If you’ll be asked what’s the thing you’re most afraid of, what will be your response? Most probably, as much as you’ll hear most people would instinctively express how they are terrified of death the most, you’ll also have this at the top of your mind. But do you know that there is something which is more terrifying than the ever-inevitable reality of being bounded to death?
It’s the inability to actually “live” at all. Yes, you’re here- you’re breathing, you physically exist, but can you confidently say that you are, in fact, living and not just surviving? I don’t think so. Most of us don’t and, it’s not that “bad” thing- we all go through that stage nonetheless. What we could define as a “bad“ thing is being aware of something and not even trying to do anything about it.
Aligned with the said, in this case, it is refraining yourself from the joy and adventure that could have had filled your soul at most, but you have ended up disregarding, instead. It’s preventing yourself from taking the leap and always staying at your comfort zone- at what seems to be convenient because why would you risk your resources for something uncertain, right?
Well, enough about recognizing the real-deal among the worst fear existent. Let us now go to how it may apply in reality. The most thrilling part starts here!
Since Philippines is well-known for its beauty, explained within tenfold of levels of reasons, it is a must that a travelling local or even a foreigner seeking for a life-worthy experience, should “try” to explore what the Philippines has for them before they die. Note that existed am emphasis on the word “try” because just as much as you can spend all your lifetime going around the picturesque and soul-revitalizing places and experiences that the 7,107 islands could offer, it’ll still not be enough- there will always be places left undiscovered.
For this purpose, here we are presenting to you 10 places in the Pearl of the Orient sea that you must list as priority on your to-go checklist. The list is ordered heading to what we think is the best, brace yourselves and have fun!
THE HISTORICAL CITY OF VIGAN
Are you a big fan of history? Or you’re just simply fond of aesthetic and time-travelling themed kind of places? Whether you are on either or both, Vigan should have its seat on your list.
Covered with genuine marks of yesterday, Vigan is officially recorded as UNESCO World site of history and culture- birthed on the 16th century it is among one of the very few remaining towns that could give you an intense throwback feels, even with this completely whole new present time. Herein, you can witness a combination of both Asian and European structural designs. Vigan prides itself with well-preserved mansions, stoned walkways, and carriages travelling to and fro the city- indeed, living memoirs of the past!
What’s amusing about this place is that it wasn’t only able to survive the challenge of time but as well as, war (specifically World War II) and the yearly hit of various calamities. A little bit of trivia behind this place and regarding the fact on how it was actually able to survive the most extreme war that both the country and the world, in fact, has ever experienced: It remained alive in spite of Japanese’ acts of burning down villages through a fulfilled request by a Jap military commander to a priest- that of which is to keep his wife (who, fortunately happened to be a Filipina) together with his kids. Regarding the destruction threat from the American, it survived with the help of spreading an oversized American flag which was situated in their plaza to signal these westerners that the place isn’t a breeding location of its enemies.
CORREGIDOR- ICON OF THE NATION’S PURSUIT FOR FREEDOM
One of the best purposes of going to places is, as much as how ironic it is, finding yourself.
With places like Corregidor, especially if you are a Filipino, you will enjoy not only the beauty of nature but as well as, you will be reminded of who you are and how much people of the past have paid for seeking the felt sense of ‘freedom (although still restrained) that you have at your hands now.
Corregidor is utmost known for the necessary role it played during the quest of conquering period of the Japanese whilst the Filipino with the aid of Americans has fought to defend our land. Hence, the place is indeed considerably not only a must-consider tourist site but also, along with Vigan, is a historic site.
THE WALLED-CITY OF INTRAMUROS
Intramuros had lived at its peak during the years of Spanish colonization- as this had been the place of those with highest position among the governing individuals in the Philippines.
At present, Intramuros still possess almost the same life of scenery as it once had in the past. With Spanish-forms of structures from its pavements to its well-adored structures, although had been heavily destroyed during Japanese period, it was still preserved thru the reconstruction efforts it has undergone, aimed to keep the ‘beauty’ that it once has pride itself with.
Despite that this place is a constant reminder of the centuries of the struggle of the Filipino people, this place also signifies the kind of the freedom that we have now and the true freedom that we, not only as Filipinos, but as individuals that are members of the larger society should be running after, with all our loves, for.
THE DISNEY-LIKE ENCHANTMENT OF HINATUAN RIVER
Ever witnessed a photoshopped reality? Well, if you’re all game for it then Hinatuan River is now ready for your aboard! Brace yourself with the repeated occurrences of awe-filled momentarily blank spaces from you because this is indeed the TGTBT version of nature’s gifts!
