Widely known as one of the finest swimming destinations in the world, Boracay is blessed with unsullied fine talcum powder-sand beaches. Its tranquil crystal clear waters are perfect for swimming, sailing, fishing and sunbathing. Boracay also boasts of sapphire seas and spectacular sunsets. Countless hidden coves dot the island and tall coconut trees line up along the beaches.
Boracay lies at the northwest tip of Panay, in the west Visayas region, off the Sibuyan Sea. The island is made up of little communities: Yapak in the north, Balabag in the middle, and Manocmanoc in the south. Hilly elevations up to 100 meters above sea level characterize Yapak and Manocmanoc. Intertwining trails link the small villages together but many sometimes lead to lush tropical jungles.
To get to Boracay, one has to book a flight to Kalibo, the capital of Aklan province. Air-conditioned coasters or public buses offer one-hour-and-a-half drive to Caticlan where one can board a motorized banca for a 30-minute trip to Boracay.
This newly discovered island boasts of white-sand beaches and surfing waves compared to that of Hawaii. Lying 800 kilometers southeast of Manila, the tear-shaped Siargao Island is a perfect haven for the sun, sea, and surf buffs. It lies on the eastern portion of Surigao del Norte and on the southeastern tip of Mindanao. The island is a mass of tropical land with scores of reefs, points and white beaches.
Its promise as a surfing mecca in the making was discovered in 1993 by American surf photographer John Callahan who went to investigate the rumors of spectacular waves in a little known Mindanao town. He came back from his trip armed with stories about the lovely sun-drenched island and documented his find with beautiful photographs.
Siargao opened itself to the international surfing community by playing host to the Siargao Surfing Cup in the municipality of General Luna. Siargao's Cloud Nine break is said to be among the best in the world and foreign sportsmen view "the unparalleled surf of Siargao as a magnet for deep sea fishing, sailing, wind-surfing, kayaking, and sunbathing on miles of white sandy beaches that the reef-ringed island and its rich waters afford the visitor.
Samal Island offers unending fascination with its white-sand beaches, thick mangroves, coral reefs, rolling hills and rock formations.It is an archipelago of nine islands located in the Davao Gulf about 700 meters south of Davao City. An ideal model for resort and development, Samal Island provides a fabulous site for sunrise and sunset.
Samal Island, like the rest of Mindanao, is outside of the typhoon belt, and enjoys relatively calm weather. Its coastline is characterized by tall, swaying coconut trees, white sand beaches, rock formations, mangroves, coral reefs, and small fishing villages, all suggestive of a tropical island paradise.
Almost all of the beach areas have white sand, with widths varying from only a few meters to more than 10 meters. It provides ample space for picnic huts, reclining chairs for sun bathing, or for simply relaxing and enjoying the tropical scenery.
The water is crystal clear throughout the coastline, which varies in terrain from gently sloping sand beaches to steep cliffs and rock formations. The colors of the coastline at the beach areas transforms itself from the green lush vegetation of coconut trees, to the white sandy beaches, to the dark blue color of the sea, with its deep waters and coral reefs.
Among its popular attractions are the Aguinaldo Pearl Farm, the caves of Talikud Island, the White Stone Mountain, and the San Jose Muslim Fishing Village.
Bohol's Springs and Beaches
Bohol is one of the loveliest islands in southern Philippines. It is situated at the heart of Visayas and with coastline skimmed by gentle coves and white-sand beaches. Many highways snake along sparkling beaches or leafy rivers where one can stop at any point and jump in.
With its rolling hills and plateaus, crystal springs and beaches, the province of Bohol is a picturesque province replete with ancestral homes and centuries-old churches. Bohol is composed of numerous isles -Panglao, Pamilacan, Cabilao, Jao, Mahanay and Lapinin, which are excellent dive spots.
The Chocolate Hills is but one of the many natural wonders to be found in Bohol. The province is the home of the world's smallest monkey, the tarsier. The size of a fist, the tarsier lives on the hills of Corella, some ten kilometers from Tagbilaran. Other exotic flora and fauna may also be found amongst the forest of Bohol.
Bohol's various mountainous and water formations also serve as a natural playground for the adventurous tourist. One can cruise its rivers, hike up the hills, swim the deep waters, or just stroll down the avenues. Bohol is just waiting to surprise you.
Tagbilaran, Bohol's capital town can be reached by plane or boat from Cebu and Manila. Numerous tourist inns and excellent resorts are found in Tagbilaran and Panglao island.
