Top 20 Philippine Beaches and Islands: MUST SEE List of Top Vacation Destinations in the Philippines
The Philippine archipelago is comprised of many coastal provinces and towns. Tucked in these towns are the crowning glory of the country – its stunning beaches. Some are so remote and without convenient mode of transportation that many Filipinos have not seen them or heard about them.
I have been to so many beaches in the Philippines. I am blessed to have a business that enables me to travel to different parts of the country and explore even the most remote and untouched ones. This post is a remembrance of my 20 favorite beaches in the country in no specific order. I cannot possibly rank them. After all, each has a personality of its own and has unique characteristics that can appeal to different people.
WhenInManila.com’s Top 20 Philippine Islands and Beaches
by Russell Ri
20. Boracay, Aklan
No surprise here. I am writing about Boracay first because, to many, this too is at the top of their lists. Now, including Boracay in my list might raise a few eyebrows because it has a reputation of being too dirty, too commercialized and too crowded.
Being used to travelling off peak and on weekdays when everybody else prefers / needs to stay in Manila, I too have become spoiled in terms of wanting a beach all to myself. Before my last two Boracay experiences, I might have been a front-runner to those who will raise an eyebrow or shake their heads in strong disagreement but this island has slowly creeped itself into my heart.
Though many would disagree, I’d still consider Boracay as one of the top for the sole reason that in any place that I have gone to, I have never seen and felt sand as white, as fine and as powdery as the one in Boracay island. Some may have come really close, but were never quite the same. That is why whenever I hear or read about people calling one a certain place the “Boracay of the…”, I instantly think…”Uh no, it really isn’t.”. This island also has one of the widest shoreline that I have ever seen.
Because of the influx of tourists, vacation in the island has become extremely convenient. From WIFI connection to banks and ATMs to food down to commodity items, everything is available and accessible. It may be a paradise to people with all sorts of preferences, depending on the time of the year. For those who crave for extreme adventure, come to the island during the kite-boarding season from November to May and witness the best kite surfers from around the world, with their kites filling the skies of Bulabog beach with different colors and prints.
For those who are still looking to party every night, coming here during summertime especially during the Labor Day weekend and in the peak seasons of Christmas holidays will hit the spot right on. For those just wanting to relax and stay on the beach without people walking past you every second, coming in the off-peak seasons of August to October will give you just that. When I last went there in October on a weekday, I could not believe what I was seeing. I have never seen the beach so empty with just one person or two people at a time swimming or passing by.
19. White Island, Camiguin
White Island is a sandbar that can be reached only through a 15-minute boat ride via one of the resorts. Far from the volcanic grey sand around the island, its sand is alternately cream and pure white. The area is so small that anybody can leisurely walk from one end to another in 10 minutes or less.
Back in early 2008, there were small stalls with plastic chairs offering shade and selling fresh grilled seafood and rice, so that tourists could have lunch on the sandbar. However, in an effort to keep the place clean, the stalls were removed in December 2008.
On December 2008, I went to this island just before sunset until it was almost dark. I was amazed to see several men in small fishing boats trying to haul their catch for the night in one huge net. Loads of fish jumping as the men got closer and closer to gather their prize.
If you come to the sandbar at sunset, you just might have it all to yourself!
The Caramoan group of islands is isolated from the rest of Camarines Sur. It owes its popularity to the several Survivor franchises that used it as their venue and to the local government, which has been very bullish about promoting tourism in the province. The ferry ride from the pier to the Caramoan town takes about 45 minutes.
The town is small with several lodging options but without a beach. One has to go on an island hopping trip in outrigger boats where you can take a pick in one of the many beaches with fine cream sand. The only resort within one of the islands is the Gota Beach Resort.
There was a typhoon when I went to Caramoan. As we went on our island hopping trip, it was raining so hard that there was very low visibility. As we rode the outrigger boat through the open sea, the rock formations and the jagged cliff on the islands looked like phantoms and mere silhouettes from afar, only revealing itself as we came closer and closer.
Some had wide beaches and some just had small beaches. You can choose how long you want to stay on each of them. The cream sand is fine and powdery in almost all of the islands.