The holiday season was more than a hot minute ago but some people seem to be stuck in a seasonal haze, or at least wishing for another one. There are a handful of long weekends this year, much to our chagrin, but rest assured these will be enjoyed to the fullest.
We, at Live To Explore, are all up for short excursions and random outings so we compiled a list of some of our double-tapped, bookmarked and pegged Instagram posts from our favorite celebrities, social media stars and, the occasional friend (of a friend of a friend) of enviable places to visit in the Philippines. Be inspired by their photogenic posts and jet setting ways, follow in their footsteps and their itinerary or blatantly copy their Insta-poses. Book that trip and take that leave. You’ve got our blessing.
What to do: Amanpulo is an ultra-luxe exclusive island-resort in Palamican Island, Palawan. The private island boasts of some of the best coral reefs and marine life in the Philippines. Should you get tired of diving and snorkeling in the island’s two coasts, you can opt to dine in the resort’s famous floating Kawayan Bar. This is definitely worth the splurge.
What to do: A twenty-minute boat ride from the town of Coron will take you to your choice of paradise in the form of endless crystal clear turquoise waters and limestone rock formations. Make your trip to Coron worthwhile by visiting some of its famous sites: the Kayangan Lake, the Barracuda Lake, the Twin Lagoon and the Japanese WWII Shipwreck for wreck divers.
Where to eat: La Union is getting a lot of love and we’re guessing it’ll get even more now that Jay Abello’s movie Flotsam is now out. (Read here for more information.) Now that you know where to stay (Flotsam) and what to do (surf), we suggest to take a breather and visit El Union Coffee, a quaint little cafe that serves the most Instagrammable serving of smores and graham crackers. Also try the grilled cheese sandwich with maple bacon jam. Sometimes the call of food is much stronger than the call of the water.
A photo posted by 〰Melissa Gatchalian〰 (@sartorialpanda) on
Who: Melissa Gatchalian
Where: Bohol Bee Farm Resort and Restaurant, Bohol
What to do: Aside from copying her exact Instagram shot, a trip to Bohol wouldn’t be complete without a side trip to see the tarsiers and the Chocolate Hills. Okay, these are pretty basic Bohol tourist musts but each trip is awe-inducing and worth your time.
What to do: Face your fears in one of the most exciting adventure trips in the Philippines. For beginners, canyoneering is an activity that involves traveling down creeks or streams within a canyon. Some tips: be prepared to jump, prep prior to the trip by doing quick exercises, wear the appropriate attire, don’t be shy to use floaters or a life vest and leave your inhibitions behind. Also, the fee per head is cheaper with a bigger group so grab all your friends for a novel adventure.
Where to go: An Oslob must is definitely swimming with whale sharks and living to tell the tale. Kidding, the largest fish in the world are actually harmless in Oslob, but get more than four feet near them or, worse, touch them, and you can get jail time. After a memorable swim and being one with nature, complete your trip by taking a trek to Tumalog Falls via a van or habal-habal.
What to do: Batangas is a favorite getaway destination. There are many beaches to choose from depending on your favorite resort and its a pretty easy drive from the city. Little did we know, Batangas is now also a spot for more adrenaline raising activities like parasailing. Take cue from Jelito and see the beach from above.
What to do: Though its known as the Surfing Capital of the Philippines, Siargao has fun for everyone. Located in Surigao del Norte, the island boasts of perfect beaches with gorgeous rock formations, lagoons, caves, sand bars, a mangrove forest reserve and so much more–minus the swarm of tourists. Don’t miss the Magpupungko Pool, with the clearest of waters in varying shades of blue. We’re booking a trip here, stat.
Where to go: #Laboracay has overpowered our memory of the once-pristine beaches of Boracay and party-hopping from one bar to another, with an infamous itinerary of White House- Tides-Epic, has taken the relaxation out of the island. Luckily, there are some undiscovered spots that can still be visited like the West Cove Resort. A twenty-minute ride from D’Mall will take you to Diniwid Beach with its selection of gorgeous, undiscovered resorts that take us back to the Boracay of old. Hang out for drinks at Spider House, jump off the bar (you can!), swim a little and then stay at the West Cove Resort with its organic architecture giving you a sense of serenity solitude. Partying in White House, optional.
Alyssa is a petite woman with big dreams. She shares the beauty of the country via her day job as the Managing Editor of Explore and LiveToExplore.ph. Snapchat fiend by night, spot her in red lipstick.