Fun things to do in Philippines

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Philippines

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    DON'T BE ALARMED at the WILDLIFE IN YOUR ROOM

    by davidjo Written Jul 4, 2014

    Tokay Gekho is the second biggest gekho in the world, often growing to over a foot long, but don't be alarmed if you see one clinging to the wall of your bedroom as they are harmless. He will actually be doing you a favor by eating the insects in your room. If you try to corner one he will open his mouth and possibly bite your finger which does not hurt (even though it is strong enough to bite through the hard shell of a cockroach. The gekho is a solitary guy and will defend his own territory, but will mate with a female who will lay 2 or 3 hard shelled eggs.
    As in the photograph they have a bluish/grayish body with spots ranging from yellow to red, and have large eyes that range in colors. You may hear a loud croak that sounds like TUKO, and are nocturnal creatures.

    friendly fellow

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    TRY TAHO FOR BREAKFAST

    by davidjo Written Jun 25, 2014

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    Taho is a very popular streetfood sold by peddlars throughout the country, who make their way around town carrying a yoke with two aluminum containers which contain the snack. These men are known as magtataho, and they only usually sell their taho in the mornings, sometimes for only 5 pesos. Taho is actually made from processed soya beans, topped with caramel and sago. In Indonesia and Malaysia their version is known as tauhue. Taho can trace its origin back to the Chinese 'douhua'.
    The magtataho prepare their taho before dawn, sometimes adding flavors such as vanilla. They usually stick to the same route every morning shouting tahooooo as they make their way around the area. The locals will usually rush out to buy the taho, often with their own cups, but the magtataho also have plastic cups and spoons. The taho is usually drak from the cup or sucked through a straw.

    tasty snack

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    CLARK VETERANS CEMETERY

    by mtncorg Written May 31, 2014

    The former air force base at Clark, next door to Angeles City, was one of the two former American bases in the Philippines. Predating the air base was the main US Army fort of Fort Stotsenburg which was established in 1903. In 1950, the Manila American Cemetery was established for those Americans and Filipino Scouts who had died during the fighting of World War II. The cemetery was placed on the grounds of the former cemetery of the former Fort McKinley. To make room for these men, the former graves were disinterred and the remains were removed to the cemetery at Clark. Along with the graves from Fort McKinley were added those remains from the US Naval Cemetery at Sangley Point – Cavite – and two smaller cemeteries from Fort Stotsenburg. The cemetery is still open for burials to American veterans and Philippine Scouts. Some 8600 graves are listed here with over 2000 listed as unknown. The large memorial obelisk – a 1908 memorial to Unknown American soldiers who had died in the Philippines - in the center of the cemetery was taken from Fort McKinley, still showing damage from the fighting during the Battle of Manila in 1945. Many of the buried here include civilians – though most of these were former soldiers who stayed on in the Philippines after their army service was over - who were a major part of the Quartermaster Corps – supply wagons – during the early part of the 20th century. There are some 650 Philippine Scouts buried here as are a few foreign nationals – Vietnamese boat refugees, a French naval commander from 1905. The cemetery had been forlorn and forgotten following the ash eruptions of Mt Pinatubo in 1991. Some eight to twelve inches of ash fell atop the graves causing damage and erosion to many of the grave markers. Much of the history of the graves was lost during the fighting in World War II. Just recently – December 2013 - the US Congress gave the American Battlefield Monument Commission – ABMC – the authority to restore the cemetery and restoration is in the process, a unique site among the Commission’s many.

    Known and unknown at Clark Veterans Cemetery Old graves removed from Fort Stotsenburg, Manila Battle-scarred monument from Manila Philipine Division and Scouts remembered Death March marker outside the cemetery
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    MANILA AMERICAN CEMETERY AND MEMORIAL

    by mtncorg Written May 31, 2014

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    The American Battle Monuments Commission is an agency of the US government which operates some 24 American cemeteries and 25 memorials in 15 countries. Just south of Makati City and the exclusive residential district of Forbes Park, next to the site of the old American Fort McKinley is the largest ABMC cemetery. Over 17,000 men are buried here while another 36,286 men who were missing in action are remembered on its walls. The cemetery is an oasis of solitude amongst the hurly burly of Manila. The grounds are kept immaculately. The men died in the southwestern Pacific theaters – Philippines, New Guinea, Solomon Islands, etc.. These were men whose surviving families elected not to repatriate their remains to the US. Included among the dead were men of the Philippine Scouts, a specialized unit that was established early on in the American Philippine era. The Scouts were a part of the American army during World War II directly as opposed to Filipino soldiers who were members of the Philippine Commonwealth Army. Among the graves are those of some eight Medal of Honor recipients. The Wall of the Missing includes names of another 21 MoH winners. Many of the names were airmen shot down over jungles and the sea as well as sailors whose sunken ships serve as their final resting places.

