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18 Striking Site To See In Philippines

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18 Striking Site To See In Philippines

Date: Jun 28, 2022
Author: Collins.cidar 516 No Comments

Are you searching for the beauties of Asian culture and heritage within an island environment? The geology and nature found within these islands has been transforming for over a millennia. The diversities of life that form in this stretch of earth can help you connect with nature, during an eco-friendly and responsible adventure trip into the middle of the Philippine Sea .

The Philippines is an island country in Southeast Asia, in the Western Pacific Ocean. It is a beautifully peaceful and curious country, comprising of about 7640 islands. Its capital city, Manila, is one of the most amazingly thrilling places in the world. Baby boomer boxing fans know what we mean. 😉

There are 18 natural, cultural, and scientific sites found within the Phillipines that have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary lays along the Pujadas Peninsula in the Southeastern part of the Eastern Mindanao Biodiversity Corridor. In the Wildlife Sanctuary you can find a stunning diversity of life, which includes many of the world’s most endangered species of plants and animals. Eight of the species at this site are endemic to the region.

Although all of the views at Mount Hamiguitan are beautiful, other UNESCO-recognized sites like the Historic City of Vigan will give you some an incredibly stunning and thrilling reception into the uniquely wonderful country of The Philippines that are ready for a quick snap and share on your TikTok or Instagram.

The Historic City of Vigan, established in the 16th Century, is said to be the best-preserved example of a well-planned Spanish colonial town in Asia. The architecture of the city is a fusion of unfamiliar elements and arts from China, Europe, and Asia that form a culture and townscape not found anywhere else in East Asia. All travelers, whether Millennial or Gen-Z, can expect to experience nostalgic feelings that time travel you to civilizations visible before modern times. Once you visit you will be able attest fir the first time that you have truly been to a Historic City.

Other heritage sites which contribute to the beauty of The Philippines include the Baroque Churches, Rice Terraces, Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Butuan Archaeological sites, The Tabun Cave Complex and all of Lipuun, Kabayan Mummy Burial Caves, Batanes Protected Landscapes and Seascapes. But the incredible richness of this area would leave most travelers curious to do some research before jumping on a plane. So we compiled a list below of the beautiful places you could visit in Phillipines along with the key points of their universal value to humanity.

Baroque Churches of the Philippines

Baroque Churches of the Philippines/Photographer: rodliam/Flickr

The Baroque Churches of the Philippines is a serial inscription consisting of four Roman Catholic churches constructed between the 16thand the18th centuries in the Spanish period of the Philippines. They are located in separate areas of the Philippine archipelago, two at the northern island of Luzon, one at the heart of Intramuros, Manila, and the other in the central Visayas island of Iloilo.

This group of churches established a style of building and design that was adapted to the physical conditions in the Philippines and had an important influence on later church architecture in the region. The four churches are outstanding examples of the Philippine interpretation of the Baroque style, and represent the fusion of European church design and construction with local materials and decorative motifs to form a new church-building tradition.

The common and specific attributes of the churches are their squat, monumental and massive appearance, which illustrates a fortress/protective-like character in response to pirates, marauders and to the geologic conditions of a country that is prone to seismic activities. The churches are made either of stone (tuff or coralline limestone), or brick, and consolidated with lime.  They display specific features such as retablos (altars) of high Baroque style – (particularly seen in San Agustin Church, Intramuros), in the volutes of contrafuertes (buttresses) and in the pyramidal finials of wall facades – (particularly seen in Paoay Church), in wall buttresses separating criptocollateral chapels –(particularly seen in San Agustin Church, Intramuros) and in the iconography of the ornately decorated naïf/folk pediment expressing the local understanding of the life of Christ and demonstrated by the use of local elements (papaya, coconut and palm tree reliefs), and the depiction of  Catholic Patron Saints (St. Christopher) dressed in local and traditional clothing (particularly seen in the Miagao Church).  The fusion of styles is also seen in the construction of bell towers that are either attached to the main church structure (particularly seen in San Agustin, Intramuros and in Miagao churches) or detached from the main church (particularly seen in Paoay and Sta Maria churches) and lastly, in ceiling paintings in the tromp l’oeil style (particularly seen in San Agustin Church, Intramuros). The Baroque churches reflect excellent site planning principles following the Ley de las Indias (Laws of the Indies) enacted by Philip II in 1563 for all newly-discovered settlements within Spanish colonial territories.

