Bring out the sunscreen and the beach mats, ‘cos summer season is finally here. And if you are a sun chaser, beach bum, thrill seeker, honorary mermaid, or simply a weary soul looking for a break from daily routines, summer (and this article) calls upon you now to heed the call of adventure!
There are countless destinations to choose from—from short-hour drives, long road trips, to remote island destinations—but for me, nothing beats the best of the best. These Philippine destinations attract tourists from all corners of the world, and for good reason.
Here are some of Philippines’ best to remind you—in case you have forgotten—that all the beauty in the world you are looking for are all within reach. You don’t need to fly out of the country to see some of the world’s finest gems of getaway locations. We have them all, right here within our precious archipelago.
Photo: @jmtubera on Instagram
The islands of Mactan, Malapascua, Bantayan, and Sumilon has got some of the best resources for your perfect R and R. Not to mention thrilling activities here like the epic canyoneering experience! White sand beaches? Palm trees offering comforting shade? Clear, refreshing waters? Diving? You can find that all in Cebu. Even the regions capital, Cebu City, has got some pretty sights and adventures tucked within its busy streets and towering structures, too.
With all these under Cebu’s sleeves, it is no wonder this Philippine destination was hailed sixth out of the 2016 “The World’s Best Islands” list of New York-based travel magazine and website, Travel + Leisure.
Photo: @altaniameen on Instagram
Just a quick four-hour drive out of Manila anda short plane ride away if you’re coming from Davao, the King City of the South, you’ll land in Clark where simply cruising down its roads feels like you’ve left the Philippines altogether.
Clark, Pampanga is the home of Clark Air Base, a Philippine Air Force base in Luzon. The base was formerly a United States Military Facility up until 1991 and is, to date, home to many US military veterans, which is why Clark’s roads and infrastructures carry that American feel.
One of the most visited events in Clark is the annual Philippine International Hot Air Balloon festival, which is participated by balloonists from all around the globe. It is a magical sight one needs to see at least once in their lives! But don’t just come for this event. The PIHABF is just one of the many great attractions in Clark you need to go visit to discover.
Boracay (Caticlan and Kalibo)
Many say that Boracay has become somewhat overrated, but don’t dismiss it altogether especially if you haven’t been there yet. It’s still beautiful. Just don’t expect secluded spots and chill, quiet moments by the shore—Boracay is not the place for that. Boracay is, and perhaps always will be, for the youthful in heart and spirit.
READ: Kalibo’s Ati-Atihan: Memories from a Festival First-Timer
But try to appreciate it for what it naturally is—Boracay Island’s main beach, White Beach, is a pristine stretch that boasts of sand that is the finest you’ll ever see. The water is sky blue, with a horizon painted with pastel colors. And just wait for the sunset. Boracay’s sunset is quite famous, and you’ll understand why when you witness its grand colors first hand.
The King City of the South, Davao, is the largest city in the Philippines in terms of land area. And what is there to do in a city that’s more than 2,000 square kilometers? Plenty.
From the abundance of activities in the city center—dining, recreation , and visits to the Philippine Eagle Center and Davao Crocodile Park to name a few—to immersion in nature with trips to the Tagabobo Ecotourism Site, white water rafting adventures, or for the more adventurous, hiking Philippines’ highest mountain, Mount Apo. And for the sun chasers, there’s Samal Island, a mere 10-minute ferry ride from the city center where you can get a taste of a more provincial way of living. Go mountain climbing, diving, and kayaking here, or just spend your days lazing by the island’s many beaches.
Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Ah, Palawan. Where do we even begin? Palawan, again and again, keeps being hailed by various international travel magazines as the best island in the world. And with the beauty sprinkled across the island from the north to south, it is no question why it deserves such recognition.
The major gateway to Palawan is Puerto Princesa, the capital. And with the affordable flights going there from major hubs like Manila, Davao, and Cebu, Puerto Princesa has become a favorite escape for those needing a quick escape to paradise.
READ: Spectacular Sunsets in the Philippines: My 5 Favorite Places
Many just use Puerto Princesa as a jump off point towards El Nido, but as someone who considers Puerto Princesa as her island home, let me tell you that there are many hidden wonders to be discovered in this capital. Aside from the amazing Underground River, there’s Honda Bay, and many incredible beaches (and great local bars and restos) around the city only locals and a few tourists (or honorary Palawan girls like me) know about.
I’m not going to tell you where they are. But I promise you they are there. Now you have to go explore Puerto Princesa and discover them for yourself. 😉
Ready to go on an adventure? These destinations are all within reach no matter where you are in the Philippines. AirAsia just recently launched new domestic flights from Clark, Davao, and Cebu towards these 5 hot summer destinations. And they currently are on sale to celebrate these new routes!
Check out the schedule below:
Catch flights from Davao to Cebu, Clark, Caticlan, and Puerto Princesa from as low as P398, flights from Clark to Kalibo and Davao from as low as P699, flights from Cebu to Davao, Puerto Princesa, and Caticlan from as low as P699, and flights from Manila to Caticlan from as low as P1,699.
Book your summer getaways now until 12 March 2017 at www.airasia.com. To stay updated with latest promos, follow @AirAsiaPhilippines on Facebook, Twitter, and Viber public chat.