Known for its lush rice terraces, sprawling cities and charming architecture, Philippines is the ideal holiday destination for those who want to get away from it all. Consisting of over seven thousand islands, the Philippine archipelago is broadly divided into three groups- Visayas, Luzon and Mindanao. It is one of the most populated countries in the world, and has been blessed with immense natural resources. It is also a global biodiversity hotspot. Situated in the western Pacific Ocean, the country is not a major tourist destination so one need not worry about large tourist crowds.
Centuries of Spanish rule have left a permanent mark on the country and parts of it may feel like they have been transposed from Europe, and while Spanish customs do influence certain customs and traditions there is no denying that Philippines is a truly Asian nation. Tourists who want a taste of Filipino culture can try attending the Moriones Festival or the Sinulog Festival. One can also witness traditional folk dance performances by the Bayanihan Philippine Folk Dance Company. Visitors should also try to take in a performance at the Amazing Philippines Theatre.
Housed in the Manila Film Centre, which is a part of the Cultural Centre of Philippines complex, the Amazing Philippines Theatre is an all-male revue, featuring singing, dancing, and comic plays. The cast comprises entirely of transgendered males and the show has attracted thousands of tourists since it began in 2001. With the success of the show the Amazing Philippines Theatre has opened shows in other regions as well. The show takes place from Tuesday to Sunday, with one performance at 7.30 pm and another at 9.00 pm. Tickets are priced at P2000. Featuring glittery costumes and well-choreographed performances, the show should not be missed.
While the Philippines is a terrific place to visit, foreigners should keep in mind that the local public transport system is a little underdeveloped. Fortunately one can find Manila hotels with a central location to minimise the hassles of travel. The Peninsula Manila is a popular Manila Five star hotel located in the centre of the city’s business district. A host of terrific malls are also situated nearby.