Ten Unique Experiences You Can Try in the Philippines

Unique experiences form an integral part of enjoying a trip. By doing things that you have not done before, you will be able to able to make new memories that you will be cherishing all your life.

The vibrant culture and traditions in the Philippines have made it a prime destination for tourists that want to experience things that are both beyond their comfort zone and beyond the culture that they have been used to. The following are unique experiences that you will only be able to experience in the Philippines:


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Jeepney Philippines
Jeepney Philippines

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Ride a Jeepney

Due to the fact that they are the cheapest way to travel, jeepney is the most popular form of public transportation in the country. They can be quite crowded especially during the rush hour but it has become an enduring symbol of the Filipino spirit. No trip to the Philippines will ever be complete without a ride on one of these vehicles.

Grand Jeepney Parade
Grand Jeepney Parade

The jeepney started off as a temporary fix to the problem of public transportation in the country after the Second World War. The fact that it continues as a popular means of transferring from one point to another means that it has become one of the few remaining icons of Filipino heritage.

These specialized open-air minivans are colorful, with festive colors painted in both its interiors and exteriors. It is especially useful in Metro Manila, where the traffic can be quite terrible during the peak hours.

Walk within 3,000-Year-Old rice paddies

Rice Terraces in Batad photo by eesti
Rice Terraces in Batad photo by eesti

The Banaue Rice Terraces are among the most popular tourist spots in the Philippines. Built by hand by members of tribes three thousand years ago, these rice terraces look like stairways to the sky, making them both a challenging trek and an Instagram-worthy destination.

Sample Taho

Strawberry Flavored Taho in Baguio City
Strawberry Flavored Taho in Baguio City

When you are roaming around the streets during the day, chances are you are going to meet one of the vendors selling these. The taho is a snack that is made up mainly of fresh soft tofu, syrup and sago pearls. While Indonesia and Malaysia have variations of this snack, the Philippine version stands out because of the presence of the sago pearls, which adds variety to the texture.

What even makes this snack more unconventional is how it is sold by the vendors. To make sure that their product sells the vendors walks in the streets while balancing a wooden yoke with two metal buckets. You just have to wait for their calls of “TAHO” to signal that they are already nearby.

Featured Tour Package: Day Trip to Baguio City (Book Here)

Also Read: Baguio City Travel Guide: Travel Tips, Itinerary and Things to do

Bike using a Bamboo Bicycle

The Philippines is a leader in sustainable product manufacturing. One of the innovative products that have been made in the country in the past few years is the bamboo bicycle. Bicycles are already environmentally-friendly as they are. Bamboo bicycles really take the step even further.

Bambike for rent
Bambike for rent

Among the places that bamboo bikes can be seen everywhere is the walled city of Intramuros. There are stores that allow people to rent these bikes. You also have the option to buy them should you want to.

Featured Intramuros Manila Activities:

  • Intramuros Bambike Tour (Book Here)
  • Walk This Way Intramuros Tour with Carlos Celdran (Book Here)

Also Read: Intramuros Walking Tour: Re-discover Manila’s Old World Charm

Go on a Unique Hot Bath through a kawa

Kawa Hot Bath in Tibiao
Kawa Hot Bath in Tibiao

You think you have experienced everything the spa industry has to offer but you will rethink that for sure once you see the kawa.

In Tibiao, Antique, you have the opportunity to be “cooked alive” in a large pot. It looks like a primitive form of Jacuzzi except that you can actually see the fire is lit beneath the pot. Worry not though as it has been proven to be safe.

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Drop by a Spanish Colonial Town

A Spanish colonial town surviving over the centuries is practically unheard of in Southeast Asia. Vigan, however, did it with flying colors. It is one of the last areas in the country that remind people of the Spanish colonization of the Philippine archipelago for 333 years.

Pinoy Travel Bloggers in Vigan
Pinoy Travel Bloggers in Vigan
Kalesa in Vigan
Kalesa in Vigan

This city in the northern part of the island of Luzon is filled with buildings that could have been built as early as the 1700s, which includes mansions, churches, and simple houses. A lot of them have been preserved but a few are also repurposed now.

Featured Vigan Tour Activity: Historic Vigan Tour Package (Book Here)

Also Read: Vigan Travel Guide

Swim with the Whale Sharks in Cebu

Whale Shark Interaction in Oslob Cebu by Janey
Whale Shark Interaction in Oslob Cebu by Janey

If you are looking to experience something thrilling in your life, there is no better way to do that than swimming with the world’s largest fish. In Oslob town in Cebu, you will have that chance. Lots of whale sharks frequent the southern tip of this big island, especially during the early mornings. Worry not as these sharks are not carnivorous and only feed mainly on plankton.

Featured Oslob Whale Shark Watching Tour Package: Oslob Whale Shark Watching from Cebu City or Mactan Island (Book Here)

Also Read: How We Had The “Need-To-Be-Back-By-Dinner” Oslob Experience

Get a Tribal Tattoo

Even before tattoos started becoming a rage in the West, tattoos were already a thing in the Philippine islands due to tribal influences. If you want to experience having a one-of-a-kind tattoo, you may want to try out tribal tattoo artists.

Apo Whang-od Tattooing
Apo Whang-od Tattooing

The most prominent tribal tattoo artist is the 100-year old Whang Od in the province of Kalinga. While the trek to her home is a long one, it will certainly be worth it considering she is the last “mambabatok” of her tribe.

Eat Balut

Balut is probably the first thing that your Filipino friends will want you to try out. If you do not know what balut is, that might be a good thing as it is not for the faint of heart. Basically, balut is duck egg with a developing embryo. That is boiled and then served with vinegar and salt.

Eat Balut - Photo by John Brian Silverio
Eat Balut – Photo by John Brian Silverio

It is one of the bestselling types of street food in the country and is often paired with beer during the evening. You can’t really be blamed if you do not want to eat balut but if you are looking for a culinary adventure, putting that duck embryo in your mouth is one good way to start.

Visit the Sunken Cemetery

Camiguin, an island off the northern part of Mindanao, is known for many things. But its most recognizable symbol is the large cross that stands in its seas. The cemetery became submerged in water after a massive volcano eruption in the 1800s. If you are feeling daring, you can ride a boat or even take a dive. After all, this spot is considered as among the most unique diving spots in the world.

Small boats cruising towards the landmark cross above the Sunken Cemetery for a closer look
Small boats cruising towards the landmark cross above the Sunken Cemetery for a closer look

Both locals and foreigners alike will be able to enjoy at least four of the items on this list. If you truly want to have an enjoyable time in the Philippines, these unique experiences are things you may want to start with.

Also See: Camiguin Budget Travel Guide

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Have you tried any of these activities? Feel free to share your comments below 🙂

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