AFTER COVID-19: LIST OF BEST PLACES TO RELAX (BY REGION)

Top Philippine Destinations for 2020
When COVID-19 was declared by the World Health Organization as a global Pandemic, we were hiking Mt. Hamiguitan, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Davao Oriental. It was our second day when we passed by a small spot, along the trail, with a low reception but able to receive messages. Though we were still connecting the dots due to the lack of complete details because of the slow connection, one thing was precise, the president already declared the lock-down of the NCR. Instead of enjoying the beauty of Hamiguitan, we were silently walking on the trails and our minds were focused about going back to Manila. After the tiring and expensive travel to Clark Airport, today is the Day 11 of the community quarantine, with help of traveler and hiker friends, I am creating this list of tourist destination visit after the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Suring in La Union
Photo by: IG @jaycurtissmith
REGION 1 - SURFING IN LA UNION. Don't forget to bring your swimsuit and summer attire because La Union is the "surfing capital of the north." The province is facing the Western side of Luzon which possesses the gigantic but friendly waves. If you can't stand on the board, not a problem, you can stay on some of the cottage, relax while the fresh cool breeze is blowing, enjoy crystal clear water and capture the golden sunset. Night life? You got it here! Restaurants and bars are fully operational in the evening for partey partey.


Anguib Cove
Photo by: Henry Tan

REGION 2 - CAMPING BY THE BEACH AT ANGUIB COVE. Situated in the province of Cagayan, Anguib Cove is perfect for those who are searching for a place with minimal visitors. The cove has a perfect picturesque, from the long-curvy-stretch of fine white sand landscaped with Agoo trees on the side. The sand has a mixture of colorful shells, pebbles in different shapes and living crustaceans running back and forth. From the quaint cottages by the beach, the crystal clear water and emerald seas are visible separated by the horizon from the blue sky. Its preserved tranquility can definitely make your day a lazy day. | READ: ANGUIB COVE


Silanguin Cove
REGION 3 - ENJOY THE PERFECT BACKDROP OF SILANGUIN COVE. The province of Zambales is facing the West Philippine Sea, so it is well known for its gorgeous fine white sand and crystalline waters. Silanguin Cove is on the top of the list because its beautiful coastline is highlighted by the amazing slopes of the mountains on the background. Since it's more than two hours travel from Pundaquit, the jump off, you will enjoy its natural wonders without too much people. | READ: SILANGUIN COVE


Alibijaban Island
REGION 4-A - ALIBIJABAN AND THE BURIAS GROUP OF ISLANDS. Alibijaban Island is one of the unrated islands in Quezon Province. It is a tourist island situated in San Andres, Quezon; a 9 to 10 hours travel from Manila. The island is surrounded with cool and transparent emerald water. On the other hand, its shoreline has fine white sand, a perfect paradise for the small living crustaceans while its underwater is rich with splendid flora and fauna that are visible because of the clear waters. If you have enough time, you can charter a motorized banca for an island hopping to Animasola, Tinalisayan, and Sombrero Island - part of Masbate. | READ: ALIBIJABAN ISLAND


Sibale Island, Romblon
Photo by Sir Dennis Evora of Sibalenhon Backpacker.

REGION 4-B - EXPLORE THE ISLANDS OF ROMBLON. Sibale Island is an one of the untouched gems of Romblon. Just imagine, you are lying beside the blue tent on the fine white sand, while the cool and fresh sea breeze is blowing your hair and the trees. During night time, you are still lying on the cold sand while facing the sky, glaring on the stars shining like diamonds in the sky. But you can now stop dreaming and list down Romblon in your bucket list, don't forget to bring your friends. | READ: ROMBLON TRAVEL GUIDE

Apuao Island, Camarines Norte
REGION 5 - THE NOT SO FAMOUS APUAO ISLAND. Apuao Island has a long stretch and shapeless white sand shoreline. The white powdery sand has a mixture of shells, pebbles, and other crustaceans. This island cannot be completed without the fresh and cool sea breeze and crystal clear waters. If you prefer an overnight, no worries cottages or camping by the beach are your choices. Sari-sari store, toilet and baths are available in the island. Island hopping to Malasugui Sandbar, Canimog Lighthouse, and Caringo Island are optional. By the way, Apuao Island is situated in Mercedes, Camarines Norte. | READ: APUAO ISLAND


Mt. Pulag
WITNESS THE "SEA OF CLOUDS" OF MT. PULAG OF THE CORDILLERAS. I personally consider Mt. Pulag as one of the most beautiful mountains in the Philippines and it is always part of mountaineer's "Must Hiked" list. It is the third highest mountain in the country and the highest point in Luzon. Pulag attracts many tourist because of the famous “sea of clouds,” a majestic phenomenon where the hikers, on the summit, are literally above the cloud. The slopes of the mountain is Instagram worthy. | READ: HIKING MT. PULAG


Alobijod Beach, Guimaras
REGION 6 - ALOBIJOD BEACH, GUIMARAS. Though the shoreline is not white as Boracay Island and Anguib Cove in Cagayan, Alobijod Beach is pretty on it's own way. The picturesque is also Instagram worthy because of the rock formation highlighted by the creamy white sand with corals and pebbles. The ambiance by the beach is relaxing because of the sea breeze is cool. The tourist destinations in Camiguin can be reached via habal-habal. | READ: ALOBIJOD BEACH


The Plunge, Danao Adventure Camp
THE PLUNGE is one of the highest canyon swing in the world.

