Three Things You Didn't Know About The Philippines
- Culinary Diversity
You can’t understand Filipino cuisine unless you understand the country’s cultural influences. As an important trading hub for centuries, the Philippines had the opportunity to assimilate and trade cultural aspects with merchants and travelers from far corners of the world. Arabs, Europeans, along with over 100 ethnic and linguistic groups have left their mark on the country’s identity. Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the Philippines was connecting with its neighboring countries and China, incorporating many ingredients such as soy sauce, tofu, or bean sprouts that are now found in pancit noodles, lumpia spring rolls, and many other dishes.
After the colonization, an abundance of recipes and ingredients made their way to the archipelago, not only from Spain, but from Central America as well. Mexico owes some of its staples such as rice, sugarcane, mangoes, or tamarind to this exchange with the far away Philippines.
Nowadays, every dish tells a story. A culinary page in the country’s history book that stands witness at the crossroads of civilizations. From countrywide favorites to regional delights, Filipino cuisine ranges in style and complexity. From modest meals with rice and pork to elaborate paellas, every dish recounts tale of the past.
- Philippines’ King of the Road
On the hectic streets of Manila and throughout the country, one vehicle claims the title of ‘King of the Road’. The Jeepney, a US military Jeep converted into a passenger van, quickly became the most popular means of transportation in the Philippines. After WWII, hundreds of surplus Jeeps were sold to the locals who converted them into public transport vehicles.
As drivers started to personalize their vehicles, every Jeepney tells a story about the driver. Whether it’s his family, religious figures, rock bands, or all together, they have now become a true form of expression. Today, it is estimated that over 200,000 vehicles transport millions of passengers each year throughout the Philippines.
With the government’s aim to modernization however, the future of this cultural icon does not look so bright. Aiming to bring more cost effective and fuel-efficient vehicles, the Philippines is planning a phase out of these classic cars. Regardless of the pros and cons, a ride on the Jeepney will surely immerse you in the chaotic lifestyle in the buzzing metropolis of Manila.
- One of the largest archipelagos in the World
With over 7,000 islands of pure tropical bliss, the Philippines is arguably the best destination for beach dwellers and sun lovers. As one of the largest archipelagos in the world, there is no doubt that everyone can find their own corner of undiscovered paradise while visiting this country. Experience the cultural gradient while island-hopping through the Philippines to experience, each with an original take on the country’s heritage.
For those looking for a couple’s getaway, Palawan should be the first to consider. With many elegant and intimate properties such as Miniloc Resort, not only can you revel in comfort and luxury, but enjoy spectacular sunsets and romantic dinners.
Adventure seekers can look forward to the gems of Siaragao. With pristine diving spots and even better waves, this island combines the essential Filipino delights with nature’s finest tropical setting.