Historic City of Vigan

Historic City of Vigan/Photographer: eazytraveler/Flickr

Vigan is the most intact example in Asia of a planned Spanish colonial town, established in the 16th century. Its architecture reflects the coming together of cultural elements from elsewhere in the Philippines and from China with those of Europe and Mexico to create a unique culture and townscape without parallels anywhere in East and South-East Asia. An important trading post before the colonial era, Vigan is located at the river delta of Abra River, along the northwestern coastline of the main island of Luzon, in the Province of Ilocos Sur, Philippine Archipelago. The total area of the inscribed property is 17.25 hectares. The traditional Hispanic checkerboard street plan opens up into two adjacent plazas. The Plaza Salcedo is the longer arm of an L-shaped open space, with the Plaza Burgos as the shorter. The two plazas are dominated by the St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace, the City Hall and the Provincial Capitol Building . The urban plan of the town closely conforms with the Renaissance grid plan specified in the Ley de la Indias for all new towns in the Spanish Empire. There is, however, a noticeable difference between Vigan and contemporary Spanish colonial towns in Latin America in the Historic Core (known as the Mestizo district), where the Latin tradition is tempered by strong Chinese, Ilocano, and Filipino influences. As its name implies, this district was settled by affluent families of mixed Chinese-Ilocano origin. The area contains the historic footprint of the entire town and consists of a total of 233historic buildings tightly strung along a grid of 25 streets.

The two storey structures are built of brick and wood, with a steeply pitched roof reminiscent of traditional Chinese architecture. The exterior walls of the upper storey are enclosed by window panels of kapis shells framed in wood which can be slid back for better ventilation. Most of the existing buildings were probably built in the mid 18th to late 19th centuries. Due to the economic decline of Vigan as an economic center after the World War II, only a few of the historic buildings had internal reorganization for alternative use. The Chinese merchants and traders conducted their business from shops, offices and storerooms on the ground floors of their houses, with the living quarters above. In addition to the domestic and commercial architecture, Vigan possesses a number of significant public buildings, which also show multi-cultural influences.

Vigan is unique for having preserved much of its Hispanic colonial character, particularly its grid street pattern and historic urban lay out. Its significance also lies on how the different architectural influences are blended to create a homogenous townscape.

Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras

Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras/Photographer: courthouselover/

The Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras is an outstanding example of an evolved, living cultural landscape that can be traced as far back as two millennia ago in the pre-colonial Philippines. The terraces are located in the remote areas of the Philippine Cordillera mountain range on the northern island of Luzon, Philippine archipelago. While the historic terraces cover an extensive area, the inscribed property consists of five clusters of the most intact and impressive terraces, located in four municipalities.  They are all the product of the Ifugao ethnic group, a minority community that has occupied these mountains for thousands of years.

The five inscribed clusters are; (i) the Nagacadan terrace cluster in the municipality of Kiangan, a rice terrace cluster manifested in two distinct ascending rows of terraces bisected by a river; (ii) the Hungduan terrace cluster that uniquely emerges into a spider web; (iii) the central Mayoyao terrace cluster which is characterized by terraces interspersed with traditional farmers’ bale (houses) and alang (granaries); (iv) the Bangaan terrace cluster in the municipality of Banaue that backdrops a typical Ifugao traditional village; and (v) the Batad terrace cluster of the municipality of Banaue that is nestled in amphitheatre-like semi-circular terraces with a village at its base.

The Ifugao Rice Terraces epitomize the absolute blending of the physical, socio-cultural, economic, religious, and political environment.  Indeed, it is a living cultural landscape of unparalleled beauty.

The Ifugao Rice Terraces are the priceless contribution of Philippine ancestors to humanity.  Built 2000 years ago and passed on from generation to generation, the Ifugao Rice Terraces represent an enduring illustration of an ancient civilization that surpassed various challenges and setbacks posed by modernization.

