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The Philippines


Adventure Sports Capitol Of Asia

Information About Philippines

The Philippine archipelago consists of more than 7100 islands and islets, mostly formed by the interaction between the Philippine and Eurasian tectonic plates. The Philippines offers every conceivable adventure sport that does not involve snow - we do not have snow.

From North to South (from the windswept islands of Batanes to the islands below Sarangani), give a take a few, it measures 1,800 kilometres and at its widest point (from the southern tip of Palawan to the eastern tip of Mindanao) it measures almost 1,000 kilometres. The Philippines is bounded on the East by the Philippine Sea and the Pacific Ocean while in the West by the West Philippines Sea and the Sulu Sea. To the North is the Luzon Strait and to the South is the Celebes Sea.

The Philippine islands are populated by an eclectic mix of friendly islanders, mountain tribes-people, fisher-folk, farmers and progressive city-folk. Most can trace their roots to the islands of Micronesia and Polynesia or to Borneo. In the most recent millenia, the mix has been expanded to embrace Spanish, British, American, Japanese, Taiwanese and Chinese - invaders, seafarers, travelers and entrepreneurs.

Some of the islands of the Philippines lie virtually untouched today, as they were when the first settlers arrived around 70,000 years ago - probably from Polynesia and Borneo. However, most of the islands have been "developed" in some way shape or form; many islands have been stripped bare by loggers and mining companies, greedy for the rich resources that are found throughout the Philippines.

The history of the Philippines that can be easily researched today follows from the Spanish invasion of the archipelago, starting in 1521. Before the arrival of the Spanish, records (such as there were) were predominantly recorded either, on despoiled materials (bamboo, paper etc.) or, verbally in story and song. The Spanish all but obliterated the historic literature and much of the peaceful culture because they could not rationalize the matriarchal society, that dominated most of the tribal cultures, with that of the patriarchal commandments of sixteenth-century Christianity. Fortunately, remnants of the former peaceful cultures survive today in the many of the inland tribal communities, especially in the mountainous interior of Mindanao. Ironically, the former cultures are evidenced in observations documented in chronicals, written by the invading Spaniards, and many descriptions of life-before-the-Spanish are now available, translated into English, on the Internet.

The Philippines is stuffed full of indigenous species of animals, birds and marine life, with many new species being discovered every year. The Philippine archipelago, like its neighbor Borneo, is an explorer's paradise in the modern World, with much more to find and document before "development" and "progress" invade every forested hillside, river and coral reef.

The Philippines is influenced by two seasons: the drier, cooler, northeast monsoon (amihan) from November through May and the wetter, warmer, southwest monsoon (habagat) from June through to early-October. Tropical storms may affect the Philippines at any time of year but most usually during the period from July through November.

How To Get To The Philippines

To get the Philippines is easy. You can fly direct to the Philippines from most continents around the globe. The main airline hubs for international travelers are located in Manila, Cebu and Davao. There are number of other international airports that cater primarily to tourists - mostly to provide easy access to beaches and casinos.

The easiest way to find the most direct airline combination to fly you to a specific Philippine adventure sports destination is to use our "how to fly to" application. Simply enter you "fly from" and "fly to" locations and click search.

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Where To Stay In The Philippines

Accommodation in the Philippines will meet any budget. The main cities offer everything from backpacker accommodations to (in some cases) some of the finest 6-star hotels found anywhere in the World. The farther you travel from a city the smaller the range of accommodations offered but most often it is the lower cost hotels and guest houses that will be available as you travel to the small er towns and villages. Home-stay accommodation is offered in many remote areas and this provides the adventurer with the additional benefit of a cultural and culinary extravaganza. A few islands allow / encourage camping but this is not common in the Philippines.

in most locations you can find accommodation from around US$10 upwards to US$1,000 or more per night. Most hotels, guest houses and resorts charge by the room; dormitory accommodation is charged by the person. The Philippines also offers a handful of the most exclusive (and expensive) island resorts on the planet. Many resorts provide a full-board option, a few only offer full-board.

Note: the Philippine mobile phone network coverage is quite pervasive and covers most areas but the coverage offered by any one service provider may be found lacking in a particular area; the mobile internet network coverage is not as comprehensive as the mobile phone network and, even where it may be available, the speed may not be what you are used to. Best advice: if you require mobile phone and or Internet access when you travel then check with your accommodation provider in advance.

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Getting Around The Philippines

Getting around in the Philippines is in most cases very easy. English is spoken in most cities and most recognized tourist areas. The farther you get away from a recognized tourist area the level of spoken English may become limited, but the friendliness and desire to help tends to increase proportionately.

If you cannot fly to a location then there are usually air-conditioned buses and taxis that will take you there. If there are no buses or taxis then you can usually travel by jeepney (jeepney: unique Philippine adaptation of surplus army jeeps to become people carriers) or by air-conditioned minibus. If there is no jeepney or minibus going there then there are usually motorized tricycles and motorbikes. Fares for buses, taxis, jeepneys and minibuses are mostly regulated; fares for tricycles and motorbikes are mostly by negotiation.

If you hold an overseas driving license then you can hire a car or a motorbike in the Philippines. Cars and motorbikes can be hired in all cities, most town and in some tourist areas.

To get to some remote islands, where there is no airport, there will usually be a ferry service of some sort, with regulated fares. If you want to go somewhere where there is no regular ferry service then you can usually private-hire a boat for the purpose; private hire boat fare is by negotiation.

There are regular seaplane services from Manila to many of the more remote island destinations. You can also private hire a seaplane or helicopter to get to other island destinations - mostly limited in the North and central parts of the country.

Unless you private hire a vehicle, boat or airplane, travel throughout the Philippines is relatively inexpensive.

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