    Medal of Honor winner - one of seven buried here New condo towers rise above the Manila ABMC Names of the Missing stretch on and on Chapel at the Manila ABMC Maps show Liberation of the Philippines
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    PAGSANJAN FALLS

    by mtncorg Written May 31, 2014

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    Located about two hours out from Manila – traffic depending – just off the southeastern corner of the vast Laguna de Bay Lake, Pagsanjan Falls is a major tourist destination for both international and domestic travelers. From the hotels in Pagsanjan, tourists book their boat trips upriver. Local boatmen haul boats – three passenger maximum – up over some 14 rapids to the falls. During the wet season, they can’t make it all the way due to water level. When you reach the falls, you transfer to a big bamboo raft which takes you underneath the falls itself. You get wet. Take a towel and change of clothes – leave at your hotel starting point. You get a hardhat and life jacket when you start out. There is a refreshment stand near the falls. Remember your boatmen when you finish. There are some 900+ boatmen on the river who use trips to supplement their income. They rotate trips so they only get a chance every week or so to make some hard cash.

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    TAYTAY

    by mtncorg Written May 31, 2014

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    Taytay was the main Spanish center on the island of Palawan until the 20th century when the capital was moved to the south at Puerto Princesa. All that is left is the black Spanish fort which dates to the latter 1500’s. The town is a fishing and aspiring tourist center today. Mostly inexpensive lodging can be found in the heart of the town, but from here bancas plow eastward to the superb resort out on Apulit Island – a true destination that is spoils you for other beach vacations!

    Rapel wall rises above Apulit cottages Waterfront accommodations on Apulit Island Water approach to Apulit Island Bon voyage at El Nido airport
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    BOHOL

    by mtncorg Written May 31, 2014

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    Bohol is seen usually on daytrips from the beach resorts on nearby Panglao. There are plenty of sites to run across from the Chocolate Hills to Tarsier parks, river cruises and old Spanish stone churches. The provincial capital of Taglibaran is the airline entry point for both Bohol and nearby Panglao – at least until the new international airport on Panglao near Alona Beach is completed (after which the airport at Tagbiliran is to be closed).

    Tarsier of Bohol Boats congregate for Loboc River cruise Baclayon Stone Church altar Chocolate Hills of Bohol Repairing earthquake damage from 2013
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    ALONA BEACH

    by mtncorg Written May 31, 2014

    While Boracay is the most well-known beach in the Philippines, Alona Beach is certainly gaining ground. Same warm waters, white sand beach along with a multitude of better diving sites and the nearby attractions to be found on the neighboring island of Bohol, plus the generally quieter – for now – atmosphere make this a worthy alternative.

    Valentine's Day on Alona Beach Sunset over Alona Beach
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    MOUNT PINATUBO

    by mtncorg Written May 31, 2014

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    Standing at only 4872 feet/1485 meters, Mt Pinatubo is far from the highest of volcanoes. But eruptions in 1991 led to the death of some 847 people and left over a million homeless. The events made the decision easier for the US to simply leave Clark Air Force Base in nearby Angeles City – just east of the mountain – in response to Filipino reluctance to renew American leases to this base and the naval port at Subic Bay. Today Pinatubo lies within a military zone. The area is closed during the wet season – July to October. The only way to approach the mountain, its crater and the large lake lying within is to book a tour.

    Shoreline of Pinatubo crater lake Crater of Mt Pinatubo Jeeps drive to trailhead for Pinatubo crater Constant devastation from subsequent erosion
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    CAPAS NATIONAL SHRINE

    by mtncorg Written May 31, 2014

    To commemorate the sufferings of the men who suffered through the agonies of the Bataan Death March and their ensuing incarceration with the prison camp established by the Japanese at Camp O’Donnell, the Philippine government erected this tall monument made of three columns representing the Philippines, the USA and Japan in hopes of forgiveness and remembrance. The towers are surrounded by marble walls upon which the names of the 30,000 Filipinos who had been herded inside the Camp O’Donnell prison camp are etched. Some 25,000 men died in the prison and were buried in common graves. The graves are located at the nearby Camp O’Donnell which is a couple kilometers further to the west from the shrine. Being a part of a Filipino military base, they are off limits to the normal tourist.

    Tower rises at Capas National Shrine List of men held at Camp O'Donnell Concentration Monument to Battling Bastards of Bataan Boxcars used to transport prisoners to O'Donnell Older Death March Memorial in nearby Tarlac
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    DEATH MARCH MARKERS

    by mtncorg Written May 31, 2014

    With the April 9th 1942 surrender of the Fil-Am army on Bataan Peninsula, some 65,000 Filipino and 15,000 Americans were forced to march north to prison camps in Tarlac province, over 100 miles away. Weakened by the five-month struggle in the jungles of Bataan – disease and malnutrition – some 10,000 men perished along the way, helped at times by their Japanese captors. Markers each kilometer along the route commemorate the path these men struggled along from their starting points at Marivelles in the south and Bagac in the west to Camp O’Donnell in the north.

