Other expats are curious about the Philippines and since we consider ourselves as the unofficial ambassadresses to the Philippines here in Riyadh, we always make it a point to drop in conversations places that others must visit in the homeland. Even fellow Filipinos are amazed that we can paint a picture of those popular places from our imagination and entice them in going. Well, personally, I’ve been trying to visit as many places in the Philippines as much as I can squeeze on my vacation. So here’s my top five destinations in The Pink Tarha’s home country that you must and should visit!
I’ve recently been to the Maldives and I find it breathtaking. But honestly, I’ve seen such beauty in our very own country… in Palawan, romantically known as the “land of promise.” The only difference is, you can only visit a handful of islands in Maldives and you stay in one with an unobstructed view of the turquoise ocean. In Palawan, particularly El Nido and Coron which I had the opportunity to visit, there are a lot of islets reachable by boats and virgin forests with falls ending in natural pools and dazzling sugar-white sandy beaches. And the view is dotted with limestone cliffs. While the experience in Maldives feels like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the experience in Palawan is something that we can always go back to. Again and again if we wish.
Like Palawan, Bohol, an island with 75 minor surrounding islands in the Visayas, boasts of beaches and resorts. When I first went there in 2007, my friends and I finished touring the island and its top tourist spots in one day and we spent half day just lounging in Panglao beach. Looking back, I think we really crammed and made that trip in a rush. So if I’m going back, I’ll make sure to spend more than a day and a half in the island especially now that luxurious resorts have been sprouting in its grounds. Whether you’re in a budget or you want to splurge, Bohol is the perfect tropical destination for you.
It’s tempting to say the whole of Bicol region in this list because there’s still Caramoan, Sorsogon, etc. but for expats like us working abroad and have a limited time with our vacation, we need to focus on one place for a getaway and go from there. So in the Bicol region, Albay is a great place to start. With the mere mention of Mt. Mayon, the only volcano in the world with a perfect cone, you’ll already be enticed to visit. I know I am! My family and I always make it a point to go to Albay on a road trip from my father’s hometown in Camarines Sur. Apart from seeing the volcano from Cagsaoa Ruins, you can get closer by trekking and riding the ATV. SO if you’re into mountains and forests, Albay is the way to go. And after that… the whole of Bicolandia!
From my home province of La Union, Pagudpud is around 6-8 hours by bus. From Manila, it’s easier to fly by airplane to Laoag and travel from there. This coastal resort town in Ilocos Norte is bound by the mountain and the sea. And I tell you, the white-sand beaches and crystal blue water of Pagudpud is worth the travel time. The kilometer-long Saud Beach is a popular tourist attraction. A secluded beach known as Blue Lagoon is also gaining fame among locals and tourists. So if you’re getting ready for some wave action, Pagudpud is the way to go. Tour around Ilocos Norte and attend their colorful festivals while you’re there.
I haven’t been to Davao. Actually, I haven’t been to any place in Mindanao. But it’s already in my travel bucket list. Just look at this photo of Aliwagwag Falls in Davao Oriental. Aliwagwag is a series of 84 waterfalls that look like a stairway to heaven. Now that’s something I want to see! So Davao, here I come!
The Philippines has over 1,000 islands, each with its own charms and beauty. To learn more about these wonderful destinations, read Cebu Pacific’s Smile Magazine. This vibrant, savvy and fun in-flight magazine showcases all things great about the Philippines (and other international destinations). The articles are great and the photos are stunning! Just by looking at the section My Snapshots littered with photos from travelers taken during their trips across Asia, I am inspired to travel. So the next time you’re looking for the next great getaway, you know where to get tips and guides. Visit www.cebusmile.com for more details.
And of course, to reach these places in the Philippines, Cebu Pacific Air is at your service. Book their affordable rates via www.cebupacificair.com now! Let’s travel far and wide shall we? 🙂 ~ Sundrenched
*This entry is sponsored by Cebu Pacific. All opinions are the writer’s own.