I'm born in the Philippines and spent my childhood there but never travelled there as a traveller until recently.
I went to Palawan to see the Seven Wonders of Nature the Puerto Princesa Underground River and was blown away how awesome it was. I wrote a blog post about it here with 25+ pictures, check it out: http://kendrickuy.com/2017/02/26/puerto-princesa-underground-river/
I also did the Puerto Princesa city tour which I thought was awesome, I got a chance to learn more about the Palawan natives and also held a millipede and gecko on my hands as well as a big snake around my neck. The Palawan natives also showed us their hunting gears in the form of blow dart and also their traditional music played using a two string guitar.
I've also done the Honda Bay island hopping tour in Palawan but I thought it wasn't that good to be honest so you can skip that one.
Finally, I went up Sagada to go caving and saw the Banaue Rice Terraces and Hanging Coffins. That was also an amazing experience.
I can't wait to return to Philippines as a traveller again and go back to Palawan to see Coron, El Nido, crocodile farm and fire flies. Oh and I'll definitely also check out the chocolate hills.
The flight to Philippines is only expensive if you don't know what you are doing. If people are backpacking through Southeast Asia, then they can work their way overland to Kuala Lumpur then take a super cheap flight (like $20-50 USD) to Kota Kinabalu which is RIGHT BESIDE the Philippines. From there, you can fly to Manila for as little as $50 USD. It's cheap if you just take the time to look at how to get there.