Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Heritage sites and beyond

Rainbow mist Posted by Hello

Pic: Walking along the White Beach (a stretch of sandy beaches), a rocky outcrop hangs precariously over a ledge, the torrential waves hitting and chipping mercilessly over the years. A rainbow, magically appears as the surf is lifted into the crevasses. Ilog-ilog beach, Bolinao, Philippines, 2004.

The Philippines is home to various natural wonders. Look up the listings in the UNESCO’s world heritage sites and you’ll see various entries for the country such as the Tubbataha reef in the Sulu seas (home to the richest diversity in coral environment in the world), The Rice fields in Cordilleras (Paddy cultivation plots carved by hand by the Ifugao tribes on the steep slopes of the mountain ranges) and the Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River national park in Pahlawan. Not included are such holiday beach destinations of Boracay, Manado and Cebu, and majestic mountain ranges and volcanoes such as Pinatubo, Mt Apo and Mt Mayon. Add into the mix, a rich cultural history of the various colonial powers, local customs and even modern fixtures, the Philippines is enough to please most anyone that wishes to visit her. I only managed to visit two of the heritage sites; one is the old colonial town of Vigan City, beautifully preserved and lively in essence. It makes it a shame that Malacca and Penang can’t aspire to reach this status. The other was the old Baroque churches in old Manila (though we missed visiting one with a grand piano entirely made from bamboo). Due to the lack of time never did make it to Mt Apo (a volcanic lake crater), Boracay (white sandy beaches with bikini clad girls) and the rice fields (which are said to be the 8th wonder of the world). Maybe sometime in future I’ll fly back there :)

No comments: