Did you cross out most of your travel destinations last 2019? Or are you planning your #2020TravelGoals? I listed some places worth visiting in the Philippines from A-Z and you might want to consider them on your next trip!
A – Argao, Cebu
The Archdiocesan Shrine and Parish of Saint Michael the Archangel or Argao Church located in the municipality of Argao was established in 1703. Aside from the coral stone church, there is also other stuff to enjoy around like the watchtowers, plaza, gates and walls, L-shaped building (formerly known as Palacio), and mortuary chapel.
Simala Church and Dalaguete Beach are just 20-km (30-min ride) away from Argao church. I assure you, no time will be wasted visiting these nearby tourist spots.
B – Banaue, Ifugao
Did you know that the scene where Thanos (Avengers: Infinity War) exiled himself to work as farmer and reflect on his loss was shot in the Philippines’ famous Banaue Rice Terraces? Are you burnt out from work? Pack your bag now and go to Banaue! Get ready to calm your mind, body and soul because even the most scary and troubled villain found peace in this place.
Plus, be amazed by the fact that indigenous people from the province built this terraced rice paddies that look like giant stairways on the slopes of a mountain using minimal equipment.
C – Callao Cave, Tuguegarao
The cave does not only promise the best limestone walls, the top view will leave you in awe. Get the best angle of the Pinacanauan River from above and below (try a wooden boat ride).
The trek inside the cave is easy and titas/titos of *insert city/town* will enjoy more while sweating a little .
D – Dingalan, Aurora
If your pocket doesn’t allow you yet to travel Batanes, then you might consider this alternative one. Dubbed as Batanes of the East, Dingalan is a place for those adventurous folks who want to relax and stay away from city lights.
Prepare yourself for a trek and a breathtaking taking view. No words could describe how I felt when I reached the top. Too good to handle.
E – Esperanza, Agusan del Sur
Patpatangan Cold Spring, Calahian Lake, San Vicente Falls and Manlangits Lake are the top destinations in Esperanza TripAdvisor will suggest. But more than the tourist spots, the large scenic agricultural land will give you a break from the large buildings in the urbs.
Do not forget to try some of their local delicacies! Tired of your common camotecue? Look for the sweetest purple sweet potato some carenderias in the area offer.
F – Fort Santiago, Manila
Stop for a while your fast paced lifestyle and travel back in time. This citadel was built in 1593 by navigator and governor Miguel López de Legazpi in Intramuros, the walled city of Manila. More than the ig-worthy backdrop, the fort is one of the most important historical sites in Manila.
Also, you may add the National Museum to your itinerary. The museum is just a few minutes walk/ride and free of entrance fee.
G – Gumaca, Quezon
This first class municipality is nestling at the foot of the Sierra Madre range and is widely known as a heritage town due to ancestral houses and old structures that abound the area. Include to your list the picturesque San Diego de Alcala Fortress (Kutang San Diego), a recognised national treasure by the National Historical Commission since 1981.
Going to Gumaca, you’ll traverse a long road showcasing the vast ocean. Unleash your inner Dyesebel or Aquaman and say hi to the mermaid sitting on the rock at Atimonan, Quezon. Also, there are nice beaches with black sand nearby.
H – Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur
The Philippines has a lot to offer in terms of hashtag-travel-goals destination, so why bother going to the same location every year? Hinatuan river could give you a clear as its water answer. True to its name, the river is so enchanting you can’t resist from coming back. Prepare your heart from skipping a beat upon seeing this magnificent river.
Quick advice: if you’re planning to visit Tinuy-an falls and Hinatuan River on the same day, start with the former. Both destinations are good but Hinatuan river is just sooo good you might end up not enjoying Tinuy-an falls.
I – Isla de Gigantes, Iloilo
Located off the coast of Carles and Estancia towns in northeastern Iloilo, Isla de Gigantes or the islands of giants has the beautiful seascapes and island lifestyle perfect for the summer vacation you are looking forward since last year. I promise you, that “extra mile” (as it takes at least 5 hours to get there from Iloilo City) will be worthy.
