This is part 2 of 2 of my “Top 10 Philippine Travel Destinations for 2014”
BAR STORY continuation MUNA
“So, do you have a girlfriend?” she asked. I told her, I don’t want to lie to you. I mean,
I want to lie with you.“Can I buy you another drink before I answer that?” We were both tipsy and were both waiting for others to finish dancing. She asked me, “Do you smoke?” I said, “depende.” But if you smoke, I can accompany you outside. It is forbidden to smoke at the bar so I held her hand (it was silky soft, so fair that it reflected the neon lights at the dance floor) until we reached the exit door. She took a stick from her “Virgina Slim” packet. I easily sensed that she high-end with a choice of a cigarette. I came closer to her sexy bod and tried to make a conversation. I continued and said, “You know what… I’m going to Dahican next week maybe you wan to come and tag along?” “What?” she was puzzled and asked where the hell that came from. I told her I live near a beach- Dahican Beach. “Where is that?” she said. In Mindanao, in Davao Oriental and that would be the 4th from my list of “Top 10 Philippine Travel Destinations for 2014.” “Hmmm… I feel I need to visit you there. Let’s talk about that tomorrow. I’m sleepy.” she said.
I’m so sorry If only Siquijor made it to the cut. I know that there are beautiful spots in the Visayas and food is simply amazing sometimes I want to make a food trip in Roxas City, Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo, Dumaguete and Tacloban. But Siquijor is a favorite because of the mysticism always coupled with going there. Siquijor has been a favorite destination when I just want a break from everything. Apart from the secluded white sand coves, number of pristine waterfalls and fantastic sunsets, I like its off-beat charm and lovely locals. I consider it paraiso and waking up in front of a beach with coconut trees swaying just takes away every stress in my body.
By the way, if you still believe in “kulam” or “potions” I think you belong to the past century. Go now and visit Siquijor. You can either enter thru Dumaguete City or Bohol, two destinations that also deserves your visit.
4. Dahican Beach in Mati City, Davao Oriental.
For someone who has virtually visited almost all tourists spots in the country, evaluating a place to stay for life is a hard task. But I chose Mati City particularly Dahican Beach to be my residence. I belong there now. What makes Dahican Beach different from other white sand beaches is the fast that endangered marine creatures like whalesharks, dugongs and pawikans live there and we take good care of them. Plus points for the surf and yes I can’t wait to build my own house near the beach.
Come visit dear reader!
Hidden among the mountains of the Cordilleras is the province of Kalinga. Civilization here dates back centuries ago and I’m glad to say that is one of the most preserved cultures in the Philippines because it is really far from the city.
I have two highlights from two different trips in Kalinga province (please note that Kalinga is different from Kalinga-Apayao, this one province was divided into two separate provinces 18 years ago). One is the famous White-water rafting at Chico River and second was my unbelievable stay in the town of Buscalan in Tingalayan. Sometimes I blame myself for blogging about this as I hear stories after stories of how visitors has disrespected tradition when going there. But since the secret is already out might as well offer a guideline here: Go there with the purpose of learning something about the culture. Please, pretty please, get a tattoo not just for the sake of getting a tattoo to brag. Go there just because you want to learn and be humble to ask what tattoo design is fit for you not what you want. Also, try o visit other elders and pay homage. Get high with everything you see and maybe help in planting rice.
I dedicated a 9-part blog series called “Visit Batanes Series” after experiencing the islands last 2011. Until now the memories are so clear like this instance where kids came to us while walking around town. I was surprised that they started lining up to us visitors asking for our hands so they can pay respect and say “mano po.” In Sabtang, elders would open their windows and doors just to greet us good morning (kulang nalang magmano din sila sa amin.)
A lot has been said of the Marlboro Country, lighthouses and incredible hills so I would not add to that. Food is amazing and you have to seize airline promo tickets if you are planning a ticket. Don’t try to cram everything on a 3d/2N stay as it defeats the purpose of experiencing Batanes. Don’t miss Sabtang too and if you have extra time, do visit Itbayat too. Batanes is like traveling 50 years ago.
1. El Nido and Coron
A lot ask what’s more worthy a visit: El Nido or Coron? I say both are beautiful and incomparable to each other. Both offer island hopping tours but no islands are alike. From limestone karst formations to underground parties, both would satisfy a visitor. Plus you can visit these two destination in one go via the everyday boat that travels El Nido – Coron and vice-versa.
If you still don’t know it yet, El Nido is what Alex Garland describes as “The Beach” with secret lagoon, palm-fringed white sand beach and towering limestone karst
minus the pot (remember the movie of Leonardo DiCaprio). If there is a piece of paradise on earth, its called El Nido.
What I like about El Nido is the Taraw Cliff Climbing. It’s a 2 hour or so cliff climb from the town proper. From the cliff you have an unobstructed view of Bacuit Bay. I said in my past account “My mantra “the most tiring is the most satisfying” keeps running on my head as we traipse the steep rocks to the top. After an hour, I planted my butt on the sharp rock and smiled at the spectacular view on the east. I did it! My smile from ear to ear with my signature “shaka handsign” on both hands. I didn’t waste any time to take photos. The El Nido bay, the boats docking to shore after island hopping the whole day, the sun slowly setting on the west, the lush green forest on my south, the Cadlao island and the town center. I even saw Nacpan beach on the horizon.” Ipil beach with only the moon as my light, monkeys and monitor lizard my companions, the coconut trees my walls, hammock was my mobile house and best of all its free.
Coron is “same same but different.” A different paradise. A small town in the Calamianes group of islands north of mainland Palawan. It’s 12-hour ferry from Manila and 8-9 hours boat from El Nido. Speak of palm-fringed powdery white beaches, crystal clear lagoons, stunning lakes and towering limestone karst and you are brought to Coron. But wait there’s more. If you think what’s above is enough, you are just scratching the surface. Coron boasts of its world-class dive sites- of WWII Japanese Shipwrecks, Thermocline lakes, Cathedral cave, Coral gardens and more. Whew!
We offer tours to both El Nido and Coron. In fact, we will have a “4-day Beach Bumming Tour” in El Nido this March 6-9. Details here: 4-day El Nido for Php6,600/pax.
Bonus: Siargao Island. It will not be called “The Surfing Capital of the Philippines” for nothing.
Looking at the Top 10 List, how many have you visited so far?
Or maybe I forgot to add something you believe should be added on the list. Take time to add thru the comment section below. You can also list your top 10 or if that’s too long, a top 3 maybe?
Note: Ang kwento sa bar ay parang kathang-isip lamang at isinama lamang upang magkaroon ng “twist” ang Top 10 Philippine Travel Destinations for 2014 ko.