Probinsya and the City: The Sights of the Urban and Rural Philippines

We’ve featured tons of photos of beaches, mountains and the endless outdoors which abound in this tropical paradise. Of course, the Philippines offers more than the beautiful wonders of nature. We will slowly explore these beautiful sights, starting with selected photos of the probinsya (province, or rural setting) and the city, through the eyes of the #VisitPinas community in Instagram (do follow and invite your friends to create a more vibrant community.

River Amidst Skyscrapers

As Dex (check his Instagram account, @dexterdexplorer for more photos) noted, the Philippines isn’t only beautiful beaches and coconuts. Look behind the buildings, along the tiny streets, and you’ll catch a different perspective on the lives of the people in the Philippines. Here’s his view of Metro Manila, with the Pasig River running in the middle of the shot. [Click photos to enlarge.]

Baybayin at Museo

We learned something important while writing this post: social media is not simply a tool for trolls. Social media can be productive, helpful. For instance, we learned, by looking at this photo inside the National Museum from Erika Rabasto Villar (check her Instagram account, @eikaakire for more photos), that the name of the old alphabet in the Philippines, dating way back before the very first colonizers arrived in the 1500s, is not alibata. We always thought it’s called alibata, which refers to the first two letters of the Arabic alphabet, alif (a) and bata (b). It’s called baybayin (which can also mean “seashore” in Filipino). Now we know.

There’s a lot of museums in the Philippines. We will soon feature some of these museums.

Riding in Tandem

The phrase “riding in tandem” has picked up a bad rap lately. That’s unfair, really, because it simply refers to a motorcycle with the driver and a passenger (there could be more passengers and it’s still loosely called “riding in tandem”). This mode of public transportation (also called habal-habal in many areas) becomes more common as you go farther from the metropolis and deeper into the rural areas. It reflects the laid-back attitude in the probinsya. This is what we see in this photo of a “riding in tandem” in the southern island of Siargao — the surfing capital of the Philippines, as shown in this photo by (check his Instagram account, for more photos).

Got a Suggested Shot?

Submit your favorite urban/rural photo by tagging us in Instagram. Photo reproduced with permission (thanks). [Tag your Philippine travel photos with #visitpinas so we can track it down. Photos will be featured in this blog’s photo of the day and in instagram/VisitPinas, facebook/VisitPinas, twitter/VisitPinas.]

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