Philippines Above & Below Sea Level

Media Contacts
Josh Kahn/Kelly Graham, KTCpr
Tel: (516) 594-4100


CHICAGO, IL (Dec.30, 2008) –The Philippines has a lot to offer adrenaline-seeking travelers looking for outdoor adventure. Apart from beautiful beaches, tropical scenery, historical sites and mesmerizing volcanoes, the Philippines also offers a world of activities above and below sea level for those of us who are amphibious by nature.  Activities such as fishing, trekking, surfing, mountain climbing, snorkeling and scuba diving are just the beginning in a country whose culture is dominated by spirit and adventure!

Whether you’re a novice surfer or a veteran tube rider, the Philippines has a surf venue for you. Beginners can hone skills in La Union, Zambales, or Leyte.  Baler, in the province of Aurora, offers great Pacific Ocean surfing just a few hours away from Manila.

But hardcore surfers must make a beeline to Siargao.  This island off Mindanao is home to the legendary Cloud Nine break, where the Pacific Ocean regularly serves up to ten-foot waves that offer the ultimate surfing high.

Those who’ve experienced white water rafting in the Philippines can attest that the Colorado River is not the ultimate adrenalin rush.  The Philippines has many fabulous white water rafting spots to choose from, but two in particular stand out among the rest.

Up Northern Luzon is the Chico River, a 72 kilometer sliver of frothy river that winds itself through the heart of the breathtaking Cordillera mountains.  The southern Philippine islands of Mindanao also have a whitewater rafting showcase, the rough-and-tumble Cagayan De Oro river. Adventure seekers can also receive a birds-eye view of Cagayan De Oro city at the Macahambus Adventure Park with activities including zip line rides and mountain rappelling.

Camiguin Island, a volcanic island in the Bohol Sea where waterfalls create both hot and cold springs, is often referred to as the Philippines’ Garden of Eden. Guests can also enjoy white water rafting in Camiguin at some of the most beautiful rivers the country has to offer.  A trek to the nearby KatibawasanFalls is sure to be rewarding as you make your way down the mountainous landscape by rappelling beautiful waterfalls and exploring majestic canyons.

Paddling out to sea is a great way to commune with nature.  Sea kayaking packages are widely available all over the archipelago, but the prime spot for the sport has to be the remote Calamian Islands off the northern tip of Palawan.  There you will discover the pristine, palm-fringed limestone islands that the indigenous people of the area, the Tagbanuas, have been preserving for generations.

Divers around the world agree that the Philippines has some of the finest scuba diving sites on the planet.  The archipelago is the center of marine fish biodiversity and home to the most diverse marine ecosystem in the world.

Night dives in Anilao, Batangas reveal unusual creatures like sea goblins, blue-ringed octopi, mandarin fishes and ghost-pipe fishes.  The popular Puerto Galera dives in Mindoro offer a close-up look at fascinating coral gardens and colorful sea creatures.

Balicasag Island, off the coast of Bohol, features a spectacular black coral “forest” and caves to explore. But nothing leaves divers in awe like the legendary Tubbataha Reef Natural Park, actually two distinct coral reef systems known for their underwater splendor.  In fact, Tubbataha was declared one of UNESCO’s World Natural Heritage sites because of its sheer beauty.

New board sports are taking the Philippines by storm.  Kiteboarding, where you ride the waves while tethered to a giant kite, has proven to be a huge attraction at the beach paradise of Boracay.  Wakeboarding is a unique thrill especially at the Camsur Watersports Complex near Naga City, an hour’s flight from Manila.  This new, man-made watersports park is the epicenter for wakeboarding in the country.

While no once can deny the sheer natural beauty of the Philippines, one of the greatest draws is its biodiversity and the great potential for encounters with some of the most unique and rare creatures on the earth from the hand-sized tarsier of Bohol, the world’s smallest primate, to the rare sea cow, known to make occasional appearances in this corner of the sea.

In late 1997, the world discovered the huge schools of whale sharks that had been visiting the mouth of Donsol River for generations, oblivious to the small coastal community.  Organized whale shark expeditions have since transformed the once remote fishing village into a major eco-tourist destination.  From February to May, visitors can literally swim alongside these gentle, polka-dotted giants that grow up to 40 feet in length.

Dolphins can also be spotted all over the Philippines.  One of the best areas for dolphin encounters is Pamilacan Island, off Bohol in the Visayas, where one can also spot bryde’s whales and the occasional manta ray.

Philippine Department of Tourism

The Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) is one of the Executive Departments of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines responsible for the promotion of travel to the Philippines, tourism investments, and enhancement and preservation of tourism products in the country.  Field offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco provide the following services free of charge on a selective basis: dissemination of tourism information, maps, brochures and posters; lending out of videos, CDs and other tourism-related materials; recommendations on places to visit; endorsement of relevant entities; and assistance to those traveling to the Philippines.  These offices also engage in a number of promotional activities: presentations to travel organizations, travel trade shows, media inserts and joint marketing arrangements.

The Philippine Department of Tourism is headquartered in Manila, Philippines, with offices in Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.  For more information, contact the Philippine Department of Tourism in Chicago at 312-782-2475 or visitwww.experiencephilippines.ph.

Kahn Travel Communications (KTC) is the appointed publicist for the Philippine Department of Tourism, covering North America.  Media may contact KTC at (516) 594-4100, or via e-mail at j.kahn@ktcpr.com.