August 21, 2018

5 Must-Visit Sites That Celebrate Filipino Culture

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  • The Great Wall of China, the Pyramids of Giza, and The Tower of London are all places that history buffs would visit a hundred times over if given the chance to do so.

    Calle Crisologo

    As more and more people are starting to take an interest in history, it’s only right for the Philippines to flaunt some of the must-visit sites that also speak of the country’s history. Here are 5 destinations where both locals and foreigners can learn more about Philippine culture and history.

    Mount Samat National Shrine

    On April 9, 1942, the United States surrendered Bataan Peninsula to Japan during World War II. The result was the infamous Bataan Death March where 75,000 Filipino and American troops were forced to march 65 miles from Mariveles to San Fernando under intense heat and harsh treatment.

    Dambana ng Kagitingan

    Also read: Dambana ng Kagitingan in Pilar, Bataan

    Today, the Dambana ng Kagitingan (Shrine of Valor) sits atop the historic Mount Samat in Balanga, Bataan. The shrine, designed by prominent Filipino artists, was built to commemorate the bravery of Filipinos and Americans who fought in WWII.

    Las Casas Filipinas de Azucar/IMAGE Agoda

    If you want to go back further in time, you can stay at Las Casas Filipinas de Azucar. As a heritage park, every structure is designed to be reminiscent of 18th century Philippines, when the country was still under Spanish rule.

    Also read: Travel back in time at Las Casas Filipinas de Azucar in Bataan

    Calle Crisologo

    Also read: Hotel Luna in Vigan: The Only Hotel-Museum in the Philippines

    One of the country’s pride and joy is Vigan City in Ilocos Sur. The entire city has been declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site because of the well-preserved 15th-century Spanish colonial architecture but the most famous site is probably Calle Crisologo. Close to this street is Hotel Luna, which serves as a hotel and a museum.

    Also read: A Walk Through Ancient Times: Calle Crisologo in Vigan City

    MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park

    When the United States surrendered the Bataan Peninsula to Japan in 1942, General Douglas MacArthur uttered those now famous words that became the country’s hope for liberation. Two years later, he made good on his promise during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

    Leyte Landing/ IMAGE PacificKlaus on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC

    The memorial park was erected to commemorate the Leyte Landing, with a reference to MacArthur and his landing party famously walking in the water after their ship hit a sandbar.

    The Oriental Leyte/IMAGE Agoda

    For a more memorable stay, just a 30-minute drive from Palo, Leyte is The Oriental Leyte, a hotel that blends modern design elements with regional Asian culture.

    Magellan’s Cross

    The Philippines is a Catholic country but it wasn’t always so. To trace the origin of Roman Catholicism in the Philippines, one has to travel to Cebu, where Magellan’s Cross is located.

    Magellan’s Cross/IMAGE Agoda

    Famous for nearly circumnavigating the globe, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was in search of the spice island of Moluccas for the Spanish Crown when he landed in Cebu, making friends with the native chief, Rajah Humabon. Eventually, Humabon, his wife, and the native warriors agreed to convert to Catholicism, leading Magellan to plant the cross as a sign of such an important event.

    Also read: Magellan’s Cross, Cebu City

    Azalea Place Robinsons Cebu/IMAGE Agoda

    Cebu is host to many other historic sites and shrines and one can stay at the Agoda home Azalea Place Robinsons Cebu to be near them.

    Rizal Park and Shrine

    Although Manila has its own Rizal Park, don’t confuse that with this.

    In his last few years in exile, Jose Rizal spent it at Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte. In addition to medical practice, Rizal also established a school for boys during his stay.

    Museo ni Rizal/IMAGE National Historical Commission of the Philippines

    The Rizaliana Museum houses the largest collection of Rizal’s personal items which includes the chalkboard he used for teaching as well as his sketchbooks and postcards.

    Ariana Hotel/IMAGE Agoda

    After a long day of learning about Rizal, tourists can unwind at the Ariana Hotel in Dipolog City.

    Source: Agoda 

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