Hinatuan which could be found at Surigao Del Sur is specifically located at Barangay of Cambatong in Hinatuan. One of the many obvious manifestations on how magical and unbelievable this place looks like is the fact that it is even believed by the locals, especially the older ones, that the water from the river itself is filled with magic! In fact, there are passed-down folklores that entails the inevitable passion towards ‘making sense’ for the seemingly insurmountable beauty of the said.
Another mysterious thing about this river is that, although fishermen had seen some fished at the river for many times, not a single fish was actually gathered from it! It juts makes everything more mysterious, isn’t it?
THE IMPOSSIBILITY TURNED REALITY BANAUE RICE TERRACES
As majestic as the pyramids in Egypt, we have our own version of the said- Banaue Rice Terraces. But the major difference is, despite of how it seems that it is such a mystery that this could possibly be a work of man, it really is.
Confused and curious how? Here you go.
Ifugaos due to the climatic condition of their place alongside with their agricultural needs has found a creative and structural-genius way for irrigation. This is through contouring the mountains in order to form the Banaue Rice Terraces as how we can see it is. With this mastery of craft passed down for over 2000 years, it is no wonder that such result could be made.
Banaue Rice Terraces is only capable to be formed into its being due to the incomparable combination of nature’s gift and the high-leveled minds of our natives. That of which makes this place an indeed must-visit place.
Also, for further information, the internationally recognized Banaue Rice Terraces could be best viewed through the three locations- in Mayoyao, Batad, and in Banaue itself.
THE ANCIENT-THEMED HUNDRED ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK
With the seabed of the ancient sea serving as the foundation of this small islands foundation, it would be a great resistance not to feel the ‘design argument’ flowing down together with the felt shivers towards your spine- “How amazing the nature is.”
What’s more fascinating is how some of the islands appear like mushrooms as for how they are shaped. This fascinating formation is due to the erosion caused by ocean waves. Other than the said, this is also a place of must-not-miss wildlife including dugongs, which could only be found in the country! What a pride, right?
BOHOL OTHER THAN ITS ‘CHOCOLATEY’ HILLS
Although it is the Chocolate Hills that Bohol is commonly known for, the place is gifted with couple of world-class tourist spots other than that!
One of which is what’s called as the Panglao Island- herein is what they pertain as Hinagdanan Cave. A cavern filled with breathtaking stalactites and stalagmites located within a deep lagoon that is perfectly lighted by the nature!
Also, if you’re in search for something that’s strangely adventurous, perhaps you would have a great fun on the kayak, cliff plunge-off and another cave exploration that Danao Adventure Park has to offer.
Bohol also is known as the location of the smallest primates in the world, if you want to witness a living one, you can come and visit the Tarsier Conservatory for that! Just be sure to take your flashes off as this creates serious disturbance to the living states of our little and delicately sensitive friend. Okay? Okay!
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND IN THE WORLD: PALAWAN
Palawan with its contained landscapes graced with purely refined shores, wildlife, and even mountains is undoubtedly the reason why it has been deserving for the title. Alongside with the title that it is given by the international community and as approved by the every individuals given whose given the chance to have a taste on what the place has to offer, has folds of separate ‘islands’ that it has inside.
Malapascua- Do you have that hidden desire to swim with sharks in the clear waters? Malapascua could have that turned into reality for you!
Camiguin- Or maybe you want to experience the beauty of the Philippines within its “yesteryear”? Then Camiguin is a place to go for you.
Panglao and Balicasag- What’s your take with the warning, “Prepare to be blown away”? Only your own experience could attest to the realization of such assumption that you currently have!
Simuzu Island- Limestone mountains which creates a design of seemingly black curtains that complements well the lush of greenery? Simuzu island has it!
Dimulacad Island- If diving is your thing, this island’s underwater tunnel is the best site for you! Be completely one with the nature as you could witness coral formations glorified with abundance of marine life.
El Nido- The best amongst all- as proven by the fact that this is the most visited along with everything that’s previously stated. El Nido is a combination of an overall 45 small islands- currently considered as one among the top diving sites one could find worldwide!
Amanpulo Resort- If you think you have enough money to spend for the sake of complete seclusion, then Amanpulo resort- which is a private beach resort that you can rent completely for your own, then no doubt that this is included among the top places you should try spending a night on!
This private serene resort is located at Pamalican Island in Palawan. With ultimately fine-powder on your feet filled with the rhythm of calming silence that is way different from that busy “white beach” all for yourself, there is definitely no sense of tranquility that could ever beat what this place could provide.