Reaching a higher altitude and being built on steeper slopes than many other terraces, the Ifugao complex of stone or mud walls and the careful carving of the natural contours of hills and mountains to make terraced pond fields, coupled with the development of intricate irrigation systems, harvesting water from the forests of the mountain tops, and an elaborate farming system, reflect a mastery of engineering that is appreciated to the present.

The terraces illustrate a persistence of cultural traditions and remarkable continuity and endurance, since archaeological evidence reveals that this technique has been in use in the region for 2000 years virtually unchanged. They offer many lessons for application in similar environments elsewhere.

The maintenance of the living rice terraces reflects a primarily cooperative approach of the whole community which is based on detailed knowledge of the rich diversity of biological resources existing in the Ifugao agro-ecosystem, a finely tuned annual system respecting lunar cycles, zoning and planning, extensive soil conservation, mastery of a most complex pest control regime based on the processing of a variety of herbs, accompanied by religious rituals.

Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary

Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary/Photographer:eazytraveler/Flickr

Forming a north-south running mountain ridge along the Pujada Peninsula in the southeastern part of the Eastern Mindanao Biodiversity Corridor, the Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary has an elevation range of 75-1,637 m above sea level, and provides critical habitat for a range of plant and animal species. The property showcases terrestrial and aquatic habitats and the species that they host at a series of different elevations are responding to highly dissimilar soil and climate conditions. The Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary provides a sanctuary to a host of globally threatened and endemic flora and fauna species, eight of which are found nowhere else except Mount Hamiguitan. These include critically endangered trees, plants and the iconic Philippine Eagle and Philippine Cockatoo.

Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park

Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park/Photographer: paweesit/Flickr

Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park encompasses one of the world’s most impressive cave systems, featuring spectacular limestone karst landscapes, pristine natural beauty, and intact old-growth forests and distinctive wildlife. It is located in the south-western part of the Philippine Archipelago on the mid western coast of Palawan, approximately 76 km northwest of Puerto Princesa and 360 km southwest of Manila.

The property, comprising an area of approximately 22,202 ha, contains an 8.2km long underground river. The highlight of this subterranean river system is that it flows directly into the sea, with its brackish lower half subjected to tidal influence, distinguishing it as a significant natural global phenomenon. The river’s cavern presents remarkable, eye catching rock formations. The property contains a full mountain-to-sea ecosystem which provides significant habitat for biodiversity conservation and protects the most intact and noteworthy forests within the Palawan biogeographic province. Holding the distinction of being the first national park devolved and successfully managed by a local government unit, the park’s effective management system is a symbol of commitment by the Filipino people to the protection and conservation of their natural heritage.

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park/Photographer:Experience Philippines/ flickr

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park lies in a unique position in the centre of the Sulu Sea, and includes the Tubbataha and Jessie Beazley Reefs. It protects an area of almost 100,000 hectares of high quality marine habitats containing three atolls and a large area of deep sea. The property is home to a great diversity of marine life. Whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles and Napoleon wrasse are amongst the key species found here. The reef ecosystems support over 360 species of coral and almost 700 species of fish. The reserve also protects one of the few remaining colonies of breeding seabirds in the region.

Batanes Protected landscapes and seascapes

Batanes Protected landscapes and seascapes/Photographer: flyseair/Flickr

Characterized by a complex of terrestrial, wetland and marine ecosystem, the Batanes group of islands consist of 10 small islands bounded by the Eashi Channel on the north, by the Pacific Ocean on the east, by the South China Sea on the west and the Balintang Channel on the south. It is one of the last remaining areas in the Philippines having unique natural physiographic features (wave-cut cliffs, cave-like outcrops, secluded white sand beaches) resulting from its position where strong winds and fast currents have etched out its distinct morphology. It is an important flyaway for many migratory bird species, and the deper portions of the marine environment are the few remaining sites where pink and red corals (Corallum sp.) are found. The site is the only area in the Philippines where traditional architecture is of stone in response to the wind and monsoon stresses rather than of the more typical, tropical, impermanent materials (wood, bamboo, thatch) cxommonly used in village architecture. Due to its isolation from the rest of the country, the traditional culture of the area has likewise remained intact.

