The Department of Tourism recently released their new campaign, championing the unparalleled welcome our precious islands have to offer foreign tourists.Our archipelago of now over 7,600 islands still charms visitors from all walks of life to its shores, mountains, and scenic escapes.
Sometimes the warmth of our local communities beckons transients strongly enough convincing them to stay for good. The campaign features four scenic destinations each a unique and precious part of the Philippines in its own way.
Only three of these over one hundred islands (123 at high tide, and 124 at low tide to be accurate) have actually been developed, those being: Governor's Island, Quezon Island, and Children's Island. The protected area of the Hundred Islands is in Alaminos, Pangasinan, roughly 240 klicks north of Metro Manila. The islands and coral beds here are believed to be millions of years old and part of an ancient sea ecosystem.
Banaue Rice Terraces
They are often cited as the "Eighth Wonder of the World," and these rice terraces are certainly an ancient wonder being estimated to be over 2,000 years old. The splendor of these rice terraces rests on the slopes of the Ifugao mountains having been created by its indigenous people. Some of the challenges this area faces today is drought and also that many young people from the rural area no longer bear an interest in farming.
Paoay Sand Dunes
These dunes in Ilocos Norte stretch from Currimao up to Pasuquin, and you can book yourself a huge 4x4 adventure with friends. There's the option to sandboard down these slopes or just keep snug for the ride. There are also beach shores close by for more picture-taking fun to end your sandy journey.
The UNESCO World heritage site famous for cobblestone streets and well-kept colonially historical architecture is a famous destination for tourists and locals alike. Vigan is certainly a top-of-mind tourist spot when it comes to reliving or somewhat experiencing the Philippines in 'ye olden days. In 2015 it was included as one of the New 7 Wonders cities. The name "Vigan" actually came from the time when many Chinese traders were settled in the area and called it "Bee Gan" meaning "beautiful shore". Spanish colonials began mispronouncing Bee Gan as "Vigan" hence what it is called today.
A solo Japanese tourist, or so we think, makes his way through these different spots. The twist in the commercial is he turns out to be "M. Uchimura," a blind Japanese resident who has already made our country his permanent home.
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Photos: screencapped from DOT Experience the Philippines video