The Beaches of Palawan
The exotic beauty of Palawan remains undefiled. Branded as the country's last frontier, Palawan is a sanctuary to an amazing variety of exotic flora and fauna that are found nowhere else. Palawan is also home to Tubbataha Reef, the only national marine park that made it to the World Heritage List and whose grandeur is comparable to the Great Barrier Reef of Australia.
With more than a thousand islands and islets, Palawan boasts of white-sand beaches, scenic rock formations, underwater rivers and magnificent caves. Other well-known attractions include Saint Paul's National Park which boasts of caves that nestle an underground river; El Nido, a world-class resort famous for its awe-inspiring seascape and limestone cliffs; and Calauit island, home of Philippine and African wildlife.
Also in Palawan is the primordial island of Busuanga, a perfect starting point for sorties to other nearby islands.In Palawan, each day is promising. The sun rises over the South China Sea and soon everything else sparkles, including the smiles of its people.
The Beaches of Glan, Sarangani
Glan, the largest town in the Sarangani province, boasts of world-class beach resorts and rich fishing grounds. The terrain of Glan is characterized by flatlands, rolling hills and mountains. Most land areas have been converted to agriculture and fishponds.
The town of Glan is bounded on the east by Davao Del Sur, on the north by Malapatan town, on the west by the South China Sea, and on the south by Sarangani Bay.
Many foreign and local tourists flock to the area during summer because of its splendid beach resorts. The sorrounding waters, particularly in Gumasa, Baliton and Margus areas are rich fishing grounds. As many as 2,400 species of marine animals have been found in the bay. The dominant catch include yellow-fin tuna, shipjack, and mackerel.
Glan can be reached from Manila and Cebu by airplane going to General Santos City and a 45-minute drive from the airport.
Subic, the former US naval base in the Philippines, is now a hub for commerce and tourism. Just two-and-a-half hour drive north from Manila, Subic offers a full view of the blue mountain and sea and of the green background of a three-layered virgin forest.
Points of interest include the 18-hole Binictican Golf Course and Clubhouse, a white-sand beach, bowling and arcade center,a ship wharf past a restricted forested area, firing ranges, fishing grounds and an area for bungee jumping.
Visitors to Subic can take a 12-hour jungle survival course, visit an Aeta tribal village, take a bay cruise, explore the coves, end up at the white-sand beach of Grande Island, engage in water sports, go horseback riding or simply enjoy the scenic view of the sea.
Subic Bay is complete with tourism-support facilities that include a marina, a yacht club, hotels, shopping arcades and food shops. It also boasts of an international airport.
Anilao, a resort village in Mabini, Batangas is considered the summer mecca of diving fanatics. The resort offers accommodations and diving facilities, plus the services of training clubs that provide courses on diving.
Situated in the southeast area of Batangas province, Anilao may be reached within three hours from Manila through public buses or jeepneys. From Anilao, one can start diving from the shore or go in bancas to nearby islands. Among them is Sombrero (Hat) Island, a marine preserve where sports activities are regulated.
Other dive spots in this side of Batangas are Mapating Rock at Maricaban Island, Caban Cove and Layag Layag Point.
Puerto Galera (which means Galleon Port) is one of the most popular beach resorts in the Philippines. A marine reserve, it is endowed with coves, fine sandy beaches and shallow coral reefs ideal for snorkeling.
The place can be reached from the port of Batangas City where a ferry service to Mindoro awaits the tourists. Bancas may be hired to go to Escarceo Point, the best dive spot in Puerto Galera. The area offers positive thrills and guaranteed excitement, with its sudden rushes of strong currents and steep slopes which are a favorite gathering place for large pelagic fish.Diving expeditions are usually organized by certified masters on specific dive spots.
Northern Philippines boasts of white-sand beaches in Pangasinan and Ilocandia. Among the best tourist destinations is the Hundred Islands which can be reached from the Pangasinan town of Alaminos, where the lodging accommodations and restaurants are situated.
At Hundred Islands, the visitor may rent an island for one's own private beach for a day. Short boat rides take off from the village of Lucap to the Hundred Islands.
Beaches stretch along the western coast of Ilocos region. Among the popular beach resorts are Cresta del Mar, Bali Hai, Cabana and the Coconut Grove in La Union province.
Ilocos Norte also has fine resorts such as D'Coral Beach Resort and Fort Ilocandia