The last quarter of 2013 may not have been one of Philippine history’s best, but it certainly did not break the Filipino spirit, and with that, one fact remained: it is still more fun in the Philippines.
And by fun we mean unlimited destinations to add to your travel list. While you already know many of the country’s tourism hot spots, Skyscanner introduces you to some of the Philippines’ undiscovered and somewhat unexplored territories that they proudly offer this year and beyond. Here they are:
Photo credit: philippinesgetaway
At the northernmost tip of the Philippine territory, embrace the beauty of nature in its pure form, without modern structures obstructing the view. The Batanes Group of Islands is classic, the place is as good as they described it in history books, especially the stone houses, if not better; its people, the _Ivatans, _are very welcoming—they greet you as you pass by their houses, and kids practice the tradition of pagmamano (putting your hand on their foreheads) even to strangers as sign of respect.
Besides the Ivatans’ unique culture, clean environment and terrain, its scenic waters let you experience your usual water activities and sports; and one thing you should try is exploring the town through biking.
2. LAKE SEBU, SOUTH COTABATO
Opting for an eco trip? Lake Sebu in South Cotabato is your best choice. Dubbed as the Summer Capital of the south, unlike Baguio, not many tourists flock here for a visit. However, with its growing popularity, it will be no shocker that it becomes a hot spot for local and foreign tourists in a few years’ time.
Lake Sebu is a protected landscape and ancestral domain for the T’boli and Ubo tribes. It has been declared by the Department of tourism as one of Mindanao’s as well as the Philippines’ prime eco-tourism destinations. Trekking, ziplining, photography, or feeding your mind of the tribes’ rich culture—are just some of the many activities to enjoy on your trip to Lake Sebu.
3. APO REEF NATURAL PARK
For the world’s second largest coral reef system, the Apo Reef Natural Park has not received an equal credit for fame. It is on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and has been open for tourism to raise funds as parts of extending efforts on protecting conserving the area.
Located at Occidental Mindoro, the Apo Reef Natural Park is comprised of three islands: the Apo Menor or Binangaan, Cayos del Bajo, and Apo Island, the largest which has a shallow lagoon surrounded by a mangrove forest where a lot of marine life benefit from; and also serves as a sanctuary for sea birds.
From the isolated area of Camarines Sur, the little but rich secret paradise of Caramoan is found. Caramoan is home to underground rivers and caves, marine life and unspoiled beaches. Intrepid explorers, rock climbers and water sports enthusiasts highly recommend Caramoan to those who want a challenging and exciting adventure. Enjoy island hopping, explore the caves, swimming and many different activities and get your own bite of paradise at this pristine getaway.
Want a Baguio atmosphere with lesser tourists to get you more relaxed? Then go to Sagada, the home of the hanging coffins. And no, they’re not the cause of the cool feel, it’s just the weather. Sagada is more famous for its Rice Terraces, but apart from that, it has hidden jewels that as well offer different kinds of adventures.
Sagada’s caverns draw in many tourists even by non experts for an extreme experience of exploration, spelunking, hiking, and trekking. If you want a less physical adventure, try discovering the town’s history and culture, which are equally interesting and best done by walking. Finally, a successful adventure deserves a reward—a delicious one at that, which you may indulge in—with Sagada’s good food, especially the Lemon Pie.
_Photo credit: trekearth.com_
Palawan alone boasts of many destinations. One of which is Coron, that simply resembles heaven on earth. It doesn’t matter whether you look down or up, all you will surely see is blue, though its beauty totally opposes the emotion it depicts. If anything, it only takes you on a new high. Coron is an unassuming, underrated place, but upon visiting, it is the other way around.
Wreck diving? If you are determined to conquer your fears, then this is a must try. Coron is one of the country’s most popular wreck diving sites, so it’s safe to say that missing it is an opportunity you just let past. But if you just can’t, you may try other activities such as snorkelling, trekking, hiking, diving and swimming. Or, you could walk around town, have a sit down talk with the Tagbanuas, and learn about culture, social issues and possibly anything under the sun.