As the summer season kicks in, everyone’s busy preparing their summer outfit as they head over to the beaches, resorts, and anything that has water in it.
With 7,107 pieces of paradise, there’s more to the Philippines than the crowded stations of Boracay, or to the busy sands of Puerto Galera.
Instead of trying to fit in with the crowd in frequently visited destinations, why not make the most out of your vacation in majestic and unspoiled places of this archipelago?
From Luzon to Mindanao, there are plenty of yet to be commercialized spots that will leave you in awe.
Here are some of them:
One says that on a clear sunny day, you would see the island of Taiwan in Itbayat Island in Batanes. True enough, it’s not just the sight of Taiwan that mesmerizes visitors; it is the charm of Batanes itself.
From greenland pastures to old stone houses and preserved Ivatan culture, Batanes is truly a must visit.
The rolling hills and the idyllic backdrop will easily induce nostalgia to anyone visiting this piece of paradise.
How to get there: PAL Express services daily flights from Manila to capital Basco. From Basco, there are daily boat rides that ferry
visitors to Itbayat and Sabtang Islands.
Perhaps the only thing Filipinos know about this tiny island in Central Visayas is the longstanding talks of witchcraft and sorcery.
Unknown to many, the province has actually splendid beaches that could actually battle Boracay’s fame.
There is the Siquijor Beach, which offers a view of the calm sea, so as to give anyone the perfect timing to bathe in seawater.
Aside from picture-perfect sunset view, Siquijor offers picturesque snapshots, from churches, to locals, and of course, its beaches.
How to get there: Take a flight from Manila to Dumaguete City. From the port near Silliman University, take a boat to Siquijor. Travel
time is approximately an hour.
3.Palaui Island, Cagayan
When Survivor (the American edition), finished its three-year stint in taping at Caramoan Island in Camarines Sur, many thought it would not visit the Philippines again.
Good thing they returned, but this time, they are up north. For two seasons, Survivor brought in castaways to the virgin beaches of Palaui Island in Cagayan.
Often dubbed the Boracay of Cagayan, this island tucked in the northeastern most side of mainland Philippines gives tourists their
Talk about rich flora and fauna, talcum-like sand, and an unspoiled scenery. Also in the island is the hike to the Cape Engano,
Spanish-old lighthouse that gives off a more quaint feel in the island.
How to get there: From Manila, there are daily flights to capital Tuguegarao City. From there, a van ride of up to four hours.
From San Vicente Port in Santa Ana town, hire a boat going to the island If on a budget and prefers long trips, take a bus ride to Cagayan, and prepare yourself for a 16-hour trip.
4. Cagbalete Island, Quezon
If you’re planning a trip that doesn’t take long hours on the road, then Cagbalete is the perfect gateway for you.
It is situated some kilometers off the coast of Mauban town, in Quezon province, or just a four-hour ride from Manila.
Stroll around the island’s unspoiled forests and mingle with the locals, or simply check in at affordable resorts.
White sand and fresh seafood at the island’s wet market will await you.
How to get there: Take a Jac Liner bus from Cubao, Quezon City or Buendia in Pasay and hop off the bus in Mauban, Quezon.
Then take a boat ride worth P50 to the island.
5. Kalinga province
For those who are allergic to the beach and instead want to immerse themselves in rich Philippine culture, head over to Kalinga.
Sandwiched between the mountains of Cordillera and lowlands of Cagayan Valley, Kalinga offers a different cultural encounter.
Go have a traditional tattoo from the elders in Buscalan, bike the trails of Tinglayan, shop golden gongs and woven “bahag” in capital
Tabuk, and do not forget to have a water rafting in Chico River.
How to get there: Bus ride from Manila to Tuguegarao City. From there, jeepneys and vans going to capital Tabuk City are abound.
6. Northern Cebu
Forget Magellan’s Cross and take a jeepney to the northern frontier of Cebu, and the islands of Bantayan and Malapascua are awaiting to be discovered.
The natural wonders of these islands range from white beaches to whale sharks and colorful coral reefs under the sea.
Numerous sandbars are extra charms in these diving and snorkeling paradise.
How to get there: Plane ride from Manila to Cebu City. From the city, there are vans going to the town of Bantayan, then a boat ride
When one mentions Mindanao, it would be the places of Siargao or Davao that come to mind. But beyond these top tourist destinations is an equally magnificent province down south called Tawi-Tawi.
For these islands, isolation means untouched beauty. Scattered on the waters of Sulu and Celebes high seas, the islands are actually closer to neighboring Malaysia than the Philippine city of Zamboanga.
What the islands could give you are unexploited dive sites, rich Islamic culture, and trekking sites.
Locals would also give you a taste of Tawi-tawi by satisfying your tummy with cuisine endemic to the islanders.
How to get there: Plane ride from Manila to Zamboanga City, then a boat ride to Tawi-Tawi. Due to some security concerns, it is advisable to coordinate with local tourism officers before going on a trip in the islands.
Haven’t heard of this province yet? It is some nautical miles from the mainland of Leyte.
Though still reeling from the aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), Biliran’s natural wonders are still must-see and
Take some time to replenish by bathing in majestic waterfalls, enjoy the moment by soaking in hot springs, and of course, enjoying white
Start the trip in capital Naval and take the habal-habal (motorcycle) to neighboring towns. Don’t forget to get a taste of special danggit and other dried sea foods.
How to get there: From Tacloban, there are ferry rides going to this province.
Perhaps the most underrated island in Northern Mindanao is this tiny piece of paradise called Camiguin.
Relatively unspoiled and just the perfect size for exploration, Camiguin can easily draw its chart on the tourism map, thanks to the
Sunken Cemetery in Bonbon town, and to the numerous cinder-coned volcanoes in the area.
An uninhabited sandbar called White Island will have your cameras in continous clicking mode, while the Binangawan Falls, the shortest of falls in the province, will refresh your exhausted body and mind.
How to get there: Plane ride from Manila to Cagayan de Oro, and a boat ride after. There are also limited flights from Cebu City to capital Mambajao.
Antique has actually many scenic beauties that can rival the white sand of neighbor Boracay.
From river cruises and waterfalls in Sibalom town, to the legendary Mt. Madias, which Antiquenos say is a sacred mountain and home to
The mountain also abounds with raw flora and fauna, and surrounded by waterfalls and rivers ideal for water kayaking.
How to get there: Plane ride from Manila to Roxas, Capiz and then take the van or bus to the nearby province of Antique.