Jan 18

Boracay View from North to SouthI was asked by Arelle to write some more about the Philippines. Especially the beaches of the Philippines. So here we go:

Are the Philippines worth visiting? You bet!

It’s an amazing country. With friendly people, cheap accomodation and 7.000 islands to chose from. Lonely Planet calls the Philippines the ‘forgotten islands of South-East Asia’, which is a shame; because the Philippines have a lot to offer.

Especially, if you like water sports, soft sand, ocean waves and beach life. Where to go? Where to start?

Most people have heard of Boracay, which is sometimes called the “Whitest Beach of Asia” – and it’s true! If you thought so far, the beaches of Bali are nice, or Thailands beaches are white – you haven’t seen the real deal. I kid you not! Boracay has truly a powdery white sand, which is of no comparison to any other beach in Asia. Maybe the Maldives come close – but then, they are much more expensive, exclusive and you are basically locked on a tiny island for the time of your stay.

But how rate other places and islands over there? Here is a short comparison, on what else is on offer.

As I only visited a few places, this list is far from complete. And it’s heavily subjective to what I like and felt of the places. Please feel free to comment, criticise or adding your favorite places!

Boracay Beach with Cruise Ship "The World" in BackgroundBoracay

Pros

  • “white-white” beach, warm and calm waters
  • most famous beach of the Philippines
  • crystal-clear Water
  • well-developed (shops, ATM’s, internet, TV)
  • cheap accomodation in all price ranges
  • international cuisine
  • island hopping possible
  • great for diving and snorkeling
  • lively ambience and partying
  • can rent bike and drive through hinterland of island

Cons

  • well-developed (over-developed? – think Phuket)
  • noisy music starting everywhere in the afternoon at the main beach
  • not many waves (calm waters)
  • sometimes alges in the hot season

Outrigger Boats @ MalapascuaMalapascua (north-east off Cebu)

Pros

  • great diving (sharks, caves – whatever you desire)
  • crystal clear water
  • no cars on the island
  • not much civilization
  • “family atmosphere” or “Robinson Crusoe Feeling”, laid-back
  • cheap but limited choice of food and entertainment
  • great place to watch stars at night

Cons

  • only basic accomodation
  • small island, you can walk around it in short time
  • slim beach, few waves
  • sea urchins in the shallow waters

White sandy beach @ Bantayan IslandBantayan (north-west off Cebu)

Pros

  • nice island-living
  • “white-white”, sandy beach
  • crystal clear water
  • relaxed and laid-back atmosphere
  • easy to explore by rental bike
  • good and cheap choice of food
  • Jean Reno Double :-)
  • the cheapest karaoke ever! ;-)

Cons

  • although it’s quite a big island with several towns and villages, no ATM on the whole island

Honda Bay Palawan with Mountain in BackgroundHonday Bay and Nagtoban (Palawan close to Puerta Princesa)

Pros

  • absolute Robinson Feeling (few tourists), especially in Nagtoban Bay
  • variety of beaches (from stony in Honday Bay to sandy in Nagtoban)
  • scenic countryside
  • cheap accomodation
  • a time-warp-back feeling, very urban and original
  • less developed
  • underwater river near Puerta PrincesaNagtoban Bay Palawan - pure "Robinson Crusoe" Feeling

Cons

  • limited electricity, running water and mobile coverage in Nagtoban (North Palawan)
  • Sand Flies in Nagtoban Bay

Camiguin (southwest of Cebu and south of Bohol)

Pros

  • laid-back atmosphere
  • volcano island with volcano and hot springs, waterfalls
  • nice island to explore, very quiet for chilling out and relaxing

Ferry Pier with Camiguin in the backgroundCons

  • overrated
  • difficult to get there
  • only small strip of white beach bank, sometimes not even visible when high tide ;-)
  • otherwise stony and grey/black beaches
  • limited choice of accomodation and food

Bohol (south off Cebu)

ProsChocolate Hills on Bohol

  • nice white beach at Panglao Island (Alona Beach) or Cabilao (more remote)
  • cheap and good choice of accomodation and food
  • great diving near Panglao, Balicasaq and Siquihor Island
  • Chocolate Hills (an unbelievable must see!)
  • Tarsier Monkeys (the world’s smallest monkeys)
  • River-Rafting and Waterfalls
  • a bustling capital city (Tagbilaran)

Cons

  • a bustling (chaotic) capital city (Tagbilaran)
  • difficult to get to beaches
  • sea urchins in the shallow waters

For more pictures and impressions; please visit my Flickr-Pictures about the Philippines or just click on the Flickr-Panel in the right sidebar, which will bring you to the main site. Here you can search per ‘Tag’ according to your interest.

