Visit PH 2016!
That was the current slogan for our Department of Tourism’s thrust to gather tourists, whether local or foreign, to visit the Philippine Travel Destinations this 2015. It was no wonder why travelers are attracted to our country. After all, you have 7,107 islands to explore, discover and enjoy. The warm, friendly locals, the best spots for adventure and adrenaline rich activities, sumptuous food, 101 ways to celebrate our festivals, rich culture and history…all these jampacked into your itinerary.
From Reef to Ridges
Indeed, our archipelagic nature and vast land forms and various water forms paved the way for the influx of tourists and balikbayans to our shores. It is also re awakened the sense of pride for our countrymen to revisit old trails, revamp places of interests, and of course, revive and preserve our culture and customs. True enough, it will always be more fun to join festivals on each province/town and sample their unique cuisine. I remember during the ubook launching of Claude Tayag’s Linamnam: Eating One’s Way Around the Philippines, it really provided its readers a glimpse on how to eat and live one day at a time while exploring the Philippines. Our regions not only have mountains and hills on it, it also have waterfalls and an amazing underwater scene that draws you to dive and spend the rest of your afternoons or nights with sea life.
Our country had been blessed with natural wonders, and most of these pose a question to the traveler, Are You Ready For This? Take a good look on Mt. Hamiguitan, a UNESCO world heritage site. Not all travelers have this on their minds when visiting Davao since Mt. Apo is the first priority. Be it a mountaineer or someone who really wanted to experience how it is to climb up its summit, whatever your reasons are, sometimes, the alternatives provide a difference spectrum and may change your view in life. Varied exquisite flora and fauna can be found in Mt. Hamiguitan instead. On the other hand, snorkeling the waters off Sumilon or perhaps joining the Sardine Run in Moalboal or marveling at the thresher sharks in Malapascua will definitely give you a sense of happiness.
So for this year, here are my top 10 Philippine Travel Destinations [in no particular order]. Some of these places are less traveled and I hope I can provide an avenue for them to be discovered and explored.
Top 10 Philippine Travel Destinations for 2015
1.) Enchanted River, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur
The Hinatuan Enchanted River is a lagoon-river on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. It flows into the Philippine Sea and the Pacific Ocean at Barangay Talisay, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur. It is found between the boundaries of Barangays of Talisay and Cambatong.
2.) Salagdoong and Kasuguan Beaches, Siquijor
Salagdoong is a white sand beach. It also has limestone outcrops scattered from end to end with a huge rock formation in the middle dividing the beach into two sections. The most striking thing about Salagdoong though is its crystal-clear waters painted by nature in varying shades of aquamarine, turquoise and blue. Located further down south from Maria town proper and just before the town of Lazi, secluded Kagusuan has often been described as a deserted beach.Kagusuan is perfect for moments of solitude. The crystal-clear waters also make it ideal for swimming and snorkelling.
3.) Danjugan Island, Cauayan, Negros Occidental
Its thick limestone forests hosted many different kinds of birds and bats. Its underwater was so clear with schools of fish and magnificent, intact coral reefs. Resting 3 kilometers Southwest off the coast of Negros Occidental, Danjugan is a lush, 43-hectare island rich in marine and terrestrial biodiversity. This island, about 1.5 kilometers long and 0.5 kilometers at its widest point, has 5 lagoons and is covered with limestone forests providing asylum to many wildlife species that struggle to exist in the mainland.
4.) Kalanggaman Island, Leyte
The postcard-perfect virgin island with its powder white sand, clear waters, and cool breeze is certainly a virtual place very close to heaven. What makes this island unique from others is its long sandbars that are stretching on both sides of the island. The one hour boat ride to the island may be a bit challenging bur it is all worth it when you finally set foot on this paradise. If you want to forget your troubles for a day or if you want to have a quick getaway with your loved ones, Kalanggaman is definitely the place to go.
5.) Lanuza, Surigao del Norte
Lanuza, a 4th class municipality of Surigao del Sur, is a small yet endearing coastal town of the province. The shoreline in Lanuza draws local and foreign surfing enthusiasts and professionals. Surfing is an ordinary activity in the municipality, which hosts Surfing Festival every November.
6.) Dahican, Mati
The wide stretch of shoreline makes it a perfect place for skimboarding, making it a haven for local and foreign skimmers. It has also produced the Skimboarding World Champion, Bayogyog. You can walk, make sand castles, and comb the beach all you like, what with the 7 kilometers of soft white sand. No barriers or fences that separate one beach from another. No structures that jut out into the sea.
Located at the southern tip of Luzon island, about 550 kms. from Manila, Albay is located approximately 13.5 degrees north latitude and 124.25 degrees east longitude. Home to the famous Mt. Mayon, the near perfect cone shaped volcano in the country.
Known as the Queen City of the South, Cebu City is the first Spanish settlement in the country and the oldest city in the country. Cebu is one of the most developed provinces in the Philippines, with Cebu City as the main center of commerce, trade, education and industry in the Visayas. Condé Nast Traveler Magazine named Cebu the 7th best island destination in the Indian Ocean-Asia region in 2007, 8th best Asian-Pacific island destination in 2005, 7th in 2004 and in 2009, with popular tourist destinations such as Mactan Island and Moalboal. In a decade it has transformed into a global hub for furniture making, tourism, business processing services, and heavy industry.
9.) Caramoan Islands, Camarines Sur
Caramoan Island is located in the lower eastern part of Camarines Sur in the Bicol region of the Philippine archipelago. It’s a first-class municipality, a rugged place of land extending into the waters of the Maqueda Channel on the north and east and Lagonoy Gulf on the south. It has a 4,000- hectare limestone forest well endowed with a rich diversity of flora and fauna. It boasts of having perfect white sand beaches, tranquil lakes, deep caves, coves and rich marine life.
From emerald pastureland to windswept massif, stunning cliffs rising above exposed beaches and astonishing roads carved out of mountainside — wherever you go you will find exquisite scenery in Batanes. To date, Batan Island still has a few remnants of the Spanish rule, seen its its old fashioned edifices, centuries old Spanish churches and an old Spanish bridge. Rent a bike and wing through sweeping panoramas of rugged terrains, gorgeous valleys and coastline repeatedly under attack by waves. Say hello to Racuh Apayaman, touted as the Marlboro Country, a communal pastureland. Marvel at the undulating valley, hills and green meadows where water buffalo, horses and cattle roam freely. The ancient coastal village of Diura is also worth checking especially during the fishing season when they perform the Kapayvanuvanua ritual. If you are up for more adventure, you can hike up the dormant Mt.Iraya in Basco, just coordinate with your hotel for a local guide.Cross to the well-preserved Sabtang Island where you will find well-preserved Ivatan Culture.
There are other areas that also would fit to be on top of your bucket list for Philippines. These would include the following:
- Samal Island, Davao
- El Nido
- Amanpulo, Palawan
- Siargao Island
- Puerto Galera, Mindoro
Having listed all these, what I would expect next is that you would pack your bags, bring your essentials, book your tickets to wherever you planned and then bask in satisfaction for your journey!
Would you know a friend or two who would want to explore, enjoy and discover the Philippines? Let me know! I will be more than happy to give you the itinerary and the do’s and dont’s. Happy travels! 🙂