park is located in the Saint Paul Mountain Range on the northern coast of the island. It is bordered by St. Paul Bay to the north and the Babuyan River to the east. The City Government of Puerto Princesa has managed the National Park since 1992. It is also known as St. Paul’s Subterranean River National Park, or St. Paul Underground River. The entrance to the Subterranean River is a short hike from the town of Sabang. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is one of the 28 finalists for the “New Seven Wonders of Nature” competition.
    Links: Top Ten Wonders of the Natural World, National Parks, Top Ten Caves,,
  2. Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park
    Tubbataha Reefs Natural ParkTubbataha Reefs Natural Park1Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park2Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park3Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park4Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park5
           Tubbataha Reef is an atoll coral reef located in the Sulu Sea of the Philippines. It is a marine sanctuary protected as Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park. It is nominated at the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
    Links: Top Ten Natural Wonders of the World, Top Ten Reefs, Top Ten Sharks, Top 100 Fish,,
  3. Baroque Churches of the Philippines
    Baroque Churches of the PhilippinesBaroque Churches of the Philippines1Baroque Churches of the Philippines2Baroque Churches of the Philippines3Baroque Churches of the Philippines4
           The Baroque Churches of the Philippines is the official designation to a collection of four Spanish-era churches in the Philippines. The collection is composed of the following: San Agustin Church in Manila, Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur, San Agustin Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte, and Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Church in Miag-ao, Iloilo. These churches have been at the forefront of Philippine history, not just in furthering Christianity in the archipelago, but in serving as the political backbone of Spanish colonial rule, when Church and State were regarded as one. The unique architecture of the churches didn’t just reflect the adaptation of Spanish/Latin American architecture to the local environment (including the fusion with Chinese motifs), but also of the Church’s political influence. These churches had been subject to attacks by local revolts and rebellions, hence, most had the appearance of a fortress, rather than just serving as mere religious structures. This is especially noteworthy in the case of Santa Maria Church, located on top of a hill, serving as a citadel during times of crisis. Miag-ao Church also withstood the occasional attacks of Muslims from the south. Further, the location of the Philippines along the Pacific Ring of Fire called for the emphasis on the buttresses and foundations of these churches, with some being seriously damaged, but eventually rebuilt after an earthquake. The most imposing of these buttresses could be found in Paoay Church, while the true testament of this architecture could be seen in San Agustin Church, Manila, the only structure in Intramuros to survive WWII. The unique architectural style became known as Earthquake Baroque.
    Links: Top Ten Churches, Top Ten Doors,,,_Manila,,_Iloilo#Miag-ao_Church,
  4. Historic Town of Vigan
    Historic Town of ViganHistoric Town of Vigan1Historic Town of Vigan2
           The City of Vigan is a city in the province of Ilocos Sur, Philippines. It is the capital of the Province of Ilocos Sur. The city is located on the western coast of the large island of Luzon, facing the South China Sea. It is a World Heritage Site in that it is one of numerous Hispanic towns in the Philippines, and is well-known for its cobblestone streets, and a unique architecture that fuses Philippine building design, and construction with colonial European architecture. According to the latest Philippines census, it has a population of 47,246 people. Former Philippine president Elpidio Quirino, the 6th president of the Philippines, was born in Vigan, at the current location of the Provincial Jail (his father was a warden); and resided in the Syquia Mansion.
  5. Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras
    Rice Terraces of the Philippine CordillerasRice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras1Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras2Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras3Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras4Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras5Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras6
           The Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and include; the Batad Rice Terraces, Bangaan Rice Terraces, Mayoyao Rice Terraces, Hungduan Rice Terraces and Nagacadan Rice Terraces, all in the Ifugao Province of the Philippines. Built 2,000 years ago and passed on from generation to generation, the Ifugao Rice Terraces reach a higher altitude and were built on steeper slopes than many other terraces. The Ifugao complex of stone or mud walls and the careful carving of the natural contours of hills and mountains to make terraced pond fields, coupled with the development of intricate irrigation systems, harvesting water from the forests of the mountain tops, and an elaborate farming system. The terraces illustrate a persistence of cultural traditions and remarkable continuity and endurance; archaeological evidence reveals that this technique has been in use in the region for 2,000 years virtually unchanged. Maintenance of the living rice terraces reflects a primarily cooperative approach of the whole community which is based on detailed knowledge of the rich diversity of biological resources existing in the Ifugao agro-ecosystem, a finely tuned annual system respecting lunar cycles, zoning and planning, extensive soil conservation, and mastery of a complex pest control regime based on the processing of a variety of herbs, accompanied by religious rituals.
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