Philippines is virgin, stunningly beautiful and probably one of the most underrated destination. What makes it special is the warmth of its people and their smiles. I don't think there is any other place where I felt so welcomed as I did in that country. If you are planning a trip to cover Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, you should not miss out on this one.
Some quick pointers -
It's as beautiful as what you see in the pictures, if not more.
The local filipino food might not be something that too many Indians would take to but enough and more options are available. If you are adventurous with food then you won't be disappointed with the local cuisine.
Tickets to Philippines from India are a tad bit expensive but traveling within the country in budget airlines is relatively cheaper.
The local transport is very cool and inexpensive.
There are plenty of pocket friendly hotels even in the "exotic" looking places.
Communication is easy as most locals can speak in English.
Massages are fab and affordable.
Alcohol is really cheap. I will say that again. Alcohol is really cheap.
I have listed the most awesome places that I got to visit in my 4 years there, all can be reached within 30-45 mins flight from Manila -
Hike Mt Pinatubo - Because it's one of the very few active volcanoes you can hike to with ease and then brag about. The crater lake is breathtakingly beautiful (think Pangong Tso) and you can even swim in it. The hike is short with loads of fresh cool water streams on the way.
Party at Boracay - Definitely one of the best party places in the world. Pristine white sand beaches with turquoise waters, affordable hotels, great food, excellent water sports, helmet diving, bars and shacks by the beach. Do you need more reasons?
Relax at Davao - There is not much to do here; just buy a fresh coconut, snorkel, hop some islands and wander around the long sand bar. Or do sun bathing, relax, get a tan and take photos that will make your friends jealous for sure.
Swim with whale sharks at Donsol Bay - A lazy, sleepy town which offers the ultimate bucket-list experience to swim alongside the largest fish in the sea!
Click some crazy pictures at Bohol - What's special about this place apart from 250 km coastline with perfect white sand beaches, there are Chocolate hills and then there are Tarsiers.
Tarsiers are really tiny and cute creatures with eyes like Dobby (from Harry Potter), the head can rotate 180 degrees and commit suicide by banging their heads on anything if they get too stressed (read loud noise and light from cameras).
One would like to believe that Chocolate Hills are man made but they are not. It's a cluster of about 1,000 hills which look like Hershey's kisses. The hills which are otherwise covered with green grass turn brown in the dry season, which explains the name.
Island hop at 100 Islands, Pangasinan - Out of the 7,107 islands that Philippines is comprised of, you can visit 100 (123 during low tide) at once. These mushroom like tiny islands are actually ancient corals. A perfect day trip of snorkeling, island hopping, cliff diving against a surreal backdrop.