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The AFAR Guide to the Philippines

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Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Philippines
Malapascua, a tiny island in the Visayan Sea north of Cebu, is well-known for its thresher-shark cleaning station, where divers gather daily to see these beautiful creatures ascend from below to be cleaned by fish before returning to deeper...
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Access Lane To Caalan Beach, El Nido, 5313 Palawan, Philippines
I don't think there is anything better than an ocean sunset in a tropical paradise with an ice cold beer or pina colada. I feel lucky to have gotten to see the sun set in so many places, but El Nido might take the cake? The landscape here is...
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Batad Rice Terraces, Banaue, Ifugao, Philippines
Still in use today, the Ifugao Rice Terraces were carved into the hillsides of Ifugao Province by hand some 2,000 years ago, and are fed by an elaborate irrigation system that captures water from the forests above. While many people explore this...
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San Isidro, Sierra Bullones, Bohol, Philippines
The Eskaya are a small tribe of just a few thousand that live in the mountains of Bohol in the southern Philippines. They have a unique language that scholars have not been able to link to any other known language. They also have a very...
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This seldom-visited island in the Southern Philippines is a favourite of mine for swimming with whale sharks. Most places that receive regular whale shark visits become very touristy and have numerous tour operators competing to get their...
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Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, Philippines
An oasis for me, like most other people I imagine, can be different things. As far as vacations go, an off the beaten spot by the beach is a must for a relaxing retreat that will recharge me and help me restore my inner calm. But I don't always...
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Coron, Palawan, Philippines
The Palawan archipelago in the Philippines is a tropical paradise known for its natural beauty and limestone cliffs. One of my favorite experiences was the afternoon we hired a banka to explore the northern part of the province. After visiting...
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Pamalican Island, Sulu Archipelago, Agutaya, Palawan, Philippines
Occupying its own island in the Cyuo Archipelago—where members of the animal kingdom outnumber humans by some comical order of magnitude—Amanpulo is the consummate artist’s escape. Adding to the resort’s castaway cred is...
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Intramuros, Manila, 1002 Metro Manila, Philippines
Manila, like many other large Asian cities is taxing on the nervous system. It can be brutally hot and humid, it is extremely polluted, and the traffic is some of the worst I have ever experienced (I would compare it to that of Bangalore, India)....
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Banaue, Ifugao, Philippines
Nestled in the hills above the Hapao Rice Terraces on northern Luzon in the Philippines is a resort called the Native Village Inn. The resort is built on a hillside with a majestic view looking up a valley of vibrant green rice terraces. The rooms...
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#0972 Zone 1 Sitio Diniwid Road, Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay, 5608 Aklan, Philippines
Even during the low season White Beach on Boracay Island is full on. Dance music blares out of clubs and bars. Restaurant hawkers shout out their daily deals in front of massive seafood buffets. Korean tour groups block the beach path and touts...
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Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, Philippines
Vigan City is one of the last few hispanic towns left in the Philippines and has been named a world heritage site by Unesco. Walking along this tiny cobbled street aptly named Heritage Row, you would find yourself nostalgic at a time that was. The...
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Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Walk into any province in the Philippines— like my family's in Nueva Ecija— and you are bound to find a celebration under way. The formula for having a good time at a birthday, baptism or festival is simple: good "videoke" (a karaoke machine set...
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Miniloc Island, Bayan ng El Nido, 5313 Palawan, Philippines
Imagine hundreds of tiny islands, coral reefs, limestone cliffs, turquoise water, white sand beaches, and hidden lagoons. Basically imagine a tropical paradise and you have the Bacuit Archipelago surrounding El Nido on the island of Palawan in the...
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Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Philippines
On any visit to the Philippines you can see people crowding into bright colored automobiles called the Jeepney. They are the most popular mode of public transportation in the Philippines! I became completely obsessed with the Jeepney upon my first...
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Logon, Cebu, Malapascua Island, 6013 Cebu, Philippines
Roll onto bounty beach, toss a chair or a blanket onto the endless stretch of white sand, and order a beer from Hippocampus Bar and Restaurant. Most of the little bars along the beach serve beer and all manner of fresh cocktails, and no matter how...
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Boracay, Malay, Philippines
One of things I love about Boracay are the sunsets. Every day, or even every trip I've taken, I experienced very interesting sunsets, with the skies creating all sorts of colors and patterns during the golden hour (first and last hour of sunlight)...