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My Journey Through the Philippines in Pictures

My Journey Through the Philippines in Pictures

Last Updated on April 20, 2021

This is my very last post about the Philippines – at least for now. I am sharing my island hopping journey in pictures, and I hope that these photos will convince you to visit the Philippines. I’m already daydreaming about my next trip to this gorgeous country, and I can’t wait to visit all the places I didn’t make it to the first time around.bohol rice fieldsWhenever people ask me about my favorite places in South East Asia, I can’t stop gushing over the picture-perfect beaches I visited, the lush green islands with their scenic rice fields and softly swaying palm trees, a stark contrast to the urban sprawl of Manila which is rapidly turning into a modern, advanced city; rivaling Singapore and Bangkok with the number of skyscrapers and shopping malls that continue to emerge in the ever growing capital. When I sat in one of Manila’s third-wave coffee shops, located in one of the shiny fancy malls, after returning from Palawan, I couldn’t believe that a day earlier, I had shared the road with ox carts and that I didn’t even have cell phone reception in El Nido – now I was surrounded by people who were all glued to their smartphones again.visit the philippinesThe many faces of the Philippines were fascinating, the marine life breathtaking, the people welcoming and kind. But I’ll let the photos speak for themselves – visit the Philippines virtually through my pictures:flying into manila philippinesIt all started when I flew into Manila, and the capital couldn’t have been more surprising – I expected to hate it because everyone who had visited the city seemed to thoroughly dislike it. Read more about my time in Manila here: Living it up in Manila
bonifacio global city manilaFrom Manila, I flew to Boracay, because I was craving some beach time. I had been wanting to visit Boracay, famous for its ridiculously pretty White Beach, for years, and this travel dream finally came true.boracay island paradiseI spent hours just staring out at the water, listening to the sound of the softly clashing waves. For the first time in months, I was able to relax 100%.boracay white beach6As if a stunning 4-kilometer long beach with soft, powdery sand and crystal clear water weren’t enough, Boracay also boasts some of the most memorable sunsets I’ve seen anywhere in the world. Every single night! Read more about my time in Boracay here: Debauchery in Paradise: Letting loose in Boracayvisit the philippinesMy next stop was Bohol, a short flight from Boracay, which I added to my itinerary to meet these little guys:tarsier bohol philippinesTarsiers! The other attraction Bohol is famous for are the oddly shaped Chocolate Hills. I should have stayed longer to check out some of the beaches, but I was told there are nicer beaches in Siquijor, a nearby island reachable by ferry.visit the philippinesYou can read more about my time in Bohol here: Tarsiers and chocolate hills in Bohol
bohol rice fields philippinesSiquijor was the one place in the Philippines that exceeded my expectations – by far!visit the philippinesIt might have been the witchcraft (which Siquijor is famous for) that charmed me, or simply the incredible natural beauty of the island. Read more about this magical place here: Searching for magic in mystical Siquijorsiquijor waterfall philippinesFrom Siquijor, I took a ferry to Dumaguete, where I based myself to do what would be a highlight of my trip: Swimming with sea turtles in Apo Island! I 100% recommend adding Apo Island to your itinerary when you visit the Philippines.
sea turtle apo islandFor the stunning underwater life in all its glory, have a look at my Apo Island gallery on Flickr.

underwater world apo island philippinesThe next island on my itinerary was sadly not just a quick ferry ride away – instead, it took me nearly 16 hours to get from Dumaguete to El Nido, and the trip there included buses, a ferry, a minivan, a plane and a taxi.bacuit archipelago viewpointMy destination was worth the strenuous travel day though: Palawan, the crown jewel of the Philippines. In my opinion, you can’t visit the Philippines and NOT go to Palawan.island hopping el nidoI could go on and on about the incredibly picturesque beaches and lagoons of the Bacuit Archipelago off the coast of El Nido, but I let the pictures speak for themselves.visit the philippinesEl Nido was indeed the grand finale to a fabulous journey, and you can read more about it (and marvel at more photos!) in these two articles:

bacuit archipelago boatFrom Palawan I flew back to Manila for a few days of city life after weeks of island and beach hopping, and got to know fancy speakeasy bars, indulged in scrumptious vegetarian food (a rare find on most of the islands I went to) and visited the historic district of Manila, Intramuros, before boarding my plane to Bangkok.intramuros manilaConsidering that the Philippines consist of more than 7,000 islands, I feel like I only got a small teaser of the country, but I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to the country.visit the philippinesIf you’re considering visiting the Philippines, check out my budget breakdown: How much does it cost to travel in the Philippines?, which also has some travel planning and money saving tips.el nido sunset

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Maria Carmen Losa Wellington

Saturday 11th of March 2017

Wow! Your photos made me want to travel more in the Philippines. I am from the Philippines, but I prefer traveling elsewhere. I think I traveled to more foreign cities than in the Philippines. I need to go to Siquijor!!! BTW, thank you for sharing these amazing places in the Philippines. All the best to you.

Alex

Saturday 22nd of October 2016

Sorry to tell you Dani, but this is Philippines 101. To all of you that plan to visit the Philippines, I would advise you to avoid the very places in this blog. Why? Because this is where everyone goes. There are more than 7,000 islands in th Philippines. I have been to amazing places without seeing any foreigners. Talk to locals, read local blogs and find about the jewels of the Philippines. Stay away from the tourist hordes

Caty

Tuesday 26th of July 2016

Just came across your blog and your Philippines posting! I love it!! I am a single mom and have a 7 year old boy. We went jet-setting off to the Philippines a few months ago and loved it. We arrived in Manila and submersed ourselves into culture and took the overnight ferry from Batangas to the little island outside of Boracay and then took little boats out to Boracay for some beach time. My son especially loved the Volcano in Tagatay ! We took a whole day to road trip up there from Manila. We had crepes at a darling Cafe and then drove down this windy tiny mountain road to a boat that took us across this volcanic lake. Once across there is horses you can rent to ride up to the top of the volcano. Such a neat experience and amazing views. Cannot wait to go back. Two weeks is NOT long enough to see all of the amazingness. Happy Travels to you and thank you for sharing!!

Dani

Thursday 28th of July 2016

Hi Caty, thank you so much for your comment! I love that you went to the Philippines with your son - amazing!! I can't wait to go back there either :) I hope I'll get to return this coming winter :)