After I finished my University studies, I want to achieve my travel goals. Exploring the home of more than 7,000 islands, of course, our country, Philippines. I want to visit our home country's top tourist spots and amazing off-beaten-path destinations. Then, after my local travel adventure, I want to go farther to visit more places in Asia and beyond.
Exploring the world is at the top of my bucket list. I really believe that the more you travel, the more countries you visit, the more you want to see and experience the world, the more you became a storyteller.
So, here are my top picks destinations in the Philippines for my dream travel adventure.
I want to start my travel adventure in the middle of Sulu Sea to visit the Tubbataha Natural Park also as known as The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park for my diving experience. This site is a perfect dive-spot where divers can experience the reefs dramatic underwater terrain, awe-inspiring biodiversity and encounter large marine animals such as sharks, turtles and manta rays.
Tubbataha Reefs is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and receives Platinum Global Ocean Refuge Award during the 4th International Protected Areas Congress in Chile. Also, since divers discovered Tubbataha in the late 1970s, it was recognized as one of the most remarkable coral reefs of our planet.
More than that, because the site is on an isolated location, it can only be visited while onboard a boat. Quite challenging for me. Now, you can also include on your list our homes'marine park which is perfect for your diving excursion.
Next on my list is the country's "crowd-pleasing beaches", Boracay. With its 7 km tall and 500 m wide bikini line, Boracay is the Philippines' top tourist draw.
Apart from its white sand beaches, Boracay is also famous for being one of the world's top destinations for relaxation. get-away, tranquility and nightlife.
Boracay Island and its beaches received several awards from multiple travel publication and agencies. The year 2012, it was awarded as the Best Islands in the World from the international travel magazine, and year 2016, the island headed as the Top 10 Destinations to Visit.
But April 2018, the Philippine government declared a 6-month closure of the island for major renovation works, but October at the same year, it re-opened with a new set of rules meant to follow such as restricting the number of visitors in the islands.
After witnessing the beauty of the white sand beaches of Boracay island, I'll be back in Palawan. On my list, of course, I will never miss out to visit the New Seven Wonders of Nature, Puerto Princesa Underground River. This 8.2-km subterranean river runs under a protected cave that features the spectacular formation of stalactites and stalagmites. With its limestone landscape, it is considered as one of the world's most complex cave systems. I want to experience the paddleboat mangrove forest tour in the world's longest navigable underground river, however, I want also to get deal with the locals of Palawan.
Fourth on my list is the often dubbed 'Eight Wonders of the World', the Bohol's Chocolate Hills which is a famous tourist attraction because of its unique and scenic feature.
More than appreciating the wondrous view of this picturesque landscape, this long stretch of grassy hills became globally known because this majestic terrain makes you think that it's a man-made creation.
The hills have been declared as the country's 3rd National Geological Monument by the National Committee on Geological Sciences year 1998. This is in recognition of its special characteristics, scientific importance, uniqueness, and high scenic value.
I want to see the hills when its called 'chocolate', when they're chocolate brown in color, so my trip will be dry season.
Hagdan-Hagdang Palayan or the Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao is also included on my list. Witnessing the Philippines National Cultural Treasure is really my dream. This is an appreciation to the hard works and culture itself of our Ifugao ethnic group. The terraces is the priceless contribution of our ancestors to humanity. Also, an enduring illustration of an ancient civilization that surpassed various challenges and setbacks despite the modernization Earth.
February and March is the cleaning and planting while harvesting occurs between June and July. I will take note of these months to my travel, so I can enjoy my visit to this world-class terraces in Northern Luzon.
My next destination is the Philippines upland retreat also known as the "City of Pines". I will visit the Summer Capital of the Philippines, a mountain resort city located in Northen Luzon, none other than, Baguio. Baguio is also classified as a Highly Urbanized City and geographically located in Benguet.
I have five reasons why I want to visit Baguio City. First, yes it is given that I want to experience the cool climate and temperature, especially during the Christmas season. Also, I want to experience the genuine and untainted fog that may gonna run through my bones. Aside from the climate and fog, I want to taste the sweetness of Baguio strawberries. Witnessing the Baguio Flower Festival, Panagbenga is also my dream. The festival blossomed the world-class display of talents, culture, and product.
