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Santiago Travel Guide, Philippines

Santiago Travel Guide– An Introduction

Santiago City, Philippines, enjoys the special distinction of being a first class city along with cities like Angeles, Dipolog and Puerto Princesa. Located just 328 kilometers northeast of Metro Manila, Santiago gained recognition as a tourism destination quite late. Nevertheless, once the city was opened for tourism, it gained instant popularity – the city’s picturesque beauty, its advantageous location and its booming economy made it an instant hit with tourists worldwide. If the ‘Pattaradday Festival’ is the strongest attraction, the strongest point of Santiago travel is the city’s ‘safest-city’ tag. This Santiago travel guide offers a quick glance at the city.

Santiago Travel Guide – Statistics

Area: 336.40 sq. km.

Population: 126, 244

Currency: Philippine Peso (PHP)

Language(s): Filipino, Ibanag, Ilocano and English

Santiago Travel Guide – Architecture

Santiago is a well-planned city with separate areas ear-marked for agricultural use, housing complexes, commercial enterprises, etc. Except for the lone Macdonalds building, the city of Santiago is not necessarily a city of skyscrapers; instead, it has preserved much of its scenic beauty in the form of lush rice fields/farms, the hilly backdrop of the three mountain ranges, land-traversing water-bodies and artificially created water-shed areas, etc.

Of course, Philippines’ Region 2’s most vibrant city does have some imposing, attention-grabbing structures like the Balay na Santiago and Chapel of Transfiguration, etc. (If the former structure gives you glimpses of the Spanish influence in architecture, the latter is a good example of modern architecture).

Santiago Travel Guide – Economy and Infrastructure

Spread over a very fertile flat terrain in the Cagayan Valley, agriculture has always been the base of Santiago’s economy and it continues to be so even today. Santiago’s chief agricultural produce is rice but other food grains (in fact, the Isabela province, of which Santiago is a part, is famously called the granary of Luzon Island) and vegetables as well as fruits are also produced in the city farms. Besides agriculture, people practice other trades like fishing, livestock-raising, etc. Santiago is also a commercial and industrial center. A number of Banks have their facilities here.

The city of Santiago has a sound infrastructure. The city is connected to other areas via road networks and bridges. Various transportation companies have bus services linking Santiago city to the capital territory and other important centers in the Luzon Island. Accommodation facilities and other support services are adequate.

Santiago Travel Guide – People and Culture

Santiago city has a multi-ethnic society, where people speak different languages and follow diverse cultures. In spite of their differences, however, the Santiaguenos are very much united in their spirit and this unity is reflected in the ‘Pattaraday Festival’, which is organized annually between May 1 and May 5 to celebrate the foundation anniversary of Santiago city. Since its launching in the year 2002, the festival has been the chief cause of the city’s prominence as a tourist haven (and hence of its economic, social and cultural development). In fact, the Pattaradday Festival has now become one of Philippines' chief tourism activities.

Santiaguenos mostly understand and speak English much to the relief of foreign tourists. And if this not enough to tempt you to go ahead with your Santiago travel plans, the piece of news that it is the most child-friendly, safest city in the Philippines will undoubtedly encourage you.

So do give Santiago a thought next time you are planning your vacation. Hopefully, this Santiago travel guide has helped you know the city better.

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Santiago City Ratings

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Santiago is one of the top 50 cities in the world to visit. This rank is based on our travelers' reviews. Please also take the time to rank Santiago or write a Santiago destination review or travel tip to share your opinion.Santiago is one of the "must visit" tourist destinations in the world. This rank is based on what other travelers shared about their experiences in Santiago.
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