Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Vacations in the Philippines

By Richard Romando

SUMMARY: The charm and beauty of the Philippines has always mesmerized travelers and vacationers. The tourists are beckoned to the island time and again by its natural beauty and cultural environment. There are many islands located in the Philippines, and one of them is the Boracay, which covers three kilometers of white beach. Staying in the Philippines can be extremely pleasant and also very cheap. The people in the Philippines are very friendly and hospitable, which makes the vacation more enjoyable.

The charm and beauty of the Philippines has always mesmerized travelers and vacationers. The tourists are beckoned to the island time and again by its natural beauty and cultural environment. There are many islands located in the Philippines, and one of them is the Boracay, which covers three kilometers of white beach. Staying in the Philippines can be extremely pleasant and also very cheap. The people in the Philippines are very friendly and hospitable, which makes the vacation more enjoyable.

The natural landscapes, the climatic conditions, the tropical animals, fruits, and vegetables found here make the Philippines a beautiful place to visit. The main attractions here are the volcanoes Pinatubo and Mount Mayon. Since the Philippines are an exotic tropical country, Filipinos housing, transportation, and the economic activities in the markets and other places depict the Filipino way of life.

Since, the Philippines are located in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific, the water here is warm. This warm and shallow water promotes the existence of corals and abundant coral reefs. Hence, the government of the Philippines earns major revenues due to the increasing number of tourists. Due to the warm temperature and high atmospheric humidity, rainfall can be expected at all times of the year.

Vacationers here can enjoy activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving in the coral waters. The famous Tanduay Rum, which is of a very high quality, is available at a very low price of just forty-five pesos for a liter. There are hardly any beggars seen on the streets of the Philippines.

The hotels and resorts available for lodging accommodations are plentiful. Vacationers can choose from a wide range of hotels to stay, depending on their budget. These hotels offer various deals and packages that are economical and cater to all the needs and preferences of the travelers. Depending on the season, the rates of the hotels vary. Information on the hotels along with the flight details can be found on the Internet. Travelers are advised to make prior arrangements and hotel bookings to avoid last minute disappointments.

Philippines Culture

The culture of the Philippines is based mainly on the various native religious groups, which have different cultural backgrounds and traditions. These groups include the Tagalogs, Ilokanos, Bikolanos, and others. The culture of the Philippines is greatly influenced by the Chinese and American cultures as well as those of other countries. The Hispanic influence on the Filipino culture is the result of the Mexican and Spanish cultures as a result of colonial rule.

Every year the citizens of the Philippines host major festivities that are known as the Barrio Fiesta. This fiesta honors all the patron saints of different towns, villages, and regional districts and is celebrated by ceremonies that are held in the church followed by street parades in honor of the saints. There are various contests that include dancing and singing, and cockfight tournaments before the grand finale of the fireworks.

The Chinese also influence the Filipino culture to a large extent, and this is clearly evident in the Filipino cuisines. The locals here have termed the famous Chinese noodles as Mami. Other dishes like meat and other foodstuffs also reflect the influence of the Chinese cuisine. The influence of the Chinese culture in the Philippines is reflected in the fact that citizens occasionally use Chinese surnames, and some are proficient in speaking the language as well.

Over a century ago, the American culture began having a relative influence on the Philippines. The frequent use of the English language in the Philippines is due to the American culture influence. The American culture has also increased the demand for fast food and its chains have spread all over the Philippines. Filipinos have also started listening to the latest American music, taken to watching American movies, dancing to the American tunes, and also started fancying Hollywood actors. The basic principal of the Filipino people is to follow their moral values and to respect their elders and family members. These qualities help them grow into better human beings and have a friendly and pleasing personality.

Filippino Food

The Philippines has the world's most delicious and alluring cuisines. The food has its own special tastes and flavors. People are not surprised to find great variety in the cooking styles of the Filipinos. The food served here is a unique blend of western and eastern cuisines. The cuisines of the Philippines include delicacies of Malay, Spanish, and also the Chinese because of the influence of these cultures that began approximately 400 years ago.

The Filipinos consider food to be the most important aspect of their culture since it is an integral part of their communal existence. The food of the Philippines was originally bland and mild before it was influenced by the other cuisines. People, who have sensitive taste buds and are ready to experiment with different cuisines, can try the dishes cooked by the Philippines.

Filipino food is very much influenced by the American culture as well. The increasing rate of fast food chains here is incredible. The American culture has brought with it major fast food giants, such as KFC, McDonald's, Pizza Hut, and Burger King. Since, the Filipinos are so fond of food, they have widely accepted this trend. The Chinese noodles, called Mami, are the most savored dish. Rice is served with almost all meals, as it is their staple food. To the Filipinos, simple cooking basically means fish and its varieties, fetched directly from the sea. Apart from fish, the Filipinos also like other seafood such as crabs, shellfish, and shrimps. At times fresh seafood is served with exotic sauces and spices. The Filipinos also eat uncooked seafood that is stuffed with onions and wrapped in a banana leaf.

Filipino dishes very frequently include coconut, and, hence, meat, and other vegetables are cooked using coconut milk. Coconut is also used to make desserts such as pudding, which is made of ground rice, sugar, and coconut milk and baked in the oven.

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