The Tabon Cave Complex and all of Lipuun

The Tabon Cave Complex and all of Lipuun/Photographer:eazytraveler/Flickr

The Tabon Cave Complex and all of Lipuun Point is located on the west coast of Palawan.  It is located on a limestone promontory which is visible from any direction for many kilometers and honeycombed with at least 200 caves and rockshelters.  This point is called Lipuun by the local people but marked “Abion Head” on charts made from British surveys in 1851.  The point is about 104 hectares in are and is formed by a number of rounded limestone domes separated by deep chasms. 

The some 200 caves located in the limestone formation are collectively known as the Tabon Caves, after the main cave, called Tabon, so named after a megapode bird that digs its nest into the ground. This was the site to first establish the presence of humans in the Philippines during the Pleistocene. The different cave sites document through a corpus of C-14 dates a virtually continuous occupation between at least 50,000 years ago and ca. 9,000 BP, which have been widely cited (Bellwood 1997, Bulbeck 1981, Galipaud and Semah 1993) because the Tabon Cave is one of the very few sites in Southeast Asia to have yielded Pleistocene fossil Homo sapiens. The data provide new chronological data on the questions of Pleistocene Homo sapiens settlement on the margins of Sundaland.

The Tabon Cave, itself, is the site where possibly the oldest Homo sapiens sapiens fossil evidence in Southeast Asia in the form of a tibia fragment dating to 47,000+/- 11-10,000 years ago (IV-2000-T-97) has been found (Dizon et al, 2002, Annex 8). There are also a right mandible dating to 31,000 +-8-7,000 years ago (PXIII-T-436) and a frontal bone dating to 16,500 +- 2,000 years ago (previously dated to 22,000-24,000 BP). The dates are based on isotopic 230 Th/U 234 ratio. Another fossil mandibular fragment raises the issue of a possible colonization of Palawan by Pongidae during the Upper Pleistocene (16,500 +- 2,000 BP).

These caves contained an astonishing wealth and an extensive time-range of cultural materials: a flake tool tradition which dates from the Late Pleistocene and early post-Pleistocene periods including a highly developed jar burial complex which appeared during the Late Neolithic and continued on to the developed Metal Age; and finally, porcelains and stoneware indicating local trade with China during the Song and Yuan Dynasties. The excavations have revealed more than 50,000 years of Philippine prehistory and; south and East Asian relationships.

Paleolithic Archaeological Sites in Cagayan Valley

Paleolithic Archaeological Sites in Cagayan Valley/Photographer : Alex Curylo/Flickr

Paleolithic sites are located within the Cagayan Valley Basin which is bordered by the Sierra Mountain range on the East; the Caraballo on the South; the Cordillera Central on the west; and the Babuyan Channel on the north.

Found in two municipalities of the province, namely, Solana and Penablanca, Paleolithic sites yielded the earliest stone tools and remains of extinct and extant species of animals.

Archaeological excavations undertaken in Solana and vicinities resulted in the discovery of more than 68 Paleolithic sites in the Awidon Mesa formation.  These sites yielded stone tools and fossils of extinct animals that include stegodons, elephants, rhinoceros, and large tortoise.  The sites tended to confirm previous reports by prominent paleontologists and archaeologists from Europe that both Pleistocene mega-fauna fossils and chopper-chopping stone tools were present in the valley, suggesting mid-Pleistocene date for tool technology in the area at the earliest and later periods.

The frontiers of prehistory is thus being broadened and pushed back.  Tentative results of radio-metric reading in the valley have yielded at tektite date of approximately .92 – 1.7 m.y.  The Mid-Pleistocene dating of the presence of man in the Philippines has been established. 

On the eastern flank of the valley in the Municipality of Penablanca, archaeological exploration specifically in the Callao Limestone formation revealed the presence of 93 archaeological sites that yielded stone tools of Paleolithic industry and bones and shells of animals still living in the vicinities.  Of these sites, 78 are caves and rock shelters.  The archaeological study of the caves in the Callao limestone formation suggests post-Pleistocene sites where a Paleolithic type of technology persisted.  The materials recovered indicate that the people were hunters and gatherers who exploited forest and riverine environments.  