So what do you think about the Philippines? Please feel free to comment, criticise and adding your own favorite place! ;-)

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written by Chris



146 Responses to “Visit the gorgeous Islands and Beaches of the Philippines”

  1. MikeNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    I am yet to go, but will hopefully visit this year.

  2. BridgeyNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    Misibis beach is lovely too.

    nice website btw

    C:

  3. fire_ladyNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    hi
    nice entry thanks for sharing this points about the Philippines.

  4. jfc_techNo Gravatar MALAYSIA Says:

    i just wish visit and stay in Malaysia too.. especially in Sabah, North Borneo. Oh well… im sure u got yer priority.

  5. jenNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hi
    Nice page and well written, but a little bit off regarding Boracay. Your comment
    >
    is not strictly true. The centre of White Beach is pretty noisy, yes, but south of station 3 and also towards the northern part of White beach you won’t experience this noise pollution. There are still peaceful part of White Beach to enjoy.
    cheers!

  6. dodong floresNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Thanx for the review about the Philippines. I think it’s just fair :)

  7. AliNo Gravatar THAILAND Says:

    I’m sold!

  8. jajaNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    nice..Ü have you been to pagudpud? liked it more than boracay..Ü

  9. Rich VallaNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    this is a really cool post.. I’m leaving for boracay tomorrow.. :)

  10. GracieNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    You can find the best white sand beaches in Puerto Galera, Boracay and Panglao in Bohol..=)
    btw, nice site…

  11. graciedeguzman.comNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    I Love Boracay! woohoo!

  12. SimplytapsNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Try Pescador Island. A great place for divers.

  13. DanNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    I’ve been hearing great things about the Philippines, I think I’m going to include it when I go to the rest of SEA as well.

  14. 5 reasons why I blog | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    [...] When you are laying the whole day on pristine beaches or just in your hang mat; things get slower and slower. Not only the pace of life, but your brain cells as well. The heat doesn’t help either. It feels like someone is pulling chewing gum out of your ear (big Hooba Booba chewing gum that is). Just to make a decision if to drink another beer or better not move at all, because it’s sooooo hot – can be a half-day long task. [...]

  15. visit philippinesNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hi, great review for my country. And the pictures are awesome!

  16. Jen / domestikaNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    Those photos make me wish that the ol Star Trek ‘teleporter technology’ had been perfected… {sigh} Lovely!

  17. The Magic of the Chocolate Hills | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    [...] I wouldn’t recommend to go from Cebu to Bohol just for the Chocolate Hills or on a day trip only, as it will be quite hectic and the island has so much more to offer, a bustling capital city (Tagbilaran), a curvy Jungle River, hundreds of Caves, old Spanish Churches, the Tarsier Monkeys (the World’s smallest monkeys), as well as nice beaches with hotels in every price range. There is great diving around Alona/Panglao Island, or at closeby Siquihor Island or Cabilao Island closer to Tagbilaran. [...]

  18. martyNo Gravatar IRELAND Says:

    is there a gay life in any of the islands

  19. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Definitely in Boracay. The others – I’m not so sure. Anyone?

  20. HansNo Gravatar AUSTRIA Says:

    Thank,s great site. I like to visit the PH soon. You know maybe where to find nice girls, but no golddiggers or bargirls? would like to find a real girl as future wife, hopefuly still a virgin.

  21. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Thanks again for all your friendly and critic comments. Gives definitely a better overall picture than the article only. Regarding the last comment of Hans, I don’t have a great answer for that one. But for sure I would avoid bars or other shady places and dive deep into the countryside and take my time to know the people (and girls) better. Although I don’t understand the obsession with virgins, but maybe I just didn’t get the satire. Gold diggers and other nasty people you have everywhere on our planet; but why not trust in your Karma and you will get what you sow. ;-)

  22. cathyNo Gravatar SWITZERLAND Says:

    I’ve been to most of the beaches you mentioned and I agree 99% with everything you wrote specially with your description of Boracay, Malapascua and Bantayan. Which month and year did you go to Boracay? Cheers!

  23. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    If I remember correctly, my last visit to Boracay was in June/July 2006. Wow, come to think about it – that’s quite a while ago. Time really flies! :-o

  24. HowardNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    I am trying to plan a trip for about 3 weeks or so for me and my GF to dive and relax around some of the mentioned beaches and islands mentioned.I would love for someone to suggest what would be a feasible itinerary…possibly to 2-3 locations…..4-6 days at each spot…if you can please feel free to include the names of recommended dive operators,modes of transportation, moderately priced accommodations (aircon if possible),restaurants and any “don’t miss” items,etc.
    your input and feedback as a fellow traveler will be greatly appreciated…if anyone needs this info re:NYC …I will do my best to oblige…thanks…howard

  25. MonNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Tarsier is not a monkey. It used to be the smallest primate… but a smaller type of something else was found somewhere in south america.

