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Tourism in the Philippines

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Tourism in the Philippines

The Palawan island in the province of Palawan, named as the best island in the world by numerous travel magazines such as National Geographic Traveler.[1]

Tourism is an important sector for the Philippine economy, contributing 7.8% to the Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014.[2]

The Philippines is an archipelagic country composed of 7,107 islands with 82 provinces divided in 18 regions. The Philippines is known for having its rich biodiversity and it is the main tourist attraction in the country.[3] Its beaches, mountains, rainforests, islands and diving spots are among the country's most popular tourist destinations. The country's rich historical and cultural heritage is also one of the attractions of the Philippines.

Popular destinations among tourists are El Nido in Palawan, Boracay, Cebu, Manila and many more.

Since 2010, South Korea has been the largest source of visitors to the Philippines. In 2013, a total of 1.17 million South Koreans visited the Philippines. It is followed by the United States, Japan, China, Australia, Taiwan, and Canada.[4] In 2013, the country attracted 4,681,307 visitors.[4]

In 2014, the Department of Tourism announced that the year 2015 will be the Visit the Philippines year.

Boracay, one of the best islands in the world, famous for its fine white sand beach.[5]


  • Overview 1
  • History 2
  • Map of the Philippines 3
  • National Capital Region 4
    • Manila 4.1
    • Makati City 4.2
    • Quezon City 4.3
  • Batanes 5
  • Benguet 6
    • Baguio City 6.1
    • La Trinidad 6.2
  • Ilocos Norte 7
    • Paoay 7.1
    • Burgos 7.2
    • Pagudpud 7.3
  • Gallery 8
  • Statistics 9
    • Arrivals 9.1
    • Top 10 international visitors 9.2
  • Attractions 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


Tourism makes an important part to the economy of the country. The growth of the economy had been into a major change since the end of the People Power Revolution up until to the present time because of the Tourism growth.

In 2000, the Philippines' tourist arrivals totaled 2.2 million. In 2003, it totaled 2,838,000, a growth of almost 29%, and was expected to grow as much as 3.4 million in 2007. In the first quarter of 2007, the tourist arrival in the Philippines grew as much as 20% in same period last year. In 2011, the Department of Tourism recorded 3.9 million tourists visiting the country,[6] 11.2 percent higher than the 3.5 million registered in 2010.

In 2012, the Philippines recorded 4.27 million tourist arrivals, after the Department of Tourism launched a widely publicized tourism marketing campaign entitled "It's More Fun In the Philippines".[7]

The tourism industry employed 3.8 million Filipinos, or 10.2 per cent of national employment in 2011, according to data gathered by the National Statistical Coordination Board. In a greater thrust by the Aquino administration to pump billion to employ 7.4 million people by 2016, or about 18.8 per cent of the total workforce, contributing 8 per cent to 9 per cent to the nation's GDP.[8]

In 2014, the tourism sector contributed 1.4 trillion pesos to the country's economy.[9]


Manila before World War II, considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Devastated Manila in 1945 after the war.

Tourism in the Philippines traces its origins during the ancient times when the first set of people chose to migrate through land bridges, followed by the second set of migrants from Indonesia, then the last migrants from Borneo Islands. All of those created their own kingdoms and tribes within the archipelago. Trade also became part of the tourism as Arabs, Indians and Chinese traded products and goods to the natives. When the islands became part of the territory of Spain, an influx of Spanish people migrated, (though still few compared to the ones migrated in South America due to distance of the country.)

The Philippine tourism industry first flourished during the late 19th to early 20th century due to the influx of immigrants from Europe and the United States. It was listed as one of the best country to visit in Asia aside from Hong Kong and Japan, earning the nickname "Pearl of the Orient Seas". The tourism declined during and after the World War II, leaving the country with a completely devastated capital. Most immigrants from Europe and US, and some other Filipinos were offered to emigrate to the US. The second wave of tourist influx flourished in the 1970s and early 1980s but declined in the mid 1980s due to the EDSA Revolution, with the average length of tourist stay falling from 12.6 days in earlier years to 8.9 days in 1988. In 1987, tourism growth was slower in the Philippines than in other Southeast Asian countries. About 1.2 million tourists visited the Philippines in 1992, which was a record high in the number of tourist visits since 1989.

Today, the modern-day Tourism of the Philippines boomed again at the early part of the 2010s after the decline in the previous decade. The country saw an influx of tourists from all over the world, with the help of social media and the creative tagline, the tourism went at its peak and became one of the countries people wanted to visit in Southeast Asia with having 3,590,038 million tourists recorded from January to August 2015.[10]

Map of the Philippines

Note: This map shows all of the 82 provinces divided into 18 regions. National Capital Region formerly known as the Province of Manila is labeled as Metro Manila.

