Must-see attractions in Philippines

  • Carbon market fish stalls in downtown.

    Carbon Market

    Cebu City

    The sprawling Carbon Market is a boisterous, cacophonous frenzy that seemingly never sleeps. It's a local affair: expect mounds of fruit and vegetables,…

  • North Cemetery

    Manila

    If you thought Manila's Chinese Cemetery was different, you clearly haven't made it to its abutting North Cemetery. While significant for being the burial…

  • Bulabog Puti-An National Park

    Iloilo

    Spelunkers take note: this 847-hectare old-growth forest 33km north of Iloilo has dozens of caves, of which six are open to the public, all within 3km of…

  • Binangawan Falls

    Camiguin

    At 15m or so this is the shortest of the falls on Camiguin and one of the most difficult to reach. You can go on your own or with a guide arranged through…

  • GK Enchanted Farm

    Around Manila

    Hidden away a 1½-hour drive north of Quezon City, this small, volunteer-run farm is attempting to alleviate poverty by fostering young local entrepreneurs…

  • Tukuran Falls

    Puerto Galera

    Tukuran Falls is a series of gentle cascades and turquoise-toned swimming holes accessed from the village of Calsapa, about 45 minutes south of Puerto…

  • Mt Pinatubo

    Around Manila

    The jumping-off point for the climb up Mt Pinatubo is the village of Santa Juliana, from where you take a memorable 4WD journey across an eerie, lunar…

  • Mt Guiting-Guiting Natural Park

    Western Visayas

    This 15,200-hectare natural park (pronounced 'gee-TING gee-TING') is a biological treasure, home to an estimated 700 plant species, 130 bird species and a…

  • Camp John Hay

    Baguio

    A Japanese internment camp for Allied prisoners of war in WWII, and then a US military rest-and-recreation facility, 246-hectare Camp John Hay has been…

  • Hoyop-Hoyopan Cave

    Bicol

    Pottery dating from 200 BC to AD 900 has been found in this easily accessed limestone cave, set on a quiet hillside above a pretty rural valley. Guides…

  • Ayuntamiento

    Manila

    Once the grandest building in all of Intramuros, the Ayuntamiento was destroyed in WWII and spent years as a parking lot before a faithful recreation of…

  • Iwahig Prison & Penal Farm

    Puerto Princesa

    About 15km from Puerto, this penal colony invites visitors to drop in and mingle with the prisoners. In the gymnasium of the central compound, inmates…

  • Tam-awan Village

    Baguio

    Nine traditional Ifugao homes and two Kalinga huts were taken apart then reassembled on the side of a hill at this artists colony. Spending the night in…

  • Metropolitan Theater

    Manila

    This stunning piece of art deco opened as the city’s premier opera theatre under the Americans in 1931. Today it’s in a state of utter disrepair, but…

  • Bulusan Volcano National Park

    Bicol

    About 16km southwest of Barcelona is Bulusan Volcano National Park. Just inside the park, Bulusan Lake is a popular picnic spot, and there’s a 1.8km…

  • Quezon Memorial Circle

    Manila

    The heart and soul of Quezon City is this vast park at the centre of a roundabout where several major avenues merge. There's all sorts of local flavour…

  • National Museum of Natural History

    Manila

    As well as being an excellent, comprehensive look at the Philippines' flora, fauna, geography and geology, Manila's latest and greatest museum is an…

  • Capas National Shrine

    Around Manila

    This former Camp O'Donnell POW camp was where the American and Filipino soldiers who endured the notorious WWII Bataan Death March were transported: their…

  • Hundred Islands National Park

    North Luzon

    This small national park off the coast of Alaminos, 35km southeast of Bolinao, actually consists of 123 separate islets (some are just large rocks). Over…

  • Pottery Factories

    Vigan

    Prior to the arrival of the Spanish, Chinese settlers pioneered a still-active pottery industry. You can visit a couple of pottery factories on Gomez St…

  • Aguinaldo Mansion

    Around Manila

    History buffs should venture 20km south of Manila to view this museum in the town of Kawit. Here the revolutionary army of General Emilio Aguinaldo…

  • White Island

    Camiguin

    Uninhabited White Island, a pure white-sand bar a few hundred metres offshore, is accessible by boats (P450, up to four people) that leave from a spot…

  • Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary

    Cebu City

    This impressive butterfly sanctuary, in tropical gardens surrounding the home of late founder Julian Jumalon, harbours more than 55 species, though…

  • Manila Cathedral

    Manila

    First built in 1581 (and rebuilt seven times since, most recently in 1951 following its destruction in WWII), Manila Cathedral's present edifice looks…

  • St Paul Cathedral

    Vigan

    This church was built in ‘earthquake baroque’ style (ie thick-walled and massive) after an earlier incarnation was damaged by quakes in 1619 and 1627. The…

  • Padre José Burgos National Museum

    Vigan

    Built in 1788, this museum is in the ancestral home of Father José Burgos, one of the three martyr priests executed by the Spanish in 1872. It houses an…

  • Malinta Tunnel

    Around Manila

    Completed in 1932 after 10 years of construction, the Malinta Tunnel complex is built into the side of a hill and was used by the Americans as a bombproof…

  • Karrivin Plaza

    Manila

    Busy Don Chino Roces Ave (Pasong Tamo) has evolved into an art district of sorts, and this hip collection of galleries, furniture shops and design labs is…

  • World War II Museum

    Puerto Princesa

    Just east of the centre, this is an interesting, privately owned museum set up by Eugenio Mendoza, whose father was a member of the Fighting 1000, a group…

  • Buktot Beach

    Mindoro

    Buktot Beach is a a gorgeous sweep of white sand and clean, calm water. If you visit during the week, you'll have it to yourself, but weekends sometimes…

  • First United Building

    Manila

    Not only is this one of Manila's finest pieces of surviving pre-WWII art deco, but it's also the centrepiece of the Escolta St revival. Inside are…

  • Magsingal Museum

    Vigan

    This branch of Vigan's Padre José Burgos National Museum, located 11km north of Vigan in Magsingal, displays an absorbing collection of Ilocano relics. An…

  • Bahay Nakpil-Bautista

    Manila

    Built in 1914, this beautiful ancestral home is the former residence of Perona Nakpil, the widow of Andrés Bonifacio ( father of the Philippine Revolution…

  • University of San Carlos Museum

    Cebu City

    This well-presented museum is best known for its anthropological and archaeological exhibits, including displays depicting the 16th-century practice of…

  • Hilutangan Island

    Cebu

    Hilutangan Island, about 4km southwest of Olango, is surrounded by a marine sanctuary, although the snorkelling isn't that great as the reefs were damaged…

  • Cataja Falls

    Western Visayas

    This three-tiered waterfall cascading into a refreshing swimming hole makes for a great half-day excursion. Walk (or ride) east out of Magdiwang past the…

  • Lake Danao Natural Park

    Leyte

    Lake Danao is beautifully situated in Leyte's inland hills 18km east of town, making it a good day trip from Ormoc. There's some great hiking around the…

  • Sand Dunes

    North Luzon

    Located along the coast near Laoag, the seemingly endless sand dunes sprawl south all the way to Paoay. Access is easiest to the La Paz stretch, only 15…

  • University of the Philippines Diliman

    Manila

    If you have a spare half-day, make the trip out to the lovely, leafy University of the Philippines Diliman campus. It has a genuine American university…

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