Monday, October 28, 2013

Natural (and not so natural) wonders of the Philippines

Tagaytay's Taal Volcano

A volcano, within a larger volcano, which is one of three within an even larger volcano. It's also the second most active volcano within the entire country, and located a mere 55 kilometers away from Manila.

To reach the middle volcano in efforts to see the innermost volcano up close, a 15 minute boat ride is required to cross the lake-filled caldera. Then, upon arrival, you will be placed atop a tiny horse on another 15 minute ride to carry you up to the middle volcano's rim.

The Chocolate Hills of Bohol

Legends have it, giants created the large conical hills. Two of the four legends involve fecal waste.  A third is about two dueling giants flinging mounds of mud at each other.  And finally the last, which I was told, spoke of a giant who loved a mortal. Bereaved at her eventual death, he cried giant tears which dried to form the mounds.

Scientists claim the hills are coral reef deposits that erupted from the sea in a massive explosion.

You tell me, which sounds more plausible?  But... if we were to wager, my bet would be on the dueling giants.

During dry season the hills turn brown while the rest of the island remain lush and green. Thus, it's name.


The animal considered the smallest monkey in the world is not even a monkey at all. They're closer related to the lemur than anything else. The pint sized creature with eyes bigger than its brain are nocturnal. They're so small that unless a designated tarsier watcher is pointing it out to you, you're sure to miss it.

Mangrove Firefly Treehouse

Another wonder in the great island of Bohol is a giant mangrove tree forked between a split river. But it's not the tree that is full of wonder. It's the fireflies that reside in it that do. Millions upon millions of blinking yellow lights fly in and out and around the branches of the tree, making it appear like a natural oddly shaped Christmas tree. Or, if you stare at it long enough, like the Twilight Zone.  If only a camera could truly capture it...

The Underground River in Palawan

A part of the 7 Wonders of Nature, the underground river is a hot spot tourist destination on the isle of Palawan. The river flows into a cave. If happened upon by chance, the entire thing would be a wonder. As a Disney-esq tour, the river isn't entirely impressive.

Asia's Longest Continual Zip-line

At 840 meters long, or 1.3 kilometers, Mindanao is able to boast ownership of Asia's longest zip-line. Soaring through the sky on a cable that long is as exhilarating as it is terrifying.

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