Seafood lovers will surely love the place. Get scallops for PhP 1.00 per piece.
J – Jordan, Guimaras
Jordan is the commercial center of the island and has a wharf closest to Iloilo City. There are a lot to explore in Guimaras Island such as beaches and light houses, islets and caves. Also, add the Trappist Monastery and San Lorenzo Wind Farm on your list.
Never leave the place without tasting their mangoes which is said to be the sweetest not just in the Philippines but also in the world.
K – Kabacan, Cotabato
Its name came from the word ka-abacan which means the source of abundance since people from far barangays used to go here to brought back home commodities from their livelihood. Despite all the not so good news from the area, treasures can still be found like the campus of University of Southern Mindanao and Pisan Cave.
Did you know that Kabacan is known as an Ilocano-speaking area because more than half of its population are Ilocano?
L – Love Beach, Occidental Mindoro
Sorry to disappoint you, but Love Beach does not offer love life. LOL. But, if you have enough white beaches and night life on your itinerary, then you might consider this one. Calm your mind with black sand, salt water, and sunset of this beach. At night, meditate with the waves and wind and allow them to carry all your worries.
After a day or two and you found yourself looking for more adventure, you might consider going to Sablayan to have an island-to-island zipline, and scuba diving at Apo Reef and Pandan Island.
M – Maniwaya, Marinduque
Knock! Knock! Who’s there? Maniwaya. Maniwaya who? “Maniwaya ka sanang minamahal kita…woooh”. LOL. The island’s beauty is no joke. Witness different hues of blue and watch fishes just a few meters from the shore!
Palad Sandbar, Ungab Rock Formation and Mongpong Island are potential addition to your itinerary (if you still have time) as these places are not far away from Maniwaya Island.
N – Nasuli Spring, Bukidnon
Not your typical destination if you’re a beach baby but this resort is worth a shot. Plunge into the cold water and rejuvenate your dying soul caused by the killing heat of commuting everyday to work. LOL. Kidding aside, the spring offers the ultimate nature vibe with swimming and diving area.
You can opt to just take a side trip to this spring and explore the beauty of Malaybalay first. If you are prepared to sweat, consider trekking at Musuan Peak or Mt. Capistrano and have a view of Bukidnon at a higher level.
O – Olongapo, Zambales
“Ulo ng Apo” (head of chieftain) is where the name Olongapo came from – it is a reminder of the good leadership of their model and beloved chieftain who was killed by his abductors. The kinda scary story of the origin of the name of the city is opposite to what you will see in the area – forest trails, inflatable islands, and beaches and resorts to name a few.
Anawangin Cove is located near the city and it is the perfect destination for those people looking for swimming, hiking and setting up a bonfire on the beach.
P – Pinto Art Museum, Rizal
Pinto (means door in Filipino) Art Museum is a contemporary museum in Antipolo, Rizal. The place exhibits rotation of foundation’s collection and promotes contemporary Filipino artists. Appreciate local flora and fauna from the two hectare botanical garden (known as Silangan Gardens) where the museum is located.
Visit the magnificent Antipolo Church and munch on some tasty cashew nuts downtown before going home.
Q – Quirino, Isabela
This is not one of the most visited places for summer vacation but tourism is starting to bloom in the area. Still, there are a lot to see from this destination such as the Nagbukel Municipal Tree Park and Nature Resort, Pusuac Spring Park, Manuela Falls, Susong Dalaga and Liwayway cave. There are also different festivals that showcase the unique culture and colourful history of the province – so mark your calendar.
Brace yourself with its relatively hot climate and a breathtaking view of large corn fields on each side of the road.
R – Roxas City, Capiz
Hey you seafood lover! Roxas City got you! This is a heaven on earth for you. Do you have enough fast foods for lunch? Now is the time to explore the seafood capital of the Philippines! Not a fan of seafood? The province still got you, babe! Local food culture include many unique delicacies such as inubaran nga manok, chicken binakol, nilagpang and many more. Sweet tooth folks can enjoy bitso-bitso, ibos, bayi-bayi and inday-inday.
