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‘The Best’ of the Philippines – its natural wonders

b5media’s Travel and Culture channel is having a little internal contest for our theme day, featuring a ‘Best’ post from each blog.

Finding the ‘best’ of anything about the Philippines is just difficult to put my finger on – the best of what, you ask? Well, the best of… restaurants, food, places to visit, people, arts, entertainment, celebrities, accomplishments… it’s a long list. But I figured, what is the best thing (for me) about the Philippines anyway?

It is this. That this, my country, is a paradise of natural wonders. Here are just some of the best that the Philippines offers.

1. The Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao. Well-known as the “eight wonder of the world”, this magnificent engineering feat is carved by the Ifugaos about 2000 years ago from the rocky mountains of Banaue to make available a staple need – rice. In fact, if you are to visit the terraces, widen your tour to include the Cordilleras and you will be blown away by its raw beauty. And then, you might as well continue your travels on to the Summer Capital of the Philippines.

2. Mount Mayon in Albay. Nearly a perfect cone, even while the volcano erupts every few years, this mountain has held us the locals in fascination and fear since its first recorded eruption in 1616.

3. Taal Volcano in Tagaytay. It’s the world’s smallest volcano, and aptly so because Taal Volcano is actually “a crater within an island within a lake”. It’s also one of the world’s most active volcanoes, erupting over 20 times since 1572.

4. Subic Bay in Olongapo. It has one of the best all-around diving spots along this side of the Pacific, offering something for both novice and experienced divers.

5. The chocolate hills of Bohol. Chocolates, yummy! Well, not really. But geologists can’t explain exactly how these hills came to be. Which is a wonder by itself.

6. Los Banos in Laguna. I just have to plug this in. Of course there are many towns and small cities as beautiful and rich as this place, but I tell you this is paradise. If you don’t believe me, then spend a weekend, climb Mount Makiling, relax in our soothing mineral hot springs and spas, and you’ll be a convert.

7. The Philippine coastlines and beaches. The whole archipelago combined is one of the longest combined coastlines in the world. What with over 7,000 islands, you will never lack for beach resorts and hide-aways.

Now this list is really longer than just the seven above. Which actually inspires me! I think I will write more ‘best of’ in the coming weeks. There is a lot to explore about the Philippines that merit telling the world about. After all, it is paradise ‘found’.

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