REGION 7 - EXPERIENCE THE EXTREME "THE PLUNGE." The province of Bohol is one of the top tourist destinations in the Visayas region because of the stunning "chocolate hills" and the weird-looking but cute primate called "tarzier;" these are just two of those in the limelight. As we dig deeper, the province is rich with historical landmarks, fine white sand beaches and the wealthy underwater. In addition, there are extreme activities that can be tried, such as THE PLUNGE at Danao Adventure Camp. | READ: DANAO ADVENTURE CAMP


Ulan-Ulan Falls, Biliran
REGION 8 - ENJOY THE RELAXING ULAN-ULAN AND THE TINAGO FALLS. The majestic Ulan-Ulan Falls and Tinago Falls are two of the top tourist attractions and destinations in Biliran. These two are situated on the mountainous areas, this means that they are far from the noise and people. Both are surrounded by plants, trees, gigantic rock formations while the waters are cold, crystal clear and produce the relaxing sound. | READ: BILIRAN TRAVEL GUIDE


The Pink Beach
Photo by Alfie and Onah Canon.

REGION 9 - THE PINK BEACH, STA. CRUZ ISLAND. "The Latin City of Asia" - the title given to Zamboanga City because of their language called "chavacano," very similar to Spanish. This independent city hides a gorgeous island that offers an instaggramable landscape. Like the other beaches on this list, it is surrounded by crystal clear emerald waters and has a stretch of a shoreline with fine pinkish sand. Another prominent signature of Zamboanga City is their "vinta," a colorful and stunning sailboat usually used by the locals.


Sto. NiÑo Cold Spring, Camiguin
REGION 10 - THE CRYSTAL CLEAR STO. NIÑO COLD SPRING. During our visit, there was a typhoon but the ambiance at Sto. NiÑo Cold Spring was incredible. The fresh water free flowing on the pool was absolutely clear. The air is still fresh and clean because the area is surrounded by trees and plants. Cottages and rooms are available for visitors for a very low price. Souvenir shops are available by the entrance. | READ: CAMIGUIN ITINERARY


Talicud, Samal Island
REGION 11 - THE PRIDE OF DAVAO REGION, SAMAL ISLAND. Isla Reta is a resort in Talicud Island - a smaller island situated at the back side of Island Garden of Samal (ICAGOS) or literally ‘sa likod.’ This is one of the island paradise in Davao del Norte that bears white sand beaches, and an island surrounded with emerald and crystal clear water. Also, underwater is a sanctuary of colorful flora and fauna. Isla Reta Beach Resort in Talicud Island is a perfect island for retreat and relaxation - well, if you're just looking for a relaxing ambiance by the beach. | READ: SAMAL ISLAND


Isla Jardin del Mar, Sarangani
REGION 12 - THE LITTLE BORACAY OF SARANGANI, ISLA JARDIN DEL MAR. Upon arrival at Island Jardin del Mar, I easily heard the relaxing rushing waves hitting the shoreline. After paying the entrance fee, with excitement, I headed to the side where the sound came from and found a stretch of fine white sand and playful crystal clear water. Not only that, the emerald seas, the coconuts, and the trees by the beach serve as a perfect backdrop. By the way, the wind is cool and fresh and the area has a relaxing ambiance - perfect for family outing and weekend getaway. | READ: ISLA JARDIN DEL MAR


Dinagat Islands
Duyos Beach, Province of Dinagat Islands

REGION 13 - THE VIRGIN BEACHES OF DINAGAT ISLANDS. Dinagat Islands is a province situated in the Northern tip of Mindanao, just beside the world famous Siargao Island. It is known as the "Mystical Province of Love." Until today, the beauty possesses by this newly appointed province is still hidden. With that in mind, the alluring rock formations perched on the crystal clear waters, the fine white sand shoreline, and the vast diversity of flora and fauna are considered as untouched. | READ: DINAGAT ISLANDS


Malamawi Island, Basilan
MALAMAWI ISLAND OF THE BANGSAMORO AUTONOMOUS REGION. One of the must visit in Isabela City, Basilan is the famous Malamawi Island where the whitest and finest sand can e found and Malamawi White Beach Resort is one of resorts owned by one of the political individual in the region. The area is relaxing because it is surrounded by coconuts and trees which protects the cottages against the sun. As mentioned, there's a long stretch of super fine white sand and the water is cool and crystal clear, can be compared to what Boracay has. | READ: MALAMAWI ISLAND


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