islands in the Philippines - updates

Rappler's latest stories on islands in the Philippines


First time: PH Navy ship docks at Pag-asa Island

May 20, 2020 - 1:00 PM

A new port and beaching ramp near completion on the country's largest outpost in the West Philippine Sea

FIRST TIME. The Philippine Navy ship BRP Ivatan (far right) docks at Pag-asa Island for the first time on May 13, 2020. Photo from Naval Forces West

Duterte to 'fill up' Negros Island with military troops

Aug 06, 2019 - 6:26 PM

'I will never declare martial law, except in Mindanao because it is really needed there, because of rebellion,' says President Rodrigo Duterte, as he ruled out a martial law declaration in Negros Island

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over the 40th Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañan Palace on August 5, 2019. ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Boracay draws 619,000 tourists in 1st quarter of 2019

Apr 18, 2019 - 1:41 PM

The figure is slightly higher than the number of visitors during the 1st quarter of 2018. A little over half of tourists are foreigners, mostly from China and South Korea.

FAMED BEACH. Tourists trek White Beach in Boracay Island. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

400 cops to conduct patrols when Boracay reopens

Oct 25, 2018 - 3:50 PM

Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde says the additional deployment would be part of security forces' reorganization in the island

COPS. Police walks along the shores of Boracay during the capability demonstration exercise on October 25, 2018. Photo by Adrian Portugal/Rappler

WATCH: Cops, soldiers simulate hostage-taking, bomb threat in Boracay

Oct 25, 2018 - 2:50 PM

Authorities rehearse responses to possible threats ahead of the island's reopening to tourists

Boracay Simulation Oct 25 2018. Photo by Adrian Portugal/Rappler

Condé Nast Traveler names Siargao as best island in Asia

Oct 12, 2018 - 1:48 PM

The surf paradise emerges on top in the publication's 2018 Readers' Choice Awards, followed by Boracay and Palawan

ISLAND PARADISE. The beautiful Daku Island is among Siargao's many attractions. Photo by Naveen Ganglani/Rappler

Malay council wants extended operation of Boracay police task force

Oct 03, 2018 - 2:39 PM

Malay police and town council members agree that the Metro Boracay Police Task Force should continue to operate after the island is reopened to tourists

PATROL. The almost empty Boracay White Beach is dotted with police who patrol the area. File photo by Adrian Portugal/Rappler

PNP invites tourists: Come to Boracay, you are safe here

Sep 04, 2018 - 12:50 PM

After 6 months of rehabilitation, the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) has scheduled a soft opening on October 16 to October 25 for local tourists

PATROL. The almost empty Boracay White Beach is dotted with police who patrols the area. Photo by Adrian Portugal/Rappler

Palawan, Cebu on 2018 World’s Best Islands list

Jul 12, 2018 - 10:59 AM

The two islands are no strangers to Travel + Leisure’s annual ranking

PALAWAN. Limestone rocks and bright blue waters make up the trademark view from Kayangan Lake, a top tourist site in Coron, Palawan. Photo by Amanda Lago/Rappler

China deploys new weapons systems to Paracel Islands

May 26, 2018 - 2:00 PM

Nearby, the Philippines begins 'long-delayed repairs' to its runway on the Spratly Islands in the West Philippine Sea, says the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative

NEW WEAPONS. China deploys new weapons systems to Woody Island, their base on the Paracel Islands. Photo from CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe  NEW WEAPONS. China deploys new weapons systems to Woody Island, their base on the Paracel Islands. Photo from CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

More than 1,600 Chinese structures in South China Sea

May 25, 2018 - 9:51 PM

From basketball courts to buildings with radar equipment, nearly 800 of these Chinese structures can be found in the West Philippine Sea

SUBI REEF. This photo shows the artificial island on Subi Reef in the West Philippine Sea as of December 7, 2017. Photo courtesy of CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

Beijing denies 'militarization' of South China Sea

May 21, 2018 - 10:05 PM

'The South China Sea islands are Chinese territories,' says China foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang, adding this is 'part of the normal training for the Chinese military'

CHINA BOMBERS. This handout photograph taken and released on May 11, 2018 by Taiwan's Defense Ministry shows a Republic of China (Taiwan) Air Force F-16 fighter aircraft (left) flying alongside a Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) H-6K bomber that reportedly flew over the Bashi Channel, south of Taiwan, and over the Miyako Strait, near Japan's Okinawa Island, in a drill.  AFP/Taiwan   Defense Ministry/ Handout

