By Excel V. Dyquiangco
Stuck with Baguio and Boracay for travel ideas ? We interviewed travel
bloggers to find out the 10 best destinations to go to this summer –
from up north to down south.
“Think of secret lagoons, unexplored coves, sparkling turquoise waters, fine white sand, spectacular limestone karst, fresh seafood and lovely people – these things are just a fraction of what you can experience in El Nido. Coron is a one of the best diving destination in the world. They have the cleanest lake and some amazing landscape and seascape. Puerto Princesa City on the other hand offers one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. The Underground River tour is just out of this world.”
“This secluded island offers privacy to beach-goers on this side of Palawan, which Mother Nature has blessed with a beautiful backdrop that includes limestone cliffs and white-sand beaches. Apulit Island offers full board and lodging on its water cottages, and complimentary use of non-motorized water sports equipment like the kayak and Hobie Cat.
“It is remote, mostly unspoiled and the water’s great!”
“This has got to be one of the well maintained island luxury resorts. Each and every step corner from opening the room, to the beds, to the beach villas and its personal jacuzzi, to its series of pools and sporting activities. One week of staying here isn’t enough and leaving it is actually a painful experience.”
“One can do surfing in the waves of Sabang Beach, have a food trip to the different food establishments inside the municipality and take a tricycle tour to try different beaches, waterfalls and go inside a 600 year old Balete tree. You can do many activities without going so far.”
“The whole island is geared towards tourism minus the extreme commercialization that has taken over places like Boracay and Puerto Galera. Therefore, prices are still reasonable and everyone is genuinely friendly. It’s a mix of several worlds. Enjoy the tranquility and simplicity of life whether on the beaches of Panglao or Tagbilaran city. Get adventure from the simple countryside tour, try the Loboc zipline or go all out and explore Danao, Bohol’s adventure location two hours from the city. There’s enough activity to choose from for practically any personality: Dolphin-watching, lazying it up on the beach, food-tripping, touring the sites (Blood compact site, chocolate hills, etc.).”
“Cebu has many amazing places for you to explore. You can go on a trekking adventure to Osmeña Peak, swim with the whale sharks in Oslob, take a heritage walk in the city proper and other towns, or check out the beautiful beaches up North as well as down South. It has an urbanized setting but the environment is pretty relaxed. In the city, it only takes about 15-20 minutes to get from point A to point B. If you also want to travel to nearby provinces like Bohol, Dumaguete, Siquijor, Bacolod and others, it’s only a few hours away. There are so many places to go but it’s not as expensive!”
Sagada and Samal Island
“Sagada is one of these places. You can get to experience local culture the moment you take a bus going there. One of the best cave connections in the country is there and you can jump into ice-cold pool inside for a treat. You can also take a nice trek and enjoy waterfalls. And best of all, food is something to look forward to. Samal Island is another. A little diving and dolphin watching, beautiful beaches, and a nice taste of local life.”
“El Nido is one of my favorites. Gorgeous beaches with clear blue waters. You can swim, snorkel or work on your tan. For the adventurous, you can kayak to other islands, pitch a tent and camp overnight. El Nido can actually be done on a budget: there are plenty of good value accommodation in El Nido town.”
“There’s dolphin watching at Bais Straight, the Twin Lakes, amazing waterfalls, diving at Antulang, and the food. One food experience would be the painitans found at the wet market. It’s a row of snack bars which prepare the local fare of biko (similar to our suman), chocolate along-side local coffee-chocolate concoctions, and a variety of sandwiches and breads. Each stall has its own special blend of chocolate, kakanin and even peanutbutter, which have been passed down from one generation to the next. The place also has its sense of community – almost everyone knew each other. I can imagine even their lolos and lolas knew each other. That plus they whipped up an amazing cup of local hot chocolate – from the beans (from the market right across) to the cup!”