Widely known as one of the finest swimming destinations in the world, Boracay is blessed with unsullied fine talcum powder-sand beaches. Its tranquil crystal clear waters are perfect for swimming, sailing, fishing and sunbathing. Boracay also boasts of sapphire seas and spectacular sunsets. Countless hidden coves dot the island and tall coconut trees line up along the beaches. Boracay lies at the northwest tip of Panay, in the west Visayas region, off the Sibuyan Sea. The island is made up of villages, namely: Yapak in the north, Balabag in the middle, and Manocmanoc in the south.
Nueva Valencia, Guimaras – An Italian couple on a two-month holiday in the Philippines chose to include this paradise in their itinerary and stayed at the Raymen Beach Resort in December 2006, unperturbed by news about the oil spill that brought the island province to world attention in August of the same year. “We are just here to see good beaches,” said the Boldo couple, who are just among the hundreds of foreign guests who kept coming to Guimaras even in the aftermath of the infamous oil spill. Guimaras has 238.3-kilometer coastline, with long stretches of white, powdery sand considered among the finest in the world.
The exotic beauty of Palawan remains undefiled. Branded as the country’s last frontier, Palawan is a sanctuary to an amazing variety of exotic flora and fauna that are found nowhere else. With more than a thousand islands and islets, Palawan boasts of white-sand beaches, scenic rock formations, underwater rivers and magnificent caves. Palawan is also home to Tubbataha Reef, the only national marine park that made it to the World Heritage List and whose grandeur is comparable to the Great Barrier Reef of Australia.
Banaue Rice Terraces
Traversing the rugged terrains of Cordillera highlands in a span of one week is an adventure in itself and could be an immense learning experience for someone who has the guts to look down into the depths of mountain cliffs to get a good view of the rice terraces. With tall rice terraces at the backdrop and cool breeze shuttling between mountain peaks, a journey across the Cordillera mountain ranges exposes one to an atmosphere strangely different from the daily offering of Manila and its suburbs. More importantly, it provides a peek into the ancient Philippine civilization before the foreigners came.
Coron, a town in the Busuanga Island in Northern Palawan, can charm even the most insensitive among men. Its natural beauty can only be described as seductive, giving first-time visitors and repeaters alike a sense of wonder that is hard to shake off. In the summer of 2004, we went to Coron expecting to conquer nature. Instead, we felt like being coddled as children in the lagoons of Coron Bay.
Cebu City drew 403,326 international visitors in 2005, making the “queen city of the south” the top provincial destination of foreign travelers. Data from the Department of Tourism (DOT) also showed that Cebu City attracted 1,813 overseas Filipinos and 712,938 domestic travelers last year. Total number of travelers in the city went up by 10.5 percent to 1.118 million in 2005 from 1.012 million in 2004. Arrivals in Cebu are expected to peak in December 2006, when the city hosts the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leader’s Summit and the 4th ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.
If Aklan has Boracay, Ilocos has Pagudpud, its northernmost town bordering the South China Sea. The coastal town of Pagudpud is the perfect setting for panoramic movies and photoshoot for travel magazines cover. The town’s main attractions are Saud Beach, known for its fine white sand stretching for hundreds of meters and Maira-Ira Point, which hides a secluded beach called Blue Lagoon. Other breathtaking landscapes in Pagudpud include Bantay Abot-abot, a natural sculpture carved by the wind and sea, the Mabogabog Falls and the Patapat viaduct that treats motorists to a scenic view of green lushes and blue waters of South China Sea.
Bohol is one of the loveliest islands in southern Philippines. It is situated at the heart of Visayas and with coastline skimmed by gentle coves and white-sand beaches. Many highways snake along sparkling beaches or leafy rivers where one can stop at any point and jump in. With its rolling hills and plateaus, crystal springs and beaches, the province of Bohol is a picturesque province replete with ancestral homes and centuries-old churches.
Until recently, Panglao Island has stolen some of the glitters of the world-famous Boracay Island. Located at the southwestern tip of Bohol province, Panglao boasts of a long stretch of white-sand beaches embracing crystal-clear and blue waters. Aside from beach activities, foreign tourists who visit Panglao are in for wonderful treats like diving, snorkelling and caving. Panglao is also fast rising as a venue for corporate gatherings such as conventions, seminars and brainstorming.