National Capital Region

National Capital Region, previously the Province of Manila during the Spanish period, commonly known today as Metro Manila, the National Capital Region (NCR) of the Philippines, is the seat of government and the most populous region of the country which is composed of 16 independent cities with one independent town, mainly Manila, the capital city of the country, Quezon City, the country's most populous city, the Municipality of Pateros, and the cities of Caloocan, Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, San Juan, Taguig, and Valenzuela.

The region was established in 1975 through Presidential Decree No. 824 in response to the needs to sustain the growing population and for the creation for the center of political power and the seat of the Government of the Philippines.

The Province of Manila, the progenitor to the present-day Metro Manila, is one of the eight original provinces that revolted against the Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines. The province was honored as one of the sun rays in the Flag of the Philippines, with each of the eight sun rays symbolizing one of the eight revolutionary provinces.


Manila City skyline view from Harbour Square
Rizal Monument in Rizal Park
Casa Manila in Intramuros
National Museum, it is the former Legislative Building before WWII.
San Agustin Church

Manila is the capital city of the country. It is located in the National Capital Region in Luzon Island, along with the other 16 cities that compose the National Capital Region or more commonly known as Metropolitan Manila or Metro Manila. The city's tourism industry dates back to 1400s when the traders and merchants from China, India and other parts of Asia visited the country for trading purposes. When the country became a territory of Spain, many Europeans which were Dukes, Aristocrats and others in the upper class became attracted to the tropical city and visited. Some even immigrated. Also, the city became one of the important cities in world trade as it became the trade post between the East and West, making Manila as one of the original global cities in the world alongside London and Paris.

When the Americans took over, the city grew its size and started to redevelop a modern Manila. By the 1920s, the city became the most beautiful city in Asia and got the nickname, Queen City of the Pacific and Pearl of the Orient (which is similar to the nickname for the country). Tourists from around the world got to experience to live in a tropical city with all of the amenities available and an influx of tourist were high. In 1940s, during World War II, Manila was constantly bombed by the air raids of the Japanese but in 1945 the city experienced a horrifying scenes as the capital became the bloodshed of war between the American and the Japanese army, leaving the most beautiful city in Asia devastated. Many immigrants and Manilans either moved to the other cities or moved to the other countries. After the war,when the reconstruction of Manila was finished, the city experienced an influx of tourists in the 50s, 60s, and the 70s. In 2010s, it is still one of the top Philippine destinations that people visit.

Manila was home to most of the cultural heritage sites such as Cathedrals, Universities, Leisure Parks, Government Offices and others. The most popular attractions are the:

Rizal Park - also called Luneta Park. It is the most popular landmark of Manila. The Monument of the Dr. Jose Rizal, the national hero of the country can be found in the park. Several areas such as the Japanese and Chinese Garden, the Open Auditorium and many more can also be found. A life size depiction of the execution scene of Dr. Rizal in the said park is also one of the attractions.

Intramuros - the 400-year-old fortress was the original "Manila" before the Americans expanded the city and made the fortress just one of the districts. Many historical places can be found inside the district such as the Plaza de Roma, the ruins of the Aduana Building, the Manila Cathedral, the Old Ayuntamiento de Manila, the Palacio del Gobernador, the Casa Manila, the Cuartel de Santa Lucia,San Agustin Church and many more.

Manila Ocean Park - Manila Ocean Park is an aquamarine park located in a reclaimed land adjacent to the Quirino Grandstand and Wallace Field. It houses different marine species such as sharks, sting rays, seals to name a few.

Manila Chinatown - Manila Chinatown is the oldest chinatown in the world. It covers most part of the Binondo District. It houses many Chinese stores and boutiques where some are even a hundred year old shops.

Baywalk - It is the most distinctive attraction that represents the city together with the Rizal Monument. Baywalk is long promenade along the Roxas Boulevard where the sunset can be seen with a perfect view.

Malacañang Palace - it is the where the President and the first family lives.

Other sites are the: University of Santo Tomas - built in 1611, the oldest existing university in Asia, San Sebastian Church - the only steel church in Asia, Manila City Hall, National Museum of the Philippines,Museum of the Filipino People,Quiapo Church,Paco Park,Cultural Center of the Philippines

Makati City

Makati City skyline

Makati City is the city located at the heart of the National Capital Region. It is the financial center of the Philippines; it has the highest concentration of multinational and local corporations in the country. Major banks, corporations, department stores as well as foreign embassies are based in Makati. Makati City is considered to be the richest city in the country.

