The next Philippine Travel Idea is to visit all the
☑ 9 UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES
For a quick lesson, a UNESCO Heritage site is a place (forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex or city) that is of special cultural or physical significance. (UNESCO) United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
World famous sites include India’s Taj Majal, AZ’s Grand Canyon National Park (which I really want to see), Peru’s Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat Complex in Siem Reap Cambodia and Old Bagan in Myanmar.
In our country, the most famous are Vigan’s Heritage City, the Rice Terraces which we always see in our postcard and one of the wolrd’s 7 New Wonders of the World- Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. But do you know that we have nine World Heritage Sites?
Here’s the list:
1. Baroque Churches of the Philippines
These group of churches were built between the 16th and 18th century. When we say ‘baroque,’ it relates to a style of European architecture and art which is characterized by extravagant style and ornate details. Our Baroque Churches are special because they represent a fusion of European church design and construction using local materials and decorative motifs to form a new church-building tradition.
You can read my previous work about these Baroque Churches here: I Visited the 4 UNESCO-Stamped Churches in the Philippines
-The Church of the Immaculate Conception of San Agustin, Intramuros, Manila.
-Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion, Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur.
-San Agustin Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte
-Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Church found in Miag-ao, Iloilo
The easiest to visit is San Agustin Church in Intramuros. You can visit two churches in Ilocos in one go- Sta. Maria is along the way to Vigan City and then up north is Paoay Church. Then the farthest one is in Panay Island- Miag-ao, Iloilo.
5. Historic City of Vigan.
Vigan City is a testament that heritage conservation is better than replacing historic building with new ones. Just walk along Calle Crisologo and you got the feeling that this city is alive and tourism industry is making more and more money every year. Last 2012, Vigan City received the “Best Practice Award in World Heritage Site Management.”
You can read my travel guide here: Vigan City Travel Guide Collab
6. Rice Terraces of the Cordilleras.
Dating before Jesus, these mountain architecture is a testament true Filipino ingenuity. I haven’t been to i and ii yet.
The five inscribed clusters are;
(i) the Nagacadan terrace cluster in the municipality of Kiangan, a rice terrace cluster manifested in two distinct ascending rows of terraces bisected by a river;
(ii) the Hungduan terrace cluster that uniquely emerges into a spider web;
(iii) the central Mayoyao terrace cluster which is characterized by terraces interspersed with traditional farmers’ bale (houses) and alang (granaries);
(iv) the Bangaan terrace cluster in the municipality of Banaue that backdrops a typical Ifugao traditional village; and
(v) the Batad terrace cluster of the municipality of Banaue that is nestled in amphitheatre-like semi-circular terraces with a village at its base.
7. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park.
Locals call this Underground River in Sabang, Puerto Princesa City. This site is one of the top destinations in the country especially after it became one of the 7 New Wonders of the World. I believe this one put Palawan on the tourism map and is continually supporting lots of local businesses.
We arrange tours to Underground River too, just shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
8. Tubbataha Reefs National Park.
The video below makes me want to visit this underwater paradise the soonest:
I haven’t been but this is one of the reasons why I got my Diving Certification. Hoping that I would be able to swim with the sharks, mantas and turtles next year. For added info, this site also boasts of endemic birds. Tubbataha is part of the town of Cagayancillo in Palawan, situated in between Palawan island on the left and Panay island on the right.
9. Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary.
The newest addition to our WHS and the only site found in Mindanao, the first mountain in the Philippines to be on the list which could mean the most preserved and ecologically diverse mountain in the country. I have tried visiting this mountain twice when I was still based in Mati City but the park rangers are really strict that no one can climb this mountain since they are still waiting for UNESCO certification. People whom I talked with shared that this mountain boasts of bonsai forest. UNESCO sites says,
Forming a north-south running mountain ridge along the Pujada Peninsula in the southeastern part of the Eastern Mindanao Biodiversity Corridor, the Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary has an elevation range of 75-1,637 m above sea level, and provides critical habitat for a range of plant and animal species. The property showcases terrestrial and aquatic habitats and the species that they host at a series of different elevations are responding to highly dissimilar soil and climate conditions. The Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary provides a sanctuary to a host of globally threatened and endemic flora and fauna species, eight of which are found nowhere else except Mount Hamiguitan. These include critically endangered trees, plants and the iconic Philippine Eagle and Philippine Cockatoo.
Read more about our World Heritage Sites here: http://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/PH/
I have been to 7 out of 9 and hopefully visiting all of them by 2015. How about you?
Do follow the following post-
PH Travel Idea Series:
- Provinces that doesn’t have Jollibee or McDo
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- Lakes 1-2-3
- 8 Rays
- Mountains 1-2-3
- North, South, East, West