20 Things The Philippines Is Known and Famous For

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The Philippines is known for its exotic beaches, expansive forests, and abundance of volcanoes.

The Philippines consists of a group of 7,641 islands which are split into three principal groups. These are Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao from North to South respectively. The Philippine Sea lies northeast of the archipelago, and the South China Sea lies northwest. This fascinating country in South East Asia continues to attract travelers to its shores year after year for good reasons.

What Is The Philippines Famous For?

The Philippines is known for its exotic beaches, expansive forests, and abundance of volcanoes. Despite the common theme of nature, there are many islands that all differ from each other vastly. The Philippines is famous for its old, religious landmarks, and in contrast its modernized skyscrapers. 

History, Culture, And Traditions Philippines Is Known For



Whilst the concept of Karaoke was invented in Japan in 1971, Roberto del Rosario was a Filipino inventor who created the machine system a few years later. As a result, karaoke is an integral part of the culture.

Karaoke is an everyday activity in many households all over the Philippines. As they are immersed in arts such as singing and dancing growing up, it makes sense to relax through it. This can be done with friends and family, or even solo.

Karaoke culture is especially prominent at special events where you will see people singing their hearts out. It’s a lively atmosphere.


Bayanihan is a value that is passed down from generation to generation. The Philippines is famous for its generosity, as are many other South East Asian countries like Indonesia.

Bayanihan roughly translates to the love of unity. It means being a bayan, which is a type of plant with many aerial roots that eventually join together to become a trunk. This concept demonstrates that we should work in cooperation to achieve a bigger goal. 

Ati-Atihan Festival


The Ati-Atihan festival is held every year on the third Sunday of January. It is held in Aklan, on Panay Island, in the western part of the Visayas.

The Philippines is known for being the only South-East Asian country whose main religion of Christianity. Over 90% of Filipinos are Christian, mostly followers of Catholicism. As a result, Ati-Atihan is a religious festival that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.

Members partake in the parade, where there is lots of jubilant singing and dancing. Vibrant costumes are made of indigenous materials, and distinct masks are designed.

Independence Day

Filipino Independence Day is celebrated annually on June 12. It is one of the most significant holidays that the Philippines is known for, due to their prior colonization by Spain.

Spain conquered the Philipinnes in 1521 and ruled for over three centuries. Understandably, Filipino’s fought for their independence, as they want to gain individuality and liberty. The Filipino revolution, led by Emilio Aguinaldo in 1896, lasted for three years and ultimately succeeded.

Hence, every year, Filipinos gather and celebrate their freedom, which was earnt due to their determined predecessors.

Cities And Travel Destinations Philippines Is Famous For



Manila is the main capital city which the Philippines is known for. Despite this, it is the second most populated, losing out to Quezon City in the first place. Nevertheless, Manila is huge and a cultural hub.

Manila has many historical landmarks such as Fort Santiago and The Malacañan Palace, which we discuss below. As it was founded by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi during the Spanish invasion of the Philippines, much of the old architecture is in Spanish colonial style.

In contrast, there are many modern structures in Manila too. For example, the Zuellig Building is a 155-meter building that has over 30 stories.



Baguio is located on Luzon Island. It is popularly known for having cooler and more manageable weather, making it an ideal spot to visit. This is because it is mountainous, and therefore the increase in altitude makes for lower temperatures.

What is the Philippines known for in the summer? This is undoubtedly their park. Burnham Park in Baguio is ideal for going to see with family, especially because of the Burnham Lagoon. Whilst it is not swimmable due to safety precautions, it is tranquil and hence great for strolling along.

Additionally, the presence of many pine trees has earnt Baguio the nickname ‘City of Pines.’



You should consider visiting Makati if you are interested in shopping, dining, and walking! This is the financial hub that is famous in Philippines, featuring modern buildings, lavish stores, and picturesque scenery.

The most well-known shopping center in Makati is Greenbelt. Over 300 stores are spanning four stories, ranging in service. Furthermore, you can sit in the gardens after a long day and enjoy nature.

Makati is also home to the Guadalupe Church. As we mentioned, the majority of the Filipino population is Catholic, making this an extremely important landmark. 



The Philippines is known for its history, highlighting Cebu’s importance as the oldest town in the country. Additionally, it was the first-ever capital for six years until Manila was crowned instead.

The Minor Basilica of the Holy Child of Cebu is one of the most visited landmarks. It was constructed in the 15th century and made of rock, although the first two Churches were burnt down.

The current Church is well-preserved and created in a subtype of the Baroque style called ‘Earthquake Baroque.’ Essentially this means that the structure is sturdy and less likely to be affected by natural disasters.

Landmarks And Architecture Philippines Is Known For

Malacañan Palace

The Malacañan Palace in Manila is the perfect example of a neoclassic architectural style. When the palace was first built, it exhibited a Spanish colonial style, however, has been revamped several times since then.

It is a simple white design with columns and iron sheet roofing. Originally, it was constructed as a country house, but modification shave been made to give it a more grandiose style.

The Malacañan Palace is famous in Philippines as it is the official residence of the President. That said, this is also one of the most important landmarks in the Philippines.

Mayon Volcano


The Mayon Volcano in Albay is an active volcano that is famous throughout the world. The Philippines is known for having many of these active volcanoes, making them the ideal natural landmark. In fact, some islands, such as Camiguin, have more volcanoes than towns!

The Mayon Volcano is recognized for its characteristic conical shape and its mythological connotations.

