Home to more than 7000 magnificent islands, the Philippines is one of the underrated travel destinations in Southeast Asia. However, the country is blessed with plenty of white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, impressive waterfalls and gorgeous rice fields.

The Philippines culture is a blend of Eastern and Western cultures. Regardless of the cultural influences, the Philippines offer its uniqueness in its lifestyle. Here are some of the things unique to the Philippines

1. Jeepney

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Jeepney is acclaimed the “king of the road” in the Philippines. It is, without doubt, the country’s most widely used public utility vehicle, modified from the US military jeeps which date back to WWII. Start your tour of the city with a ride on this beautifully decorated bus while sitting right next to a local. It is a great way to get up close with locals. There is no better way to get a feel of the country than by riding in a Jeepney

 

2. Tamaraw

 

Declared as one of the critically endangered species on earth since 2000, the tamaraw or the Mindoro dwarf buffalo is the only bovine that originates from the Philippines. In the early 1900s, the Tamaraws were estimated to be a little above 10,000.  Sadly, the total population of the species has dropped significantly hence the tag critically endangered. 

A closer look at the picture and you’ll think its part of the carabao family, but that’s way off the mark. The Tamaraw’sdistinctive features can be seen in the unique markings on its faces and shorter, V-shaped horn.

 

3. Tarsier

 

With its extremely big eyes, which can be compared to the size of its brain, the Philippine tarsier is one of the smallest primates in the world, measuring no more than 15cm. And since it’s carnivorous in nature, tarsiers main menu include lizards, insects,and even birds. In the Philippines, you’ll find a large concentration of tarsiers in the southeastern islands of Bohol, Leyte, Mindanao,and Samar.

Being nocturnal, these animals are most active when it’s dark. And at this time, the massive eyes come in handy in enhancing night vision for a great prey hunting escapade.  Naturally, tarsiers are shy and they try as much as possible to avoid contact with humans. To learn more about the tarsiers, plan your trip to the Philippines with DreamTripPro and take a guided tour of the Philippine Tarsier Foundation in Corella, Bohol.

 

4. Rice

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One of the best delicacies in the Philippines is rice. It is a part of the Philippine culture. Funny enough, some households serve rice for breakfast, lunch,and dinner. Sounds weird, isn’t it? Well, that’s to tell you how much love they have for rice. No food is complete without rice.  The increased importance of rice in the country’s food culture has given rise to an organization such as the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), a government corporate entity created to guarantee a rice-secure Philippine.

Another distinct feature that shows rice has its root in the culture and traditions of the Philippines is the Banaue Rice Terraces, a unique heritage site by UNESCO. Dating back over 2000 years ago, the rice terraces in Banaue are frequently called the “Eight Wonders of the World”. Renowned for being one of the hidden gems in the Philippines, it is believed that the terraces were built by hand. These hand-made terraces are the rice bowl of the region and an attraction worth visiting.

 

5. Sinarapan

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Recognized as one of the world’s smallest fishes with an average length of 12 mm, the Sinarapan is found only in the Philippines, endemic to Lakes Buhi and Bato in Camarines Sur, along the Bicol River system. It is characterized by large black eyes and transparent body.However, the fish is currently going into extinction due to overexploitation and predation by introduced fish species.

 

6. Kawa Hot Bath

 

When it comes to relaxing and unwinding, then you should try the Kawa Hot Bath in Tibiao. Getting into a water-filled giant metal wok with fire underneath might sound crazy, but it is one of the most relaxing things to do in Tibiao, Panay Island. Don’t be scared – nobody is getting cooked.

Back in the days, Kawas served as traditional cooking pots for refining sugar in large quantities. Nowadays, they have been reincarnated into a rustic island-style hot tub. The tubsare filled with water and heated up with real fire. Surprisingly, the water is never overheated – it maintains just the right temperature to give you a refreshing hot bath.

The bath is best enjoyed after some adventurous activities such as ziplining over the TibiaoRiver or exploring the nearby BugtongBato Falls. Furthermore, the kawas offers you amazing view of the surrounding environment including the river.

 

7. Hobbit House

Hobbit House

 

Founded in 1973, the Hobbit House is the world’s weirdest themed restaurants entirely staffed by midgets. Located in Ermita, the Hobbit House was inspired by “Lord of the Rings”, a book authored by Tolkiens. The interiors are beautifully decorated with candles and beautiful paintings. Here you’ll also find some of the world’s smallest waiters. It comes as no surprise to say no other place in the world caters to people affected by dwarfism than the Philippines

 

8. Waterfall Restaurant

 

Dining over crystal clear spring waters running over your bare feet with a rushing waterfall as the backdrop is indeed an experience many will kill for. Located at the foot of the Labasin waterfalls, the restaurant offers you endless fun in the water. Get wet while you enjoy great tasting local cuisines such as lumpianggulay, ensalada with bagoong, and gourmet seafood.

And if you don’t want to get wet, pitch your seats a few distances away from the waterfalls with your feet still soaked in the flowing waters. You can’t escape that Asides dining and getting wet, there are other great activities nearby including bird watching, bamboo rafting or exploring nearby villages in an ox-drawn jeepney. Certainly, an experience you should never miss 

 

9. Snake Massage

Snake Massage

 

Of course, you’ve been allowed to feed animals in zoos and play with water creatures like dolphins at theme parks but how about getting a full body massage from a python. The Philippines offers visitors a chance to enjoy great body massage with pythons as their masseuse. Want to try? Then visit the Davao Crocodile Park.

At first, you’d be asked to lie on a mat while specialized professionals place pythons of different sizes including an Albino Burmese python weighing about 30 kg on you. The snakes glide all over your body just like a professional masseuse. After the massage therapy, you’ll feel refreshed and rejuvenated. 

 

All in all, the Philippines has much more to offer. To discover the hidden wonders of the island, plan your trip with DreamTripPro, the most reliable travel company. Search and book hotel, accommodation, flights, and many more to the Philippines for less.