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Like the emerald jewels scattered in the warm seas of middle Philippines, the islands of the Visayas beckon with the allure of sun, sea and sand - ideal settings for island-hopping acations; its dive sites offer ample opportunities for underwater explorations. Take in the sun on the many fine beaches or swim in the crystal clear waters. Ride the waves on a hobie cat, jet ski or windsurf in the many resorts; or dive beneath the waves for a shimmering glimpse of the wonders of the Visayan sea.
Many of the best divespots in the country. The eastern coast of this coral island is a veritable haven of white sand, fringed with skyscraping coconut trees and top-rated beach clubs with complete facilities. Moalboal is the diving capital hereabouts; Sogod to the north is excellent for cliff diving; outlaying islands like Badian, Bantayan and Pescador are framed for breath taking coral formations.
Where Cebu juts out to meet the island of Negros, there is Sumilon Marine Sanctuary off Sumilon island. In the waters of Cebu Strait, between Cebu and the islands of Bohol, are Cabilao, Balicasag, Panglao and Pamilacan Islands, where submarine cliffs plunge down to depths thriving with fish and other aquatic life.
The charms of the Visayas lie not only in these modern-day pursuits, but also in the way the past blends with the present. In Cebu, Boom City of the South, go on a cultural tour of the many scenic attractions of the historic province, hunts for bargains in handicrafts, preserved foods and guitars, or delve into the roots of this oldest Spanish settlement in the country.
In Aklan, dad soot on your body and stomp your feet to the rhythm of the age-old Ati-atihan festival. Kalibo in Aklan is also the jump-off point to the island paradise of Boracay, dubbed : "The Best Beach in the World" for its four-kilometer stretch of powder-fine white sand. Travel back in time through the quaint towns of Iloilo, with its centuries-old churches, period houses, hand-embroidered and hand-loomed fabrics, and peaceful, windswept beaches. Traipse through the sugarcane fields of Negros Occidental, once the sugar capital of Asia, or tree off on a golfer's holiday in greens nestled among the cane plantations. Marvel at the Chocolate Hills of Bohol; then walk through man-made forests, home of the endangered tarsier, the world's oldest insect eating mammal.
Tours of local attractions take place on a regular basis but you can organize your own
tour with just your kids or with a few other families in your neighborhood. You may be
surprised by what companies and organizations will provide free tours of their facilities.
The fire hall is always intriguing to young children. If you call your local fire hall and
speak with the fire chief he will be happy to arrange a time for you to stop in with your
children. They will show the kids around, let them see inside the fire engine and if there is time the children can see a fireman in all of his gear. Not only is this fun, it is a safety
precaution for kids. Chances are they will be less scared of a firefighter in his full uniform with a mask if he or she sees one before an emergency. You will have to be
prepared for the tour to be cut short if an emergency is called in. Free Tours around your City
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