Although it is obviously costly, the stay and what it can leave you as you set your footprints away are definitely worth the spending.
Does it float your boat? Then for goodness’ sake, go for it!
Mindoro is basically divided into Oriental and Occidental parts. At the former stated is where you could see the Apo Reef, while on the latter one, Puerto Galera is boasted as the top among the honorable finds.
Aninuan Beach- If you want a beach that’s definitely not crowded but just as beautiful as those that are, Aninuan is the right one for you! The pearly white and soft sand of this place is sure to leave you with the desire to come back!
Haligi Beach- Coral Garden is well-known for snorkeling purposes but if you’re trying to find where there is more peace and less people to interact and be with, the bay of Haligi Beach is certain to serve you just as well.
Mangyan Village- You know what will make your Mindoro experience the most memorable? It is to experience a life together with its natives- the Mangyan. There is a place named as Mangyan village which although is not necessarily a “traditional” village by default, but could provide you the lessons and insights that one could provide.
First interesting about this place is that it is built for the people by philanthropist. The tour in the village includes only a specific part on their place where you will see how some of their crafts are made- aesthetically pleasing handmade gifts you could be proud of to bring back home! Also, is a good idea to purchase for someone you love or maybe, just for the sake of it being a pasalubong. Other than being capable of bringing with you the memories of the place and the beauty of their work, you also get to help these people- which is definitely “a lot” for them.
It has been said that the sand among the beaches of Siquijor are just as white as those in the top tourist choices-always-crowded-places, but do you know that for its locals, it is the ripples and drops of their water that where the “magic” actually lies? Besides from beaches, they also have breathtaking and as well as, very clean and seemingly virgin waterfalls!
For some background, Siquijor is also known as “Esla del Fuego” which means island of fire. The name is sourced from the fact that it is a home to some unknown fireflies that until now, they label as “mystical”. Relating to the word mystical, we all know that Siquijor is also a place of “horror”. Hence, is called as “mystical island”. This horror rooted from the practiced and continually perpetuated witchcraft and shamanism by its people. (That is why it is highly advised for one to have an anting-anting to avoid any unnecessary event occurring. Also, wear your nice self every time!)
Beyond from all of what has been said, you shall not worry because Siquijor is still a safe and a must-consider place for you to enjoy! They know how to take care for their tourist so, have fun and relax!
If the water in Siquijor along with its sand is sure to serve as an escape, so does its sky. With its stars usually well scattered in the comforting blanket of heaven, one is sure to experience the enchantment that makes every visit of tourists in the place a complete enchantment. Even worthy enough for the shivering it could possibly give you due to its horror side.
Also, here in Siquijor, you could find a lot of caves and lot of big trees if you love having something to look at to connect not only with nature, but also, with time!
If you want a guide, here are the places we know that would best satisfy your adventurous self!
Apo Island- Come on, who doesn’t love sea turtles? These sea creatures are not only pleasing to look at but as well as a constant reminder of the fact that we should be taking care of our seas. That is because nearly all the species of the said lovely creatures are now endangered. Luckily, that is not the implicated case perpetuated in Apo Island, people here know well that not only their turtles are their assets to be taken care of, but are a significant part of a larger system they know they are responsible for.
Along with them are half a thousand species of fishes and their beautiful homes, corals!
Salagdoong Beach- No, Salagdoong Beach isn’t listed in here because of its beach but more so, because of its cliff jumps! A 20 and 35-feet for those with the daring souls!
Cambugahay Falls- If you’re looking for Siquijor’s best bet for its water being hailed as magical, the waterfalls of Cambugahay which prides itself with three large lagoons all filled with refreshing and aquamarine water which vividly reflects not only its beauty but utmost, its cleanliness- is definitely a big loss to miss if you’ll be visiting this mystical island.
San Juan Island- Now, for the best beach, here we go! White-sand, spectacular sunset, and simply the meeting spot of all the other tourists… basically because it’s the most visited.
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Thesmartlocal.com. (2019). 10 Beautiful Philippines Islands To Visit Unlike Anything You’ve Seen Before. [online] Available at: https://thesmartlocal.com/read/philippines-islands-visit [Accessed 25 Jun. 2019].
Tripadvisor.com.ph. (2019). SEVEN Philippine Islands you MUST VISIT before you die! – Philippines Forum – TripAdvisor. [online] Available at: https://www.tripadvisor.com.ph/ShowTopic-g294245-i3256-k7155242-SEVEN_Philippine_Islands_you_MUST_VISIT_before_you_die-Philippines.html [Accessed 25 Jun. 2019].