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8 Exciting Things to Experience in the Philippines This 2018

Fill your checklist with these unique activities from all over the country!

By: Patricia Marie Prado | January 11, 2018
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As another year begins, people are eager to write their goals in the hopes of achieving all of them in the coming months. Among the top items in everyone’s list is traveling more, but instead of simply listing places to visit, why not fill your 2018 bucket list with experiences? This way, you’ll know what to expect and what’s in store for you as you tick these places off your list.

To help you out, we’ve gathered the best experiences you can try in the Philippines! Save this list and make it your goal to try all of these activities this year.

1. Eat tamilok in Palawan.

Where: Puerto Princesa, Palawan

unique things to do in the Philippines

Challenge your palate and taste Palawan’s famous tamilok. (Image: Flord Nicson J. Calawag)

Palawan is one of the most popular tourist spots in the country, and if it’s still on your travel bucket list now is the time to visit. To make your trip more exciting, make sure to eat one of their most popular delicacies, tamilok.

Although it is referred to as woodworm, tamilok is not actually a worm but a type of clam. It’s only called as such because it loves to eat woods submerged in seawater. If you’re curious about how it’s eaten, locals usually prepare it the same way a ceviche is done by putting lots of vinegar, calamansi juice, chopped onions, and chilies. If you’re brave enough, you can also eat it raw.

2. Swim with whale sharks in Sorsogon.

Where: Donsol, Sorsogon

unique things to do in the Philippines

Get a close encounter with these gentle giants at Donsol. (Image: Travelzoo)

Another great experience to try in the country is swimming with whale sharks! The Philippines is blessed to have sightings of these gentle giants and many people from other countries even endure the long travel in coming to our country just to swim with them.

The best place to swim and take selfies with the whale sharks here in the country is at Donsol, Sorsogon from December to May. Tourism in Donsol is stricter to protect these wild animals. Visitors are only allowed to snorkel and they need to hire a trained guide or spotter in addition to paying the necessary fees before interacting with the whale sharks.

3. Watch dolphins in the wild in Bohol.

Where: Balicasag, Bohol

unique things to do in the Philippines

Skip swimming with dolphins in fish tanks, go see them in the wild. (Image: Jerome Manatad)

Another marine animal that you can see in the wild are dolphins. Dolphins are more common in Philippine seas and there are actually a few spots in the country that you can visit to see these cute creatures. Instead of swimming with them in fish tanks, seeing them in the wild is way better.

One great place to visit for dolphin sighting is Balicasag, Bohol. Many tour agencies here offer services to help you see dolphins in the wild. You’ll need to hire a boat and a spotter to help you locate them immediately. If you’re in luck, you might even see some whales in the area as well.

4. Bathe in a kawa in Antique.

Where: Tibiao, Antique

unique things to do in the Philippines

Try a different kind of relaxing bath in a kawa in Antique. (Image: Cha Sumaoy)

Antique may not be at the top of anyone’s list when planning a travel adventure, but this province is slowly gaining fame thanks to the kawa hot bath that’s only found here. A kawa is a large wok-like cooking vessel that locals use to cook muscovado sugar, one of the products that the area is known for. Kayak Inn took advantage of these vessels and turned them into bath tubs for their visitors to relax in.

If you’re in Kayak Inn, you can ask their staff to prepare a kawa for you. They will heat it up for about 45 minutes depending on the temperature that you can handle. Once done, you can enjoy a relaxing bath to soothe your senses after a long journey.

5. See an island in a lake, on an island in a lake, on an island in Batangas.

Where: Taal Lake, Batangas

unique things to do in the Philippines

Its title is a mouthful, but it is true! (Image: @theonlyhardyceasar)

Believe it or not, such a phenomenon can be found in our country in Batangas. The tiny rocky island called Vulcan Point is found in a crater lake inside Volcano Island. Volcano Island on the other hand is in Taal Lake, which is on the island of Luzon. And if you’re curious if it’s true, you can actually check it out and see for yourself.

From Batangas, you can cross Taal Lake and hike the famous Taal Volcano, known as the smallest active volcano in the world and the second most active in the Philippines. You can hike the volcano by foot or on horse and be rewarded with the beautiful view of the crater lake inside the island.

6. Get tattooed by Apo Whang-od in Kalinga.

Where: Buscalan, Kalinga

unique things to do in the Philippines

Endure the travel and the pain and get tattooed by the last mambabatok in the country. (Image: @trvlprjctph)

If you’re a tattoo enthusiast and a culture buff, having a tattoo by Apo Whang-Od should be one of your goals this year. Known as the last mambabatok (traditional hand-tapping tattooist) in the country, people from all over the world flock the little town of Buscalan just to meet Apo Whang-Od and be inked by her.

Reaching the town of Buscalan is not easy as you need to do a ten-hour bus ride, a three-hour jeepney ride, and another three-hour hike to reach Whang-Od. But the privilege of interacting and getting tattooed by the last mambabatok of her generation is priceless.

7. See the volcano with the most perfect cone in Bicol.

Where: Legazi, Albay

unique things to do in the Philippines

This picturesque view can be found in Bicol. (Image: @kimmaynard.go)

There are many mountains and volcanoes in our country, but none can compare to the beauty and perfection of Mount Mayon. Known for its iconic perfect cone shape and as the most active volcano in the country, people flock to Legazpi just to get a glimpse of Mount Mayon.

While you’re there, another sight to see in Legazpi is the Cagsawa Ruins. Originally called the Cagsawa Church, only the bell tower was left after the 1814 eruption of Mount Mayon destroyed the church and killed almost 1,200 people. After taking lots of photos, you can also hike to the base of Mount Mayon or join an ATV tour to get a closer look of the volcano.

8. Explore an underground river in Palawan.

Where: Puerto Princesa, Palawan

unique things to do in the Philippines

Get a different kind of caving experience in Palawan. (Image: Dok Timbancaya)

Caving is always an exciting adventure to take part in, but to give it a unique twist this year, why not try caving in an underground river? With a length of over eight kilometers, the Puerto Princesa Underground River is considered to be the longest underground river in the world. The river is known to house various rock formations, cave domes, and even waterfalls inside of it.

Although only 2% of the river is open to the public, it’s still worth the travel. The trip won’t have you scrambling in rocks but riding a boat as it glides on gentle waters. You’ll get to explore the cave with other tourists, enjoy various stalactite and stalagmite formations, and see playful bats that roam around.

Are you ready to make your travel goals come true this 2018? Let us know in the comments section which of these places you will check off your list first!
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About Patricia Marie Prado
Patricia came from the field of business and accounting but is now pursuing her dreams of being a writer. She is a self-confessed introvert and is passionate about reading, travelling, writing, movies, coffee and God. When she's not writing, she loves discovering new coffee shops/cafe and doing TV-series marathons.
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