Cagayan is undoubtedly one of the richest archaeological sites in the Philippines. Excavations by the National Museum and field research by the Cagayan Museum have yielded vast archeological findings including artifacts dating back to: the Paleolithic Age; the Neolithic Age, a time when man started to produce his own food through domestication of plants and animals; Iron Age which covers the transition from 2000 B.C. to 1000 A.D. Culture has progressed to a point where there is already knowledge of smelting and forging iron, the use of more advanced agricultural techniques, and weaving. Cagayan Valley, like many other provinces in the Philippines, was never isolated from foreign influence as was earlier believed. It was once a part of the long prehistoric international trade with neighboring countries. The Historic Age likewise chronicled the date when Juan Salcedo visited the valley. Such discoveries give a diachronic view of the technological and cultural evolution of  Cagayan.

Kabayan Mummy Burial Caves

Kabayan Mummy Burial Caves/Photographer: eazytraveler/Flickr

Kabayan is one of the Municipality of Benguet Province in the Cordillera Mountain Ranges of northern Luzon. The municipality is recognized as a center of Ibaloi Culture. The Ibaloi, the dominant ethno-linguistic group, of Kabayan have a long traditional practice of mummifying their dead. Mummification began prior to the Spanish colonization. Individuals from the higher societal stratum of the Ibaloi of Kabayan used to be mummified through a long ritual process over a long period of time. The process of mummification using salt and herbs and set under fire may take up to two years. When the body is finally rid of body fluids, the mummy is placed inside a pinewood coffin and laid to rest in a man-made cave or in niche dug-out from solid rock. During the Spanish period, Christianity spread and took a foothold in the mountains of Benguet and the practice of mummification and cave burial was abandoned.  The remains are then placed in wooden coffins and interred in man-made burial niches in rocks or rock shelters and/or natural caves.

Strategically located in the mountain slopes of the municipality of Kabayan, more than 200 man-made burial caves have been identified and 15 of which contain preserved human mummies.

Butuan Archeological Sites

Butuan Archeological Sites/Photographer : eazytraveler/Flickr

In 1975, as a result of the construction of an extensive network of large drainage channels, or esteros, to relieve Butuan City from destructive annual floods, significant amounts of archaeological artifacts were discovered that dated back to the Age of Contact with the Great Traditions of Asia, co-eval with the Yueh type wares to Ming Dynasties of ancient China from the 10th Century  to the 16th Century AD. 1) The major finds in various areas is the appearance of the remains of large open-water-going boats, the “balanghai” of historical records. The same type of boats and construction has been recovered in Sumatra and Pontian in Malaysia, apparently of the same period. There eleven of these boats: three were fully excavated, two preserved, and the rest still unexcavated. The boats are of Neolithic architecture using a planking edge-peg technology. The boats range in age from the 10th to the 13th century AD.

  • The other significant sites yielded multiple interred wooden coffin burials, containing secondary burials that feature modified skulls that are frontally flattened, ascribed to the 14th-15th Century AD. Similar finds in Central Philippines have yielded similar burials but with the difference that all these were found in caves along the islands coasts.
  • The third significant feature of the stratified sites are the tremendous amounts of trade high-fired ceramics coming from China, Cambodia, Thailand and other southeast Asian countries were also recovered, as well as distinctive white stamped pottery from Thailand; and Persian glassware, suggesting prehistoric links as far as the Middle East.

There were other notable discoveries like the Ivory Seal and the Silver Paleograph. Gold and tools for gold processing of ornaments have also been recovered from a village site Over a hundred clay crucibles and tools for the processing of gold items were discovered in the area, leading to the conclusion that an extensive gold ornaments industry was located in these areas as far back as a thousand years ago. Altogether, these data demonstrate that Butuan was a thriving international trading port a thousand years ago. This site has a tremendous historical impact in the Asian region.

