Philippines - Tourism

Eco Tourism

Eco-tourism or Ecological Tourism forms a sustainable tourism activity within a natural and cultural heritage area where community participation, protection and management of natural resources and indigenous culture, environmental education and ethics as well as economic benefits are promoted and pursued for the simultaneous enrichment of host communities, satisfaction of visitors and extra revenue for the host country.

Eco-tourism is a significant tool in sustainable development as it also advocates protection of our scarce natural resources, the base from which the eco-tourism industry thrives. Eco-tourism seeks to put in place mechanisms that are environmentally sustainable, economically viable, and socially enriching in order to bring about development in the country that would specially benefit the local communities, especially the poor and the marginalized sectors of society.

Eco-Tourism Activities

  • Trekking/Mountaineering

The best treasures in the Philippines are reserved for those who go beyond the end of the road. It's only by trekking that you can reach places where crystal rivers plunge over dizzying falls and tattooed tribesmen live as they have been for centuries.

You'll also see cliffs that tower above crashing surf, virgin forests, clear rivers, mossy jungles and cool mountain ridges. Only trekkers experience the exhilaration of conquering the heights of Mt. Apo, or passing through the eerie moonscape of Mt. Pinatubo.

These experiences, and many others, like the exciting flora and fauna await those who leave the road behind, pick up their travel packs, and trek over the enchanting Philippine mountains.

Where to do Trekking/Mountaineering:

- Batanes Islands
- Vigan
- Peñablanca Protected Landscape
- Cordillera Rice Terraces
- Hundred Islands National Park
- Mt. Pinatubo
- Wawa Dam/Pamitinan Cave
- Mt. Makiling
- Taal Volcano & Tagaytay City
- Mt. Mayon
- Apo Reef
- Mt. Guiting-Guiting Natural Park
- El Nido
- Puerto Princesa Underground River
- Lake Danao
- Mt. Kanlaon
- Bohol
- Tañon Strait
- Camiguin
- Misamis Oriental
- Mt. Apo
- Lake Sebu

  • Scuba Diving/Snorkeling

The Philippines offers underwater enthusiasts with excellent scuba dive opportunities. From easy dives for novices to seasoned dives in strong currents and the deep sea, the archipelago has plenty of unforgettable and rewarding dive experiences. Often you swim with whales and sharks! Be careful and take advice from experienced divers and diving guides.

Experienced local tour handlers and dive operators can draw up exciting and safe dive itineraries that will bring dive enthusiasts to world-class diving spots in the Philippines.

Where to do Scuba Diving/Snorkeling:

- Batanes Islands
- Hundred Islands National Park
- Apo Reef
- Mt. Guiting-Guiting Natural Park
- El Nido
- Puerto Princesa Underground River
- Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park and World Heritage Site
- Bohol
- Tañon Strait
- Camiguin
- Misamis Oriental
- Mt. Apo

  • Caving

Some of the most spectacular scenery in the Philippines lies deep underground. Almost every island has cave systems, some accessible to the casual tourist, others challenging even to speleologists, i.e. scientists who have specialized in the study of caves.

Beneath the earth lay rivers and waterfalls, narrow passages vaulted chambers filled with a surreal array of limestone and crystal formations. Many caves are totally unexplored, presenting the ultimate thrill in adventure travel: the chance to walk where no human has ever been.

Where to do Caving:

- Batanes Islands
- Peñablanca Protected Landscape
- Wawa Dam/Pamitinan Cave
- Donsol Whale Shark Interaction
- Apo Reef
- Mt. Guiting-Guiting Natural Park
- Puerto Princesa Underground River
- Camiguin

  • Kayaking/Rafting

Whitewater rafting and kayaking are the newest action sports in the Philippines. For decades, while adventure-hungry travellers flocked to the rivers of neighbouring countries, the superb rapids of the Philippines lay undiscovered. But that's changing fast; whitewater action is now available on half a dozen rivers in all major islands of the country.

