7 Reasons to Go Island Hopping in the Philippines ...

Island hopping in The Philippines is a great way to experience this archipelago country with rich colorful stories that surround its culture and heritage. Crystal clear waters and blue skies await the savvy traveler who appreciates the finer things in life. Here are seven reasons to go island hopping in The Philippines, one of the most beautiful places on Earth:

1. So Much to Choose from

Why go island hopping in The Philippines? Because there are 7,107 islands to choose from! A lot of them are still undeveloped and off the beaten path. If you want those that have reputation of being popular tourist destinations but still have their charm and beauty intact, you will be presented with a long list of suggestions. My favorites are Siqiijor, Camiguin, Siargao, Bantayan Island, El Nido, Coron, Batanes...need me to continue?

2. Ultimate Adventure

Adventure tourism is at its best in The Philippines. You can travel by air, land, and sea to get to your destination. You won't run out of things to do. You can simply get lost in the splendor of nature at its finest. Start working your way from Manila in the North to General Santos in the South and you will love every minute of it. Or you can head far north to the splendid island of Batanes - oh, this one is just paradise!)!

3. Generally Affordable

With the peso trading to the dollar about 42 (or 44) to 1, you will find travelling in The Philippines generally affordable. In cities like Cebu where the locals are conscious about getting the best value for their money, you can have a great meal of baby back ribs that costs between $6 to $7. Likewise with shopping, your money will stretch pretty far. With daily air service available to all major cities, you can do lunch on one island and dinner on another.

4. So Much to See

Did I just say that this country has more than 7,000 islands?
If you are seeking the fountain of youth or the elusive pot of gold, you'll find both in Palawan, a hidden piece of paradise. Yes, The Philippines is just like that! Palawan has some of the best diving spots on Earth, including barracuda filled shipwrecks. This country was a colony of Spain for more than 300 years so historic Roman Catholic churches can be found in almost all provinces.

5. Warm, Hospitable People

Sure you read and hear stories of taxi drivers ripping off tourists, but don't let that define the Filipinos, especially when you go out of the big cities and head down to the rural communities. The people of The Philippines are warm and genuine, always ready to help out a stranded traveler or just offer a smile.

6. Fresh, Delectable Food

From Lechon (roasted suckling pig) to Pancit (Filipino noodles), you will find the Philippines to be a gourmet's delight. No matter how humble a home is, Filipinos will go to great lengths to serve the most delicious dishes. Don't leave The Philippines without trying sisig, kare-kare, and adobo.

7. Variety/Diversity

People here write great stories and poems - and these are written in more than 10 languages. Literary pieces are diverse owing to its island nature where people have different life experiences. Diverse cultures are notable and you can't help but wonder why a beautiful country like The Philippines is not visited as much as Thailand.

What's your island hopping experience in the Philippines?