With a population of 529,039 Makati is the 16th-largest city in the country and ranked as the 41st most densely populated city in the world with 19,336 inhabitants per square kilometer. Although its population is just half a million, the daytime population of the city is estimated to be more than one million during a typical working day because of the large number of people who go to the city to work, shop, and do business.

Ayala Avenue
Makati Slogan seen at the Makati Avenue entrance of the Ayala Triangle Gardens.
The Our Lady of Grace Parish in Guadalupe Viejo,Makati
Bonifacio High Street

Makati City's former name was San Pedro de Macati and it used to be a small town south of the then bustling city of Manila. The Nielsen Field, the country's first airport was established in the city. During that same period, Santa Ana Park, the nation's second horse racing facility, opened to expectations from horse racing fans. After the destruction of Manila during the Second World War, Nielsen Field was closed but the town grew rapidly as the people from Manila moved to other cities and the real estates values boomed.The first of the planned communities (in what are now the barangays Forbes Park, Urdaneta, San Lorenzo and Bel-Air) were established in the 1950s with the efforts of its landowner, Ayala y Compañía. The Ayalas continued to develop the town until it granted its cityhood in 1995 and remains in linked with city up until today.

The city is also home to large shopping centres, urban leisure parks, hotels and restaurtants and historical sites. It is considered as the most well known shopping hub in the country.

Ayala Center - Ayala Center is the main shopping center of the city located at the Central Business District. It is composed of different large shopping malls connected to each other, mainly, Glorietta, SM Makati and Greenbelt. The center is a premier shopping and cultural district in the metropolis because of its wide array of shopping, entertainment and cultural offerings.

Ayala Avenue - dubbed as the Wall Street of the Philippines, it is the main avenue of the Central district where most of the tall skyscrapers can be found along the avenue. Ayala Avenue's segment from Paseo de Roxas to Makati Avenue used to be a runway of the Nielson Airport, which was one of the first airports built in Luzon. The airport was destroyed during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines on December 10, 1941 and resumed operations after the end World War II in 1947. The runways were converted into a road in 1949 when the permanent facilities of the airport was passed on the owner of the land, the Ayala Corporation.

Ayala Triangle Gardens - it is a park located at the center of the Central Business District along the intersections of Makati Avenue and Ayala Avenue, the triangle is also home to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the old Makati Stock Exchange center and the old Nielson Tower which is now a museum.The Triangle has become a focal point for social events in the business district, and is popular at Christmastime for its extravagant light-and-sound display.

Rockwell Center - it is a commercial hub located in Makati Poblacion,Makati, the old downtown area of the city. It used to be a thermal powerplant until the land was redeveloped to become a commercial center.

Ayala Museum - is run privately by Ayala Foundation, Inc. This six-storey edifice houses ethnographic and archaeological exhibits on Filipino culture, art, and history. Since its establishment in 1967, the museum has been committed to showcasing overseas collections and situating contemporary Philippine art in the global arena in a two-way highway of mutual cooperation and exchange with local and international associates.

Nuestra Señora de Gracia Church - also known as the Our Lady of Grace Parish or simply Guadalupe Church, is a baroque church located in Guadalupe Viejo, Makati.The territory of the parish covers the San Carlos Seminary, the major seminary of the Archdiocese of Manila and the Our Lady of Guadalupe Minor Seminary

Fort Bonifacio District is a disputed district of Makati. It is a commercial, financial and fashion hub with high end shopping boutiques, recreational parks and universities. It is a former military fort and was later redeveloped as one of the commercial districts of the country. It is currently an area disputed with Makati and Taguig. Makati won the district back to the city, however the district is under the Taguig city's jurisdictions. It has its own shopping center, the Bonifacio High Street which has

Other places are: Manila Polo Club and Manila Golf Club, Museo ng Makati, Manila Peninsula Hotel, Yuchengco Museum, Makati Medical Center, Mind Museum,

Quezon City

Quezon Memorial Circle
Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Lake
Balara Filters Park Swimming Pool
Shady Trees in Sunken Garden in UP Diliman Campus
The Araneta Coliseum with the "Big Cube" LED display during a PBA game

Quezon City also known to Filipinos as QC is the largest city in the National Capital Region in terms of Land Area, and also the most populous city in the country. Quezon City was named after Manuel L. Quezon, second President of the Philippines, who founded the city and developed it to replace the City of Manila as the national capital for 28 years from 1948 to 1976. Quezon City is not located in and should not be confused with Quezon Province, which was also named after the president.