The islands also offer thousands of kilometers of superb kayaking on crystal clear water, taking in exotic villages, pristine beaches, coral reefs and mangrove swamps along the way.

The kayak, silent and unobtrusive, is the perfect way to explore these delicate ecosystems without disturbing wildlife or the peace of nature.

For those seeking more powerful thrills, the rugged East Coast provides monster waves and fine rough-water kayaking.

Where to do Kayaking/Rafting:

- Peñablanca Protected Landscape
- Taal Volcano & Tagaytay City
- Apo Reef
- El Nido
- Lake Danao
- Bohol
- Camiguin
- Misamis Oriental
- Mt. Apo

  • Surfing

The tropical seas and consistent winds of the Philippines make the country a paradise for board surfing.

The two main wind patterns in the Philippines are the habagat, or southwest monsoon, which blows from June to September, and the amihan, or northeast monsoon, which prevails from October to April.

The amihan draws sailors from all over Asia: the steady 12-30 knot winds and warm weather create ideal sailing conditions.

On the other hand, the Philippines offers surf for all levels. Siargao Island, off the northeastern tip of Mindanao, has several superb breaks, and is the site of the Siargao International Surfing Cup, the country's largest international surfing event.

Where to do Surfing:

- Batanes Islands
- Apo Reef


Hill Stations

  • Baguio City

A mountainous topography of towering peaks, plateaus, and intermittent patches of valleys, the Cordillera mountain range has a history as vast and as beautiful as its mountainous curves. Populated by the Ifugaos, a gentle yet fiercely proud ethnic community, the Cordillera enjoys abundant mineral reserves. Metallic ores such as gold, silver, copper, zinc, and non-metallic reserves are found in Abra, Benguet, Kalinga Apayao, and Mountain Province.

Dubbed as the Watershed Cradle of the Philippines, the Cordillera Administrative Region was carved out of the predominantly Ilocano regions of Ilocos and Cagayan. Located in the north central part of Luzon, the region is composed of the six provinces of Abra Apayao, Benguet, Kalinga, Ifugao, Mountain Province, and the chartered city of Baguio. The Cordillera consists of 76 municipalities and 1,172 barangays. Total land area of 18,294 square meters accounts for seven percent of the total land mass of the Philippines.

The people in the region enjoy a cool climate throughout the year, particularly in highly elevated places like Benguet, Mt. Province, and Baguio City. General climate, though, is the dry season from November to April and the rainy season for the rest of the year.

  • Chocolate Hills

Chocolate hill is a geological formation with 1,268 perfectly cone-shaped hills and is located in Bohol, Philippines. They are covered with green flora that turns brown during the dry season and it gives it the look of chocolate covered hills. It is probably the most famous tourist attraction in Bohol, Philippines.

There are different legends associated the forming of these hills, however even today there is no scientific answer how they were formed. One of the most commonly accepted explanation is that Chocolate hills are a weather formation of a kind of marine limestone on top of an impermeable layer of clay.

If you are in the Philippines and want to get there, there are plenty of tourist guides that will be happy to bring you to Chocolate hills.



The Philippines have been well known for its fantastic beaches. Here are some of the best beaches in the Philippines that one may consider visiting.

