Spanish, and the 17th-century walls of Fort Pilar, built to protect the Spanish and Christian Filipinos from Muslim onslaughts, are still standing. The city has a number of hotels, cars for hire, good public transport and vintas (small boats), often with colourful sails, available to take visitors round the city bay. The flea market sells Muslim pottery, clothes and brassware. About 2km (1.2 miles) from Fort Pilar are the houses of the Badjaos, which are stilted constructions on the water. Water gypsies live in boats in this area, moving to wherever the fishing is best. Plaza Pershing and Pasonanca Park are worth visiting. Santa Cruz Island has a sand beach which turns pink when the corals from the sea are washed ashore, and is ideal for bathing, snorkelling and scuba diving. There is also an old Muslim burial ground here.
Davao: Davao province is the industrial centre of Mindanao, renowned for its pearl and banana exports. Davao City is one of the most progressive industrial cities in the country. The province is the site of Mount Apo, the highest peak in the country, while the Apo Range has spectacular waterfalls, rapids, forests, springs and mountain lakes.
Cagayan de Oro: Cagayan de Oro, on the northern coast of Mindanao, is the gateway to some of the most beautiful islands in the Philippines. By way of contrast, in Bukidnon there are huge cattle ranches and the famous Del Monte pineapple fields, and Iligan City is the site of the hydroelectric complex driven by the Maria Cristina Falls.
Lanao del Sur: Lanao del Sur is a province characterised by its Muslim community which has settled along the shores of Lake Lanao. Besides the lake, other attractions include Signal Hill; Sacred Mountain; the native market, Torongan; homes of the Maranao royalty; the various Muslim mosques on the shores of the lake; and examples of the famous brassware industry centred in Tugaua.
10 SPORT & ACTIVITIES
Watersports: Watersports: The Philippines' clear waters, tropical climate, abundant coral reefs and varied marine life make them an excellent location for scuba diving and snorkelling, with options ranging from resort-based diving to extended trips to unexplored areas. White sandy beaches are ubiquitous. The islands of Batangas, Mindoro (particularly Apo Reef Marine Park) Bohol and Palawan offer some of the country's best dive sites. The detailed and informative pocket map 'A Diver's Paradise' is available from the Philippine Department of Tourism (see address section). Boating enthusiasts can rent traditional canoes (bancas) on most beaches.
Fishing: Fishing: The Philippines' warm waters, incorporating almost 2,000,000 sq km (772,200 sq miles) of fishing grounds, rank 12th in worldwide fish production. These grounds are inhabited by some 2400 fish species, including many game fish such as giant tuna, tanguingue, king mackerel, great barracuda, swordfish and marlin. Local tour operators in Manila will help arrange trips. Game fishing is best from December to August.
Golf: Golf: There are approximately 70 courses, but only a handful of these conform to championship specifications. Unfortunately, good golf courses can be difficult to access: all private clubs have armed guards with instructions to refuse entry to non-members. Courses that admit visitors tend to be expensive. Some of the best courses open to non-members include: El Club Intramuros (at the Grand Boulevard Hotel, central Manila); Forbes Park (in southeastern Manila, where two of three courses are open to visitors); Canlubang (one of many spectacular courses in southern Luzon and the only one open to non-members); and Camp John Hay (near the Baguio hill resort, in the mountains, where golfers can rent private bungalows). Further courses are on the islands of Mindanao and Visayas (at Bacolod, Cebu and Davao), which can be