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PHILIPPINES

The Philippines is an archipelago of more than 7,100 islands in South-East Asia located between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea. The combined length of all its beaches make for one of the world's longest coastlines and the many islands and many waves of immigration make for considerable cultural diversity.

See one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the spectacular Banaue Rice terraces in Batad and be fascinated at how it was built. The Baroque churches of the Philippines will amaze you with its European Baroque architecture. Intramuros, Rizal Park and Blood Compact site in Bohol are worth seeing and will give you a glimpse of the history of the country. Dive the Tubbataha Reefs National Park and see the spectacular collections of marine life and corals. There are some rare animals and plants that can only be found in the Philippines and most of them are endangered and threatened. Philippine Monkey Eating Eagle, the largest eagle and the Waling-Waling orchid, one of the rarest flowers in the world are some of wildlife threatened by extinction.

In the Philippines, Metro Manila is a great place for shopping. It is the main shopping hub of the country and is home to an extensive range of shopping centers. Metro Manila offers different types of shopping centers which are scattered around the metropolis, from modern and glittery shopping malls to traditional and busy markets, its all in Metro Manila. Here you can find cheaper items that are sold at flea markets and open markets like Divisoria, Market! Market! and Greenhills, these markets are definitely the right place for a shopper who seeks bargains and cheap buys. But if you prefer buying luxurious and expensive clothes, bags, watches and jewelry, then the Ayala Center would be the right place for you.

Though its cuisine is not as renowned as many of its neighbours, such as that of Thailand and Vietnam, Filipino cooking is nonetheless distinct in that it is possibly the least spicy of all Southeast Asian cuisines. To experience how the Filipinos eat in a budget way, Carenderias (food stalls) and Turo-turo (Point-point which actually means you point at the food you want to eat in the buffet table) are some of the options. Mains cost less than $1.

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