Lose Yourself in the Hidden Gems of the Phillipines

Jack Van Toorn  —  9:30 am


The Philippines is known for its white sand beaches and the hospitality of its people not to mention the local delicacy from seafood to refined cuisine. The tourism industry boasts that “it’s more fun in the Philippines.”

Needless to say, most of the best locations in the Philippines are hidden partly because of the inefficient transportation system. If you are the adventurous type with a knack for unchartered territories, you won’t be disappointed with the hidden treasures of the Philippines.

Batanes, an island province

This small island at the northernmost tip of the Philippines just south of Taiwan holds amazing wonders on its own. It had its fair share of WW2 history even a reminder of Spain’s colonization of the Philippines. The native population of the island is inherently nice and warm so you won’t feel out of place. Some locals travel to the island for its fantastic rolling hills and pristine beaches especially its cool weather. Be forewarned though that the best way to visit the island is through a chartered plane since boat rides are quite dangerous because of the strong waves.

Cordillera mountain ranges

Trekkers love these mountain ranges particularly in Kalinga because of its exhilarating scenery. Another worthy peak is that of Mt. Pulag sporting the province’s highest point above sea level. Mind the experience though as the trail to the peaks are less traveled requiring fit travelers ready for some dirt action. In the end, the rewards are plentiful such as insanely great view with the backdrop of evergreen rolling hills.

Perfectly coned Mayon Volcano

You won’t believe that the locals call this mountain ‘beautiful lady’ considering that she is an active volcano and has brought havoc countless of times to the province of Albay. Just recently, many mountaineers lost their lives trying to reach the peak of the volcano so skip this one if you’re not up to the challenge; the views from afar are already worth it though and the food in the area really taste amazing like the popular chili flavored ice cream. At the foot of the volcano are simple activities like off-roading, which is more than fun for a thrill seeker.

Vigan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Perhaps travel back in time in this less traveled part of the country partly because of its distance from the capital. The architecture of the city of Vigan clearly portraits the picture of the colonial Philippines. The local government of Vigan managed to preserve the old architecture from cobblestone roads to stone houses including the traditional horse carriage for transportation thus effectively bringing you back in time.

Caramoan, Camarines Sur

This part of the country is quite popular because of the French edition of Survivor, the 8th season of Koh-Lanta yet not a lot of tourists flock to the area making its beaches pristine and less crowded. Be forewarned though that the facilities in the area aren’t fully developed adding for a more breathtaking experience in a fabulous paradise. There’s a reason why two seasons of Survivor series were shot here, the island is simply an enthralling paradise.

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Jack Van Toorn