  • Boracay – has always been the favourite place of beach goers to go in the Philippines. This is because of the great white sand and cool waters, Boracay is the place for people looking to party. It is even considered as one of the finest beaches in the world. Bora cay is located in the North West part of the Visayas area called Panay.
  • Pagudpud – if you’re looking for a place that can be like Hawaii, Pagudpud is the place to visit. The strong winds and waves can be compared to that of Hawaii which makes this place often visited by surfers. Pagudpud also has long continuous white sands and inviting beach waters for people looking to just swim. Compared to Boracay, this place is more secluded.
  • Mactan Island – the queen city of the South, Cebu, also has its fair share of great beaches. One of them is the so called Mactan Island. It is a tropical island resort. It provides tourist with great entertainment such as night life activities that will spice up the visit.
  • Panglao – if you love to dive visiting Panglao is the place to be. This place is a tiny island found hidden in it’s bigger nearby island of Bohol.
  • Camiguin – the place has been known to be one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines because it still seems like a paradise. Some people even consider the place the “Garden of Eden” in the country. Camiguin has a great topography that includes waterfalls, and the hot and cold springs. The place will be mesmerizing and will definitely tempt you to go back.
  • Dakak – a private beach that spans about 750 meters long the Sulu Sea. The beach also has great white sands that can be compared to powder. The pool’s water comes from the spring water and the waterfalls that are on the area.
  • Honda Bay – this are islands that surround the capital of the South Western province of Palawan. Among these islands, the tourist can go island hopping, diving and swim on the cool waters. In one of the islands, one can see the variety of fishes without swimming out too deep.
  • El Nido – the place is known as the country’s last frontier and Palawan - the Island of the Gods. This place offers great beaches that will tae you away from the urban life. This place is the best to visit if you are looking for complete peace and quiet. Aside from the magnificent beach, the place also offers you a sight of the beautiful seascapes, towering marble cliffs and a variety of tropical birds.
  • Pearl Farm – far south in the city of Davao, lies the premier beach resort know as the Pearl Farm. The place no longer has the pearls you are looking for. But the place can still offer an experience as valuable as a pearl. This is because of the great resort that is accompanied by the white sands.
  • Siargao – this place is another surfers dream. The place offers you waves that can curl up to 12 feet high. Aside from the waves, the place also has beaches that still remain unspoiled by urban lifestyle.


Night Life

Nightlife in the Philippines is very diverse as this is a country of fun loving people who came and settled down here from different parts of the world bearing different cultures and value systems... Night life can be enjoyed in the city's clubs or in the house of your new found friend. Various parts of the country also celebrate fiestas and it is a good fun to experience the fiesta spirit of the local folks. Island Resorts also offers unique nightlife that is only found in such particular islands. Among the most popular tourist destination is Boracay Island and Puerto Gallera that are very popular for their night life.

  • Dining


Location: Pasig, Hotel nearby Rich monde Hotel, EDSA Shangri-La, and Holiday Inn Galleria

Aysee's sisig is served extra crunchy and oozing with butter. Not for the cholesterol conscious, but we need to treat ourselves once in a while. Great for a night out with San Miguel Beer.

Glorrietta 3

Location: Makati Commercial Center, Hotel nearby Dusit, Shangri-La Makati, Manila Pen, Hotel Intercom, ABS, and New World

If one is looking for a nice place to dine, Glorietta 3 is the choice as it has a lot of restaurants to choose from native dishes to Japanese sushi.

Cafe Illustrado

Location: Intramuros, Manila. Hotel nearby Bay view Plaza, Boulevard Hotel, Hyatt, Plaza, Net World, and Holiday Inn Manila.

Located inside the Walled City of Intramuros, this aristocratic Spanish era house has been converted into a fine dining restaurant hidden along Calle Real del Palacio. Features the best of Filipino, Spanish and European Cuisine.

Gerry's Grill - Filipino Seafood Grill

Location: Makati Commercial Center, Hotel nearby Dusit, Shangri-La Makati, Manila Pen, Hotel Intercom, ABS, New World.

Don Henrique’s - Pizza, Buffalo wings.

Location: Timog in Quezon City, Makati, Manila.

Little Tokyo - A taste of Japan

Location: Makati Commercial Center, Hotel nearby Dusit, Shangri-La Makati, Manila Pen, Hotel Intercom, ABS, New World.

For those who haven't been to Tokyo, this place is as authentic as it gets. Clientele is 95% Japanese and the place has the look and feel of any dingy Izakaya (drinking place) in Japan. Sushi and sashimi are heavenly. Yakitori (grilled chicken) is perfect. Namabeeru (draft beer) is always cold and Sake can wash away all your stress for the day. Better bring along your credit card since it might cost a little, but the experience is worth it.

Kawloon Siopao - 24/7 siopao and siomai.

Location: Everywhere.

