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The budget-friendly Philippines attract visitors from throughout Asia and across the globe with its beautiful beaches and friendly, laid-back culture. Though some beaches, such as Boracay, have become veritable frat parties, the country is made up of 7,000 islands, so finding your own slice of paradise isn't difficult. The Philippines was ruled by the Spanish for 35 decades and is staunchly Catholic, which sets it apart from the rest of Southeast Asia, where Buddhism reigns supreme. Shiny malls and fast food chains are plentiful in the mega-cities, as are enormous colourful fiestas and colonial architecture.