  26. TsanNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    I travelled to Borocay in Aug/Sept ’07 and was amazed by the beach and the white-white sand. Beautiful area and nice to see a pic of Willy’s Rock on the website – nice article!

  27. The Best of Nomad4ever in 2007 | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    [...] track. If you are into beaches, this most-visited post of January might be interesting for you: Visit the gorgeous islands of the Philippines. It introduces some of the better known beaches and many pinoy and other readers added their own [...]

  28. gioNo Gravatar THAILAND Says:

    how about the weather at the end of MArch to sepnd some days onthe beaches like Boracay ??

  29. CathyNo Gravatar SWITZERLAND Says:

    I don’t think it is a good idea to go to Boracay at the end of March-May because there will be too many people! Prices are also double. Easter this year is at the end of March, the whole Manila would move to Boracay. Better go to Coron or Bantayan.

  30. DhangNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    If you’re looking for gay life…there’s a lot in Puerto Galera Mindoro.

    The best time to visit Boracay would be during the holiday season. from December-February. Me and my girlfriend went to Boracay recently feb 2-4 2008. It’s the best time because there are no algaes in the waters. Unlike in Summer there’s a lot of algaes(lumot), which are itchy on the skin.
    I also went to Boracay with my family 3rd week of May and we got caught in a storm. We’re stranded there for a few days. I dont like the beaches when theres a storm. seaweeds are everywhere, so itchy, and the sand flies everywhere, stings on the skin. Even though I had good and bad experiences there. I STILL LOVE BORACAY. I’ll keep coming back.

  31. leeNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    try el nido in palawan, and tubataha reef for those who loves to dive.

  32. PaulNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Where are the best snorkelling sites in the Philippines? What about in Bali?
    How would you compare the beaches in Philippines with the ones in Bali?

  33. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Paul - regarding snorkeling in Bali I would recommend the eastern shores, especially the north-eastern part. There are almost no corals around the western beaches and most reefs along Sanur and Nusa Dua are in no good shape. It gets better the further you get away from the touristy areas. The shores around Amed and Tulamben are in much better shape and most people recommend Nusa Penida (between Bali and Lombok) for both snorkeling and diving.

    Comparing beaches in Philippines and Bali: honestly there is nothing much to compare. The Philippines win hands down! (see above). The Philippines have other problems attracting tourists, which might be an advantage in this case for the knowledgeable traveler.

    I would rate most well-known Philippine beaches even better than the beaches of Thailand. If you’ve ever been to Pattaya you know what I mean. Phuket’s beaches are fine, if you don’t mind the surrounding atmosphere and the less touristy the beach or island in Thailand the better usually the beach.

    Bali’s beaches are okay in a way, if you like grey or black lava sand. But regarding water and sand quality things seem to have become worse over the last 4 years. The waters surrounding the island are more polluted with plastic and other garbage and there are plenty of open sewage systems finding their way into the ocean. There are countless of stray dogs leaving their “marks” everywhere on the beaches, which are also littered with plenty of other trash and environmental conscience is generally non-existent here. I never understood why some would rate Kuta beach as a great beach, as for me it’s just a huge garbage dump.

    Fortunately things are better on the east coast and the waters get cleaner the further you leave touristy areas behind. Bali is overall still a nice package, but it somehow looks that environmentally things are getting out of hand rather sooner than later. I hope they will get their act together, as the garbage is already becoming a huge turnoff for returning visitors.

  34. calvinNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    wow nice review chris. you got an excellent site there.

    if you’re going to visit again soo, try pagudpud, i think it’s the next best destination if people find boracay too crowded.

  35. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    calvin, thanks for your comment! Where is Pagudpud exactly, I never heard of it before. Will probably go on another (longer) trip to the Philippines by end of this year, so it’s good to consider some more options.

    I’m happy if there is a great beach with soft sand and clear water and some variety in food options around. 3G internet access (Globe/Smart) would be a plus of course. Damn, I’m demanding! :D

  36. KaffNo Gravatar HONG KONG Says:

    Hi chris, very useful site. I’m deciding where to spend my holiday in August, I was thinking about Cebu or Bali, but now it seems there are more options after reading your article. Boracay sounds great, however is it difficult to commute to the island and is August a good month to visit despite the monsoon season ?