The city is considered as the entertainment center of the country, where most of the major television networks can be found here (hence getting the nickname "City of Stars").Though known as the entertainment capital, Quezon City also has recreational parks and shopping centers, universities and government offices and is actually planned to be a "Green City" by former President Quezon.

Quezon Memorial Circle - The Quezon Memorial Circle is a national park and a national shrine located in Quezon City, which became the capital of the Philippines from 1948 to 1976. The park is located inside a large traffic circle in the shape of an ellipse and bounded by the Elliptical Road. Its main feature is a tall mausoleum containing the remains of Manuel L. Quezon, the second official President of the Philippines and the first of an internationally recognized independent Philippines, and his wife, First Lady Aurora Quezon.

Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center - is a 64.58-hectare (159.6-acre) zoological and botanical garden located in Diliman, Quezon City, the Philippines. It was named after Benigno S. "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr. The Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center has a lagoon, an aquarium, a playground, botanical garden and a Wildlife Rescue Center, which the Department of Environment and Natural Resources uses as a temporary shelter where confiscated, retrieved, donated, sick, abandoned, and injured wild animals are placed to be taken care of. The park houses several indigenous plants and animals such as crab-eating macaques, water monitors, Philippine deer, binturongs, Palawan bearded pigs and several varieties of birds.

La Mesa Watershed Reservation - The La Mesa Watershed Reservation is a protected area that preserves the only major watershed in Metro Manila, Philippines. Also known as the Novaliches Watershed, it contains the last remaining rainforest of its size in Metro Manila surrounding the La Mesa Dam and Reservoir, the primary source of potable drinking water for 12 million residents in the Manila metropolitan area.

Balara Filters Park - The Balara Filters Park is a 60-hectare (150-acre) park located in the Diliman village adjacent to the University of the Philippines Diliman main campus. The park is one of the oldest recreation areas in Quezon City having been first opened to the public in 1953. It occupies part of the old Balara Filtration Plant complex, one of the main treatment facilities for water coming from the La Mesa Dam. The park is administered by the Manila Water company in partnership with the Quezon City Parks Development and Administration Department.

University of the Philippines Diliman - The University of the Philippines Diliman (also referred to as UPD or UP Diliman) is a coeducational, research state university located in Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines. It was established on February 12, 1949 as the flagship campus and seat of administration of the University of the Philippines System, the national university of the Philippines. UP Diliman is the fourth oldest constituent university of UP. The University is known for being the largest university in the country in terms of its land territory and having wide tree-lined roads filled with lush trees. Also, the university' roads and gardens are open for outsiders and it has been a good place for jogging and relaxing.

Smart Araneta Coliseum - The Araneta Coliseum, known as The Big Dome, is an indoor multi-purpose sports arena located in the Cubao area of Quezon City, Philippines. It is one of the largest coliseums and indoor facilities in Asia, and it is also one of the largest clear span domes in the world. The dome measures approximately 108.0 meters making it the largest dome in Asia from its opening in 1960 until 2001 when it was surpassed by the Oita Stadium in Japan with a dome measuring 274.0 meters. However on 2014, this record was broken by the New Singapore National Stadium that has a dome measuring 312.0 meters.

South Triangle District - the area bounded by Quezon Avenue (R-7), Timog Avenue (South Avenue) and EDSA) is the location of main studios of ABS-CBN (including the radio stations DZMM Radyo Patrol 630 and MOR 101.9) and GMA Network (including the radio stations Super Radyo DZBB 594 and Barangay LS 97.1). Most Filipino entertainment shows and movies are produced here, and it is also home to many Filipino celebrities. As a result, it's often been dubbed the "Filipino Hollywood".

Surrounding Timog Avenue (South Avenue) and Tomas Morato Avenue is a popular entertainment area. Located along these two avenues are many fine-dining restaurants and bars. Discothèques, karaoke joints and comedy bars provide patrons with all-night long recreation.


Old Ivatan Houses made of limestone and cogon roofs.
Fundacion Pacita hotel sitting at the top of the rolling hills.
Basco Lighthouse in Basco, Batanes.
Rolling Hills in Batanes.

The Province of Batanes is an archipelago province in the region of Cagayan Valley, Philippines. It is the northernmost province of the Philippines and is also the smallest province, both in terms of population and land area. The provincial capital is Basco on Batan Island.

