A Geographer’s Take on The Philippines

The Philippines are one of those fantastic places that have, thus far, eluded my travels. I spent the summer of 2011 exploring South-east Asia, and was most disappointed when I returned without having seen The Philippines, for which reason I am now in the process of planning my first visit there.

My desire to discover The Philippines for myself stems not only from the beautiful photos of white sand beaches and crystal waters; it goes much deeper than that. In fact, my fascination with the country has its roots in a Geography lesson many years ago. I distinctly remember sitting wide-eyed at my desk as my teacher described the geological history of the archipelago; how it is made up of over 7000 islands of volcanic origin; and how it is one of the most diverse regions in the world.

I have always been very keen on my geography, and whilst mapping out the route that I will take on my trip I have begun to gain some geographical insights into what makes this bundle of islands so special.

The Pacific Ring of Fire.

The fact that the islands of the Philippines are volcanic in origin might put you off holidaying there, but it is this that makes themountainous scenery so visually stunning. And, if like me you wouldn’t want to miss the chance of a little geographical exploration, The Philippines offer ample opportunity for a field trip of your own. I can’t wait to visit the Taal Volcano; situated in the middle of a lake on the island of Luzon, the landscape around the volcano looks stunning. The island can be reached by boat, and a further hike can take you to its peak to admire the views.

Diversity Hotspot.

The Philippines are one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, and are covered in dense tropical rainforest. The country is home to over 13,000 different plant species, many of which are unique to the islands, along with hundreds of species of mammals and birds thought only to be found amongst the rich forests of The Philippines.  I have chosen to explore this fascinating environment through a visit to Mount Apo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site dominated by the country’s highest mountain, and also to the beautiful Hundred Islands National Park.

Rich history.

The Philippines have a complex history; having been part of the Spanish Empire, and named in honour of Philip II of Spain, Hispanic influences are amongst many that have shaped such a diverse and interesting culture. The City of Cebu sounds like a wonderful place to explore this history; the oldest Spanish settlement in the country, it is known as the Queen City of the South. I will be visiting some of the city’s colonial buildings, impressive churches including Basilica of Santo Niño, and certainly its street food stalls. 

This guest post was written by Madeleine from onefinestay which provides short term holiday rentals.

Do you appreciate what this blog do? Want to send help for this blog? Your every cents goes a long way