Thursday, December 9, 2010

25 Things To Do In The Philippines

Last Dec 4, 2010, The Philippine Daily Inquirer published an article "25 Things To Do In The Philippines" detailing what every Filipino should do in our country before traveling outside of it. I think I've tried some of them (or have plans to do some of them) - let's see how many I've actually done.

So here goes:
white water rafting in CDO
1. Go white water rafting in Cagayan de Oro. - done! did this last November. Advice to first timers: given a choice between basic (Php 700) and advanced (Php1000), go with the advanced course.  It just means that you're on the river for longer but the rapids do not differ by much. You will actually pass by the basic course if you go with the advanced. We went with the Bugsay rafting guides. I highly recommend them.

2. Visit Batanes. - not yet. but already booked the tickets for next summer. :) can't wait!
Mt. Mayon

3. See Mt. Mayon up close. - well, sort of. :) we attempted to climb Mt. Mayon but didn't really make it so far. (I'm not really a mountaineer). It was an experience to remember though. And the air, the view at night was amazing. I just hope that next time I sleep under the stars I don't drown in my tent - it rained very heavily while we were sleeping.

4. Swim with the whale sharks in Donsol. - we tried to do this as well. However, we did not come during the peak season so we failed to have an encounter. I think the best we had was a false alarm. We have plans to go again next February though. It's smack during the peak season so hopefully we'll see one of these gentle giants then. 

5. Climb Mt. Pulag and be awed by its sea of clouds. - nope, not yet. 

6. Dive, swim and explore Palawan’s underground river. - Hmm, I've been. So I guess I've explored? We didn't really swim or dive in it. And I think if you're a spelunker, you can go further than the average tourist. It's really beautiful though. The underground river has been declared a World Heritage Site and I can see why.

7. Hike and let the view of Mt. Pinatubo crater take your breath away. - Nope, not yet. Maybe next year during the summer months. 
my slippers in bora
8. Party in your bikini in Boracay. - Weell, I don't generally wear bikinis (que horror!) but yeah, Boracay - with its white sand beaches that seems to go on forever.. truly a little piece of heaven here in the Philippines. 

9. Surf’s up! Choose your wave—La Union, Zambales or Real, Quezon. - no plans yet. :) 

10. Missed out on the pristine beauty of Boracay 15 years ago? Visit Malapascua, Cebu. - I want to go and dive here! Supposedly, the stretch of white sand beach is shorter compared to Boracay but if you would like to experience a less commercialized venue, this is the beach to go. Oh and there's sharks here, if I remember correctly.

moray eel in anilao
11. Dive and see the rich marine life of Anilao, Batangas. - I'm an open water diver (not very good as of yet) but one needs to practice to get better at something. Anilao is the closest and definitely one of the most beautiful dive sites in Luzon. It has something for everyone - whether you're a discover scuba, open water or advanced diver, there's a dive site that's perfect for your level of expertise.

12. Travel back in time—go to Vigan. - This is really like being dropped into a piece of Spanish history. It has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Take note of the cobblestone streets when you're there - not really something you see everywhere. 
pamilacan island
13. Let Bohol wow you with its many offerings—the Chocolate Hills, the tarsier, the Loboc River Cruise, old churches and the beach. - When a friend asked me where to tour foreigners in the Philippines who were only here for a very limited time (one weekend!), I immediately replied Bohol. Bohol offers a variety of activities in one island. Don't forget to try and get in a dolphin and whale watching activity. I recommend the PIDWWO - Pamilacan Island Dolphin and Whale Watching Organization. 

14. Go high! Drive to the Mountain Province of Sagada. Check out the caves, the hanging coffins and enjoy the laidback lifestyle. - I've been wanting to go here forever but haven't had a chance to. There's no direct flight to Sagada so it's harder to zip in and out on a convenient weekend. But definitely will go and visit there sometime soon.

15. Grab a Viaje del Sol map, visit Ugu Binyan’s pottery studio, eat at Kusina Salud and unwind at Casa San Pablo. - I wasn't even aware of Viaje del Sol until last month when I was researching weekend getaway places aside from Batangas and Tagaytay. I'm very excited to try Kusina Salud - I've heard only good things about it. Maybe sometime soon. :)

16. Spend an entire week up north. Take a road trip from Manila to Vigan, Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Aparri and Isabela! - Weell. Somewhat. :P We took a road trip from Manila to Vigan and Ilocos.. and then went back home. haha. So maybe we'll try Cagayan Valley, Aparri and Isabela on another trip. 

17. Try wakeboarding in Camsur. - no plans as of when but definitely! 

18. Check out Malate, Old Manila and all their secret spots. - Since I live near Manila, I have been to Malate and Old Manila. Just not sure if I've been to the secret spots. :) My bf and I had one of our dates at Penguin Bar in Malate. Oh to be young and a lot of pounds lighter. 

19. There are many reasons to love Davao. Kublai’s artworks, its proximity to the beach, the tasty pastil and juicy suha. And did I mention that it’s a smoke-free city? - Haven't been to Davao as of yet.. but hopefully someday. My cousin's husband is from there - perhaps the next time she invites me to go I can actually say yes. :)

20. Spend a weekend roughing it in Anawangin and Capones in Zambales. - definitely soon! :)

21. Check out our colorful fiestas and document them with your camera. Ati-atihan, Dinagyang, Masskara, Sinulog, Higantes, Panagbenga and more. - This is one that I'm not sure when (if at all) I'll be able to accomplish. I find that everytime there's a major fiesta such as these - I'm unable to go. Oh well.

22. Pick your own strawberries at the Strawberry Fields in La Trinidad, Benguet. - nope, not yet.

23. Go to Pampanga for sisig. - The home of sisig. I love Pampanga's sisig! 

24. If it’s too hot in Manila, grab a few friends and take a quick trip to Tagaytay. - I find that I'm in Tagaytay - at least once a month - for one reason or another. Whether for a romantic dinner or an ocular visit for my wedding in 2012, I'm here at least one weekend a month. :) Make sure to bring a jacket if you're here at night - it gets a bit nippy at night.

25. Enjoy a food trip in Iloilo. You’ll never go hungry in this city. - never been. but definitely sampled a variety of pasalubongs from Iloilo. Perhaps someday. :)

All in all, perhaps 11/25 is not so bad. But hopefully, 2011 will see an increase in this score. ^.^

1 comment:

  1. Hey, i think this needs updating na!!! You can check off Donsol!