A Dim sum heaven for a bargain. Found everywhere in the city. One can have a quick dinner or snack for a dollar.

Jollibee - Fast Food Chain.

Location: Everywhere.

What would the Manila experience be without the Philippine version of McDonalds? It has burger and fries but try its unique palabok and chicken joy.

Roxas Boulevard - Cluster of Restaurants.

Location: Manila Bay, Hotel nearby Bayview Plaza, Boulevard Hotel, Hyatt, Plaza, Net World, and Holiday Inn Manila

Manila Bay Boardwalk has been transformed into a popular hangout as restaurants have been put up along the boardwalk. Dine with the spectacular view of the famous Manila Bay Sunset. Lots of choices at a bargain price. After dinner, hit the clubs along Malate. A great night out.


  • Bars

Glorrietta 3 – Cluster of Clubs

Location: Makati Commercial Center, Hotel nearby Dusit, Shangri-La Makati, Manila Pen, Hotel Intercom, ABS Tower.

This is where Makati's elite hangs out for the night. Various hip hop clubs are clustered in one location. All four floors are teeming with beautiful people to meet and superb concoctions to drink.

The Fort – Cluster of Restaurant

Location: Makati Commercial Center, Hotel nearby Dust, Shangri-La Makati, Manila Pen, Hotel Intercom, ABS, New World.

The Fort is a new development in Makati that was converted from a military base. One of the popular hang out during the night is Pier One, a Restaurant Grill made of Ocean Going Containers stacked up together.

Quattro – Hip hop Bar

Location: Timog Ave. Quezon City, Hotel nearby is Rembrandt Hotel, Imperial Palace, and Sulo Hotel.

Great place to have Macho Mug of their favorite local beer and munching on the best grilled fish fillet among "hawing" spots in Manila. Time well spent with friends on a night out.

Off the Grill – Music Bar.

Location: Timog Ave. Quezon City, Hotel nearby is Rembrandt Hotel, Imperial Palace, and Sulo Hotel.

A favorite hangout among the locals who would like to hear mellow acoustic band while enjoying San Miguel Beer and Sisig. Plenty of single women enjoying the company of their friends and office workers. A favorite venue for birthday celebration or meeting among the 18-35 age groups.

Xaymaca – Reggae Bar

Location: Timog Ave. Quezon City, Hotel nearby is Rembrandt Hotel, Imperial Palace, and Sulo Hotel.

A great destination for reggae music lovers. This Jamaican inspired club offers great tropical drinks and superb dating ambiance. Lots of single women to meet, too. Offers great sashimi and sisig.

Malate District – Cluster of Restaurants and Clubs.

Location: Malate, Manila. Hotel nearby Bay view Plaza, Boulevard Hotel, Hyatt, Plaza, Net World, and Holiday Inn Manila.

Located close to the heart of tourist belt, Malate area is a perfect location for a nightlife adventure. It offers a variety of Restaurants and clubs to choose from. Swing by Cayote Ugly Bar to watch regular patrons dance on the wedge or enjoy a drink and cigar in Cafe Havanna.

Eastwood District – Cluster of Restaurants and Clubs.

Location: Libis, Quezon City, Center of the City. Hotel nearby Rich monde Hotel, EDSA Shangri-La, Holiday Inn Galleria,Rembrant Hotel, Imperial Palace, and Sulo Hotel, Dusit, Shangri-La Makati, Manila Pen, Hotel Intercom, ABS Tower.

Located in the center of Metro-Manila. Eastwood is a popular destination among the young and young at hearts. The area offers a wide selection of clubs, restaurants, and bars to choose from. A must go place while in Manila.


  • Lounges

Most hotels that we offer have their own lounges that are of superb quality. They even provide nightly entertainment for guest. Use your coupon to enjoy your complementary welcome drink if applicable. Hotel Lounges is actually a popular destination among local folks at night.


  • Comedy Clubs

Punch Line – Comedy Club.

