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The Beautiful World of the Philippines

From the smallest primates in the world to giant whale sharks

The Philippines is an archipelago made up of more than 7,000 islands. My wanderings around Asia this time were a bit shorter, as I only had two weeks to explore the archipelago. Still, I made the most of that time.


In the evening, I flew to the capital Manila and early in the morning further south towards the island of Bohol. The ride took about an hour and a half, which you can do with the Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, or Air Asia airlines, which offer daily flights from Manila.

The beautiful nature of the island of Bohol

I started exploring an extremely popular tourist island, which is the tenth largest island in the Philippines. It is surrounded by 75 other smaller islands. There are beautiful beaches in the south, on the small neighbouring island of Panglao. The sand of Panglao can be a bit harsh due to the coral, so caution is needed in the water.

In addition to these beautiful beaches, Bohol is also interesting because of two other things that make it worth visiting. These are the countless incredibly interesting round chocolate hills located in the middle of the island and the smallest primates in the world, both of which you can visit on a day trip right from the island of Panglao.

The Chocolate Hills in Bohol are a famous tourist attraction in the Philippines that continues to draw attention to their unique nature. There are more than 1,000 symmetrical hills. Chocolate hills are not called chocolate because they are made of chocolate, but because of the brown color they get in the time outside the rainy season. In the rainy season, the grass gives them a soft and lush green look. In the summer, the vegetation dies off and turns into a chocolate brown hue, which gives them their name.


Tarsiers, on the other hand, are the smallest known primates in the world. They weigh 80 to 160 grams and are 7.5 to 16 centimeters in size. The name tarsier was taken from their extremely long finger bone. They are recognizable mainly by their big eyes as opposed to their tiny bodies. The eyes are larger than the brain and they cannot move them, but they can move the head for 180 degrees. You can visit these little beasts on Bohol Island in Tarsier Conservation Park.

The motorbike ride around the island of Bohol was completely easy, and on the way, you can admire countless rice fields. The inhabitants are considered one of the friendliest nations in the world. They are extremely hospitable and honest and always ready to help.

It is also interesting that they have a lot of churches here, which is something we are not used to seeing in Asia. The Spanish left a huge mark on the Philippines as they conquered the territory for almost 400 years (between the 16th and 19th centuries). In addition to Christianity, numerous churches, and military fortifications, quite a few Spanish words were also brought to the Filipino language.

Underwater world of the Philippines – visiting Dumaguete and Oslob

After a few days of exploring the island of Bohol, I went by boat to Dumaguete on the island of Negros, which was an intermediate point between the islands of Bohol and Cebu, and it took me just a few days to explore the underwater world after exploring nature on the island of Bohol. My beachfront hotel offered a real paradise. It is true that there were no turtles and other large underwater animals (I saw them on the last island I visited, which was Cebu), but there were many colored fish, blue starfish, corals, and a lot of seagrass in the water, which sometimes made it impossible for me to snorkel. You can also go on a day trip to the island of Apo, where sea turtles live.

After Dumaguete I visited the island of Cebu, and the reason why I flew halfway around the world is hidden on this island, in its underwater depths.


Swimming with mighty whale sharks at Oslob island

In the small village of Oslob, you can swim with giant whale sharks if you have the courage to do so. It is not necessary to go by boat, 100 meters from the shore is enough. Every morning, local fishermen feed these giants, which is why they come so close to the shore. Whales are not so dangerous as they eat plankton, but you need to be prepared if any of them open their mouths near you while you are snorkeling. You also need to be careful as the whale’s tail can be sharp and you can injure yourself. It was a wonderful half-hour experience.

I was so excited because of the close meeting with a family of whale sharks, that I decided for a relaxed rest of the day on the coast of the island of Sumilon, close to the village of Oslob. A visit to the island is a bit more expensive, but after such a crazy experience, it is well deserved. The island is interesting because it has a freshwater lake in the middle. The price of the visit also includes entry to the pool at the top, where the restaurant is located and offers a beautiful view.

In the evening, I returned to Cebu Island, and the next day a visit village of Moalboal for my next underwater adventure. On the other side of Cebu Island, the village of Moalboal offers an exploration of the underwater world with a group of sardines just 30 meters from Panagsama Beach. A turtle can also sneak by and if you are lucky, dolphins as well. Swimming around a school of sardines offers a great experience. It is worth a try at least once in your life, so many of them gather around you at once. They say sharks can swim around wanting some sardines for lunch, and luckily for me, they were not there that day.


Just a little south of the village of Moalboal are the Kawasan Falls. These are surrounded by lush, green rainforest and the landscape is truly heavenly. For many years in a row, the waterfalls have claimed the title of "the cleanest water in the country." Unfortunately, I had to go back to Manila the next day and flew back home.

The Philippines has many other beautiful islands that I did not have time to visit this time, but I was so impressed with this 12-day trip that I will return to this part of the world.

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