The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has designated six World Heritage Sites in the Philippines. Heritage sites are those places with utmost importance when it comes to the natural and cultural heritage of a country.
1. Baroque Churches of the Philippines
A. Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte
Paoay Church is the best example of “Earthquake Baroque”. The walls are entirely made of coral stone, but the upper part is made of bricks. It has a huge bell tower entirely made of coral stone. Basically, the coral stone blocks served as the main protection during massive earthquakes in Ilocos Norte.
B. Santa Maria Church in Ilocos Sur
Unlike any other churches in the Philippines that follows the traditional location of churches (situated at the center of a plaza), Santa Maria Church in Ilocos is situated on a hill surrounding a defensive wall. The church follows the standard layout of any other churches in the Philippines. As a precaution for massive earthquakes, it is built using a solid raft.
C. Miagao Church (Santo Tomas de Villanueva) in Iloilo
To stand as a lookout for Muslim raids, the Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva is situated at the uppermost part of Miag-ao. It is considered as the finest “Fortress Baroque”.
D. San Agustin Church in Manila
The first church in Luzon, which was built in 1571 was also the first one to evangelize among the whole Philippines. From a first construction of woods and palms, it was replaced by stone bricks.
2. Historic Town of Vigan – Ilocos Sur
Being the first in all East and South-East Asian countries, Vigan is exceptionally preserved and a good example of a Hispanic towns located in the Philippines . In May 2015, it was recognized as one of the New 7 Wonder Cities along with Havana, Durban, Beirut, Doha, Kuala Lumpur, and La Paz.
3. Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary – Davao Oriental
With an elevation range of 75- 1,637 m above sea level, Mount Hamiguitan is home to different kinds of critically endangered flora, fauna, terrestrial and aquatic species. Even globally endangered species, which can’t be found anywhere in the world is situated here. The Philippine Eagle and Philippine Cockatoo also have habitats here.
The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park comprises of 90% sharp limestone delicately aligned around Mount St Paul. The main attraction of the area is a karst landscape that is always amazing to see. Inside you will find large chambers approximately 120 meters wide then 60 meters high.
This landscape of beauty is an expression of the harmony that can be created by man and nature. The Cordillera Rice Terraces are devoted to the production of the most important crop in the Philippines, rice. The tribes in Cordillera are just a few example of tribes who resisted the foreign influence. They were able to preserve their natural tribal culture and traditional practices.
6. Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park – Sulu Sea
Located at the lower portion of the Philippines, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park encloses 100,000 hectares of high class marine habitats. The natural park is home to different kinds of marine life; whales, dolphins, Napoleon wrasse, and turtles. The area is also home to a huge variety of coral reefs and species of fish.