Location: Quezon Blvd. Quezon City, Hotel nearby is Rembrandt Hotel, Imperial Palace, and Sulo Hotel.

If you want real entertainment, try comedy bars for a change. It is increasingly getting popular among locals and tourist in Manila. They mostly have homosexual emcees making fun of themselves and patrons who don’t mind being ridiculed for a few laughs.

Laugh Line – Comedy Club.

Location: Timog Ave. Quezon City, Hotel nearby is Rembrandt Hotel, Imperial Palace, and Sulo Hotel.

Comedy Clubs is a sing along bar hosted by mostly homosexuals who enjoy the attention they get making people laugh. Clubs also offers great drinks and food selections.

The Library – Comedy Club.

Location: Malate, Manila. Hotel nearby Bay view Plaza, Boulevard Hotel, Hyatt, Plaza, Net World, and Holiday Inn Manila.

A staging ground for future TV hosts, the library is known to produce great TV emcees. Laughter can be heard even along the streets as the host of this library inspired club makes everyone make fun of them.


  • Billiards & Bowling

Puyat Bowling Lanes – Billiards & Bowling

Location: Makati Coml. Center, Hotel nearby Dusit, Shangri-La Makati, Manila Pen, Hotel Intercom, New World, ABS A walking distance from Greenbelt 3 and area hotels, Puyat Bowling Lanes offers the state of the art bowling experience in the city.

Pier One, the Port – Billiards & Drinks

Location: The Port, Hotel nearby Dusit, Shangri-La Makati, Manila Pen, Hotel Intercom, New World, ABS Great Place to shoot some pool. Pier one is actually a Restaurant Grill that has billiard tables on the ground floor. Offers great ambiance to meet new friends and have a drink over pool.


  • Ballroom Dancing

Ballroom Dancing is very popular among the locals and balikbayans. Most hotels offer ballroom dancing on weekends. Special arrangement can be made thru TravelPH, if you would like to participate in this activity. TravelPH can recommend reputable dance instructors as well as the venue.


  • Clubs & Dancing

Most Hotels have their own dancing clubs. Among the most popular dancing clubs are WhereElse in Hotel Intercom Makati, The club rows along Jupiter Street in Makati, Glorietta 3, Malate, and Eastwood.


  • Casino

Casino Gambling is very popular among tourist in the Philippines. Most big hotels have a casino in their building. Casinos offer table games and slot machines. Among the hotels with their own casinos are Heritage Hotel, Net World Hotel, and Diamond Hotel. Aside from Manila, other popular gambling destinations are Ft Ilocandia in Ilocos and Casino Filipino in Tagaytay.



Filipinos usually serve at least one main course accompanied by rice for lunch and dinner. At times you would have two with one vegetable dish and a meat dish. On special occasions such as fiestas, several main dishes would be served; a Filipino party or a Fiesta wouldn't be complete without Spaghetti, Pasta, Fruit Salad, Ice Cream, Rice, spring rolls, cake or rice cakes and soda. Soups are also often the main course apart from being a starter. It is not uncommon for Filipinos to douse their rice with the soup and eat the meat that came with the soup alongside.

  • Main Dishes

Adobo – Typically pork or chicken, or a combination of both, is slowly cooked in soy sauce, vinegar, cooking oil, crushed garlic, bay leaf, and black peppercorns, and often browned in the oven or pan-fried afterward to get the desirable crisped edges.

Afritada – Pork and potatoes cooked in tomato sauce.

Asado – Braised meat in a soy sauce and brown sugar liquid. Also refers to dried sweetmeats as well as dried red-colored meats with sweet taste similar to Chinese barbecued pork. A stand-alone dish or used as a filling in asado siopao, a variation on Chinese baozi or steamed filled bun.

Barbecue – Grilled pork kebabs dipped in a sweet barbecue sauce.

Bistek – Made with onions and strips of sirloin beef slowly cooked in soy sauce, and calamansi juice.

Bopis – A spicy dish made out of pork lungs and heart sautéed in tomatoes, chilies and onions.

