The Phillipines owes this to its many ethnic groups but also due to foreign influence, as it was once a Spanish colony and briefly a US one.The main religion on most islands is catholic, and you can find traces of Hispanic influence in many place names or on restaurant menus.Some flights also go direct to Cebu City, located more centrally in the Philippines.The big cities are congested and stressful, and so they might not leave the best first impression.
What also makes me a big fan is its cultural diversity.
Maybe this is due to its geographic separation from popular countries such as Thailand or Vietnam, or perhaps because it can seem more culturally familiar to Westerners at first glance.
I discovered the Philippines after travelling elsewhere in Asia, and it ended up being possibly my favorite country in the region.
Taking a boat from El Nido to Coron Island is a particularly nice journey and is a bit of an attraction in itself.
(You can also do this leg as a tour with an adventure company where you sleep in hammocks on deserted islands along the way, though this isn’t cheap.) Ferries are .