“Certainly travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent in the ideas of living.” -Miriam Beard
The Philippines is a vibrant land with a myriad of tropical islands. This country has at least seven thousand islands known to host some of the most gorgeous landscapes and picturesque beaches in the world. Considering this, it would be no wonder that the Philippines is considered as one of the best tropical getaways in the world. For tourists, a holiday would mean anything from a gastronomic trip in the culinary capital of the country, Pampanga and see the local Pampanga tourist spots, a trip to the many beaches of Cebu, traversing the trail of Mount Apo in Davao or a rip-roaring pub crawl in Boracay, you can also rent a condo in Manila in AirBnb to plan what & where you want to travel first.
For locals who do not have the luxury of time, however, this is the kind of trip that would require a full-blown itinerary coupled with at least a week off from work. This is particularly the case for locals who are operating on a perpetually busy schedule and would rarely get any downtime other than weekends.
Individuals living in Metro Manila who have busy schedules would likely feel the need to negotiate with their timetables just to fully take advantage of their holidays. So, instead of the usual tourist’s spots (that frankly, you have already seen and been to), try something that is a little unbidden, unfamiliar but a bit closer to home. Take this as an opportunity to explore some of Luzon’s well-hidden getaway spots and upgrade your usual travel routine. If you have a weekend trip coming soon,
Here are some of the places that can help fill your travel itinerary:
1.) Talisayin Cove
If you want a trip to the beach, why take a plane ride to Cebu or Boracay where the beaches are already riddled with tourists and locals alike when you can just board a bus or go on a road trip and visit San Antonio, Zambales instead? There is no absolute need to travel far just to get your fill of white powdery sand and crystal clear blue waters when you these are readily available in the ashen cove of Talisayin. Marvel the beauty of Talisayin by riding a boat from Pundaquit or Subic. Traveling from Subic however, would mean a longer travel time.
2.) Masasa Beach
Batangas is already known to have some of the best beaches in Luzon. However, there is an island municipality in Batangas, Tingloy that holds a beloved secret—the Masasa beach. Pristine and crystal clear waters dominate Masasa beach. And the best thing about this beach is that it is rarely disturbed considering that people other than locals do not know of its existence, and those that do go would only go as far as Sombrero Island. To get to Masasa Beach, take a public boat from Anilao that would ferry passengers to Tinglot for seventy pesos.
3.) Kinabuhayan Cafe Bed and Breakfast
At the foot of Mount Banahaw lies Kinabuhayan Cafe which is an offbeat bed and breakfast that is noted for its homey and rustic vibes. The cafe is essentially a tree house which allows you to disconnect from the world and be one with nature. This is the perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon sipping on their bottomless glasses of Barako coffee while lounging in a hammock with a pet pig for company. The food is prepared by the owner himself, Chef Jay Herrera.
4.) Nara Hill
In Laurel, Batangas lies a humble and newly opened bed and breakfast that is obscured behind damp and luscious trees called Nara Hill. If you are seeking a for a tranquil respite away from the constant hustle and bustle of the city, then Nara Hill should definitely make it to your list. The place is surrounded by verdant trees and scenic landscapes, and what the pool lacks in size, it compensates for its breathtaking view of the Taal Volcano.
5.) The Circle Hostel
If you are seeking for a place with a healthy dose of sun, waves, and sun punctuated with offbeat undertones, then The Circle Hostel in Zambales is ideal for you. The ambiance is replete with relaxing currents seeing as the place is designed to be the perfect getaway. Hammocks are littered all over the place, and there are murals upon murals of colorful graffitis. The place itself is a welcome change of scenery from the usual lofty resorts and hotels we usually find in cities. Its unpretentious vibe coupled with the warmth of the people spells the perfect getaway indeed.
For lack of a better description, Meteora is what you would mainly consider as the Greece of Philippines. Located in Tagaytay, tourists and locals alike would flock to this area for enviable prenuptial shoots or Instagram-worthy shots. However, be warned as this little piece of paradise on earth is not easily navigated through straight paths. To get to Meteora, you would have to make a two-hour drive at the zigzag downward hill of Ligaya Drive. Long before, the place was a retreat place that was then converted into a honeymooner’s bed and breakfast getaway. Today, it has transformed into a humble Filipino rendition of Greece.