Experience Paradise with a Touch of Warm Filipino Hospitality
Make Life-Changing Memories As You Travel
I am no jetsetter. I am more of a wordsmith and a bookworm who loves to write about anything under the sun or wallow in the smell of paperbacks—and to be abducted by enchanting characters to realms that are bizarre and sometimes, heartstopping. But when my best friend, who is a mariner, told me that he had already circumnavigated the globe, I felt a little jealous and, at the same time, curious about how beautiful other countries are, how warm it is on the other side of the world and how different the people and their cultures are from ours.
To lavishly write about places, however, the author needs firsthand experience. It’s just like food, there is no way you can tell if it’s sweet or salty without taking a bite. Looking at the beautiful photographs of a particular place through the Internet does not provide the writer with the license to perfectly portray its splendor—or its modesty. So in this article, I would like to depict, through words, the majestic spots in my country where I have visited. Who knows after our reprieve from the bilboes of Covid-19, you will consider traveling to the Philippines. At least, you will have a few destinations to include in your bucket list beforehand.
Despite my being a loner, I have also experienced sporadic staycations to a few places. I learned that traveling is a perfect opportunity to discover various insights and avante-garde facts that my readers may find beneficial—an empowering chance for an advancing career. Aside from that, I realized that untold relaxation, deluxe leisure and mind-blowing experiences could be a series of small serendipities to change anyone’s life. Although there could be episodes of both remarkable raptures and horrible nightmares in traveling, my sojourn to these captivating destinations was all filled with spectacular and ecstatic adventures.
Travel enthusiasts are perennially devoured by wanderlust and would do anything to embark on exciting trips. Now, if you, or your friends, are contemplating a memorable escape to the Philippines, I would recommend the inclusion of the following destinations in your list. These places are only few of the many sought-after tourist destinations in the country where you can discover the true essence of pleasure, adventure and luxury in a vacation.
Be Captivated in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
Laden with a fusion of refreshing blue waters, creeping sugar-white sandy beaches, pristine natural resources, and awe-inspiring wonders, Puerto Princesa City is an emblem of paradise on earth. Located at the beautiful island known as “The Last Frontier of the Philippines,” Palawan—also famous for its Tubbataha Reef and the Calamian Islands—this city is home to the dark, mildewed and fascinating world-renowned wonder, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park.
In Puerto Princesa City, you will have better days of flaxen sunbathe, enjoyable snorkeling and rousing scuba diving that allow you to unravel the marvelous marine biodiversity and sweeping carpet of coral reefs. A walk under the canopy of its thousands of hectares of mangrove forest or through its unspoiled tropical rainforest will surely give you the kind of fresh air you need, which you can never find in the city.
And when you need a place to stay that could also satisfy your palates and impulse for fun and entertainment, lush beach hotels are prepared to serve you with its world-class cookery—also exotic cuisines and delectable local dishes—and amusement services that come with the warm and notable Filipino hospitality.
Take on Island Adventures in Cebu
On this island, I spent many years of my journey as a professional writer. For almost seven years, I walked the streets of Cebu City, fancied the nightlife and explored its thriving economy. Aside from that, this is where I built good friendships, learned more about life and built myself up to become self-reliant and successful. Within that period, however, I never got the chance to tour around the entire island, but had the chance to marvel at few of its breathtaking spectacles.
Actually, aside from the popular Sinulog Festival are a myriad of tourist destinations you can visit on the island—the alluring coastlines, astounding plateaus, beguiling hills, and majestic mountain ranges. Not to forget the beautiful white-sandy beaches, coral atolls and rich grounds for fishing and other marine recreations. In this article, however, I will commend the spots that I have only been to.
A trip to the southern part of Cebu will let you see panoramic views. The City of Carcar, Cebu offers a wide variety of foodstuffs, including the mouthwatering Filipino “lechon” (roasted pig). Your visit to Cebu will be incomplete without a dive in Oslob for a thrilling whale-watching adventure. A close encounter with the incredible sharks was among my most rewarding experiences. A memorable canyoneering and swimming escapade at the Kawasan Falls in Badian, will surely soothe your physique. But if you would want to enjoy the beach, Badian also prides for its milky-white sandy beach where you can laze around and feast on local cuisines.
If you would like to see marine biodiversity or experience fish feeding without taking a long trip, then the Islands of Mactan will be a perfect destination for you. Exquisite hotels and accommodations are lining up to serve you—your home away from home. For your snorkeling and scuba-diving adventures, the locals are ready to usher you with their rental boats along with their own brand of warm Filipino hospitality.
Behold the Beauty and Wonders of Bohol
Bohol is a small island in the Visayas region where natural wonders and resources abound. With its size, you can actually tour around the island in a single day. But you should give it a few days to truly revel in its awe-inspiring wonders and lovely attractions.
If you are looking for a favorably smooth and relaxed getaway, the island of Bohol is just right for your plan. The scope of the island will deceive you, because of the innumerable experiences it could offer. Richly layered with abundant aquatic gifts, the island is ideal for deep diving exploits. Its long stretch of white sandy beaches allure tourists to bask under the sun, to feel the comfort of the sands, to sleep tightly in the fine hotels, and to relish the smiles and warm welcoming of the Boholanos (locals).
Well, you must have heard about the world-famous Chocolate Hills in the island of Bohol. Blanketing almost 20 miles of the middle portion of the island—in the towns of Sagbayan, Batuan, Carmen, Bilar, Sierra Bullones, and Valencia—more than a thousand hills covered in grass will put you in awe as it unravels its color from lush green to chocolate brown—when the season changes from wet to dry.
Your dream vacation will never be complete without seeing the world’s tiniest primate, the tarsier, at the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary in the town of Corella. There are so many other things you can do on the island like relaxing island hopping, intense eco-adventure, exciting dolphin watching, serene river cruising, delish food tripping, and many more.
Experience the Irresistible Glory of Bukidnon
Dubbed as the “Island Paradise in the Heart of Mindanao” and the “Food Basket” in the region, Bukidnon is a landlocked province embellished with amazing landscape, arable acreage, abundant agricultural produce, and adorable people.
Famous for its Kaamulan Festival, where members of the tribal clans delightfully convene for the celebration of their cultures and traditions, Bukidnon also boasts for its natural wonders. When you include this paradise on your list, make sure to explore its spectacular tourist spots and make your vacation a life-changing experience.
If you love the outdoors, you may opt to trek to Kitanglad Mountain Range and other equally marvelous peaks in the province. Your hard work will pay off as these spots offer opportunities to witness nature in its grandeur and allow you the feeling of outright fulfillment. Relax in its cold and soporific waterfalls and spring resorts, and get excited in the popular Dahilayan Adventure Park, where you can find the longest dual zipline in Asia.
If you just love to see the beauty of the countryside, however, you can simply delight in the boundless regalia of plantations—pineapple, banana, sugarcane, corn, coffee—and other agricultural farms. The bounteous vegetation will absolutely rivet you and will leave you in great admiration.
These four provinces are only few of the many glorious places you should try traversing while you are in the Philippines. Other sublime tourist destinations are also waiting for you to explore and find exhilarating adventures, delectable dishes and warm Filipino hospitality. These places will allow you to create special memories that would last a lifetime.
How to get there? From Manila, there are direct flights going to these provinces, except for Bukidnon where your stopover will be Cagayan de Oro City and passenger buses and vans are waiting, and when you are already in the province, honest and tourist guides will sincerely take care of you like family as they help you resolve your concerns on “how to” and “where to” in the Philippines.