Some of my family are lounging on the sands of Boracay, a beach in the Philippines, and my mom sent me a picture of their view. Normally I would be dying for some sun right now, but I’ve been pretty happy with the weather in Western Oregon lately, so I can’t complain.
The Philippines is truly a gorgeous place to visit; had the land been better taken care of it would be incomparable. The best thing about The Philippines is the water; beaches, lakes, beaches, beaches, and oh my gosh, the beaches. Because much of the economy runs on tourism, the beaches in the country are fairly well protected in terms of nature and wildlife (still not a stunning example, however). The water is like crystal and there are always things to do. Bear in mind, the people lining the coast selling “experiences” such as helmet diving and sailing are more interested in profit than safety. Just keep your wits about you and use common sense, and you will have the time of your life. There is also something to be said about having unregulated adventures in a beautiful country. Ex. Horseback riding in Inner Mongolia without any safety equipment whatsoever, with our horses going at full speed, was probably the highlight of my study abroad experience. Horseback riding in The States would have been different–not as fun, I assume.
I wish that the lakes and rivers had been kept clean, because I cannot express how gorgeous the entire Philippines could have been. Having lived there so long, I can see where the streams should have gone, and what the land should have looked like if the city planners had been more environmentally conscious. All of the tourist areas deserve to be so–it’s a lovely country, with good food and great shopping. The islands are gorgeous, but once you get into the big city, the natural beauty kind of goes down the gutter. Go to the spa instead, or to the mall (Greenhills, anyone?) or go wakeboarding. But when you are on the beaches of the Philippines–oh, there’s nothing like it.
To anyone who has yet to visit though; go soon. Global warming is going to make the North Pole even more beautiful and turn the tropics into steam baths.