    Death March Zero marker in Bagac Estimate of marchers - Capas National Shrine Each kilometer of the March was originally marked Memory of March from Tarlac Death March Memorial Death March marker at Clark Veterans Cemetery
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    CORREGIDOR

    by mtncorg Written May 31, 2014

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    Corregidor is an island in the middle of the sea entrance to Manila Bay. Following the American occupation of the Philippines following the Spanish-American War of 1898, major steps were undertaken to fortify the island in order to protect Manila from potential seaborne invaders. Massive guns were installed and they served their purpose well. No invader ever used this route. In December of 1941, the Japanese came ashore on Luzon from the Lingayen Gulf, far to the north, as well as southern Luzon. The main Filipino-American defending force retreated to Bataan Peninsula where they held out for five months. Commanding the force was Douglas MacArthur and he set his headquarters on the island along with Filipino Commonwealth President Manuel Quezon. Things kept getting worse and first Quezon and then MacArthur left. The defenders of Bataan finally surrendered on the 9th of April 1942. Now, the Japanese turned their full attentions upon Corregidor. The big guns could not respond to the shelling the Japanese artillery gave since they were pointed out at sea and could not be turned to the north towards Bataan. Early in May it was over following a Japanese invasion of the island itself. Three years later, the island was retaken by combined air and seaborne forces.

    Today, the island is a major tourist destination – a quiet oasis from the hectic reality of Manila.

    Mortars still point skyward in search of targets Cruise boat takes you out to the island Mile Long Barracks Topside 12 Malinta Tunnel
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    BATAAN

    by mtncorg Written May 31, 2014

    The Bataan Peninsula has been a wayward aside to the Philippines for much of its past and current history. For one brief five month period in 1941-42, Bataan did become the central focus as a combined Filipino-American force tried to stave off an invading Japanese army in hopes of reinforcements from the US that were never coming. Monuments remember the struggle atop Mt Samat near the provincial capital of Balanga. Markers mourn each kilometer along the path of the Death March, the route followed by the Allied prisoners following their surrender.

    Memorial cross atop Mt Samat Memorial and museum atop Mt Samat Death March zero marker Japanese Christian memorial on Mt Samat
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    MANILA

    by mtncorg Written May 31, 2014

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    Manila is the hectic heart and soul of the Philippines. Some travelers try to skip the city using Cebu as their point of entry and exit. Others try to minimize their stay here. Those who do stay will find a very fascinating city after getting past the overcrowding, the air and the sometimes insane traffic conditions – note: from the present (March 2014) for he the next possible four to six years, traffic can get much worse in the city as a multitude of construction projects are scheduled to take place.

    For most of its history, Manila was defined by its Spanish walls. Intramuros - inside the walls - was the colonial center and Extramuros – outside the walls – was for the non-colonial minded folk, such as the Chinese traders who concentrated themselves north of the Pasig River in what became Binondo. With the exchange of colonial masters at the onset of the 20th Century – USA for Spain, Manila began to grow beyond the old walls. After the close of World War II, metro Manila really took off seeing rampant and mostly unplanned growth take the population from one to ten million.

    Cathedral of Manila San Agustin Church - one of Manila's oldest Miguel Lopez de Legazpi taking a rest Quiapo Church - home of Black Nazarene Old and new together in Manila
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    Panglao Island

    by jorgejuansanchez Updated May 21, 2014

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    I visited Panglao Island quite by chance. I missed my ferry from Tagbilaran to Cebu City, had to stay another day in Bohol and resolved to spend it in Panglao Island, just to “kill time”.
    Panglao is not an authentic island since it is connected by two bridges with Bohol Island. I caught a bus looking like a truck and asked the driver to drop me in the best beach. After about half an hour he stopped just for me and showed me a path heading to a beach.
    I walked a couple of hundred of meters and found a beach filled with Filipino families. Then I discovered that Panglao Island is a very popular resort among Pilipino and they compare it to Boracay. I did not agree; Boracay seemed to me much more paradisiacal than Panglao.
    That beach was nice, with white sand and clear water.
    I was not aware of the fact that Panglao Island is in the UNESCO tentative list (I discovered that fact back home, in Spain) and therefore did not bother to get to know better the place. I found out that in Panglao island there are more mollusk than in the whole Mediterranean Sea.
    Late in the afternoon I went back to Tagbilaran hitchhiking, and the next day I caught my ferry back to Cebu.

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Philippines Things to Do

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