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10 Unique Experiences You Can Only Have in the Philippines

Picture of Gelyka Dumaraos
Updated: 18 August 2017
Travellers have their own ways to enjoy a trip. Some prefer tasting a local coffee or visiting a museum to get to know a country’s history, while others think of the beach or the mountains to check out. But isn’t the best way to enjoy and have fun in a certain place to experience its uniqueness? Well, the Philippines has tons of it and here we list 10 things you can only experience in the country.

Eat balut

When you visit the Philippines you cannot say no to eating its famous balut. Balut is a hard boiled duck egg with a developing embryo inside. People say you need to eat the fetus for you to experience eating balut, however awkward and weird it tastes. The protein-rich egg is mostly sold in the streets.

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Ride the jeepney

Jeepneys are the leading transportation vehicle in the Philippines, especially in the metro. Jeepneys are remnants of the jeeps left by Americans during its colonization. Nowadays, jeepneys are notorious for fitting lots of people in, despite its small structure. The payments, usually in coins, are being passed from passenger to another until it reaches the driver. If you would like to try riding atop the jeepney, you may experience it in the Mountain Province.

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Get a tattoo from artist Apo Whang Od

The 100-year-old tribal tattoo artist Whang Od is regularly frequented by tourists and locals alike, who are keen to have a traditional tattoo. She came from the Butbut tribe in Buscalan, Kalinga and is considered as the last mambabatok (hand-tap) artist and the oldest tattoo artist in the country.

Whang Od
Apo Whang Od | © Lee/Flickr</a>

Bath in a large cooking pot

In Tibiao, Antique, tourists should never miss the chance of taking a soothing dip in a large cooking pot or kawa where they look like they are being cooked alive. These posts were used to cook sugar but resorts and inns in the place turned them into jacuzzi tub. This is an awesome way to relax and get close to nature after the adventure you experienced from adrenaline-pumping activities.

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Bike in the air

Biking in the Philippines is not new. However, if you are biking 150-feet high, then it is something to check out. In Bohol, one of its attractions, aside from the Chocolate Hills and the tarsiers, is the biking up in the air activity. You need to bike your way through a 500-meter distance rope and pedal on your own. While you’re at it of course, you will see Bohol’s scenic beauty from above.

Climbing El Nido’s limestone

El Nido is not just about island-hopping and seeing the breathtaking small and big lagoons at its heart. In the town is a giant limestone that can be trekked up to its summit. However, the climb up there is not an easy feat. It requires endurance as you need to hand climb it without cemented pavements. Once you are up there, the tiredness will all be worth it as it will offer you a scenic view of the islands, the South China Sea, as well as the town’s peaceful beauty.

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Bike around with bamboo

If you are in Manila and would like to walk down memory lane, visit Intramuros. Also known as the Walled City, Intramuros is a walkable area which has been preserved after the Spanish colonization. But if you do not want to ride the traditional horse carriage, you may want to tour around with a bamboo bike you can rent. They are handmade by villagers from a social enterprise. These bamboo bikes can be rented within the place or they are also available if you want to buy some.

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Unleash your anger and throw plates

When life throws problems at you, one option is to be aggressive and throw things you see just to release the tension. In a restaurant in Tarlac, you can pay for the pleasure. In Isdaan restaurant, you can throw plates into a wall, called Tacsiyapo, so you can release whatever angst you have inside. You can also throw glasses, old radios, and TVs! Tacsiyapo means “shame on you” which you should shout upon aiming at your target.

Dine by the falls

There are many dining experiences in the Philippines. You can dine by the beach, in high buildings, or have a picnic in a park. But there is one dining experience you need to try—and that is to dine beside a waterfall. In Villa Escudero Waterfall Restaurant, you can eat with the falls just next to you. Pick with their menu offering from seafood to mouth watering meat dishes. This place is mostly frequented by families.

See the beauty of the Banaue Rice Terraces

The rice terraces in Banaue are a unique heritage site by UNESCO and have been dubbed as the Eighth Wonder of the World. Over 2,000 years ago, ancestors of the indigenous people in the area were the ones who made the rice terraces with their bare hands.

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© Perfect Lazybones/Shutterstock | © Perfect Lazybones/Shutterstock