Camaron Rebosado – Seafood Deep fried battered shrimps.

Crispy Pata – Deep fried portions of pork legs including knuckles often served with a chili and calamansi flavored dipping soy sauce or chili flavored vinegar for dipping.

Crispy tadyang ng baka – Crispy beef ribs often served with a chili and calamansi flavored soy sauce or chili flavored vinegar for dipping.

Daing – Fish (especially milkfish) that has been dried, salted, or simply marinated in vinegar with lots of garlic and then fried.

Embutido – A meatloaf shaped in the form of a sausage.

Escabeche – Referring to both a dish of poached or fried fish that is marinated in an acidic mixture before serving, and to the marinade itself. Can refer broadly to sweet and sour dishes.

Giniling (Peccadillo) – Ground pork or beef cooked with garlic, onion, soy sauce, tomatoes, and potatoes and frequently with carrots, raisins, and bell peppers.

Halabos Na hip on – Seafood Shrimps steamed in their own juices and cooked with a little oil.

Hammond – Meat dish stuffed pork roll coated in a sweet sauce.

Inihaw na liempo – Grilled pork belly.

Kaldereta – A dish made with cuts of pork, beef or goat with tomato paste or tomato sauce with liver spread added to it.

Lechón – A dish made by roasting a whole pig over charcoal. It is often cooked during special occasions. A simpler version has chopped pieces of pork fried in a pan or wok (lechon kawali). Also refers to a spitted and charcoal roasted marinated chicken (lechon manok).

Lumpia – Deep fried (prito) or fresh (sariwa). Popular versions include lumpiang shanghai a deep fried meat filled usually fairly narrow spring roll often accompanied by a sweet chili dipping sauce and lumpiang ubod a fresh or sometimes deep fried wider spring roll filled with crunchy vegetables and optionally including cooked meat.

Mechado – Name derived from mitsa meaning "wick" which is what the pork fat inserted into a slab of beef mechado is made from looks like before the larded beef is cooked, sliced, and served in the seasoned tomato sauce it is cooked in.

Morcon – Meat dish .A meat roll often prepared for special occasions it consists of thin sheets of cooked eggs and marinated beef layered one on top of the other then wrapped and tied around carrots, celery, cheese, pork fat, and sausage. This is then cooked in seasoned tomato sauce.

Paksiw – Generally means to cook and simmer in vinegar. Common dishes bearing the term, however, can vary substantially depending on what is being cooked. Paksiw Na isda is fish poached in a vinegar broth usually seasoned with fish sauce and spiced with siling mahaba and possibly containing vegetables. Paksiw na baboy is pork, usually hock or shank, cooked in ingredients similar to those in adobo but with the addition of sugar and banana blossoms to make it sweeter and water to keep the meat moist and to yield a rich sauce. Paksiw na lechon is roasted pork lechon meat cooked in lechon sauce or its component ingredients of vinegar, garlic, onions, black pepper and ground liver or liver spread and some water. The cooking reduces the sauce so that by the end the meat is almost being fried.

Pata Tim – Meat dish.

Pinangat, Natong, or Laing –In Bicol refers to a dish of taro leaves, chili, meat, and coconut milk tied securely with coconut leaf. In Manila the dish is known more commonly as Laing. Pinangat or pangat also refers to a dish or method of cooking involving poaching fish in salted water and tomatoes.

Relleno – Stuffed meat, seafood, or vegetables dishes like rellenong bangus (stuffed milkfish), rellenong manok (stuffed chicken), and rellenong talong (stuffed eggplant) also known as tortang talong.

Sisig Pampanga – Fried and sizzled chopped bits of pig’s head and liver, other versions using tuna or milkfish, usually seasoned with calamansi and chili peppers and sometimes topped with an egg.

Tapa – Dried, cured, or marinated sliced beef that is fried or grilled.

Torta – Basically an omelette, most often referring to one made out of ground beef and potatoes. Other common variations include tortang alimasag (an omelette made with crab meat) and tortang talong (one made with eggplant).


