For travelers of old, the Philippines were the islands that guarded the gate to the Pacific. Beyond them were mermaids, sea gods, and an unfathomably large expanse of water all the way to the Americas. They were thought by many to be Ophir, the biblical El Dorado; every three years, King Solomon received gold, silver, sandalwood, and pearls from Ophir.
Much has happened since those days, but the islands’ mythical allure has not disappeared. Golden shorelines fringing forested mountains, subterraneous rivers and coves, lagoons, lakes, and seas in all shades of blue have replaced mermaids and blustering sea gods.
The waters here are so rich, that they could feed all of Asia. The Philippines share with Indonesia the most fertile part of Coral Triangle: the heart at the heart of the world’s marine riches.
The islands are also rich in gold, copper, and coconut oil, and a major exporter for electronic products and medical equipment.