4 Reasons to Visit the Philippines: Wildlife, Vegan Food & Island Hopping!

why visit the philippines

Of all the places I've visited in the world, the Philippines holds one of the most special places in my heart. It was somewhere I dreamed of going and when I went it exceeded my expectations. The beaches are so beautiful that cameras simply can't do them justice, and I had some really personal and deep life changing moments there! Every step from the islands themselves to even the transfer from Caticlan to Boracay was magical and so I hope I can do the Philippines justice in this blog post.

Why Visit The Philippines?

I can honestly say, with no exaggeration, that the Philippines changed my life path. There are, of course, many reasons to visit the Philippines, but today I've managed to constrain myself to just four - I hope you enjoy!

#1. Wildlife

There are lots of animals in the Philippines, most famous probably being the Tarsier - a tiny primate around the size of your fist, with gigantic eyes (super cute). There's also the Philippine Mouse-Deer which I am obsessed with because it looks so unreal and insane (it's got the head of a mouse, the body of like a guinea pig or something and the legs of a deer). It's also neither a mouse nor a deer but very well named in my humble and unasked for opinion. Following on from that is the Palawan Bearcat - again neither a bear nor a cat, and again rather well named (as it looks a bit like both).

#2. Accidentally Vegan Philippino Food

So ostensibly, the Philippines looks like it will be hard to maintain a vegan lifestyle - with their cuisine so influence by both the USA and Spain, there's a lot of cheese and meat to deal with. Plus the Philippines is, after all, a set of islands so there's an abundance of fish there. And English being so widely spoken in the Philippines actually somehow works against you often - Filipinos (as a sweeping statement) are so kind that they want to push animal flesh and fluids on you because they think that's a nice thing (fair enough, I used to too).

why visit the philippines

But don't worry, with a few tips and tricks it can be very easy to be vegan in the Philippines. There's an abundance of exotic fresh fruit, of course, and if you go to the right places and ask the right people you might even be able to pick it straight off the tree (vegan dream). I will never forget hacking a coconut off a coconut tree in the Philippines (well actually, watching my somewhat taller ex doing it for me, but you know). Great moment. That aside, there is always rice and oreos (the accidentally vegan saviour of SE Asia, though I don't really recommend eating them together). Restaurants are also (slowly) picking up that some people would like to eat without the animal cruelty - I found a tofu version of Adobo in Boracay for example and it was perfection! There are also accidentally vegan traditionally Filipino dishes - like atchara papaya, ensaladang talong and lumpiang gulay. (I should have really led with these before I said rice and oreos, sorry haha).

#3. Island Hopping

Philippines the country is essentially made up of thousands of islands - 7,107 to be exact. We might not make it around all of them, but I do recommend trying as many as possible - what you might not like about one island might not be present on another island. (Although most of them have out-of-this-world beaches.) It's super easy to get between the islands, and to make it even easier I recommend transfers. Like that transfer from Caticlan to Boracay. Like it might sound lame to you, but one of my favourite parts of being in Boracay was the transfer, colour me pampered. That and the beaches, and the tofu adobo, the friends we made there.

#4. Picking up the Global North's plastic waste

The Philippines is without a doubt one of the most beautiful beach destinations in the world. This is currently being decimated by plastic though - and not just from their own abundance of plastic, which they often don't have recycling capacities for, but also from the West. Yes. If you come from a country in the West where you don't see plastic clogging up your natural sites, chances are that's because it's being shipped over to places in South East Asia, like the Philippines.

why visit the philippines

So spend an hour or two picking up this trash and improve the place you're privileged enough to visit :) Seeing the plastic on the beaches in the Philippines was when it really hit me (right in the gut). It was horrible but it's better we see it so we can stop it.

Wrap Up: 4 Reasons To Visit The Philippines

So there you have it, my four (slightly random) reasons to visit the Philippines. I could literally write a book about why you should go but chances are if you're reading this post you're already tempted and all I can say to that is - just go! It's a great place. Or maybe you've been to the Philippines already? Feel free to share any tips & advice below!

P.S.: If you're interested in a way of travelling and getting accommodation cheaply, you might wanna check out house sitting. Trustedhousesitters.com was kind enough to provide us and our readers with a 10% discount, feel free to click on the link to use it :)

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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