Tourism in the Philippines is currently booming, with more and more travellers seeking to discover its abundance of tropical islands, white sandy beaches and natural beauty. However, with more than 7,000 islands to discover, The Philippine Department of Tourism is reminding travellers to take time to explore the rich history of the Philippines, one which can be dated back for centuries.
Ms Norjamin Delos Reyes, Tourism Attaché at Philippine Department of Tourism Australia and New Zealand said, “First colonised by the Spaniards for 333 years, the Philippines has a rich culture and a history which is long and varied. Today, the Philippines has become a melting pot of various cultures and its historic landmarks have played a major part in the country’s booming tourism industry. Our history is something which almost everyone will find interesting and we want to encourage travellers to enjoy learning more about our past. Here are five historic spots for tourists to consider when visiting the Philippines.”
Rizal Park, Manila
Manila’s iconic central park consists of around 60 hectares of open lawns, ornamental gardens, ponds, paved walks and wooded areas, all dotted with monuments. From the historic Rizal Monument to the Central Lagoon, lined with busts of Filipino heroes and complete with a dancing musical fountain, the park is a fantastic place to take a stroll whatever time of the day. An open-air auditorium also plays host to a Filipino rock concert every Saturday, and a Classical concert every Sunday night.
Calle Crisologo, Vigan City
Calle Crisologo is a notable tourist attraction in the heritage city of Vigan, famous for its array of old stone houses and cobblestone streets, and a place where numerous calesas await. Visiting this old town will transport travellers back to the Filipino-Spanish colonial era with its abundance of Spanish-style houses which are a perfect representation of the simple yet elegant living of the Filipino-Spanish families from centuries ago.
The Ruins, Bacolod City
The Ruins is an ancestral mansion situated in Talisay, just outside of Bacolod City and is one of the key highlights of the city. The grounds surrounding The Ruins are beautifully decorated with lanes, gardens and arches making it a popular venue for weddings and also making it one of the most famous and photographed destinations in the area. Touring The Ruins includes a look back through the rich and colourful history through the well renowned humorous tour guides.
Fort San Pedro, Cebu City
The Fort San Pedro is a military defence structure in Cebu built by the Spaniards under the command of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the first governor of Captaincy General of the Philippines. The fort is now a historical park, open daily from 7.00am – 7.00pm and is also home to a museum that displays legacies of the Spanish government and well-preserved Spanish artefacts like documents, paintings, and sculptures.
Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila
A 16th-century citadel, Fort Santiago is a national landmark and a shrine to the hard-won freedom of the Philippines. The citadel was first built by Spanish navigator and governor Miguel López de Legazpi for the new established city of Manila in the Philippines. Along with a fascinating museum, within the fort grounds is an oasis of lovely manicured gardens, plazas and fountains leading to an arched gate and an idyllic lily pond.