The island group is located about 162 kilometres (101 mi) north of Luzon and about 190 kilometres (120 mi) south of Taiwan, separated from the Babuyan Islands of Cagayan Province, Luzon, by the Balintang Channel and from Taiwan by the Bashi Channel.

Batanes is known for its lush pastureland, rolling hills, beaches, mountains and also its cultural and historical heritage.

The province comprises ten islands that are located in the Luzon Strait between the Babuyan Islands (belonging to Cagayan Province) and Taiwan. The islands are sparsely populated and subject to frequent typhoons. The three largest islands, Batan, Itbayat, and Sabtang, are the only inhabited islands. The northernmost island of the province, also the northernmost island in the Philippines, is Mavudis Island, also known as Y'ami Island. Other islands in the chain are Misanga, Siayan, Ivuhos, and Dequey.

Sites of Interests are:

Ivatan Houses - Unlike the "Nipa Huts" found in most areas of the country, the Ivatan people build houses made from limestones and cogon roofs to adapt to the harsh climate in the province. Most of the houses are either two storey or single storey houses. These houses were first built around 1795 with the help of imported masons, stone cutters and carpenters from the Province of Cagayan. The houses were preserved and became one of the iconic tourist spots in the province. Those houses are similar to the Irish cottages.

Marlboro Rolling Hills - is a lush rolling hills and pastureland in Batan, Batanes. It is also called Marlboro Country, Vayang Rolling Hills and for Ivatans they call it Racuh a Payaman. It is known for its scenic view of the Pacific Ocean as well as its lush bermuda grasses with cattles and goats roaming freely.

Idjangs - the Idjangs are ancient Ivatan fortresses made from limestones. The Ivatans used to live inside these fortresses that can be found in most part of the province to protect their territories. When the Spanish colonized the area, the Ivatans were forced to move out of the fortress to live in the lowlands so that the Spanish government could easily control them. Today, the ruins of the fortresses can still be found in some areas of Batanes.

Valugan Boulder Beach - is a beach filled with boulders and pebbles instead of the usual white sand. Those boulders came from Mt. Iraya, a dormant volcano situated near the area.

White Beach - is a beach with fine white sand located in Sabtang, Batanes.


Benguet is a landlocked province located in the Cordillera Central mountain range in Northern Luzon and also a part of the Cordillera Administrative Region along with the provinces of Abra, Kalinga, Apayao, Mountain Province and Ifugao. The province is known as the Salad Bowl of the Philippines for having the highest production of upland vegetables in the country.

Baguio City

Baguio is a highly urbanized city located in the province of Benguet in northern Luzon island of the Philippines. The city has become the center of business and commerce as well as the center of education in the entire Northern Luzon thereby becoming the seat of government of the Cordillera Administrative Region (C.A.R.). According to the 2010 census, Baguio City has a population of 318,676. Furthermore, The city of Baguio is rich in natural geosciences materials such as platinum, molybdenum, and quintorium.

The city is located in the Cordilleras which is famous for having a subtropical climate resulting to the growth of Pine Trees. The name of the city is derived from the Ibaloi word bagiw meaning 'moss.' The Ibaloi is the indigenous language in Benguet. The city is situated at an altitude of approximately 1,540 meters (5,050 feet) in the Luzon tropical pine forests ecoregion conducive for the growth of mossy plants and orchids.

The city is developed and created by the famous architect, Daniel Burnham who is also known the his creations of the master plan of the Philippine capital, Manila, the US capital Washington D.C and Chicago in Illinois. He also created and developed San Francisco in California and Cleveland in Ohio.

Burnham Lake at the Burnham Park
Wright Park

Baguio City is a famous tourist destination in the country both Filipinos and foreign people around the world resulting to a mixture of people residing in the city. The city also saw an influx of Korean people moving to the city.

Baguio is known for having many parks, heritage sites and scenic views. Its sites of attractions include: Burnham Park - Burnham Park is a 32.84 hectare urban park located at the heart of the Baguio, in the Philippines. It was named after the American architect and urban planner, Daniel Hudson Burnham who laid the plans for the city.

At the southern part of the park, a skating rink was constructed. The Melvin Jones Grand Stand and Football Field at the eastern part of the park are normally used for several activities like parades, concerts, and political rallies. The Children's Park and the Orchidarium is located at the western part of the park.

Wright Park - named after Governor General Luke E. Wright, is a long park located along Leonard Wood Road fronting the gates of The Mansion.

It features the Pool of Pines a reflecting pool at the center and the park circle at the other end of the pool.

