Often referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World, these terraces were carved by hand over 2,000 years ago by indigenous people using primitive tools. Stretching for miles along steep mountainsides, they showcase not only remarkable engineering skills but also reflect a deep understanding of agriculture and sustainable farming practices. Moving southward to Central Visayas lies another intriguing site – the Chocolate Hills in Bohol. Comprising more than 1,200 perfectly cone-shaped hills spread across an area of 50 square kilometers, this geological formation has puzzled scientists for centuries. Legend has it that these hills were formed from two giants throwing rocks at each other during a battle; however, geologists attribute their creation to coral deposits uplifted by tectonic forces millions of years ago.
Further down south on Mindanao island lies one of Southeast Asia’s most significant archaeological discoveries – the ruins of Butuan City’s Balangay boats. Discovered in 1976 near Butuan River, these wooden vessels date back to around AD 320-375 and are believed to be evidence of early seafaring trade between ancient Filipinos and neighboring Asian countries like China and Indonesia. In Luzon Island’s northernmost part stands Paoay Church or St. Augustine Church – a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its distinct architecture called Earthquake Baroque style. While many tourists flock to popular destinations like Boracay or Palawan, there are hidden gems waiting to be discovered by the adventurous traveler. One such gem is the Silent Ruins.
Located in Negros Occidental province, the Silent Ruins is a testament to the grandeur of old-world architecture and the tragic events that unfolded during World War II. This abandoned mansion was once owned by Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson, a wealthy sugar baron who built it as a symbol of his wealth and power. As you approach the ruins, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe at its sheer size and magnificence. The mansion’s the ruins crumbling walls stand tall against the backdrop of lush greenery, creating an eerie yet captivating atmosphere. It’s easy to imagine what life must have been like for those who lived here during its heyday. Walking through the halls of this once opulent residence feels like stepping back in time.