    Many thanks,
    Kath

  37. MelissaNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Nice blog. 2 questions: do you know anything about surfing in the Philippines? And is Spanish widely spoken in addition to Tagalog and English?

    Thanks!

  38. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Kaff, sorry only saw your comment now. August is a good month to visit Bali, although pretty much in the high season. It will be hot, dry and probably no rain at all. For Boracay, it’s the wet season, as it’s above the equator. But wet season in Asia can mean anything but.

    Melissa – sorry, I’m no surfer at all, but I heard from some friends that they swear on Siargo. Maybe someone else can answer this question in more detail? As well, I don’t speak Spanish, but from what I could find out, it’s on the decline and will probably depend on the area you are in. You are better of with English and for sure Tagalog or Visayan! ;-)

  39. LeanneNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    hi chris, what a helpful chit-chat you have here. you must be a well-travelled guy. do you know of a quiet white beach that is not far from manila and can be easily reached without using boats? we went to boracay and it was a hell of a travel, plane first, then bus then boat, only to find a very crowded place that looked like a small noisy city with yucky algae by the beach. it was a disappointment.

    we also went to mindoro, by bus then boat but the beach they call there was not really a beach, it was muddy. so we were stucked in the hotel with the swimming pool water that looked like it was never treated. we never did anything really. not fun at all. again another big disappointment. we can’t really trust phony, flowery talks of travel agents anymore. we don’t know where to go.

  40. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Leanne, I’m afraid I’m not that well-traveled to being able to help you here. Beaches around Manila are probably neither very quiet nor white, as everyone is looking for them. And then it all depends on the season as well. During Monsoon season, the best beach can look a bit messy. Above you have a good selection of the most popular beaches, but there are many more. It simply pays to take some time and explore on your own – what other people like (me included :D) doesn’t have to necessarily fit your taste.

  41. LeanneNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    thanks for the reply. have you been to moalboal? what’s it like?

  42. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    I haven’t been there, but some friends of mine (with whom I was before on Malapascua) have. They said the beach is smaller, more stony and the area is pretty seedy. They went for the diving and that was okay, though. Maybe someone else can confirm/add?

  43. CathyNo Gravatar SWITZERLAND Says:

    Hi Chris and Leanne,

    To answer the question about a nice beach near Manila, you can check out Cagbalete island or Laiya, Batangas.

    Cheers!
    Cathy

  44. LeanneNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    hi cathy and chris,

    thanks for the info. laiya seems nice, but pathetic accommodation rates. how about white sand beaches near baguio. anybody knows? baguio seems the best place to rest for a few months vacation due to its moderate climate. but i can’t find promising white sand beaches nearby. many thanks!

  45. peterahonNo Gravatar REPUBLIC OF KOREA Says:

    Pagudpud is on the North – an hour drive from Laoag City, Capital of Ilocos Norte.

    Anilao, Batangas is another place for divers, snorkeling is good for those who don’t dive.

    Palawan – Coron is a must, although there are other magnificent places further South (Tubattaha Reef). Coro got those beautiful cliffs and ridges resembling like church steeple. There’s a beauitiful Kayangan Lake, a hot spring and places to snorkel and dive (famous for submerged Japanese ships of WW2)

  46. MelissaNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Hi thanks for the information on this website. I am trying to find the best travel guidebook on the Philippines for my trip back this winter. I am having trouble finding one with good reviews–both the lonely planet and rough guides have some very poor reviews. Any suggestions? Much appreciated!

  47. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Cathy and peterahon, thanks for the additions!

    Melissa, unfortunately I can’t give a good recommendation here, as I usually found most travel guides outdated when wanting to travel. A good bet could be the Thorntree Travel forum (Lonely Planet), if you have specific questions. Plenty of people read that and it will assure at least a quick reply.

  48. Russell RiNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    It is a shame only a minority of Filipinos opt to explore the destinations around the Philippines. Especially when we have tourists like you who rave about what the Philippines has to offer.

    Russell
    Philippines Adventure Travel and Destinations
    http://www.e-Philippines.com.ph

  49. LisaNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Boracay is the place of dreams is all I can say… I was there in July 2007 for work and didn’t get nearly enough time there… It is hot, but why else go to a tropical island? I love it there and am planning to go back as soon as possible. D*Mall is amazing, the beaches are dreamy, the food is amazing, and the people are incredible. After spending 3 months in Makati (which I love as well) Boracay was amazing. We got off the plane and all I could say to my friend was “Listen… Do you hear that?… Silence!” lol It is a very peaceful place. I think about it every night before I go to bed to help me sleep and dream wonderful dreams of white sand and crystal clear blue water.

