It is a country where almost everyone speaks English and is crazy about whitening soap. And they are addicted to rice and fast food. The Philippines has an "s" for a reason: it's comprised of more than 7,500 islands.
Oslob's whale shark watching is located at a small barangay named Tanawan. Whale sharks are one of the biggest fish in the world. They are migratory by nature but thanks to the Filipinos feeding them, they stay around Tanawan all year around hence artificially guaranteeing an encounter with them. I will not delve into the ethics of such practice, but the whale sharks are amazing animals. Seeing them up close, wow just wow!! Such majestic creatures, I could almost hear them say "Hi there and thanks for all the fish".
Surigao del Sur
Surigao del Sur is a little known gem not far from Davao City. A visit to Surigao Del Sur will reveal a few surprising scenes such as the enchanted river and the three-tired Tinuy-an Falls.
Boracay is an island known for its resorts and beaches. The main area is White Beach, white sand beach backed by palm trees, bars and restaurants.
Sumilon is an island with white sand beach, though it's private territory occupied by a resort hence there's an entrance fee. It gets very crowded with people and there is a sandbar, but ask the locals first for when to go to, as the sandbar is only visible during low tide.
Kawasan Falls are the most beautiful waterfalls in Cebu.
Canyoneering is a popular extreme adventure that involves trekking, climbing, swimming and jumping in canyons and waterfalls. There are two main canyoneering paths in Cebu, both ending up at Kawasan waterfalls. I took the one starting near Alegria.
Osmena Peak is the highest peak in Cebu. It's a short hike from a community base camp. When we reached the top, the temperature had dropped and be prepared for endless cold wind blowing. The view is very picturesque, when it is not foggy.
Moalboal is a small but lively coastal resort couple of hours southwest of Cebu City. The main draw is the marine life, especially the huge schools of sardines. You can rent snorkelling gear at any diving centre on Panagsama Beach. No need to rent a boat as most reef are just by the seashore.
Cebu City is a sprawling mix of mainly slums with some nice neighbourhoods and glitzy shopping malls. Cebu is by no means a good looking city, but it can be a fun once you get to know it a bit. The relics of colonisation are still very evident, countless churches from the Spaniards, and ubiquitous fast food eateries from the Americans.