  • Soups and Stews

Batchoy Iloilo – Noodle soup A noodle soup which originated in the district of La Paz, Iloilo City in the Philippines.

Bicol Express – Popularized in the district of Malate, Manila Stew A stew made from long chilies, coconut milk, shrimp paste or stockfish, onion, pork, and garlic.

Binignit – A vegetable stew traditionally made with slices of saba, taro, sweet potato. The vegetable along with pearl sago is cooked in a mixture of water, coconut milk and the local landang.

Callos – Stew

Dinengdeng – A bagoong soup based dish similar to pinakbet. It contains fewer vegetables and contains more bagoong soup base.

Dinuguan – A savory stew of meat simmered in a rich, thick spicy gravy of pig blood, garlic, chili, and vinegar.

Kare-kare – A meat, tripe, and oxtail stew with vegetables in peanut sauce customarily served with bagoong alamang (shrimp paste).

Mami – Soup Noodle soup.

Menudo – Stew

Nilagang baka – A beef stew with cabbages, potatoes, and onion seasoned with fish sauce and black peppercorns usually using beef chuck or brisket. When using beef shank including the bone and marrow it is called nilagang bulalo.

Pares – A beef stew viand and a bowl of soup, both served with rice.

Pochero – Stew

Sinigang – A sour soup/stew made with meat or seafood and vegetables.

Tinola – A dish of chicken, wedges of green papaya, and chili pepper leaves, in broth flavored with ginger, onions and fish sauce served as a soup or the main course.


Wild Life

There are not many mammals found in the Philippines. The carabao, which is a domesticated water buffalo, along with pigs (both wild and domesticated), the mongoose, several deer species and numerous humped cattle are the most important animal species in the Philippines. There are many reptiles as well as about 760 bird species on the islands, one of which is the parrot.

The Philippines is noted for its abundant marine fauna, in particular the mollusks. The famous Sulu pearls with their deep luster come from pearl oysters around the Sulu Archipelago in the extreme southwest.

Almost one fourth of the Philippines is covered with forests. The trees range from those with rubber, various palm trees, banyan along with indigenous trees such as mayapis, apitong, lauan and camagon, to name a few.

A valuable indigenous plant is the Manila hemp, or abaca. It is a plantain whose fiber is used to make a variety of items such as textiles, hats and cordage. There are over 900 species of orchids in the Philippines that represent 100 genera that have been found. Other plants found on the islands include cinnamon, pepper plants, and clove. And, of course, coconuts, pineapples and bananas grow in abundance.

Unfortunately, the Philippines have some endangered species. The Philippine eagle, mouse deer and tarsier, dugong (also known as a sea cow or sea pig), marine turtles, the Subic fruit bats, and the cockatoo are among those in danger of extinction.

Part of the reason for possible extinction of many species is the mass destruction of lowland forest habitats. The harvesting of trees for trade or infrastructure building has been diminishing the forests of the Philippines at an alarming rate. Another reason is that some animals are caught for trade (such as the cockatoo) and others are killed for being a nuisance (bats).

In one area of the Philippines, an intensive effort is underway to save the marine turtle from extinction. This is being accomplished by limiting the number of turtle eggs excavated for profit and devoting one island to preservation of the turtles.

As with the sea turtles, of which only a few will ever make it to the age of reproduction, it is difficult for the dudong to reproduce. When the females get pregnant, they carry their calf for thirteen months before giving birth. Unlike a sea turtle, which may lay up to 100 eggs in a pit, the dudong does not have multiple offspring at birth. In addition, when the dudong gives birth, the process cannot be repeated for 3 to 5 years, making reproduction of this species a very slow process.

Where to do Wildlife Watching:

- Batanes Islands

- Peñablanca Protected Landscape

- Mt. Makiling

- Mt. Mayon

- Donsol Whale Shark Interaction

- Mt. Guiting-Guiting Natural Park

- Puerto Princesa Underground River

- Mt. Kanlaon

- Bohol

- Tañon Strait

- Mt. Apo