The Philippines is getting Muslim-friendly


A colourful parade in the Philippines. Source: Shutterstock

THE PHILIPPINES is the third most Catholic country in the world, so it may surprise you to know they’re promoting halal tourism.

Trailing closely behind Brazil and Mexico, the Philippines has a population of 103.3 million people, with 96 million of them identifying as Catholics.

The Southeast Asian archipelagic nation has magnificent churches on almost every island. Symbols of Catholic devotion can be seen on the streets, in supermarkets, and homes.

But don’t let this fool you into thinking religion rules the roost.

The Philippines is dedicated to attracting tourists from across the globe, including those from the Islamic faith.

As the third annual Philippine Halal Trade and Tourism Expo kicks off in Davao City, the Universal Islamic Center (UIC) has announced plans to promote six Filipino destinations as Muslim-friendly.

The focus will be on the halal industry in the central Philippines and Mindanao region.

Muslims will be able to enjoy trips to Davao City, Cebu City, Palawan, Metro Manila, Zamboanga City and Cotabato City without worrying about halal restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and prayer facilities.

The promotional program has been backed by the Department of Tourism and Trade and Industry and is expected to be fully revealed within the next few days at the Expo.

Halal tourism tips in the Philippines:

The Philippines is no stranger to halal tourism. While the new promotion across six cities is magnificent, plenty of halal options in the Philippines already exist.

You just need to know where to look.


The Philippines may not quite have the reputation Vietnam or Thailand do when it comes to cuisines, but its native dishes are not to be sniffed at.

And best of all, plenty of them suit halal requirements.

First up is Halo-Halo, meaning “mixed-together” in Tagalog, Philippines national language.

This sweet dessert consists of evaporated milk, sweet beans, palm sugar, fruits, coconut and shaved ice.

If you’re not a dessert person opt for Su-Tu-Kil – Su-grill, Tuwa-soup, and Kilaw-raw – which refers to the various way of cooking fresh seafood.

Su-Tu-Kil can be found all over the nation. Chose from lobsters, shrimps, crabs, scallops and a Filipino favorite – parrotfish.

If you think pineapple belongs on a pizza, this next delicacy is for you. A pizza topped with mango, cheese, cashew nuts and bell peppers can be found throughout the islands, and it’s worth a try.

These are by no means extensions of the halal offerings in the Philippines, but a good place to start.


There are a variety of other halal hotels around the Philippines, all catering to different budgets. Look at Tripfez to discover and book your Muslim-friendly trip to the Philippines.

A notable property in the country’s commercial hub is Marriott Manila Hotel.

It’s close to the airport and offers an onsite halal restaurant, nearby prayer room, nearby mosque, and no adult TV channels in the room.

Check back next week to find out what UIC are planning for the country’s halal tourism industry.