it’s funny how we, filipinos, welcome the summer with much anticipation as if it isn’t perpetually summer year in and year out. well, save for the rainy days, that is. but still. other than a bit of midyear rain showers here and there, the weather is generally the tropical kind (when you’re not faced with a tropical storm). yep, think coconut trees and sandy beaches with warm wind blowing against your already-sunkissed cheeks.
the kind that i daydream about when i’m chillin’ in melbourne. like, literally.
now, understand that we have 7,107 islands — low tide. (during high tide, you’re looking at 7,100.) this list might not make a fair representation of the gorgeous beaches this archipelago has to offer but with april creeping in 2 days from now, allow me to share with you my favorite beaches here in the philippines (in no particular order). because, as far as i’m concerned, april is when summer becomes officially summer.
here we go:
1. CAMOTES ISLAND, cebu
i’m supposed to post only one photo per place but i love camotes island so much i can’t help but post two. it’s that lovely. it’s relatively cheap too, and not as crowded as, say, boracay. san francisco is where most tourists usually go because that’s where the powdery white sand beaches are. there are two major resorts in the area, both of which have its pros and cons. i wish i could tell you which of the two is my ultimate favorite but the libran in me would rather let you weigh it out yourself, with the help of my own undecided post appropriately titled torn.
2. PANGLAO ISLAND, bohol
bohol, in general, is another one of those sleepy provinces in the philippines. but panglao island, i daresay, is fully awake with tourists who spend their time with sand on their butts and thighs while enjoying the beautiful scenery that gloriously lies before them.
and, oh, how kids love it here. my niece had so much fun playing in the water and with the starfish that she could gather (whose picture i am including here simply because they look so pretty).
3. SUMILON ISLAND, cebu
frankly, i find that sumilon island is one of the snobbish ones. but mainly, that has to do with the fact that about 90% of the island is owned by a private company. but it’s a really nice resort, though. quite expensive but the staff and the rooms are just amazing! there are many activities that you can do there such as kayaking or fish feeding on the lake, hiking on a trail that leads you to the ruins of a fort once used by the japanese soldiers as a hiding point during the war, going for a swim either in the pool or at the beach, or simply lounging around in one of their little huts admiring the view.
but to make your stay even more memorable, why not go swimming with the whale sharks? they live right across from the island.
4. LAPUS, el nido
to be honest, i’m not sure if this can be considered an actual island of el nido. if you look at the map of el nido’s islands that are classified according to tour A, B or C, i doubt you would find lapus there. it’s not a regular stop for tourists.
you won’t find a long stretch of sand in this tiny corner of el nido but there’s a secluded pocket of shore that can hold an intimate party of maybe 10 people. i loved it there. the natural limestone “window” rock formation did me in.
5. PINAGBUYUTAN ISLAND, el nido
of all the islands that i’ve been to in el nido, pinagbuyutan island is my favorite. obvious scenic charm aside, i love the crystal blue water gently lapping against the shore whose pale sand seems to glow even whiter under the hot palawan sun. and unlike many of the beaches i’ve been to in el nido, the waves are not as strong here, if at all, as it is sitting quietly away from the open sea. (the other side of this island gets all the battering from ferocious waves.)
there you go. a list of my favorite summer destinations here in the philippines. it wasn’t easy making this list, i tell you. because there are heaps of nice beaches out there but some of the nice ones i don’t have pictures of because it was ages ago since i’ve been there. some i purposely omitted from the list because although they’re nice and all, i feel like i have to pick the best of the best.
disclaimer: should you choose to visit any of these places i mentioned (or anywhere, for that matter), keep in mind that they’re only as memorable as the company you keep. unless, of course, you’re a loner searching for your soul.