Where to go if you have been looking for places that define real culture and nature in the Philippines? I am a strong believer that Philippines is blessed with natural resources and rich in history and culture. What these cultures and natural resources could show to the world that it is a world class providence to the people outside this country to look into.
There are a lot of sites in the Philippines which are preserved, cleaned, mandated to be protected by law and its citizens, and at the same time recorded in the world’s most sought after places. Those sites are labelled and known to the world as tourists destinations and proud to be one the most significant sites in the Philippines. Here are the top 5 cultural and heritage sites.
1. Historic Town of Vigan
This is situated in Ilocos Sur. Previously known as Ciudad de Fernandina de Vigan in the late 19th centuries. The town is a living testament of the Spanish colonial era. No wonder why some of the words spoken among Filipinos are mixed with Spanish and of course the currency of the Philippines.
This was the central Spanish power in Northern Luzon. You can see the architectural designs of the town which describes the religious and political ways that were strong in those days. Numerous Vigan houses were influenced by the style of how Spanish was before. Not only that, but the cathedrals, the colleges and the Capitol Building. It shows how Filipinos can adapt foreign cultures yet mixing it in a unique and Filipino style.
- Historic Town of Vigan (UNESCO World Heritage Marker)
- Plaza Salcedo, Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Philippines
2. Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park
Depicts the national and traditional way of the Philippines. The marine life. The only national marine park in the Philippines well preserved by its country. This is an example of a natural heritage that the locals are proud of to show to its outsiders. It is located in South Sulu Sea Palawan.
I have heard that Sulu has one of the best beaches too but not that famous in the country due to its location. It is far from Luzon as well as Visayas. It’s even nearer to other countries in South Asia since it’s in the South of the Philippines. It is a 97, 030 hectare protected area. Composed of two huge coral atolls.
3. Banaue Rice Terraces
Lying high in the Cordillera mountain range, this natural heritage is an outstanding site in this country. Amazing structure, amazing grasslands, and unique site. Aside from the rice terrace that you will see from the top, the sound of the flowing water going downhill is also present to irrigate the rice planted.
This is a 2,000-year-old terrace that were carved by ancestors of the indigent people that were living here. It is a remarkable site that is also a living testament of how hardworking and persistent the ancestors were to finish the terrace. Imagine how wide the space is and how many years they took it to form such a wonderful structure.
- Banaue Rice Terraces Viewpoint
- Banaue, Ifugao, Cordillera Administrative Region, Philippines
4. The Ruins
The Ruins is located in Talisay City, Negros Occidental. It is near Bacolod City. This is very famous in the neighbouring cities and regions in the Visayas. This is a mansion that was built in the early 1900s. This was owned by a rich man obviously since at that time, the mansion was the largest architecture and residential built in the place. The story has it that the mansion was built because of the love of the husband for his wife and his 3 children.
Unfortunately, the mansion was burnt in the World War II to by the United States Armed Forces of the Far East to prevent the Japanese to make the mansion as a headquarter. Until now the mansion stands high and still attracts tourists and locals.
5. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River
A wonderful site also in the Philippines. The subterranean River is one of the longest rivers in the Philippines and also one of the most preserved area. Because it has its own connecting cave that attracts tourist every now and then, the people are more concerned of its cleanliness and safety.
Aside from the cave and the topography of the property which varies from plains to hills, it also has existing species that are to be unique only to Palawan. The Palawan bearcat, wild pigs, flying squirrels, and other forms of cave inhabiting forms of reptiles.
Come and visit these cultural and natural heritage sites in the Philippines and it will leave you more curious of what’s more in the Philippines. These sites confirm the natural abundance and the richness of marine life in the Philippines. No doubt about it, since this country has 7,107 islands.