To tour around the Philippine Islands is a rover's dream. Traveling, while it is one of our passions, and I guess all our readers love roving as well, let us list down the top three places that I am looking forward to visiting soon.
To see the place famous cliffs carpeted with lush pastures and greeneries is a good start for a nerd to get lost. From the picturesque mountains overlooking the Philippine and South China Sea, which isn’t far and always compared by tourists to the mountains of New Zealand, to its notable–historic bahay na bato is undeniably an astounding setting. Designed to armour harsh weather and the frequent typhoons, the stone house–village of the friendly Ivatans is one of Batanes’ great treasures and is considered a heritage site.
Aside from to have a photograph with the sturdy coral–limestone made houses as backdrop, I don’t want as well to miss a visit to the centuries–old San Jose Church and one of the province most photo’d landmarks situated on the proud Batanes hill ― the Mahatao Lighthouse.
In addition to exploring the island group and its attractions such as the Di–Atay Beach, Chawa Cave, Mount Iraya, Songsong Ruins and Radiwan Point; trying out the traditional headgear of the Ivatan people known as vakul is no exemption, as well as savour some of the native Batanes food and local delicacies.
Honesty Coffee Shop is also a remarkable interest to drop–by near the Port of Ivana, Batanes; wherein backpackers and tourists serve, purchase and pay local products themselves.
|Palawan ― El Nido|
Its capital Puerto Princesa, aptly named “The City in the Forest,” is the cleanest and greenest city in the Philippines. Visited by thousands of tourists every year, the independent city is home to UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature ― the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park.
Touring around the 8-kilometer stretch of the navigable underground river with family and loved ones is definitely an inimitable bonding experience and I am really hoping for it soon. Surrounded by vegetation of mangroves and ancient trees in which several Palawan bearded pigs, mouse-deers and monkeys are playing is certainly a wonderful scene and staging to witness.
While it’s a beautiful experience, to see yourself the pristine Kayangan Lake and the scenic–towering limestone formations of Coron on an island eco-tour is no exemption including a visit to El Nido’s emerald–green lagoons, a limestone cliff diving and or snorkeling to one of its dive spots.
With a bounteous forests and brilliant white–sand beaches, no Palawan adventure would be complete and exciting if we'll not try some of the delish seafood platters of the province. Not to mention the sea–fresh fish and lobsters which are perfect for hot pot and grill, or dare a taste of the exotic and bizarre tamilok worms?
The Philippines is indeed ample in natural reserve, from the protected forest mountains, the country’s marine ecosystems are plenteous as well. Geographically located in the Coral Triangle, the Philippines as the center of marine biodiversity, its islands and islets are fenced with colourful reefs which serve as the nesting grounds of different species of fish, rare kinds of molluscs and crustaceans, threatened marine turtles and sorts of vibrant–coloured corals.
With a series of beautiful reef banks, it’s just one of the many reasons why famed divers, biologists and scientists are attracted to visit the country to explore and study its extraordinary range of marine habitats.
|Surigao del Norte ― Lake Mainit|
Exploration thru land is common for a traveller and since we’d like to try out-of-ordinary things; why not a session of surfing in the renowned Siargao Island? Situated in the northern part of Surigao Province, the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines” is famous for its coastline with bustling cluster of waves which captivates both local and international surfers. Its popular surfing point which is the Cloud 9 has bushy, thick and perfect tubes; the surf spot of the annual Siargao Cup.
Surigao del Norte is my grandmother’s province. While it's interesting thing to know where your family came from, at least a visit to her hometown in Mainit is what I am hoping but for the most part to learn more about the heritage of the warm Surigaonon people.
Surigao is known not only for its white, sandy beaches; beautiful wave sites and vast coastal reefs but also its must–visit attractions and landmarks such as the Pansukian Sandbar, Lake Mainit and Tinuy-an Falls. Some of the delightful delicacies distinct to the region include the sayongsong and pijanga.
The island paradise of Batanes, Palawan and Surigao are just some of the awe–inspiring places listed on a rover’s travel catalogue. How about our friends in the space, what are your dream destinations in the country that you’re considering to visit soon? Are your passport’s ready? Come on, list your top three places in the comment section and let us discover together their beauty and hidden treasures.
*All photos published in this article, except Romblon Harbour's aerial shot, are credited to Flickr–Wikipedia and copyright by their respective owners.