I also want to experience the festivities atmosphere of Panagbenga during float parade and street dancing. More than those reasons, I don't want to miss out during my trip in Baguio to meet and got mingle to the locals of the city. Since Baguio is a weave of different cultures and people from all over the Philippines. I want to come along and embrace the Igorot culture and somehow consider myself as Igorots who are hospitable, warmth and peace-loving people. Baguio serves as the primary gateway to those travelers like me who want to really feel and understand what hospitality is all about.
This time I will reveal my seventh dream destination. Of course, I want to be at the "Queen City of the South", Cebu City. Knowing that Cebu is one of the most developed provinces in the Philippines. The island itself is a perfect site for beaches, coral atolls, rich fishing, and underwater activities.
To be particular on my travel in Cebu, I listed the destinations I want to visit. Cebu Taoist Temple, Temple of Leah, Sirao Flower Graden, 10,000 Roses of Cebu, Osmena Park, also, I included the Kawasan Falls, Pescador Island, Oslob Whale Sharks, Tunalog Fall, and Sumilon Island's Sandbar. Aside from that, I want also to visit the Simala Church, Magellan's Cross, Basilica del Sto. Nino, Colon Street and The Heritage of Cebu Monument. I don't want also to miss the chance to witness the historic beauty of Yap Sandiego Ancestral House, Jesuit House of 1730 also known as Museo de Parian, Casa Gorordo Museum, Fort San Pedro and Museo Sugbo.
So many destinations to visit, proving that the "Queen City of the South" is a mixture of gorgeous beaches, fun activities, and historic sites. Enough for me to include Cebu City itself on my bucket list.
I'm also planning to visit the perfectly cone-shaped wonder volcano in Bicol, also known as the Philippines' greatest attraction. Yes, Mt. Mayon or Mayon Volcano is included on my list.
Mt. Mayon is located in Legazpi, Albay. A volcano that may be the best example that looks can be deceiving. Often dubbed by our locals "looks that can kill"
Knowing that Mayon Volcano is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire like other volcanoes around the Pacific Ocean, the Mayon is renowned on its deadly eruptions throughout history. It has erupted 52 times in the past half millennium making its status as the Philippines' most active volcano and one of the deadliest in the world.
After my trip in Albay, ninth on my bucket list is to explore hills and mountains in Batanes. Batanes is the northernmost province in the country with the smallest population and smallest land area.
I included Batanes because I want to witness its overwhelming beauty. The beaches, lagoons, caves, and islands of the province. I also want to discover their exquisite culture.
And this time I will land my final destination for my dream travel. The tourist spot is known for centuries-old churches, irresistible delicacies, a volcano within a lake, a strong accent, balisong and of course their breathtaking beaches. Ala Eh, Yes, Batangas is also included.
Batangas or Province of Batangas is one of the most popular tourist destinations near Metro Manila. Batangas City has the second largest international seaport in the Philippines.
Since, I love the ambiance of beaches, I make Batangas be included on my bucket list. The impressive shoreline and white sand beaches of the provinces are the I one I want to experience.
I will share also the beaches in Batangas I want to visit. Citing Laiyan at San Juan, the most developed beaches in Batangas. Masasa Beach in Tingloy. Pulo Island in Nasugbu, Matabungkay Beach in Lian and Burot Beach in Calatagan.
Aside from their breathtaking and white sand beaches, Batangas is also known for their decade volcanoes, Taal Volcano and ancestral houses, Taal Heritage Town. Also, I want to taste the Batangas best "lomi", where only Batanguenos know its perfect recipe.
Travel may change us. Travel make us be a storyteller. Travel lets us collect memories, discover the world and enjoy life the most. It is really nice to travel, there's a beauty in traveling, in visiting countries, in exploring those breathtaking tourist spots and destinations. You got to witness the different culture, know and meet different people, taste different food and delicacies and hear different languages.
Don't listen to what they say, Go and See. I hope you will never stop seeing the world. Travel as much as you can, as far as you can, as long as you can because we're not born just to pay bills and die. We are born to become adventurer, to learn, to grow and to discover the beauty of leaving your comfort zone.
Also, do not wait for someone to travel with you, maybe you may end up of waiting for a lifetime. Why not, make your own plan? Start listing your dream places. Pack your things, see the world and be an adventurer, and don't be discouraged always remember its not about the destination, it's about the memories, it's about the journey.