Travel

Top Philippine destinations OFWs should have on their bucket lists

Most overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) having gained some measure of financial leverage to see places in the Philippines they did not have a chance to visit while growing up. Here’s the list:

MANILA: Even within heritage districts such as Rizal Park and Intramuros, you won’t be far from a branch of local fast-food giant, Jollibee. University students pile out of kalesas, then walk the old fort’s walls to get to class. The Light Rail Transit (LRT) trundles past as families picnic on Luneta park grass.

When the Spaniards arrived in the 1500’s, they built a walled city in place of the kuta (fort) of Rajah Soliman. This city is now known as Intramuros, one of the best models of a medieval fort outside Europe.

Intramuros contains the UNESCO World Heritage Site San Agustin Church and the San Agustin Museum.

BOHOL. Head to Carmen to tour the famous Chocolate Hills – more than 1,268 grass-covered limestone domes that are nearly symmetrical in shape and height. The picturesque hills turn a distinct shade of brown during the dry season and give them a passing resemblance to a certain confectionary treat, hence their name. To give your sightseeing an extra kick, try touring the hills by ATV.

Another popular tourist spot is the Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary in Corella. Drop by the park for a rare chance to get up close to the Philippine tarsier in its natural habitat.

BAGUIO. Dubbed the “Summer Capital of the Philippines,” the place was the playground of the Americans who built this city as their vacation spot in the 1900’s. It has since expanded, and now has a population of 30,000.

Today, Baguio offers a world of adventures.

Stroll down Session Road and shop in an ukay-ukay (thrift shop). Vintage is king in these places, so look out for branded items at bargain prices.

CAGAYAN. In a round-up of the Philippines’ stunning destinations, Cagayan will most likely go unmentioned. Yet this beautiful province is home to picturesque beaches, volcanic islands and historically significant natural and man-made sites. It may be devoid of luxury trappings, true, but it is rich in natural, rugged beauty. The traveler who strikes out for it (he won’t have to go very far, really) takes its richest rewards.

CAMIGUIN.  Barely 240 square kilometers in land area, Camiguin is the second smallest island of the Philippines in both area and population. It is just 23 kilometers at its longest and just a bit more than 14 kilometers at its widest. Within this small area lie seven volcanoes. Lovely little Camiguin is the island “born of fire.”

CEBU. As the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines, it has some of the country’s most iconic heritage spots. As a major trading port and site for some of the nation’s fastest-growing industries, it reinforces its multiculturalism with progression. This heady mix of urban vibes and casual provincial airs makes it a favorite destination of those seeking a showcase of the harmonious co-existence of history, culture and modernity.

DAVAO.  The Davao Riverfront Complex houses the Crocodile Park, one of the city’s most popular attractions. The park showcases more than just crocs — it is also home to a variety of wildlife. Be sure to catch feeding time, educational talks and other shows. The complex also contains the Davao Butterfly House and the Tribu K’Mindanawan, a cultural village that holds an impressive fire-dancing performance. When you’ve worked up an appetite, try Filipino fare or exotic crocodile and ostrich-based cuisine at the RiverWalk Grill.

Ilocos Norte 

From tip to tip, the Philippines has all sorts of fun to offer. To make sure you cover everything, start right at the top! Ilocandia is the perfect beginning to an awesome Philippine adventure.

Negros Oriental 

Dumaguete is known as “The City of Gentle People.” It’s easy to see why – this is a serene university town filled with genteel locals, and its atmosphere is conducive to artistic and scholarly pursuits.

Puerto Princesa 

Aptly nicknamed “the city in a forest,” Puerto Princesa city’s attractions have much to do with its natural wonders and commitment to the environment. In fact, it’s been named the Philippines’ cleanest and greenest city, and has been internationally recognized for environmental excellence.

Zambales 

Zambales is one of those places that pretty much has it all – untainted forest landscape, the Sierra Madre mountain range, communities that practice living traditions and 107 miles of pure beach. Plus a whole bunch of cool islands and shoals for day trips and quiet camping trips

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Staff Report

The Filipino Times is the chronicler of stories for, of and by Filipinos all over the world, reaching more than 236 countries in readership. Any interesting story to share? Email us at [email protected]

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