This nation of more than 7,000 islands—the last stop on our eight-month 2014–2015 trip through Southeast Asia—is like nowhere else in the region. To a North American, it feels more Hispanic than Asian, a legacy of 300 years of Spanish rule. We went to the central Philippines in search of good swimming and snorkeling. Although the region was sometimes short on charm, infrastructure, and interesting food, it offered gorgeous sunsets, pristine beaches, and coral reefs teeming with sea turtles.
When we visited
Moalboal, Cebu Island; Siquijor Island; Dumaguete and Sipalay, Negros Island
Going for a night swim at a beach so smooth and clear of rocks and urchins that we could walk across it in the dark, and then discovering that the water was full of bioluminescence
Did you know?
Before it became an independent nation, the Philippines was a colony of the United States from 1898 to 1946.