6 Most Unusual things to do in the Philippines

People who travel often, come up with their own ways to get the most out of any trip, even if it is a lesser known destination like the Philippines. Make no mistake though, this archipelagic nation has seen a rapid transformation from a laid-back fishing village into a leading hotspot for tourists from all over the world, especially for those who are seeking something out of the ordinary. Here is a list of some of the most unusual things you can attempt when on a holiday in the Philippines.

Get mesmerized by the Hinatuan River

Located in Mindanao island, lies a crystal-clear source of water said to be coming from a miraculous source. Visitors throng to this place in large numbers just to get a glimpse of how the salt waters of the Hinatuan River, emerge over the surface of the earth from an unknown underground aquifer and merge with the Pacific Ocean. The river is devoid of any silt or dirt, throughout its length, making the view all that more magical. The only downside is that currently visitors are not allowed to swim at the main pool of the river. A designated swimming area is allowed though near the mouth of the river leading to the sea.

Get amazed at Vulcan Point

A visit to Vulcan Point can be called as the ultimate dream of any geologist. After all, where else in the world can one come across an extremely active volcano and the biggest crater lake in the world together. With 33 eruptions on record, Taal volcano has strange geological features formed over the years and have created some of nature's most unique landscapes.

The tiny island known as Vulcan Point stands in the center of a thousand feet high lake. The lake itself lies in the largest crater and is surrounded by an island within the boundaries of another island. Confused? Go see for yourself the extraordinary caldera, situated right on the edge of the so-called 'Pacific Ring of Fire'.

Do not miss out on the Waterfalls Restaurant

This is a dining place like no other, as it is located bang in the middle of a river with water cascading down barely a few feet away from the diners. It can be found within the Villa Escudero resort, which is a few hour's drive from Manila. The place may not be for the budget conscious, but the palatial background of this waterside cafe allows guests to enjoy the local cuisine barefoot and lean under the waterfall for a unique eating out experience.

Experience the unique burial rituals in Sagada

The strange burial practice, carried out by the residents of Sagada, is well worth the bone breaking thirteen-hour ride required to reach this mystical place. Until today, the people of Sagada, after putting their dead in wooden coffins, hang them from the walls of cliffs. Legend has it, that the old and infirm prepare their own coffins and have them hung from the highest position possible after their death, as an attempt to allow their spirits easy access to higher life after demise. Some of these coffins are said to be centuries old and are left untouched after hanging them.

Pay respects at the Sunken Cemetery

For the citizens of the town of Camiguin, there is no better epitaph than the single giant cross standing over the place where the town once stood. Camiguin and the cemetery of the town were destroyed in a massive earthquake in 1870 caused by the eruption of Mt. Hibok-Hibok. In fact, so strong were the tremors that the capital city and the cemetery sank into the sea. To commemorate the tragic loss, a cross was constructed at the very place the town sank, right in the middle of the sea. The isolated structure stands as a stark reminder and a place of reverence for the tragedy which befell this once vibrant place.

Behold the Chocolate Hills of Bohol

Imagine 1268 similar conical mounds emerging from the earth, all within a small area. These are said to be the mysterious Chocolate Hills of Bohol island, which are best viewed in the dry weather when the hills turn brown. Despite their large numbers, their source remains a mystery, even till this very day. Numerous theories are suggested, from volcanic activity to weathering away of limestone, but none have been confirmed. Along with island hopping in Balicasag marine sanctuary, these hills make the cornerstone for any Bohol tour package and you should certainly make sure it is included in your itinerary.

The remarkable country of the Philippines has a wide array of unusual elements to contend with. Harsh weather conditions, regularity of severe typhoons and an abundance of still highly active volcanoes has given the nation a fair share of worries. Despite these issues, the country is like no other, especially when it comes to exploring obscure and paradise-like places. So, wander away from the crowded tourist spots, and find peace and calmness by exploring these offbeat places.

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The Pinoy Explorer

Aside from my day job, I love photography and storytelling. Going places--be it a cliche destination or the far side of the road--stoke and free my soul. I dig deeper into the people’s psyche, culture and ethnicity, and heritage. I love to observe how they thrive and build social institutions, preserve their culture and traditions.

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