LTO Western Visayas wants 1,800 ‘unregistered’ vehicles out of Boracay

May 01, 2018 - 4:09 PM

‘This is not confiscation of vehicles. This is clearing Boracay of unregistered vehicles and submitting them for registration,’ says Land Transportation Office Region VI Director Rolando Ramos

PHASEOUT. The Land Transportation Office in Western Visayas says registered tricycles on the island will be phased out by August 2018. Photo Boy Ryan Zabal/Rappler

DENR gives 75 business owners in Coron a month to remove illegal structures

Apr 19, 2018 - 7:22 PM

DENR Mimaropa Regional Director Natividad Bernardino warns establishment owners not to deal with impostors posing as environment officials and are out to extort from them

PH, China silent on artificial islands after meeting

Feb 13, 2018 - 7:05 PM

The Philippines and China say they 'had a frank, cordial exchange of views' on the West Philippine Sea, but stay silent on China's island building

MISCHIEF REEF. €The construction of hangars on Mischief Reef is said to be part of China's ˜militarization of the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). Photo courtesy of CSIS/AMTI and DigitalGlobe

Indonesia offers repatriation for ‘newfound’ citizens in the Philippines

Nov 20, 2017 - 8:09 PM

Indonesian Sangirs in Mindanao are now given a choice to adopt Indonesian citizenship and relocate to Sulawesi

CITIZENSHIP. Hundreds of persons of Indonesian descent on Balut Island in the Philippines await for the release of their birth certificates on November 16, 2017. Photo by Mick Basa/Rappler

China hits PH over Lorenzana trip to Pag-asa

Apr 22, 2017 - 6:28 PM

UPDATED China says it is gravely concerned about and dissatisfied with this move by the Philippine government

PAG-ASA TRIP. Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana leads a trip to the disputed Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). Screen grab from Rappler video

PH Navy awaits leased surveillance planes from Japan

Feb 26, 2017 - 9:54 AM

The first batch of 2 TC 90 maritime patrol aircraft is arriving on March 27

A file photo of a TC-90 plane of the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force. Image courtesy JMSDF

China eyeing air defense zone over South China Sea – report

Jun 01, 2016 - 11:35 AM

The trigger for an announcement would be if the United States continues making provocative moves that would challenge China in the region the South China Morning Post reports

RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES. An aerial photo taken though a glass window of a military plane shows the ongoing reclamation by China on Mischief Reef, part of the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, west of Palawan, Philippines, on May 11, 2015. Photo by Ritchie Tongo/EPA/Pool

Navy rescues 102 tourists stranded in Masbate

Feb 10, 2016 - 7:38 PM

The local tourists mostly from Metro Manila are on a 3 day island hopping activity and get stranded on Sombrero Island

RESCUED. More than 100 tourists are stranded in Sombrero Island, Burias, Masbate, on February 9, 2016, after they refuse to heed gale warning. Navy officers rescue them. Photo by Rhaydz Barcia/Rappler

Taiwan leader defends disputed island visit after US criticism

Jan 28, 2016 - 7:11 PM

UPDATED His trip comes as several other claimants have been beefing up their military presence in the disputed region

MA YING-JEOU. Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou addresses attendees about South China islands during the Scientific International Seminar on South China inside Howard Civil Service International House in Taipei, Taiwan, January 19, 2016. Photo by Ritchie B. Tongo/EPA

Defying China, Filipino youth camp out on disputed island

Dec 27, 2015 - 5:01 PM

On Facebook the group urges President Benigno Aquino III to inform the people correctly without sugar coating the truth about Chinese invasion of our Exclusive Economic Zone

DEFYING CHINA. Some 50 youth camp out in Pag-asa Island in an 'act of defiance' against China. Photo from the Kalayaan ATIN ITO Facebook page

PH warned China meltdown more worrisome than Greek crisis

Jul 09, 2015 - 5:21 PM

Should China s market fall accelerate other countries outside Asia will be hit economists warn

TAILSPIN. Worries over China's unstoppable sell-off sends the Philippines' financial markets into a tailspin. Image from Shutterstock

PH not reclaiming in South China Sea: ‘Let photos speak’

Apr 30, 2015 - 7:37 PM

The Philippine military dismisses Beijing’s attempt to weaken Manila s arbitration case

PROVOCATIVE? The Philippines is set to repair the damaged Rancudo Air Field in Pag-Asa island in the Spratlys

Appeal for Mary Jane, Lacson eyes presidency, Oscar dela Hoya | The wRap

Apr 24, 2015 - 8:14 PM

The Philippines files a ‘stronger’ appeal for Mary Jane Former Senator Ping Lacson considers running for president Oscar dela Hoya blasts referee in superfight

