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Unsung Summer Getaways in the Philippines

by Culture Team
31 Jul 2017 | 2:10 PM

You're constantly sandwiched by all kinds of stress, but come to learn that your request for a week-long leave has been granted and you have a sizeable budget and a group of trusty buddies that you can always run away with. Frolicking under the sun and spotting some beach babes in Boracay may be something you want to do...for the nth time.

While we have nothing against Boracay, Baguio, Palawan, and other classic summer destinations, we strongly suggest that you scour the Philippine map and rediscover that the country has more than 7,000 islands. There are so many places across this vast archipelago that are worthy of being called summer destinations. Okay, so there are many other places to visit, sure, but chances are you have no idea where to go first. Let's get started, then.


It only takes about 3 to 5 hours from Manila to reach a beach destination reminiscent of both Boracay and Palawan. Borawan, located in Padre Burgos, Quezon, is the province's unspoiled version of two of the country's leading beach destinations. The white sand is fine and the rock formations will surely astound you. Borawan is also close to the equally beautiful beaches of Dampalitan and Putting Buhangin. Visitors are given an option to set up camp instead of paying for a cottage.

Biliran Island

If you want to go somewhere that is still tainted with civilization, head to Biliran Island. Located in Eastern Visayas, close to the northern coast of Leyte Island, Biliran boasts of low and luscious hills, clear waters, and friendly folks. Biliran also has several white sand beaches like the Dalutan Beach, Sambawan Island, and Candol Beach. Activities include fishing, camping, trekking, scuba diving, and snorkeling, and there are also exotic falls there to welcome you. Head to Tinago Waterfalls, Tomalistis Falls, and Busai Falls.

Palaui Island

Going up north for a holiday, to many, may mean visiting Baguio, Laoag, or Pagudpud. Visit Palaui Island if you want something different. This island is ideal for backpackers and camp setters who want a peaceful commune with nature. The dramatic coastlines and jagged cliffs of the island are best viewed from Cape Engaño Lighthouse. To get there, you will have to endure a 20-minute trek. But don't worry; it's something worthy of muscle pains, as you will also get to see majestic verdant sceneries along the way. It's because of these reasons exactly that the production team of Survivor USA chose to shoot the two latest seasons of the series in Palaui.

Capul Island

Capul Island in Northern Samar is best if you're after a bit of history. Forget Intramuros and Vigan for a while and revel in some of the island's antique yet magnificent delights like the century-old church of St. Ignatius de Loyola and some war tunnels. For nature-oriented travelers, the snorkeling in Abak Beach and the rock formations in Moro-Moro Point and Acapulco Beach will surely be an otherworldly experience. Cap your afternoon off by visiting the Capul Lighthouse to admire the natural beauty of the island and the surrounding waters.

There's more to our motherland than Boracay and other popular vacation destinations. Our list is short, but you can always ask your "real tour guide" (the Internet, of course!) to point you to the places here in our country that are worthy of being visited and marveled at.