Philippines Ranks 2nd In Top 10 Travel Destinations

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Taal Volcano as seen from Talisay, Batangas. Fishers and farmers live on and around Volcano Island despite the risk of eruptions. (Yen Baet)

MANILA, Philippines --- Some parts of the world may still be oblivious of the Philippines as a hot beach-holiday destination but American travel magazine Condé Nast Traveller predicts that the country's heavenly islands and white sand beaches are among the newest destinations to watch for in 2013.

On the magazine's online site (, the Philippines ranked second in its "Top 10 hot destinations that will be big news for travelers in 2013." Brazil topped the list. The Netherlands' city of Amsterdam was ranked third; Africa, fourth; Galapagos Islands, fifth; Kashmir, sixth; Mayan Riviera, seventh; New Zealand, eighth; Panama, ninth; and Oman, 10th.

Condé Nast's Laura Fowler wrote in her article that "the Philippines may still not be the most obvious beach destination but it soon will be." The writer also compared the country's more than 7,000 islands to the islands of Maldives: "Sorry, Maldives... We love you, but we've got a new flame."

Especially mentioned in the piece as must-see places are Bicol, where travelers can swim with the huge but gentle whale sharks; Siargo, a stunning little known island perfect for deep-sea fishing; Palawan, "palm-fringed white-powder beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, natural lagoons for wild swimming all of it protected by UNESCO."

According to the article, the Philippines is becoming "particularly popular among serious divers, who come for the incredible underwater life, unspoilt coral gardens with rainbow-bright fish, green sea turtles and dugongs."

This year, the country's countless world-class beaches may well be on the radar for wide-eyed travelers looking for the next best tropical paradise.