Often referred to as the "Eighth Wonder of the World", the Banaue Rice Terraces may be found in the Ifugao province of Northern Luzon, 75 minutes from Manila. The over 2000 year old stone wall terraces were patiently carved on the crest of the Cordillera mountain ranges by the Ifugaos. The cultivation of rice on terraced fields serves as the virtual focus of the social, ritual and economical life of the Ifugaos. Enjoy the clear cool refreshing natural pools that make it's path through the terraces. You can visit several tribal villages and experience their way of life. Find out why the women are toiling the field instead of the menfolk. As you wind your way through the mountain pass, you might still see the last of the great mountain warriors.
Off the western end of Aklan province, famous for its Ati-atihan festival, is another internationally famous island: Boracay. Many call it paradise because of its beauty, clear cool waters and a spectacular four kilometer long stretch of the finest, white sand beach accentuated by palm trees. The island, 75 minutes south of Manila, is also well known for the now rare puka shells. Everyday is a holiday in Boracay - all you need to do is relax and enjoy. Whatever is your fancy - sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving, windsurfing or fishing, golfing or watching the sunset - one will never run out of things to do in the island.
Calauit Island is a small island, north of Busuanga Island, at the northernmost part of Palawan, southwest of Manila. What started out in 1977 as an experiment with eight African species on a 3700 hectares, the project has become a success which eventually turned the island into a mini savannah - Calauit Island Wildlife Sanctuary. One can find hundreds of African wild animals including giraffes, zebras and gazelles, living together with rare Philippine animals such as mouse deer, bear cat and Philippine crocodile.
Camiguin Island is located just off the north coast of Mindanao, a getaway island that almost encapsulates the country's natural attractions: from hospitable people, exotic food, pristine beaches to the world's underwater cemetery. Though relatively small, Camiguin has seven volcanoes, several hot springs and stunning waterfalls. It is also a favorite jump-off point for trekkers and mountaineers in search of adventure in the slopes of Mt. Hibok-Hibok, the most active of the island's volcanoes, which last erupted in 1951 killing about 2000 people. In the heart of the island is the flowing mineral water of Ardent Hot Springs, which run down from the vents of Mt. Hibok-Hibok.
Bohol, one of the largest islands of the Philippines, is found in southern Visayas. A picturesque province replete with ancestral homes and centuries-old churches, its historical significance goes back to the blood pact between the Spanish conqueror Legaspi and the Boholano chieftain Sikatuna in 1565. Today, Bohol is known for its Chocolate Hills - hundreds of tiny hills scattered in the central plains of Bohol that turn yellow to deep chocolate brown at the height of summer and lustrous green when the rains come. It is definitely a manifestation of nature's mysterious handiwork. It is also the home of the world's smallest monkey, the tarsier. Over the Panglao Island, the traveler has a choice of several beach resorts according to one's budget. Over the Panglao Island is another famous island - Balicasag Island. This marine sanctuary offers excellent diving and snorkeling sites. Other well known islands are the Pamilacan and Cabilao. Pacific Airways' flightseeing tours provides one a breathtaking and unequalled view of the Chocolate Hills and nearby islands.
Corregidor Island, 12 minutes west of Manila, is a tadpole shaped island which stood as the signal station to warn Manila of incoming vessels during the Spanish era. The outlying smaller islands were named as El Fraile (friar), La Monja (nun), Caballo (horse) and Carabao (water buffalo). These islands were later fortified by the Americans in 1920 and served as guard post for the defense of Manila and Subic Bay because of their strategic location. It was in Corregidor that an embattled force of Filipino and American soldiers fought one of the greatest delaying actions of World War II. The restless pounding of the Japanese guns and intermittent bombing by the Japanese war planes reduced the defenses of the island fortress and saw the surrender by the defenders on May 6, 1942. Divided into three terraces, called Bottomside, Middleside and Topside - the most impressive part is the latter, where mammoth artillery batteries are located. Battery Way, Battery Hearn, Battery Geary, Battery Crockett and the Malinta Tunnel with its light and sound show depicting the historical events before the island's surrender are the more popular sights. Located also at the Topside is the Pacific War Memorial which overlooks the tail of the island.