Petroglyphs and Petrographs of the Philippines

Petroglyphs and Petrographs of the Philippines/Photographer: Alex Curylo

These petroglyphs are of animate figures interpreted as representing juveniles or infants on a rock face in a rock shelter. The shelter is located southeast of the city of Manila, three kilometers from the town of Angono, and some 235 meters above sea level.  The shelter if formed by quaternary volcanics, located on the eastern limb of an anticline. The cave faces 305 degrees west and measures 632. 84 meters, 4.68 meters in height and 8.2 meters in depth. The cave was formed at the close of the Pleistocene, early part of the Holocene, at a period when the quaternary alluvium was not yet extensive.

The petroglyphs occupy 25 meters of the rockwall with a height of 3.7 meters from the floor level. The engravings are executed into all the available space on the wall with no orientation nor association with one another. There are no relationships in scale and size, and no baseline.

The engravings are made on the tuff layer of the wall with “v” and “u” cross sections, depending on the sizes of the images, the largest of which is 63 centimeters. There is no attempt at making relieves. The general typology of the images is a rounded head on a narrow neck, rectangular body with a lower taper, linear flexed limb with three digits each. There is a total of 127 still discernable figures. There are non-cognitive incisions. There are 51 distinct types.

The engravings are not decorative but are symbolic representations, executed by different individuals using a single mental template, apparently with the same cultural persuasion.  Associated with healing and sympathetic magic.

The dating of the petroglyphs is probably late Neolithic Age. Only highly fragmented low-fired pottery was recovered, a number of Paleolithic cobble and flaked tools, and Neolithic Age polished adzes. The Philippine Neolithic ranges from 6000 BC to 2000 BC.

The other set of Petroglyphs are those found in Alab, Mountain province carved on boulders on top of promontories. The configurations are those of pudenda. The dating is relatively later and placed at not earlier than 1500 BC or even later.

The Petrographs are of two kinds: a) Charcoal drawings on cave walls in Penablanca, Cagayan Province, and the Singnapan Caves in southern Palawan; b) red hematite prints in Anda Peninsula, Bohol province. The dating of these is still undetermined.

Petroglyphs are more rare in Southeast Asia where most rupestrine art is done through hand prints or paintings. Often petroglyphs are translated into petrographs, e.g. the Angono ones are found drawn with charcoal in the Bato Caves of southern Sarawak, and in southern Thailand. The petrographs in terms of handprints are very rare in the Philippines compared to those found in Sarawak, Sulawesi, Jave, Pontian Malaysia, and the very extensive red hematite rock art found in the banks of Mekong River between Thailand and Cambodia. Other major rupestrine art are found in the Pacific World done by Polynesians, Australia among the Bushmen, in Spain and France. All these New and Old World sites are well-documented.

Neolithic Shell Midden Sites in Lal-lo and Gattaran Municipalities

Neolithic Shell Midden Sites in Lal-lo and Gattaran Municipalities

Neolithic shell midden sites are located along the banks of the Cagayan River in the Municipalities of Lal-lo and Gattaran, about 500 kilometers northeast of Manila.  The shell middens are in varying sizes and extent; and made up mostly of one type of freshwater clams, Batissa childreni.  The biggest deposits of shells are found in Magapit and Bangag in Lal-lo.  The thickest is more than six feet.  Associated with these shell middens are polished stone tools, chert flakes, bones and teeth, and red slipped earthenware with incised and impressed designs.  Most of stone tools are ground, polished with a trapezoidal cross-section; and made of sandstone, claystone and shale.

In Magapit, Lal-lo, the shell middens are centrally or strategically located on tope of the highest hill, panoramic views down stream on the north and up stream on the south can be seen.

In some areas, burial grounds are found associated with earthenware in varying forms and designs. 

Carbon dating indicates first and second millennium B.C. for limestone shell midden and ca. 100 AD in the river banks shell midden.

The size and intensity of the shell deposit yielded valuable information as to the nature of Neolithic in Cagayan Valley.  The Neolithic Period is known as the period when man first started to domesticate plants and animals and to make pottery at the end of the Pleistocene.

