Although there are about 70 golf courses, only a handful of these
conform to championship specifications. Private courses have armed
guards with instructions to refuse entry to non-members. Clubs that
do let customers in are quite expensive. Some of the best non-member
clubs that open to visitors are El Club Intramuros at the
Grand Boulevard Hotel, central Manila; Forbes Park in southeastern
Manila, where 2 of 3 courses are open to visitors; Canlubang
is one of many spectacular courses in southern Luzon and the
only one that opens to non-members; and Camp John Hay, located near the
Baguio hill resort, in the mountains, where there are private
bungalows for golf players to let. Courses on the islands of Mindanao and Visayas, at Bacolod,
Cebu and Davao, can be accessible by ferry or by a domestic
flight. Occasionally non-members are permitted to play at privately owned
clubs on a personal invitation. Some hotels can arrange this.
To request the brochure ‘Golf in the Philippines’ or for more details, contact the Philippine Department of Tourism
or the Federation of Golf Clubs
The clear warm waters, abundant coral reefs, tropical climate and
varied marine life make the Philippines an excellent location for
scuba diving and snorkeling. Options go from resort-based
diving to extended trips to unexplored areas. White sandy beaches
can be found everywhere. The best dive sites are on the islands
of Batangas, Mindoro (particularly Apo Reef Marine Park)
Bohol and Palawan. The informative and detailed pocket map ‘A
Diver’s Paradise’ is available from the Philippine Department
of Tourism (see Contact section). Traditional
canoes or bancas are available for rent on most beaches.
Surfing and windsurfing is also popular. Kayaking and rafting
is available in Mindanao and Luzon during the wet season.
The warm waters of the Philippines, incorporating almost 2,000,000
sq km or 772,200 square miles of fishing grounds, rank 12th in worldwide
fish production. Over 2,400 fish species inhabit these waters, including
many game fish such as giant tuna, tanguingue, king mackerel, great
barracuda, swordfish and marlin. Tour operators in Manila can arrange
trips. Game fishing is best from the months of December to August.
Adventure packages with an ecological edge can be arranged by various
operators. Activities include canopy walking where
participants are lifted by pulleys to the canopy on the Philippine
rainforest near Cagayan de Oro. The better parts for trekking
and mountaineering are the Matulid River, Mount Pulog and
Mount Halcon including the well-known UNESCO World Heritage listed
rice terraces in the Cordillera mountain range, in northern
Luzon. Whale and dolphin watching in the Tanon
Strait near Bohol Island is also popular.
The traditional game called Sipa is played with a small wicker
ball and can be watched at the Rizal Court in Manila.