With the temperate climate weathering, we’d be lying to ourselves if we’d prefer staying indoors noting the 38°C looming on our thermostats. Living in the Philippines, the wrath of the scorching heat may never truly be avoided—even if you were to take shelter in the summer capital of the nation. Given this undeniable fact, why not just freely embrace the heat and take a breather away from the city while you’re at it?
There are various vacation hubs from which one can get much-needed R&R and a view of the city lights from your rearview mirror. Pack your bags, maybe grab a travel buddy, and get a glimpse of these five local destinations in time for the surging summer season.
Notable spots: Puka Shell Beach, Ariel’s Point, D’Mall, Boracay Bars
This island may fall in the same sentence as “saturated” or “overhyped,” though the beauty of Boracay remains true to its infallible reputation. The 10-15-minute voyage from the Caticlan Jetty Port places you on the 7 km-long island, filled with white-sand beaches and a plethora of sights and activities. With rehabilitation efforts recently concluding, the island has now resurrected to its former glory—fully embracing the rich culture of its sandy shores.
Notable spots: Magellan’s Cross, Cebu Taoist Temple. Temple of Leah, Sirao Flower Garden
If you’re from the city and wouldn’t want to seem as if you’re too far away, Cebu’s urbanized plains may be a suitable destination to dock. The earliest settlement established in the country will not disappoint, as the island’s development couples rich Spanish influence with luxury resorts and vibrant nightlife experiences.
If you’re a history buff, it’s a thing to note that the city possesses several landmarks prominent to the country’s identity. Just 30 minutes (without traffic) from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport lies a stone kiosk in the city where the original wooden cross was planted by the Spanish expedition of the first circumnavigation of the world (Magellan’s Cross Pavilion).
Notable spots: Urbiztondo Beach/Surfing, Tangadan Falls, Bauang Grape Farms
Taking a trip by plane may seem ideal with time in consideration. Though if traveling on wheels would be the preferred option, why not head 270 km north of the metro settling at the Garden Coast of the Philippines?
La Union (otherwise known as Elyu) is recognized for its verdant botanical gardens and October waves, housing the acclaimed La Union Surfing Break to commence the best tides season. The 4-5 hour drive from the capital will be worth the trip, as the province houses attractions and activities.
Notable spots: Puerto Princesa Underground River, Twin Lagoons, Tubbataha Reef Natural Park
There’s a certain mystery when it comes to the isle of Palawan. Its beauty may be comprehended through its pristine natural resources, white sand beaches, and crystalline waters.
The “Last Frontier” is home to rich biodiversity and renowned for its greenery and life, yet beneath the surface is where the treasure is buried. Take the plunge with schools of fish and explore the shipwrecks of Coron Bay to culminate the experience.
Notable spots: Cloud 9, Naked Island, Sugba Lagoon, Corregidor Island
We can’t conclude the list without mentioning the Surfing Capital of the Philippines now can we? Siargao Island breathes “catching the tide” with its reliable conditions year round as well as cave explorations and rock climbing, probably not best for the faint of heart. Its geographical location positions itself to be the nearest notable landmark to the lowest point of the Philippine Trench. Notably, it might be a good idea to screen Paul Soriano’s 2017 film of the same name before heading to its shores, as it captures the beauty and wonder of the island.