Friday, May 05, 2006
Best Places to Visit in the Philippines According to Moi: Luzon
I have always loved to go places. During my younger years my mom used to bring us everywhere possible. We went to the beach, the mountains, to some hotel, to the provinces, - everywhere! Now, I'm fortunate to be able to go to different places both in the country and internationally with my own family. As I have visited them, here are the places in Luzon I highly recommend that a foreigner or a local tourist should see:
1. Palawan - is a separated, elongated island which partly faces the South China Sea. It is famous for its underground River and Tubataha Reef which are both declared as World Heritage Sites. If you want to see tortoises in the wild greeting you and the manta rays "fly in", you must go there.
2. Baguio, Province of Benguet - may be reached via Victory Bus Liner, or by plane (Asian Spirit). The city is set in the mountains and has a very cool weather because of this. Particularly recommended are Tam-awan Village and Camp John Hay. Fancy a home with a fireplace? They're available here.
3. Subic - a former american base but converted into a complex that has a host of activities to choose from. An interesting place to see here is the Ocean Adventure. There are forested areas here and expect some animals especially macaques to be around when you are. There's also a jungle survival course available but I can't tell you about it because I've not done that yet. Oh, and they do have bungee jumping if you are interested in extreme sports. Try the Ocean Adventure which is a mini "Sea World".
4. Clark - also a former American base. This place has several villas one of which is the holiday inn villa which happens to be our favorite because it is spacious and homely. Clark has a beautiful golf course, go kart track, casinos, etc. You can stay at the Holiday Inn and work your way around.
5. Tagaytay - Only about an hour away from Pasig, this place has a cool climate but not as cold as Baguio. There are several roadside huts for rent to eat or have a picnic with a view of the famous Taal Lake for a backdrop. Vegetable, fruit and flower Farms abound in this city. There are several delicacies that can be bought from the Colettes Pasalubong Store (don't worry, there are about 13 stores all over tagaytay alone). Sonya's Garden is a favorite place to go for organic food. It's set in a huge garden.
6. Cavite - This is a historical place. One site to see is the Aguinaldo shrine which is the former home of the late president, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, turned into a museum. Also of note is the Caylabne Bay Resort in Ternate, Cavite. A little expensive but all worth each cent. The cheaper resort I would recommend is the Island Cove. Aside from the pools, this place has a zoo, a butterfly farm and some other amenities. There's also Puerto Azul.
7. Batangas - known for its beaches. A new favorite which we have recently discovered is the Laiya Coco Grove where one can camp, cook food, go fishing, boating, etc. Another commendable resort is that of the Punta Baluarte. I love their salt water pool which they keep warm for their guests so it is comfortable to swim in even during the rainy season when the water becomes terrifyingly cold.
8. Davao - This is a garden city. The flowers and plants abound in every turn you make. It is also famous for its beaches most notably the Pearl Farm Resort which hs been award a AAA rating. The Eden Nature Park and the Mt. Apo where Pag-asa, the philippine eagle, are remarkable too.
9. Bohol - The chocolate hills, the Tarsier, Bohol beach club, the caves... these make Bohol truly special.
10. Sagada - A community in the mountains. It has numerous caves, some falls, a variety of activites to choose from, great food and a very cool climate.
I would recommend Batanes, Donsol and Caramoan too but I have not been there so let's wait until I've visited the places and I'll tell you about them.
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Watch out for my Places to visit in the Visayas