The Mansion entrance

The Mansion- is the official summer residence of the President of the Philippines, located along Leonard Wood Road. The Mansion House consists of an elegantly designed Spanish Colonial Revival main building and a guest house. The elaborate main gate, made of ornate ironwork, was earlier reported as a replica of one of the main gates at Buckingham Palace in London, which is false. The front gate is still one of the most photographed section of the property. Tourists can visit the Mansion House's museum containing presidential memorabilia.

Across the road from the Mansion House is Wright Park, a quiet promenade with a long reflecting pool lined with pine trees. A long stairway lead visitors to the back where ponies for children are available for hire. Dotted all around the nearby hills are vacation homes and small inns.

Session Road

Session Road- Session Road is the main thoroughfare of Baguio in the Philippines and is the main hub of what is called the Baguio Central Business District. Session Road derives its name from the fact that it used to lead up to the old Baden-Powell Hall, where the Philippine Commission held its sessions from April 22 to June 11, 1904 and officially initiated the use of Baguio as the Philippine Summer Capital. A marker by what is now Baden-Powell Inn, right beside the enormous bus terminals on Governor Pack Road, stand as the only visible evidence that anything of historical significance ever took place on Session Road.

Nowadays, the only session that regularly take place in the vicinity are the jam sessions at Ayuyang, a favorite watering hole of reggae, folk, and indigenous Filipino music fans and artists alike. A local Philippine band called sessiOnroad based their name on the famous thoroughfare.

The Bell House in Camp John Hay, became an example for the typical Baguio style houses in the first half of the 20th Century.

Camp John Hay - is a major tourism and recreation attraction located in the city of Baguio, on Luzon island, the Philippines. . It was a major hill station used for rest and recreation, or R&R, for personnel and dependents of the United States Armed Forces in the Philippines as well as United States Department of Defense employees and their dependents. It was last run by the United States Air Force. It was officially designated a communications station.

With an average elevation of 5,000 ft., Camp John Hay - and Baguio City in general - is much cooler and less humid than the rest of the Philippine Islands thereby providing a more familiar mild climate the typical American soldier knows back home. The facility housed The American Residence as well as Broadcasting facilities of the Voice of America.

At present, the former American R&R facility serves as a tourist attraction. Among its facilities are the 19th Tee, Halfway House, Scout Hill baseball field, Main Club (also known as Officer's Building), the Par-69 golf course, several restaurants and shops, The Manor Hotel, The Forest Lodge at Camp John Hay. and the well-known Mile-Hi Recreation Center. It was off-limits to the general public, except for some who had access due to connections or official business.

Mines View Park - is an overlook park on the northeastern outskirts of Baguio in the Philippines. Located on a land promontory 4 km from downtown Baguio, the park overlooks the mining town of Itogon, particularly the abandoned gold and copper mines of the Benguet Corporation, and offers a glimpse of the Amburayan Valley.

Baguio Cathedral with a newly painted facade, 2015

Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral- better known as Baguio Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral located at Cathedral Loop adjacent to Session Road in Baguio, the Philippines, and is the see of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Baguio. Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Atonement, its distinctive pink exterior, twin spires and stained glass windows make it a popular tourist attraction in Baguio. It served as an evacuation centre under the Japanese Occupation during Second World War.

The cathedral has a distinctive pink façade with a rose window and twin square belfries with pyramidal roofs. Within its large courtyard is a viewing deck that overlooks Session Road and the downtown commercial district of Baguio. The cathedral is accessible to pedestrians from Session Road via 100-step stone staircase that ends at a Calvary, or through the adjacent campus of Saint Louis University. In 2015, the facade was repainted replacing the iconic pink exterior with a light yellow and light gray color.

La Trinidad

Strawberries in La Trinidad

La Trinidad is the capital of Benguet and is known as the Strawberry Capital of the Philippines for having the most strawberry plantations in the country. The town landed on the Guinness Book of World Records for baking the world's largest strawberry shortcake, at 21,213.40 lb (9,622.23 kg), at the La Trinidad Strawberry Festival on March 20, 2004.

Agriculture constitutes the economy of La Trinidad. The town supplies most of the Philippines' strawberries and cut flowers which include roses. The La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post is visited by wholesalers and traders of vegetables from other provinces. The presence of the Benguet State University in the municipality serves as a boost to agricultural research and development in the region.

Its proximity to the city of Baguio attracts tourists, primarily to the strawberry fields in the valley, and lesser to the Benguet Provincial Capitol and the Rose Gardens of barangay Bahong.

