The Philippines is home to many amazing natural wonders; some only exclusively available to witness in the country itself. But aside from these beautiful natural sights, there are also many activities that you can experience, only in the Philippines...
Though some of these activities require courage and strong-will, you'll definitely miss out if you don't try them on your ultimate Philippine adventure. Not only do these experiences sound unique - they really are! Maybe you're wondering what you're in for now, so without further ado, here are 10 things you can ONLY experience in the Philippines.
8 Unique Things to Try in the Philippines
1. Eat Balut
One thing you’ll love about the Philippines is the food. We offer a variety of Filipino food with twist of either American, Chinese, Japanese, you name it... Filipinos are masters when it comes to cooking.
But aside from the famous Filipino foods, there is one Filipino delicacy that every tourist should try when they are in the county because you simply can’t find it anywhere else... And that’s Balut!
Balut is a fertilized duck egg with a developing embryo around 16 to 25 days old, boiled and eaten from the shell. It may look disgusting because you’ll see the fetus inside, but it’s delicious (although sometimes it tastes weird).
It’s a protein rich egg that is one of the Filipino’s favorites. You’ll see it in the streets of Manila being sold hot in a basket. You just need to add some salt and vinegar to season it and voila your balut is ready to eat!
2. Ride a Jeepney
The Jeepney is one of the main means of transportation in the Philippines, most particularly in Metro Manila. The seating, design and decoration of Jeepneys made it a trademark of the rich Philippine culture.
This car is not air-conditioned but you can simply stick your head out of the long window and allow the wind to blow on your face... only in the Philippines! Trust me, it’s cool and it’s a good way to meet and interact with the Filipinos. Just be attentive and alert with your belongings.
I advise you to try it in the provinces of Kalinga, Banaue or Mountain Province where people even ride on top, also known as “top-loading”. A bit scary but exciting!
3. Take a bath in a large hot cooking pot
You read it right... in a large hot cooking pot. Not some kind of witchcraft or anything weird but you can take a bath in a Kawa hot pot, only in the Philippines! This is a relaxing service offered by beach resorts and jungle retreats in a small town called Tibiao in the province of Antique.
A Kawa bath is similar to a Jacuzzi tub crossed with a sauna... While you bath in the cooking pot there is fire underneath, keeping the water HOT. While some may find it extremely relaxing, others may feel like they're being cooked alive. If you're the latter, don’t worry this is just one relaxation service the spas in Tibiao offer your tired body after long hours of travel and activities. Perhaps a massage instead?
4. Get a Tattoo from Apo Whang Od
Apo Whang-Od is the last mambabatok or tribal tattoo artist of her generation in Buscalan, Kalinga. She is already 101 years old but she can still give you a remarkable and meaningful tattoo. She rocks and you can only find her in the Philippines!
Apo Whang-Od uses the traditional hand-tapped way of tattooing, using a mixture of charcoal and water whichis tapped into the skin through a thorn end from a calamansi or pomelo tree.
It can painful but it’s all worth it because each tattoo has a symbolic meaning that will protect you from harm or enemies.
5. Tour around with a Bamboo Bicycle
Sound impossible? Not in the Philippines! Here you can rent a bamboo bicycle and tour around Intramuros, the walled city in Manila. These bicycles were brought about through a social enterprise and are handcrafted by local villagers.
Don’t worry, it's strong enough to carry you! A group called Bambike offers tours around the Philippines using these bamboo bicycles. Get in touch with them if you are interested in going for a ride!
6. Or Ride in the Air INSTEAD!
Another experience to be had, only in the Philippines! The Bike Zipline is an exciting activity offered in the province of Bohol, home to the famous Chocolate Hills. It’s actually a really good way to witness the scenic views and beauty of the province while doing some physical exercise.
Don’t worry, it's safe! You just need to bike your way along a 500-meter-long rope guided by a harness and helmet to keep you safe. Laugh and scream your lungs out as you experience Bohol from above!
7. Dine at a Waterfall
With all the delicious food that the Philippines can offer, you'll definitely have to try dining in different spots around the country. You can eat by the beach, the mountains, and you can even dine practically inside a waterfall! Oh come on this is just so romantic and unforgettable!
You can experience this dining oasis at The Labasin Waterfalls Restaurant located at Villa Escudero, Quezon. Here you can soak your feet in the shallow running water and enjoy mouth-watering Filipino delicacies whilst listening to the river gushing over the rocks in the background.
8. Have a Snake Massage!
It’s not only Filipinos who are talented but our pets too! Davao Crocodile Park in Davao City offers a different kind of a massage, only for those who are brave enough to get up close and personal with a snake!
The trained 30-kilo Albino Burmese python and a 40-kilo Burmese python will give you a 5 minute body massage to help you relax and relieve all that stress in your body. It is said that snakes have an ability to locate tense muscles, their advantage for knowing how to offer a good relaxing massage over anybody else.
There are so many unique things to be experienced in the Philippines... Although some may require a little courage for you to enjoy! Just be ready to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. Allow your travels to become a means for you to learn and grow. If you're heading over this way, why not try something that you can only experience in the Philippines? After all, that's what traveling is all about!