HalalBooking guide for halal-friendly holidays in the Philippines
This archipelagic country in Southeast Asia is full of wonderful and exciting islands waiting to be discovered, and one of the most popular exotic tourist regions in the world. The world’s biggest coconut producer is best known for its adventures, stunning sceneries, azure waters, wildlife, rice terraces, mega-cities and volcanoes.
The Philippines is a multinational state that consists of no less than 7,641 islands with diverse ethnicities and cultures throughout and is one of the largest archipelagos in the world. This very nature and design of the Philippines means that it has a lot to offer for tourists: relaxation, authentic culture, pristine beaches and a shoppers paradise with 3 of the world's largest shopping malls. You will be amazed by the friendly locals, breathtaking views, delicious exotic fruits and experience a cultural beach holiday like no other. It also offers popular activities such as diving, surfing and water sports that attract tourists from far and wide.
Practical tips for planning your visit to the Philippines
Most international airlines fly to the capital, Manila, to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL). Domestic flights are available from other areas of the Philippines to Manila. There are also other major airports all over the country.
The best time to fly to the Philippines is from December through to May - the peak season when it is hot and dry. The cheapest month to fly to the Philippines is March, which, combined with the perfect weather, makes it an ideal time to fly. The wet season, which lasts from June to November, is also attractive as it still offers hot, sunny days and with fewer crowds and lush, green scenery.
Philippines for the halal-conscious traveller
Islam first arrived in the Philippines in the 13th century through the means of Karim Al Makhdum, an Arabian trader. He established the first Muslim mosque, named after him, in the area of Barangay Tubig Indangan on Simunul Island, in Tawi-Tawi. Still standing tall, the mosque has watched the country around evolving with Islam, which is now the second largest religion in the Philippines - perfect for your halal holiday. The Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque in Cotabato City is the largest mosque in the Philippines, accommodating an astonishing 150,000 people - a heartwarming way to meet locals and tourists from all around the world. The Arabian architecture and style is evident in the mosques all around the country.
Sites to visit in the Philippines
Manila Cathedral, Manila
Situated in the historical old walled city of Manila, the Manila Cathedral is the highest seat of the archbishop in the country. Not just known for its important role it plays for the Manila Christians, the architecture of the cathedral is simply stunning. At night, it is illuminated with lights all around!
Manila Ocean Park, Manila
Fun for the whole family, the Manila Ocean Park is the world's first class oceanarium and offers more than just the regular aquarium experience. Perhaps the main attraction is the 22-metre long curved tunnel walkway, where you will get an amazing view of the sea creatures swimming overhead and around you. There are evening symphonies, penguin exhibits, a birdhouse and a barnyard - something for everyone in this exciting attraction.
Fort Santiago, Manila
Fort Santiago is a citadel built in 1593 by a Spanish navigator and governor and is one of the most important buildings in Manila. Located at the foot of the Pasig River, it became one of the vital forts for the spice trade to America and Europe. Around the fort, there are beautiful gardens with fountains, arches and even a lily pond. The fort is beloved due to being the area where the Philippine national hero, Jose Rizal, was imprisoned before his execution. He is known for his braveness and courage and support for undertaking a peaceful resistance to tyranny.
Art in Island, Quezon City
With over 50 murals painted by specifically chosen Korean master painters, this interactive art museum is fun for all who visit. The illusions of the art pieces and the fun that can come from it is enough to make the whole family giggle. Lift your spirits with the best illusion art museum in the country.
The Ruins, Talisay
The Ruins were a once great mansion built as a testament to a husband's love for his wife. Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson built it as an ode to the mother of his 12 children in the early 20th century, inspired by Italian architecture. The mansion was set on fire during World War II, leaving only the remnants behind. Whilst fire has burned the building, it is still a beautiful site to see and a reminder that love prevails.
Taal Volcano, Batangas
For the adventure lovers, the stunning Taal Volcano is a large caldera filled by Tall Lake and is one of the most active volcanoes in the country. The caldera is believed to have been formed prehistorically and is now enchanting with its blue-green waters. The alert systems are in place, in case of an eruption due to the active nature of the volcano - so keep an ear out for what the locals say before you visit.
Tinago Falls, Mindanao
The Tinago Falls is just one of the many in the city of Iligan, the ‘City of Majestic Waterfalls’. Take a hike and witness the beauty of nature in one of the worlds finest locations and finish with a well-deserved dip in the water after. Hidden in a deep ravine, you will have to trek into the forest to find it and descend 500 steps called the winding staircase, but your efforts will be well-rewarded.
White Beach, Boracay
The island of Boracay is home to the unique White Beach, named after the white sand that stays cool in the hot Filipino weather. Visitors will be able to enjoy activities such as snorkeling and swimming in the crystal clear water.
Halal food and restaurants in the Philippines
Although the Philippines is not a Muslim country, finding food suitable for a halal diet is really easy. Filipino cuisine offers exciting fusion food with a mix of diverse flavours influenced by the equally diverse population. The Philippines has been the subject of various wars and political events, which have introduced a fusion of Japanese, Indian, Chinese, Spanish and American influences leaving it today with over a hundred distinct ethno-linguistic groups. With the country having such a rich history, the culinary scene has greatly benefitted.
Restaurants serving halal food in Manila and in the predominantly Muslim areas in the southern Philippines are easy to find and will have the trademark halal sign, as will halal food in the supermarkets. Other cuisines such as Indian and Malay food is available too, light on the palate but fabulous in flavour. Finish off your meal with the amazing sweet exotic fruits of the Philippines. Start with mango, the national fruit of the Philippines, taste the sweet and sour lanzones and the atis, or, as it's known, the custard apple.
Halal-friendly properties in the Philippines
With over 3,500 properties in the Philippines on HalalBooking, there is something to suit everyone. There are properties to select all over the different administrative regions of the Philippines including the Central Visayas, the National Capital Region or the Metro Manila as it is locally known, housing the capital, Manila. Choose from the choice of Hotels, Resorts and Villas using the halal-friendly filters on our website. Make sure your holiday meets your needs with alcohol-free stays and halal food available in the property or nearby. Luxury has never come easier with mixed and private pools and spa and wellness facilities. Wherever you decide to stay in the Philippines, with HalalBooking you can now book with new options such as ‘Book Now, Pay Later’ and ‘Free Cancellation’.