Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Philippines: National Geographic's best new travel destination for 2010

                     photo from National Geographic screensaver

The Philippines, always portrayed in the West as land of savages, is named by National Geographic as one of the best travel destinations in the world for 2010.

In the inquirer.net article, it says:

In its November Adventure issue, the US publication cited the country's “ancient cultures, structures and biodiversity” as key reasons to visit the country.
The Washington, DC-based magazine described the Philippines as “harboring as many islands as the Caribbean and some of the most spectacular reefs on the planet.”
It described the Philippines and the 24 other destinations as “just right for right now” for "travelers who want their dollars to do more – for others, for the planet and for themselves.”
Among the magazine’s other must-see places were Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Costa Rica, Iceland, Ireland, Kenya, Laos, Nepal, Peru, Slovakia, and Sri Lanka.

The online article added:

Willy Gaa, Philippine ambassador to the US, said the inclusion of the country on the list “shows the global community is taking note of the natural and cultural wonders in the Philippines, as well as efforts to protect and preserve them.”
Last month, National Geographic-Traveler magazine named the Ifugao Rice Terraces as one of the “50 Places of a Lifetime: Greatest Destinations in the World.”
It described the rice terraces in the Cordillera Administrative Region, declared by Unesco as a World Heritage Site, as “masterpieces of agrarian art” and “natural poetry.”

In a blog by an exchange Filipino teacher in the U.S., she writes that her American students think that the Philippines is a jungle. With ingenuity as one of the natural traits of Filipinos, she came up with a lesson that had her students shift their paradigms before the end of that term.

The international media doesn't help either. If the country is figured in international headlines, it is related to any of the following: a news about an expat kidnapped by MILF extremists, natural disasters or ships going down with hundreds of passengers. The only time in recent memory where urbanity of The Philippines  hugged the headlines in the international media circuit was during the Magdalo mutiny in posh Oakwood in the Central Business District of Makati.  I am talking about the Makati skyline as the backdrop of the news and not the mutiny, silly! 

With the National Geographic bluelisting, it is high time for the Philippines to  be in the spotlight in the global tourism arena and debunk the many myths doing the rounds in the West.

Before I come to a close, let me leave you with an anonymous comment lifted from honolulu advertiser dot com after an article about The Philippines being rife with misery and corruption came out in its local news section.

I am so ashamed (especially of you Mr. Halloran) that you manage to put out such biased and sorry example of journalism.
Yes there is a problem of corruption and terrorism in the country, no use denying it. Yes, something has to be done about it. The problem is people like you Mr. Halloran are putting up an exaggerated view of what's going on in the country. You hide behind the words of your "anonymous sources." Well I dare you sir to come visit the country and verify if everything you said in that article is true or not. Because not everything is what it seems here.

If you are truly concerned with what's going on in the Philippines, this article you wrote is not helping at all. Which is sad because you don't see the little efforts of ordinary Filipinos who are doing what they can to change the situation.

Finally, after so much bad press lately, here's one that certainly fits for nightcap:

If you live outside of the Philippines and you watch or read the news you may feel very justified in believing that the Philippines is a very dangerous country, savaged by typhoons, earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, and terrorist attacks. You may also be assured in your belief that it is a poor country with images of children picking through garbage, slums, and corruption scandals broadcast in most international news reports. I am not going to deny that these things are true, however, they are not all that the country contains. Not every person in the Philippines is poor, a terrorist or a victim of terror. In fact other countries around the world suffer from these same problems yet they do not become iconic images of those nations.
...I am baffled as to why it has been branded in such a negative way by the international media. However, I think that more and more people are starting to discover that there is a different side to the Philippines to the one they have been bombarded with for the past few decades. Those who come to the Philippines to seek out the beauty of this country will not be disappointed. However, first time travelers to the Philippines should beware, just like me and many other foreigners, this amazing country may compel you to stay quite a bit longer than you initially planned.

Scott M. Allford has lived and worked in Australia and South Korea and has traveled extensively throughout Asia - Mongolia, China, Tibet, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia and Japan – fell in love with the Philippines and decided to allocate at least two years to comprehensively cover the country.

Now, here is the complete list from National Geographic:

The 25 Best New Trips for 2010 by NatGeo
Now more than ever, travelers want their dollars to do more—for others, for the planet, for themselves. At least that's what we found while searching for the best trips of 2010. From wolf-tracking in Slovakia to rafting a forbidden river in Bhutan, here are 25 brand-new adventures, all of them just right for right now.

Bhutan || Outfitter: Bio Bio Expeditions
Bolivia || Outfitter: Nantahala Outdoor Center
Botswana || Outfitter: Explore Inc
Canada - B.C. || Outfitter: Monashee Adventure Tours
Canada - Manitoba || Outfitter: Earthwatch Institute
Chile + Argentina || Outfitter: Boojum Expeditions
Costa Rica || Outfitter: Wildland Adventures
France || Outfitter: Discover France
Iceland || Outfitter: Explorers' Corner
Ireland || Outfitter: Country Walkers
Kenya || Outfitter: Geographic Expeditions
Laos || Outfitter: Asia Transpacific Journeys
Madagascar || Outfitter: Kumuka Worldwide
Montserrat || Outfitter: Green Monkey Dive Shop
Nepal || Outfitter: Journeys International
New Zealand || Outfitter: Active New Zealand
Peru || Outfitter: Adventure Life Journeys
Philippines || Outfitter: Wilderness Travel
Slovakia || Outfitter: Biosphere Expeditions
Sri Lanka || Outfitter: Access Trips
Tanzania + Kenya || Outfitter: Tropical Ice Limited
Tonga || Outfitter: Wilderness Travel
U.S. - California || Outfitter: Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides
U.S. - Colorado || Outfitter: Western Spirit Cycling
U.S. - Idaho + Montana || Outfitter: ROW Adventures

Have a happy Monday everyone!


  1. i honestly love your posting choice, very charming,
    don't give up and keep creating considering the fact that it just worth to look through it,
    looking forward to looked over a lot more of your web content, have a good one!

  2. thanks for dropping by mate. happy travels~

  3. I absolutely LOVE the Philippines. Totally one of the best countries I've been to. The white beaches, clear waters, breathtaking scenery...it's PARADISE.
    (I was there in June)

  4. This is a topic that's very close to our hearts. We believe that our country has a lot to offer to travelers and backpackers. We're just a treasure trove of all things beautiful, in nature and most importantly in its people.

    Together with the rest of the Filipinos (bloggers or not), we can work together to make sure that foreigners will want to come to the Philippines and find out for themselves that we are more than just the bad press that they keep pinning us to! We believe we can truly do this...

  5. @ Ben: thanks for stopping by! i'm glad to know you had a blast in PH! i hope you come visit the Philippines again soon! :D

    @ Lois and Chichi: bloggers united! lovely ladies, let's do this for PH! yehey! i hope whatever the DOT is brewing will finally fall into place this time (and everybody will be happy)! happy travels! cheers!:D

  6. Wow Philippines! It really has a lot of tourist attractions. I’ve also posted my top 5 Best Destinations in my blog..You might want to check this out..
    Best Road Trip Destinations

  7. and more than enough islands to fit in a top 5 best destinations list! :D


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