The province does not only boast the abundant marine produce, they also offer relaxing activities like river cruise tours and shoreline strolls with relaxing view of Sibuyan Sea.
S – Sipalay, Negros Occidental
My first solo travel was here and I’m so sure that it is a very safe and worth an extra mile place for those people enjoying some solo backpacking adventures. A day tour may not be enough to see everything the city can offer but there are so many beaches to quench the wanderlust in you – Sugar Beach, Punta Ballo Beach and Poblacion Beach are just some you can put on your list.
The best for the gram photos I had during my trip were the hanging bridge in Tinagong Dagat, overlooking view of Sipalay and the cute islets I saw while in an infinity pool at Perth Paradise. I just had all these experiences in a day!
T – Tayug, Pangasinan
Heard of the sunflower maze? This is the place! If you were a bee during your past life this will be your paradise. The gate usually opens daily from 8:00am to 6:00pm starting on February until June. The farm features not just the sunflower maze but also other landscape of bougainvillea, blue ternetea, roses and different in-season vegetables.
A perfect stopover for those going to or coming from Baguio. Along the road, you can buy dried fish and salty relish made of fish or shrimp (or simply bagoong).
U – University of Sto. Tomas, Manila
The oldest university in the Philippines founded way back 1611 had the Victorian-style exterior with shabby stone facade designed with sculptures on top you can admire. The things you can do here include feeling the love along the lover’s lane, taking pictures at the stone archway and soul searching in the middle of a serene garden with fountains and thick treetops.
The areas around the university are known for flood and food. LOL. Prepare your stomach for a budget-friendly food crawl experience.
V – Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
A unique town in the Philippines as it is the country’s only surviving historic city from the 16th century Spanish colonial period. Vigan used to be an important coastal trading post in pre-colonial times. Time travel for a day along the cobbled stones of Calle Crisologo – visit the past through the ancestral houses and Catholic churches.
Complete the history feel by riding a Calesa. Did the tour make you hungry? Try out some yummy empanadas and bagnet!
W – Western Bicutan, Taguig
Plenty of things can be done in Taguig. Enjoy the pleasure of a little history by visiting the Fort Bonifacio Tunnel which was built in 1936 and was used as route for military supplies throughout World War 2. You can also stop by at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroe’s Cemetery) and pay homage to former Philippine presidents, national artists, scientists and other patriots.
Other things you can try are skating around BGC, riding a gondola at Venice hall, and visiting The Mind Museum and Miracle Art Museum.
X – Region X (NOMIARC)
Are you exhausted from the city life and daily traffic congestion perfectly combined with scorching heat? Do you have too many beaches in your bucketlist? This research station in Region X has a cold weather and the best probinsya life you are looking for. Make sure to coordinate first with the research station head before dropping by.
If you were not able to coordinate with the research office, alternative destinations include Kaamulan Park, Lapanday Pineapple Farm and Monastery of Transfiguration.
Y – Yambo Lake, Laguna
Getting to the lake is a bit challenging but a rewarding journey. The pristine waters reflecting lush green that surrounds it will be your reward at the the end. If you’re a kind of traveler that enjoys the value of serenity and being in harmony with nature this one is surely for you.
Pack and start early to be able to visit the other six majestic lakes of San Pablo, Laguna – Pandin Lake (twin lake of Yambo),Palakpakin Lake, Bunot Lake, Muhikap Lake, Calibato Lake, and Sampaloc Lake.
Z – Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Peninsula
The Philippines’ 3rd largest city and dubbed as “Asia’s Latin City” offers a wide array of adventures to dive in. The Merloquet Falls can give you a free massage and soothing sounds. From the boardwalk at Paseo del Mar, have a view of big and little Sta. Cruz Island and Basilan Island. Witness the Spanish influence through Fort Pilar.
Planning to go to Zamboanga? Mark your calendar for Regatta de Zamboanga – the biggest and most colorful event in the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival conducted throughout the month of October with main events happening during the first 12 days.
Do you have other places worth trying this year not listed here? Write it down in the comment section.