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Blog - The Philippines: One of the most Gay Friendly Tourist Destinations in Asia

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survey by US-based Pew Research Center published in 2013 revealed that 73% of Filipinos declared that “society should accept homosexuality”. The Philippines once again emerged as one of the gay-friendly nations in the world, and the most gay-friendly in Asia. The said survey covered also other Asian countries (from most to least gay-friendly): Japan, South Korea, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Pakistan. The Philippines may seem to be a interesting entry, being a predominantly Catholic nation with 92.5% claiming to be Christian, the people seem to be receptive towards gay people.


Boracay, White Beach (Photo: Tropical Experience).

The gays and transgenders are an accepted part of the society even in the countryside and rural areas. Also consider that when in small provincial towns, you are in a different social context where members of the community and visitors alike are expected to be more conventional and discreet in their actions.  In other circumstances, however, holding hands with your partner may be more received in urban areas and bigger cities.  Gays and transgenders (also called as “ladyboys” in the Far East)  can be openly seen when one goes around the Philippines – on the streets, malls, on TV, bars and clubs and even in churches.


Bohol, Philippines (Photo: Tropical Experience).

A few years ago, the Philippines was mentioned by CNN as one of the most gay-friendly tourist destinations in Asia, along with Nepal, Thailand and Shanghai in China. Although a big part of Asia may still be considered conservative and timid when it comes to tolerating and accepting different lifestyles, the aforementioned 4 countries seemed to be leading the pack into embracing being happy and gay.

In the above-mentioned article, CNN indeed listed the Philippines as “a country with gourgeous gay-friendly beaches and welcoming gay bars” – being one of Asia’s top travel spots for gays. Saying this, it seems that the queens and the queers will not have a hard time having fun in the Philippines.


Chocolate Hills, Bohol, Philippines

Filipinos are known to be friendly and famous for being hospitable to all tourists. And the Philippines is always loved by our foreign visitors from all over the globe. Said these,the gay tourists are surely welcome and would definitely love the Philippines!

The top destinations mentioned as the places-to-be’s are Manila, Baguio, Puerto Galera, Cebu, Boracay and Cagayan De Oro…while Davao, Bohol and Iloilo are also worth to mention.


Samal Island, near Davao (Philippines). Photo by Tropical Experience.

Manila, the nation’s capital, is known to be the gay capital of Asia. In these places, you will also find the most active LGBT organizations with gay-friendly restaurants, cafes , hotel accommodations and even wellness centers. The most gay-friendly and LGBT-friendly establishments are  often owned by LGBTs themselves. Aside from LGBT-friendly clubs, sex shops, hangouts and other social places, one shouldn’t miss the annual events that celebrate LGBT pride! Every December is the Pride Parade with thousands of participants colourfully celebrating the pride and achievements of the LGBT community. And, oh.. even the first ever pride parade in Asia was held in Manila in June 1994! Other big events are the “White Party” held every June or July in Malate, Manila which is a dance and cocktail party to celebrate pride as well as an occasion to call on equality. Then, the “Black Party” happens on Holloween also in Malate with extravagant costumes, drag shows, fashion shows and fun games.


New Year’s Eve in Manila (Photo by Tropical Experience).

Anyway, the Philippines has got a lot to offer to our tourists to keep your itinerary full, from our countless white sand beaches, lush and bountiful flora and fauna, tasty cuisine and our happy lovely people, etc. In any case, you will be able to experience the best of the Philippines with their many different destinations. We also recently came across an interesting post of the two travelling bloggers Nomadic Boys entitled “Why is the Philippines so gay friendly?”, talking about the Philippines and  interviewing some people of the LGBT community.


Bohol, Philippines (Photo by Tropical Experience).

Whether you’re here for shopping, food, sightseeing, partying, outdoor activities or whatever you fancy, one will never run out of things to do and discover. For sure, we’ve got a lot of adventure, culture and nature to offer! So whether you’re gay or not, traveling alone or with your partner, family or group of friends, the Philippines is definitely a travel destination for YOU!

(written on August 2015)

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