Locals state that it is the place where Makusog, a tribal chief, buried his daughter Magayon and her lover Panganoron, which the tribe did not approve of. Subsequently, a volcano appeared on the site. Hence, he named it in her memory.

Chocolate Hills


The existence of Chocolate hills is one of the many fun facts about the Philippines, particularly for kids. Unfortunately, the Chocolate hills have nothing to do with chocolate. Nonetheless, this is sometimes considered to be the eighth wonder of the world.

The Chocolate Hills are located in Bohol. They are a collection of approximately 1260 hills, which span over 50 square meters of forest.

When wondering what is the Philippines known for, you must consider its harsh seasons. They are frequently divided into two: a rainy season and a dry season. During the dry season, the lush green grass of these hills turns a chocolatey brown, due to the absence of rain. Thereby explaining the name.

Fort Santiago


Fort Santiago in Manila is a 15th-century citadel. It is a significant historical landmark as the building served as headquarters for several colonizers of the Philippines.

This includes the Spanish in the Spanish Expedition, the English in the Seven Years’ War, the Americans in the Philippine-American War, and the  Japanese during World War II.

Fort Santiago was built in 1571 under Spanish Rule, by Miguel López de Legazpi, as a stone fortress. Nowadays, it is an informative museum and has a well-maintained public park.

Food Philippines Is Known For

Chicken Adobo


The Philippines is known for its extensive use of seasonings, one of which is adobo. Essentially, this is a stock that culminates in paprika, oregano, garlic, and salt. Additionally, vinegar is added as a preservative.

The adobo can be used in conjunction with many types of meat, most popularly chicken or beef. It can be eaten by itself, or over rice for a heartier meal. This traditional Filipino food is ideal for a quick, warm lunch or dinner. 

Crispy Pata


Patabain, otherwise known as pata, is simply pork. This crispy pork leg dish is tangy and delicious, which is why it is so famous in Philippines.

The first step to crispy pata is to boil the pork first, to let it tenderize. Often, Filipinos season this water with spices such as star anise and bay leaves. Once partially boiled, it can subsequently be fried in oil.

Crispy pata can be eaten by itself as it is coated in a tangy vinegar sauce. On the other hand, it can be eaten with rice, or cut and added to a stew.

Pork Sisig


Pork sisig is undoubtedly one of the most controversial dishes when questioning what is the Philippines known for. This is because its main ingredients consist of a pig’s face and belly! It is globally known as ‘blood pudding stew.’

The pig’s snout, face, and ears are boiled and then chopped. After this, they are fried with other ingredients such as chicken liver. Usually, no vegetables are used, solely seasonings such as soy sauce and calamansi limes. Some even like to add mayonnaise!

Leche Flan


The Philippines is not only known for its filling surfeit mains courses but also its delectable desserts. Leche flan is a Filippino variation of crème caramel, which is tangier due to the evaporated milk. It is also much richer in texture.

Eggs yolks, milk, and sugar are heated in a llanera, a type of oval mold. Once this is done, caramel custard is poured over the top.

This delicious Filipino dessert is usually found at birthday parties and special celebrations.


Famous People From The Philippines

Andrés Bonifacio

Andrés Bonifacio was born in Tondo during the mid-19th century. During his short life, he impacted many Filipinos before he was tragically executed at 30 years of age.

Bonifacio was a revolutionary who founded Katipunan, a society that dedicated its lives to fighting Spain during its colonial period. This ended during the Philippine Revolution in 1898, after Bonifacio’s death.

However, the president of the Philippines at the time Emilio Aguinaldo ordered his arrest. This was after receiving news that Bonifacio was responsible for the arson of a Church. He sentenced Bonifacio to death on charges of treason and sedition.

José Rizal

Jose Rizal was a Filipino writer, who just like Andres Bonifacio, was executed by the government.

Rizal was famous in Philippines for his works such as ‘Noli me tangere’ and later ‘El filibusterismo’ in 1891. However, these were disliked by the Spanish government as they encouraged the population to fight for the independence of the Philippines.

Consequently, Rizal was convicted for his rebellion against the government, and his writing was used as evidence.

Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao is not only famous in Philippines but worldwide, for a variety of accomplishments.

Pacquiao is a talented former professional boxer, who has been the first to achieve many feats. For example, he was the first boxer ever to win world titles in eight weight divisions, in addition to becoming a four-decade world champion from 1990 to 2020. He is also skilled at basketball.

Furthermore, Pacquiao served as the Filipino senator in 2016.

Lea Salonga

Lea Salonga is undoubtedly the best singer that the Philippines knows.

Salonga was born in Manila and has been nicknamed the ‘Pride of The Philippines’ due to her successful career. Her top achievement is considered to be voicing both Disney princesses, Mulan, and Jasmine.

In addition to this, Salonga has partaken in theatrical productions and worked as an actress in movies. These have been Filipino and American. 


Discovering More Things The Philippines Is Known For

These are just some of the many notable things that the Philippines is famous for. The country has a rich history which translates to plenty of interesting stories and things.

Many of the surviving buildings or ruins were constructed during the Spanish invasion and have endured several colonisations since then. However, they remain significant, and there are festivals and public holidays in memory of these events.

Nature is also famous in Philippines, as the country continues to develop on the blessings it received from its geography. The Chocolate Hills in Bohol and The Mayon Volcano in Albay are just some examples of popular, captivating formations you will get to see when you visit.



Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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