Studies on the shell middens of Lal-lo and Gattaran revealed that the ancient people who exploited their environment gathering shells as well as hunting animals like deer and pig.  Pottery shards were decorated not only at the exterior surface but also at the exposed interior surface of the vessel.  Most of the shards could be reconstructed into forms resembling shallow platters.  Incising and impressing of the shards give their distinctive character.

Chocolate Hills Natural Monument

Chocolate Hills Natural Monument/Photographer: Johanna Alexis/Flickr

Chocolate Hills and its immediate environs are relatively flat to rolling topography with elevation ranges from 100 m to 500 m above sea level. It has been declared the country’s 3rd National Geological Monument on June 18, 1988 in recognition of its scientific value and geomorphic uniqueness.

Similar to the formations found in Java, the conical and almost symmetrical and same-sized hills known as the “Chocolate Hills”, are more aesthetically extensive. These were the uplift of coral deposits and the result of the action of rainwater and erosion. The hills are located throughout the towns of Carmen, Batuan and Sagbayan and consist of about 1,776 mounds of the same general shape. During the dry season when precipitation in inadequate, the grass-covered hills turn chocolate brown, hence the name in reference to a branded confection.

Mt. Malindang Range Natural Park

Mt. Malindang Range Natural Park/Photographer:Wilfredo B Kaamiño Sr/Flickr

Mt. Malindang is a mountain range rising from 600 meters to 2,404 meters above the mean sea level. The range covers 53, 262 hectares of which about 33,000 hectares is still covered with forest vegetation while more than 20,000 hectares is cultivated and inhabited by forest occupants mostly members of the Subanen Tribe. The forest vegetation is composed of highly diverse species of and plants dominated by dipterocarps. It is inhabited by diverse species of fauna including the rare ones such as the Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi), Rofous Hornbill (Buceros hydrocorax), Tarsier (Tarsius philippinensis) and Flying Lemur (Cynocephalus volans)

The mountain range was believed to be formed through series of volcanic activities within the historical times but was not well documented. Several indicators of such activities are found in the site. These include six (6) hectare of Crater Lake (Lake Duminagat) and two (2) big sunken areas (more than 20 hectares each) surrounded by high rock walls, cinder cones, dome volcanic plugs, amphitheater structures, extensive distribution of volcanic rocks, carbonized wood found in pyroclastic deposits and two sulfuric hot springs. The entire mountain range is dissected by several canyons, gores and ravines making its terrain very rugged and the forest beautiful scenery.Mt. Malindang Natural Park lies within the Malindangmountain range in Mindanao, straddling the provinces of Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur. It covers over 34,000 hectares. Its  highest peak is at 2,402 meters above sea level. The Park.s allure comes from its waterfalls, crater lake and dense virgin forests which host diverse and rare species of flora and fauna. A variety of trees – large, straight trunked  evergreens, igem and almaciga grow in the lower parts of its forests while dwarf and crooked stem trees crowd the mossy forest found in the mountains upper parts. The rare and endangered Philippine Eagle, Flying Lemur, Deer, Tarsier, and Hornbills live in the Park. Other significant species found there include mammals such as the Philippine Deer, Wild Pig, Long-tailed Macaque, Palm Civet and Civet Cat. Moreover, the Park is known to be home of six amphibians, three reptiles, 67 birds and 25 mammals which are endemic to the place.

Lake Duminagat. It is named after the crater lake and its clear waters. It is nested within a dense forest hosting wildlife such as deer, monkeys and wild boars.

Mayon Volcano Natural Park (MMVNP)

Mayon Volcano Natural Park (MMVNP)/Photographer: Darius/Flickr

The Mayon Volcano is situated in the southern part of the main island of Luzon, 500 kilometres south of Manila. Towering at a height of 2,462 meters above sea level, it is known for its perfectly conical shape whose natural beauty has inspired a number of legends and art. The most active volcano in the Philippines and one of the most active in the world, having erupted over 51 times in the past four centuries, the most destructive of which is in 1814 when five towns in its periphery were destroyed. Nevertheless, it has developed a culture of resiliency among the inhabitants of its vicinity, who always rebuilt their towns and cultivated their fields after each destructive eruption.

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