Ilocos Norte

Ilocos Norte or (eng. North Ilocos) is a is a province of the Philippines located in the Ilocos Region. Ilocos Norte is noted for being the birthplace of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, who led an authoritarian rule over the country during the latter half of his incumbency. The Marcoses enjoy a modicum of popularity in the province. Ilocos Norte is also known as a northern tourist destination, being the location of Fort Ilocandia, an upper class hotel and beach resort famous among expatriates, and Pagudpud.

The province offers a number of popular destinations for tourists, locals and foreigners alike. Because of its proximity to the South China Sea, tourist arrivals peak during the summer seasons, the beach resorts topping the most visited list.


Paoay is a town in Ilocos Norte that is famous for its UNESCO World Heritage Site church, the Paoay Church as well as the iconic, Paoay Lake

Paoay Church facade

Paoay Church - The Saint Augustine Church (Spanish: Iglesia de San Agustín de Paoay), commonly known as the Paoay Church, is the Roman Catholic church of the municipality of Paoay, Ilocos Norte in the Philippines. Completed in 1710, the church is famous for its distinct architecture highlighted by the enormous buttresses on the sides and back of the building. It is declared as a National Cultural Treasure by the Philippine government in 1973 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the collective group of Baroque Churches of the Philippines in 1993.

Paoay church is the Philippines' primary example of an Spanish colonial earthquake baroque architecture dubbed by Alicia Coseteng, an interpretation of the European Baroque adapted to the seismic condition of the country through the use of enormous buttresses on the sides and back of the building. The adaptive reuse of baroque style against earthquake is developed since many destructive earthquakes destroyed earlier churches in the country. Javanese architecture reminiscent of Borobudur of Java can also be seen on the church walls and facade.

Paoay Lake as seen from the Malacañang ti Amianan

Paoay Lake -historically known as Lago de Nanguyudan and commonly referred to locally as Dacquel a Danum (Ilokano for "big water"), is a horseshoe-shaped lake located in the municipality of Paoay in the northwest region of Luzon in the Philippines. It is the largest lake in the province of Ilocos Norte and one of the largest natural lakes in the northern Luzon region. The freshwater lake and its 1 km surroundings was declared a national park in 1969 by virtue of Republic Act 5631. In 1978 through Presidential Decree 1554, the park was reduced to an area of 340 hectares concentrated on the lake itself around its highest water level.

Paoay Lake is one of the many tourist attractions in Ilocos Norte. Some of its most visited sights include the Malacañang ti Amianan (The Malacañang Palace of the North), a historical house museum built by the family of former president Ferdinand Marcos, the 18-hole Paoay Golf Course, and a sports complex. Also located in the vicinity are Fort Ilocandia Resort and Casino and Plaza del Norte Hotel and Convention Center. It is accessible via the Paoay Lake Road from the main highway and the Laoag–Balaccad Road from the Laoag International Airport.

Aside from tourism, small-scale aquaculture has also been introduced as livelihood of the local townsfolk residing in the area. Fish pens primarily of tilapia can be found near the shores. The lake's status as a protected area, however, enables the government to monitor and control human activity in the lake in order to prevent misuse of its resources.


Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

Burgos is a small town in Ilocos Norte, the most northwestern town on the island of Luzon. It was formerly known as Nagpartian and was renamed after the martyred priest José Burgos who was born in the Ilocos Region.

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse - also known as Burgos Lighthouse, is a cultural heritage structure in Burgos, Ilocos Norte, that was established during the Spanish Colonial period in the Philippines. It was first lit on March 30, 1892, and is set high on Vigia de Nagpartian Hill overlooking the scenic Cape Bojeador where early galleons used to sail by. After over 100 years, it still functions as a welcoming beacon to the international ships that enter the Philippine Archipelago from the north and guide them safely away from the rocky coast of the town


Kabigan Falls, Pagudpud

Pagudpud is a coastal resort town of Ilocos Norte province. It is the northernmost settlement on Luzon Island and a popular tourist destination.

Pasaleng Bay is a bay on the north coast of the Philippines. Pasaleng village is located at its head point of Ilocos Norte island in the municipality of Pagudpud which is the last of the island which borders the Cagayan Province.

Humpback whales migrate from the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean to the warmer waters of the bay.[11]

Kalbario-Patapat Natural Park is a protected area in the Philippines, located on the Patapat Mountains in the municipalities of Pagudpud and Adams in northern Ilocos Norte province.

