Heaven on Earth:

Philippines

Throughout my life, I’ve been led to believe, that happiness comes from material possessions. It wasn’t until I went travelling that I realised this couldn’t be further from the truth.” – Tom Webster, a member of ThisWorld Production & Film Maker

Philippines is a country like no other, boasting a rich tapestry of natural wonders and cultural treasures. From the breathtaking beauty of Palawan’s limestone cliffs and emerald lagoons to the laid-back charm of Siargao’s surf breaks and coconut palm-fringed shores, every corner of this archipelago offers a unique and unforgettable experience.

 

Our journey begins in Palawan, often hailed as the “Last Frontier” of the Philippines. Here, we are greeted by the captivating beauty of the turquoise waters, creating a surreal and otherworldly landscape. It’s no wonder that Palawan has been consistently ranked as one of the world’s best islands by travel magazines and websites.

As we venture further east, we find ourselves on the idyllic island of Siargao, known as the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines.” Here, we immerse ourselves in the laid-back island lifestyle, where time seems to stand still and the waves beckon to be ridden. Siargao’s famous Cloud 9 break draws surfers from around the globe, while its pristine beaches and lush mangrove forests offer endless opportunities for exploration and adventure.

Our journey is not just about exploring the natural beauty of the Philippines; it’s also about connecting with its people and their rich cultural heritage. We had the privilege of meeting Gaëlle Savira, a local free diver whose connection to the ocean runs deep. Through her eyes, we gain a greater appreciation for the importance of preserving the marine ecosystems that sustain life in the Philippines.

We also had the pleasure of interviewing Philimar Alipayo, a professional surfer whose passion for the ocean is matched only by his love for his homeland. Philimar shares with us his insights into the surfing culture of Siargao and the close-knit community that calls this island home.

One of the most memorable experiences of our journey was spending a day with local farmers, who are the true guardians of the land. These hardworking men and women embody the spirit of resilience and simplicity that defines Filipino culture.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Tom Webster and Julia Kursten, whose talent and passion brought “Heaven on Earth” to life. Through their lens, we are transported to a world of wonder and beauty, where nature and humanity coexist in perfect harmony.

As we bid farewell to the Philippines, we carry with us memories of breathtaking landscapes, warm hospitality, and vibrant culture. Thank you, Philippines, for sharing your beauty and your spirit with us. Until we meet again.

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