When you hear of the Philippines, almost always you would think of Boracay, Cebu or Manila. But there are a lot more to this country than just these cities. Here are some of the hidden gems that you should consider visiting while you are here:
Batanes. Located at the northernmost part of the country, Batanes is often overlooked. Unfortunately so, because the place has a very beautiful scenery and awe-inspiring views. Most people who visit Batanes love the verdant hills, craggy cliffs, and the man-made structures that dot the islands. More than that, however, is the feeling that you have stepped into an earlier era where quiet and peace were the norm. Visit the lighthouses, stroll along the white sand beaches, sing your heart out on the hills ala Maria in Sound of Music. You can do it all here.
Surigao del Sur. Until recently, even the locals have been ignoring Surigao del Sur. But two very beautiful attractions are making people sit up and take notice. One is the Enchanted River of Hinatuan, which is surrounded by mysterious happenings and local stories about otherworldly beings guarding the river. Even if you do not believe the stories, you will surely fall in love with the crystal clear saltwater in the river that is perfect for swimming in. Then there is the Tinuy-An Falls, which many consider to be the miniature version of the Niagara Falls. It is considered to be the widest waterfalls in the country.
Coron. A tropical paradise is how Coron is often described. And that is an understatement. Coron gives you opportunities to go island hopping, or you could enjoy swimming in its lovely beaches. There are also a lot of shipwreck sites in the area, so explore these as well.
Antique. Nature lovers and those who are looking for unique experiences would love Antique. Most travelers to Boracay would pass by Antique and not know what they are missing. Here, the mountains meet the sea, a testament of the beautiful natural wonders that you can see here. Go whitewater rafting or kayaking in Tibiao, or see the lovely waterfalls in Bugtong-Bato. Or how about having a Kawa Hot Bath? A kawa is a big cooking pan, so this means that you sit in a large vat with fire underneath. As the water gets heated, native herbs and medicinal plants are added to it. So if you have ever wondered how Hansel and Gretel must have felt had the wicked witch been a little faster in chasing them, this is the experience for you.
Siquijor. The island has long held the unsavory reputation of being the home of the mangkukulam and mambabarang, the Philippines’ version of witches and sorceresses. Even so, travelers cannot be stopped from visiting the little island because of its supernatural (pun intended!) beauty. You will surely be awed by the pristine beaches and the other natural escapes you can visit. You could also go to Cambugahay Falls where you can swing off ropes and drop 12 feet into the waters below.