The Philippines - The Destinations for Travel Recovery

RelationshipsGuy

I Miss The Philippines

It's been nearly 2 years since I last visited the Philippines and I do miss the country and people.

I know many of you are wondering "Why the Heck" would someone travel for 15 hours non-stop when there are perfectly lovely spots back home. It's a great question actually.

If you're freezing away in New York, Prepping for storms in Hawaii, or suffering from drought in California then you should read on for 5 exquisite alternatives.

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The Philippines is stunningUnsplash

Over the past decade, I've visited many South-East Asian destinations, with the Philippines one of my favorites. If you're living in a cold climate then you will love this country's warm weather and equally warming people; Filipinos are some of the friendliest I've met.

To start you off, here's the shortlist of my must-go Philippines locations.

Palawan is the number one place to visit in the Philippines, and especially if you're a first-time traveler to the country. Palawan offers a great mix of popular, crowded beaches and private island resorts such as Pamalican and Minoloc. I preferred Minoloc.

No single place encompasses the Filipino vibe better than Palawan.

It is a very large island with plenty of fantastic locations. Every traveler who ventures here will find something they like. Palawan has some of the most amazing beaches and lagoons you’ll ever see.

The island is one of the best value-for-money destinations in the world as even the high-end resorts are still relatively cheap.

Make sure you visit El Nido which is perched in the most easterly part of the main island. Wander around El Nido town and hire your own boat (whilst making sure to barter) to visit the stunning Bacuit archipelago.

You'll discover that Palawan in the Philippines is perfection for families, single couples, or single travelers - there's something for everyone.

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Palawan in the Philippines - black and brown turtle on beach shore during daytimeUnsplash

Boracay

Boracay is a relatively small island with a highly developed tourism scene. Boracay Island has quickly become one of the best places in the Philippines to visit. Tourists and locals love this spot, equally.

Boracay really resembles the party islands in Thailand. It is a tourist mecca, where you’ll have everything you desire at a hand’s reach. The hotels are fantastic and also cheaper than other similar locations around the world.

‘White Beach’ is where all resorts are located, and is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the whole world.

Make sure to visit Willy’s Rock, relax at White Beach and Nonie’s for one of the best bites to eat on the island.

Boracay can get hectic at times especially with the many hawkers - these hawkers can sometimes upset small children - Boracay Island, the Philippines is best suited for single couples and single travelers.

Manila

If you’re traveling on a long-haul flight to the Philippines, you’ll first fly into the capital city, Manila.

Manila is a thriving metropolis that’s got everything from shiny skyscrapers, plenty of history, and a foodies paradise.

Many tourists overlook this amazing city and just pass through it on their way to the islands. Do make sure you enjoy everything Manila has to offer.

Manila is a special mixture of cultures and the stark contrast between old and new. With anything from old forts and churches; to some of the world’s largest and busiest shopping malls, it really has something to offer everyone.

Make sure you visit the lush gardens of Fort Santiago, ride a jeepney, and pop into Jollibee’s for some spicy chicken. It’s not fancy but the chicken is addictive, and you'll thank me for the experience.

Rizal Park is another tourist spot of historical importance.

This 60-hectare urban park is where you will see the Rizal Monument, marking the execution site of the country’s national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. Manila Bay’s breeze keeps the Philippine flag waving from a 46-meter flagpole fronting his monument.

Manila is for everyone due to the capitals' diverse attractions. It's also where I met my girlfriend, Chie, via PinayRomances when I was looking for a Filipino travel companion. PinayRomances is a great resource for singles and they have convenient Windows and Android apps as well.

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Grilled meat on black grill found in Manila, the PhilippinesUnsplash

Cebu

Ahh, Cebu - my #2 best place in the Philippines!

The provincial capital, Cebu City, is the second-largest city in the country right after Manila. The whole island is filled with small towns and villages that provide different opportunities for adventure or luxury. Great for people from all walks of life.

Cebu City also has a very active culinary scene. You’ll find some of the best cuisines the Philippines has to offer, including traditional Filipino food, Asian Fusion, and European and American cuisine (so you don't get homesick).

I love Cebu for all the water play found there. It is the best place in the Philippines if you’re a water baby - beach resorts and dive sites, the island of Cebu is an outdoor lovers playground.

Near the southern tip of Cebu, Tumalog waterfall is another great spot to visit if you’re in the south of the island. Take some pesos for entrance fees.

Moalboal is a popular and relaxed beach town with good nightlife and cozy beach resorts. The main attractions there are Kawasan Falls, canyoning, and snorkeling with the sardines. For Kawasan Falls, make sure to take some waterproof shoes you can wear for a swim, the area can get rocky and quite slippy.

A great choice for couples visiting the Philippines is Malapascua island with its stunning secluded beaches, high-end resorts, and excellent diving spots.

Siargao

I left my own favorite until last.

Up until recently Siargao Island was a hidden gem and served mostly as a surfer’s paradise.

There are domestic flights from both Manila and Cebu to Siargao Island.

Surfers are drawn to Cloud 9, the most famous surfing spot in the Philippines. From November until April, all is well with Cloud 9’s thick tubes.

But you don't need to be surfing to enjoy the island. Other fun Siargao activities and beautiful attractions are the rock pools, waterfalls, and the nearby Sohoton Lagoon, where you can swim with thousands of non-sting jellyfish. Children will flip over this experience - in a fun and good way.

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Aerial island and beaches in Siargao Island, the PhilippinesUnsplash

Closing

If you haven't already guessed, this wandering Yank adores South-East Asia with a particular fancy with the Philippines - my girlfriend sees to that lol

Peel off your sloppy-joes, pack a suitcase, and experience a vacation which you'll remember in the Philippines.

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I enjoy travel across South-East Asia. I'm a down-to-earth, honest, quirky humor, compassionate, and upfront kinda guy. Easy going and love to laugh. Into good food, wine, and great company. I’ll talk and try to help anyone.

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