Exploring the bustling cities of our dreams and the island paradise of our choice and even climbing the mountains that captivate us are all in our bucket list. Given the chance, we all want to take a breather every once in a while, or to the jetsetters, a never ending gait to the meandering roads of the planet. It takes a bit of cash, a dash of confidence and a splurge of wanderlust to get going. But once we start the engines of our lives, we learn twice as much, gaining wisdom along the way. The only fuel we need is the insatiable craving for adventure and to acknowledge that we are living without borders.
The Philippines is one country that is blessed with thousands of destinations, both famous and hidden, both the mainstream and the subtle. There is at least seven thousand one hundred reasons to pack our bags and rush out the door.
Go trekking at the UNESCO Heritage site of Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao and be amazed by how free men carved the mountains and brought them to life. Take a plunge right after in the icy water of Tapiya Falls. Or perhaps, test your patience and endurance by climbing the highest peak of the island of Luzon: Mount Pulag. It may be the perfect place to reflect and put everything back into perspective.
Allow the spirit to discover the myriad of faiths, too. Visit the old churches of Cauayan, Isabela and Tuguegarao City of the north, the Taoist temple of the queen city of the south, the Buddhist temple of Davao and the sites of our Muslim brothers and sisters such as Surallah, South Cotabato.
Travel back to the time of the Spaniards by walking through the cobbled streets of Vigan in Ilocos Sur. Remember the chivalry and friendship between the Filipinos and Americans within the fortress of the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City. Learn from the historic battle between the Filipinos and Japanese, and the mutual respect and amity the two nations enjoy today, from the Filipino-Japanese Amity shrine in Valencia, Negros Oriental and the Mansion in Silay, Negros Occidental. Give honor to our national hero in the historic Luneta Park.
Treat the taste buds with a gastronomic feast of seafoods in Roxas City in Aklan. Fall in love with the famous batchoy of Iloilo City and the sweetest mangoes of the world in the island province of Guimaras. Challenge yourself with the fish ceviche and pork of the sinuglaw in Cagayan de Oro and the flavorful Satti of Zamboanga City. Pair a cup of coffee with a blissful serving of Sansrival in Dumaguete City.
Connect with nature through the multiple landscapes of the chocolate hills of Bohol or by gazing at the world famous Mayon Volcano in Albay and the luscious greens atop the Palace in the Sky in Tagaytay City. Be inspired by the best sunset in the world at the Manila Bay. Join a mangrove planting activity in one of the country’s biggest mangrove reserve in Prieto Diaz, Sorsogon. What about flexing those muscles through a spelunking activity in Caramoan, Camarines Sur?
Check out the Philippine’s last frontier, Palawan, and the many scenic sites it has to offer. Go hopping in the islands of Coron and revel in the sandy beaches of El Nido. Practice your imagination in the dark stretch of the underground river in Puerto Princesa. This sword shaped island in western Philippines will surely enthrall travelers!
Try exploring this planet’s top beach, Boracay. Go banana boating, helmet diving or fly-fishing and join the merry-making along the three stations of the place. Whether it is morning, afternoon or night time, Boracay is always ready to serve the best from its menu. Or maybe, go for the more secluded pinkish – white beaches of Subic Island and Paguriran Island in Sorsogon.
Experience the adrenaline rush of surfing! Enroll in a surfing tutorial in the town of Baler, Aurora or beat the heat by surfing in the sands of Paoay in Ilocos Norte. Level it up by trying every pit stop in Sandbox of Porac, Pampanga or smiling while aboard the zipline in South Cotabato, the highest in all of Southeast Asia! Engage in the fun rides of theme parks such as Enchanted Kingdom in Laguna, Arts in Island Museum in Cubao, Quezon City and the Manila Ocean Park in the Philippine capital city.
Dance with the hundreds of festivals across the country such as the Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo and the Manggahan Festival of Guimaras and the Magayon Festival of Albay. Enjoy the colorful ‘kiping’ grandiosely arranged in the houses in Lucban, Quezon in the annual Pahiyas Festival and the warm smiles of the Maskara Festival of Bacolod City.
Every bend of this planet leads to an adventure. Take a deep breath and take that first step. Enjoy your travel! Count every atom and make every story count!