The natural park was established on April 20, 2007 by Proclamation no. 1275 encompassing 3,800 hectares (9,400 acres) with a buffer zone of 1,937 hectares (4,790 acres). The park was created under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.


Manila skyline in the early 20th century. The Intramuros, a fortified district can be seen in north of the Port Area. 
Devastated Manila in 1945 
Manila Central Post Office along the Pasig River 



Tourism Statistics[12]
Year Foreign
1996 1,049,367
1997 1,222,523
1998 1,149,357
1999 1,170,514
2000 1,992,169
2001 1,796,893
2002 1,932,677
2003 1,907,226
2004 2,291,347
2005 2,623,084
2006 2,843,335
2007 3,091,993
2008 3,139,422
2009 3,017,099
2010 3,520,471
2011 3,917,454[6]
2012 4,272,811[13]
2013 4,681,307[14]
2014 4,833,368[15]
2015(Jan-Aug) 3,590,038[16]

Top 10 international visitors

Rank Country 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
1  South Korea 925,204 1,031,155 1,165,789 1,175,472 901,749
2  United States 624,527 652,626 674,564 722,750 531,217
3  Japan 375,496 412,474 433,705 463,744 334,881
4  China 243,137 250,883 426,352 394,951 322,417
5  Australia 170,736 191,150 213,023 224,784 153,097
6  Singapore 137,802 148,215 175,034 179,099 121,917
7  Taiwan 181,738 216,511 139,099 142,973 120,630
8  Malaysia 91,752 114,513 109,437 139,245 103,995
9  United Kingdom 112,106 113,282 122,759 133,665 103,577
10  Canada 117,423 123,699 131,381 143,899 102,293
11  Hong Kong 112,106 118,666 114,100 126,008 83,648
12  New Zealand 61,193 67,203 70,949 72,801 48,997
13  India 42,844 46,395 52,206 61,152 48,495
14  Saudi Arabia 27,945 30,040 38,969 43,483 34,811
15  Indonesia 34,542 36,627 45,582 46,757 32,027
16  France 29,591 33,709 39,042 38,946 31,961
17  Thailand 37,862 40,987 47,847 45,943 29,556
18  Guam 23,559
19  Russia 23,908 33,729 41,254 38,976 22,053
20  Vietnam 22,053


Crisologo Street in Vigan

An archipelago composed of 7,107 islands, the Philippines offers attractions such as the white sand beaches of Boracay, shopping centers of Metro Manila, rice terraces of Ifugao, diving sites of Palawan, forests of Bohol, heritage houses in Vigan, and the cultural attractions of Cebu and Manila. The island of Luzon is considered the political and economic center of the Philippines. The economy of Luzon is centered in Metro Manila, the national capital region. Manila was ranked 11th most attractive city for American shoppers out of 25 Asia Pacific cities by a Global Blue survey in 2012.[17] Shopping malls can be found around the metropolis, especially in the business and financial districts of Makati, Ortigas and Bonifacio Global City. Despite the rise of modern shopping malls, traditional Filipino shopping centers such as flea markets and bazaars still remain around the metropolis.

The Visayas, the central island group of the Philippines, is the heart of the country's biodiversity. The most popular beach destination in Visayas is Boracay: the island is popular for its pure white sand beaches and has been a favorite island destination for local and foreign visitors.[18][19] In 2012, Boracay received the "best island" award from the international travel magazine Travel + Leisure.[20][21] Aside from its white sand beaches, Boracay is also a popular destination for relaxation, tranquility and an exciting nightlife.[22]

Mindanao, the southernmost island of the Philippines, is known for its mountain ranges; it is one of the best climbing destinations in the Philippines. Mindanao is home to the country's highest mountain, Mount Apo. On average, it takes two days to reach the summit. The mountain has a wide range of flora and fauna, including over 272 bird species, 111 of which are endemic to the area, including the national bird, the Philippine eagle.[23] Mount Apo has become a popular hiking destination for mountain climbers.[24]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ [1] published by the National Statistical Coordination Board; accessed 2013-09-27.
  3. ^ "Natural Resources and Environment in the Philippines". (n.d.). eTravel Pilipinas. Retrieved January 22, 2009.
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b [2]
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ [3]
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Profile - Mt. Apo Natural Park". Philippine Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau. Retrieved on April 25, 2014.
  24. ^

External links

  • Department of Tourism Philippines
  • It's More Fun in the Philippines (Official Tourism Website)
  • Philippine Department of Tourism (North America Website)
  • The Best Tourist Spots in the Philippines (Philippines Website)
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