Why you should be there now.
Why you should be there now.
The Philippines, with it's more than 7100 island, one of the world's most beautiful coastlines, world class diving and simple thatched hut resort, is well overdue for a little recognition. Likened to the Thailand in the 60s before the tourists rolled in, the time to visit is now while it's perfectly perfect white sand beaches are just begging for sunbathers.
But move quickly, 2015 has been named "Visit Philippines Year" by the government and all sorts of events have been planned to bring attention to the island nation and the countries airline has just peen approved to fly directly to Europe, America and Australia. Go now before the masses hit and this could be a good thing -- if there's one thing Filipinos know how to do, it's throw a party.
Think Beer Na Beer, live music, dancing in the street, live music and karaoke aplenty.
There are plenty! Try clinging to the back of a jeepney speeding through the crowded streets of Metro Manila. Based on US Army jeeps left behind after WWII, these stretched wonders are part public bus and part art installation, adorned with extravagant chrome trim, custom upholstery, hundreds of decals and dozens of superfluous lights. Boarding and disembarking from these supercharged vehicles is conducted at break-neck speed, then it’s back into the traffic, horn blaring, music blasting, and on to the next stop.
Filipinos love fads, and everything from the yoyo to the sellotape selfie (yep, that’s a portrait of your own face bound up with sellotape) has had its moment in the sun in the Philippines. Indeed, the city of Makati was recently feted as the world’s ‘selfiest’city. One craze that never goes out of fashion in the Philippines is karaoke – alone, or in company, Pinoys love to sing, and no social gathering or business meeting would be complete without a swift rendition of the latest hits on the karaoke machine.
In 2014, a news story about a new skin disease in Pangasinan province sparked a social media panic, as locals linked the outbreak to an end-of-the-world prophecy made by an Indian holy man. Within hours, the hashtag #PrayForPangasinan had been tweeted by more than 80,000 people. While officially Catholic, many Filipinos are extremely superstitious, embracing everything from faith healers to kulam (old-fashioned witchcraft).
The colours of the Philippines flag are officially reversed in wartime – if you see a red band on the top of the flag, beware…
The modern yoyo was invented by a Filipino – the word ‘yoyo’ means ‘come back’ in Tagalog.
1.39 billion SMS messages are sent every day in the Philippines.
Live crucifixion. But don’t worry, the devout Christians who offer themselves up for real, but temporary, crucifixion in San Fernando de Pampanga every Good Friday do so on a strictly voluntary basis. Regarded as the ultimate sign of religious devotion, this gruesome practice can be habit-forming – former construction worker Ruben Enaje has been crucified every year since 1985!
Via Lonely Planet.
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