The Philippines is no stranger to awe-inspiring nature and spectacular sights. The country’s got countless beaches, old cities rich with history, majestic mountains and many others.
Just last month, the president of the Philippines enacted laws to make four locations in the country new travel destinations. Three are situated in Ilocos while the fourth is in Central Luzon’s Nueva Ecija. Read on and find out which one you want to visit next.
Bathe in Pinsal Falls, the Twin Falls of Ilocos Sur
In the town of Baballoasioan of Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur, is the 85-foot waterfall parted into two, better known as the Pinsal Falls. Dubbed the “Twin Falls of Ilocos Sur”, this natural wonderland is cloaked in Abra mythology. It is said that a giant named Angalo was searching for his love, Aran, and as he passed through the mountains of Pinsal, he left a large footprint that is now the naturally-made pool on top. This pool is accessible via a trek up the mountain, which has the best view of the falls. If you’re up for a swim, there are cottages that can be rented at a very affordable price.
Dig your toes in the white sand of Santiago Cove
The cove is known as the “Boracay of Ilocos Sur” because of its white sands and blue, blue waters. Because the cove is surrounded by reefs, the waves that roll toward the shore are broken, resulting in calm waters all around. The shore is lined with colorful cabanas provided by the local government, with eateries and stores scattered here and there. Since the beach faces west, you can watch a beautiful sunset, or better yet go up on the view deck to see the entirety of the cove and the mountains of the region. Nearby are the Vitalis Villas, a Santorini-inspired beach resort. If you’ve got a bigger budget, you might wanna think about staying here. Further up north is Ambucao, an idyllic town where you can savor the simple life.
Wander around Candon City, the region’s district center
Though this city is known for being the Tobacco Capital of the Philippines, it’s destined for greater things. Not two months ago, Candon’s “Heroes bypass road” opened up immediately easing traffic congestion in the area. Local government officials say that it is a gateway to the proposed ecotourism zone that’s soon to be developed. Meanwhile, if you’re in the area, one of the things you should go see in Candon City apart from various monuments, is the Saint John de Sahagun Parish Church, simply known as Candon Church. Dating back to the 19th century, it shows off a 4-tiered bell tower, painted ceilings showing the Last Supper and the mysteries of the Holy Rosary. The structure can be seen from anywhere within the town center.
Fly through the trees of Mt. Bulaylay in Nueva Ecija
In the municipality of Cuyapo of landlocked Nueva Ecija sits Mt. Bulaylay, a famous landmark of the town. Apart from being able to hike and climb this mountain, one of the main features that attracts out-of-towners is its zipline. If you’re the sporty traveler, this is one trip you’d definitely want to take.
In the Philippines, there’s always going to be another beach to wade in, another sunset to see, another mountain to climb, and you’re never going to have the same experience twice. Take a glance at your calendar, find the next available weekend and plan a drive up to these new destinations.
Header image by Arabelle Jimenez