Chinese frigate shoos away PH plane on West PH Sea patrol

Apr 23, 2015 - 7:38 PM

A well placed Rappler source in the military says the Chinese frigate was calling out the Philippine plane for getting a little too close to its location

File photo of a Fokker plane of the Philippine Air Force

Philippines to ASEAN: 'Speak in one voice' vs reclamation

Apr 21, 2015 - 2:50 PM

At the upcoming ASEAN Summit Philippines will stress the progress of China s reclamation activities since Manila raised the alarm in 2014

'ONE VOICE' SOUGHT. Leaders of ASEAN member countries join hands during the 24th ASEAN Summit Plenary in Myanmar on May 11, 2014. File photo by Ryan Lim/Malacañang Photo Bureau

Survey Spratlys before it's too late, Philippines urged

Sep 22, 2014 - 8:41 PM

China s artificial islands in the South China Sea can make it impossible to settle the Philippines historic case against the Asian giant a US based analyst says

'JEOPARDIZING CASE.' The Philippines fears China is turning Mabini Reef into an island. This image dated Feb 25, 2014 shows ongoing reclamation activities. Photo courtesy of DFA

Travel to see Balut Volcano and the hot springs of Sarangani

Jul 19, 2014 - 4:07 PM

It s not easy to get there but those who make the journey to the town of Sarangani are rewarded with beautiful views of this unspoiled travel destination

Rediscovering, revisiting Palumbanes Island

Jul 06, 2014 - 9:00 AM

Seeing the stars come out watching children at play beach hopping giving back These are just some of the writer s favorite things to do in this small beautiful island

Looting of historical shipwreck in Subic probed

Mar 29, 2014 - 9:37 PM

Police have filed charges against 5 men caught carrying salvage of vessels from the site of perhaps the largest number of sunken ships since World War II

Head to 'Borawan' and these 5 unspoiled PH beaches

Mar 29, 2014 - 5:03 PM

Don t have time to book a flight? Consider camping at one of these beautiful beaches that are only a few hours away from Manila

Beautiful Batanes: 10 things to do

Jun 06, 2013 - 3:42 PM

Here are 10 ways to enjoy the beauty of Batanes

ENDLESS HILLS. To escape to Batanes is to escape to a green wonderland. All photos by Pia Ranada

Dinagat: Ecleo mother defeats daughter

May 14, 2013 - 9:24 PM

Dinagat Islands Vice Gov Jade Ecleo’s fight with her mother Gov Glenda Ecleo was one of the most defiant but painful political battles in the midterm polls

Released: 8 overstaying Pinoys in Turks and Caicos

Apr 24, 2013 - 10:51 AM

Filipinos in Caribbean Islands contributed funds for their return tickets

Japan seeks defense ties with ASEAN amid China rows

Mar 13, 2013 - 1:15 PM

On top of the growing maturity of our economic cooperation Japan and ASEAN need to further strengthen ties in the field of security and defense

Navy ship to fetch Pinoys in Turtle Islands

Mar 10, 2013 - 8:53 PM

BRP Sultan Kudarat will fetch 480 Filipinos and distribute supplies

PHOTOS: Batobalani Festival

Jan 27, 2013 - 12:51 PM

In the town of Bato Leyte a less commercialized festival for the Child Jesus is also celebrated

DANCING FOR THE CHILD JESUS. The Batobalani Festival is less commercialized but no less colorful than other festivals for the Pit Senyor. All photos by Izah Morales

Turn South China Sea into a marine reserve?

Apr 28, 2012 - 6:32 PM

Netizens debate on a top environmental lawyer s proposal to turn the South China Sea into a marine reserve amid the ongoing Scarborough Shoal standoff

THORNY SEAHORSE. This kind of seahorse is one of the creatures found in the South China Sea. Photo courtesy of Blogie Robillo,

PH to raise China dispute with US

Apr 23, 2012 - 5:36 PM

What we are saying is that maybe they US should be apprised of what is happening in the Scarborough issue says Foreign Affairs spokesperson Raul Hernandez

PH: We are prepared to defend Scarborough

Apr 11, 2012 - 2:47 PM

Manila has lodged a diplomatic protest over the standoff insisting that the Scarborough Panatag Shoal is an integral part of the Philippines

Corona has P12-M in BPI, says manager

Feb 09, 2012 - 5:50 PM

This is on top of his P20 M deposits in PSBank as of December 2010