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reached by ferry or on an internal flight. Non-members may sometimes be allowed to play at private clubs on a personal invitation; hotels can also make arrangements. For further information, or to request the brochure 'Golf in the Philippines', contact the Philippine Department of Tourism (see address section). A traditional game is Sipa, played with a small wicker ball, which visitors can watch in Manila at the Rizal Court.

Ecotourism: Ecotourism: Various commercial operators offer package adventure tours with an ecological slant, including activities such as canopy walking (participants are lifted by pulleys to the canopy on the Phillippine rainforest near Cagayan de Oro). The best areas for trekking and mountaineering include the region around Matulid River, Mount Pulog and Mount Halcon as well as the famous UNESCO World Heritage-listed rice terraces in the Cordillera mountain range in northern Luzon (see also the Resorts & Excursions section). Whale and dolphin watching is popular in the Tanon Strait near Bohol Island.


Food & Drink: Unlike a lot of Asian cooking, Filipino cuisine is distinguished by its moderate use of spices. Chinese, Malay, Spanish, Japanese and American influences have all left their mark in a subtle blending of cultures and flavours. Naturally, seafoods feature strongly, freshly harvested and often simply grilled, boiled, fried or steamed and served with kalamansi (the local lemon), bagoong (a fish paste) or vinegar with labuyo (the fiery native pepper). Restaurants specialising in seafood abound, offering crabs, lobsters, prawns, oysters, tuna, freshwater fish, bangus (the bony but prized milkfish) and the sweet maliputo, found in deep-water lakes. The lechon (roasted whole pig) is prepared for fiestas and family celebrations. Other delightful specialities include kare-kare (an oxtail stew in peanut sauce served with bagoong), sinigang (meat or fish in a pleasantly sour broth) and adobo (braised pork and chicken, in tangy soy sauce, vinegar and garlic). Among the regional dishes, the Ilocos region's pinakbet (vegetables sautéed with pork and bagoong), Central Luzon's relleno (boned and stuffed chicken or fish) and the Visayas' kinilaw (raw fish marinated in a spicy vinegar dressing) top the list. Rice is a staple of Filipino cuisine. Fruit is plentiful with mangoes, papayas, bananas, chicos, lanzones, guavas and rambutans. Philippine preserves like atsara (a chutney-like vegetable preserve) and the numerous native desserts like the pili nut brittle (a crunchy sweet made with the luscious pili nuts found only in the Bicol region) can be purchased in local markets. All the regional dishes are available in Manila's excellent restaurants, which, like the restaurants of all the main towns, offer a varied cuisine. For the less adventurous, there are also European-style restaurants and American fast food. Restaurants are generally informal, with table service. Drink: Alcoholic drinks include locally brewed beer, of which San Miguel is the best known, and the delicious Philippine rum. Waiter service is common in bars and there are no strict regulations regarding the sale of alcohol.

Nightlife: The choice of entertainment in Manila displays the Filipinos' affinity for music. 5-star hotels offer everything from high-tech discos to lavish cultural songs and dances, as well as superb pop singers and performers, trios, show bands and classical string ensembles. On most evenings there are cultural performances by local artists or foreign groups at the many other venues for the performing arts. Free concerts are offered by several parks every week, and occasionally by banks and other corporations. The Philippines also have some unusual musical groups like the Pangwat Kawayan bamboo orchestra, which uses bamboo musical instruments, and the Rondalla group which uses tiny guitars like the ukelele. Casinos are located in Manila, Ilocos Norte, Pampanga, Cebu, Zamboanga, Iloilo and Davao.

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