  50. ZineNo Gravatar 41.208.48.176 not found Says:

    hello! welldone on the cool post
    i’ve heard about hiring a small island in the philippines, for a few days. they take you, leave you there with everything and pick you up when the time is up.

    do you maybe have any info on this?
    kindest regards

  51. May FlorNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    If you guys would really love “real” white beaches and coral reefs, check out Alona Palm, Alona Tropical, Alona Kew white beach resorts as well as Bohol Beach Club(the private one). They’re all amazing! All are located in Panglao, Bohol.

  52. hackertazNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    @Zine, i think your referring to hundred island, you do not have to rent an island their because it is own by government and maintain by local municipalities, you rent for the boat,rent a tent, bring foods with you, then enjoy the pitch black night in one of the island,only 3 islands is equipped with electricity so its your choice…, been there last july and it was my second time,my website is under construction so just check this out…, hundred island, only 10% of beautiful places in the philippines is stated here so far, correction!!!!!!

  53. ZineNo Gravatar 41.208.48.176 not found Says:

    Thanks hackertaz

    i will check it out! ;)

  54. LottaNo Gravatar FRANCE Says:

    Hi, love the site!
    We’re a well travelled couple thinking of flying Air Asia from KL to Manila for a few weeks in Nov/ Dec with our 2 1/2 year old son. Never made it to PI before but would love to go.

    Can you recommend any kid-friendly islands/ beaches/ cheap-ish guest houses with as good access as possible (I understand the infrastructure isn’t the best?)?

    Cheers

  55. VicNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    If you’re looking for a lovely place on Bantayan, itself a lovely place, try out the Hoyohoy Villas in Ste. Fe. http://www.hoyohoyvillas.com/ It is top end, but you cannot beat the accommodations and the staff is simply wonderful. The owner is a delight. I booked two weeks last Christmas and couldn’t have asked for a more relaxed, comfortable place to collect shells, walk the beach, eat great Filipino and American food, drink Filipino beer, take some really great photos, make friends with the fishermen — altogether a great time. The staff will make arrangements to have you picked up at the Cebu airport and driven to the north end of Cebu where you take a short ferry ride over to Bantayan. The driver recommended by the resort is first-rate.

  56. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Vic, thanks for the accommodation tip! Maybe something for Lotta as well? ;-)

  57. NinaNo Gravatar SPAIN Says:

    Hi!
    I will be travelling the Philippines from end of Sep. till end of Oct. this year. I’ve read only good things about Palawan/ El Nido..but I’m a bit concerned about the risk of Malaria in that region, especially during wet season. Would you know anything about it? Thanks for sharing.
    Keep up the great work!!

  58. ManilatravelNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    I’m interested in visiting Puerto Palawan so I enjoyed your review.

  59. ryanNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Boracay – whitest sand beach ever! best place to party as well. The beach is shallow and very safe for swimming. This beach is definitely kid-friendly. White Beach can get a bit too crowded during the Easter Hollidays (so best to avoid them that time of the year). Puka Beach- a shell beach right next to the bat and crystal caves is much quieter. Right smack at the middle of the island is a patch of dead forest. For couples, I would suggest to get an accomodation as far away from White Beach as possible. I know it is quite an effort to hop on a trike to and fro your hotel, but after a night of club-hopping at the main strip, a peaceful and quiet sleep is the best way to go. Boracay also boasts a dizzying choice of international cuisine and watersports. Boracay will host the Asian Beach Games a couple of years from now. One thing annoying tho are the touts.

    Panglao Island, Bohol- The beauty of Bohol as a destination is you can do a lot of things in a short time. Alona Beach in my opinion (last time I was there was in August 2008) is too crowded, the sand, though white is not as spectacular as Boracay and I’ve seen some trash lying around. Food can be expensive. Alona Beach is dedicated to divers, and there are too many boats moored along the shore. I got asked more than 20 times in 24 hours if I wanted to go island hopping by touts. Head to Dumaluan Beach (Where Bohol Beach Club and Dumaluan Beach Resort is located) for a way better beach scenery than Alona’s 9and with less touts. With Bohol, you can check out the Chocolate Hills, have a river cruise lunch at Loboc, have a photo taken with the Tarsiers, gaze at the ornate ceilings of Baclayon Church,and drive through the Man-Made Forest. Last August 2008 was the second time I was in Bohol and I love the place and the warm and helpful locals.

    Coron, Palawan – I was there a few weeks ago this month. Coron is simply unbelievable and I felt like I was a kid inside a candy store looking at the jaw dropping towering limestone karsts that form the islands south of Busuanga. we hired a boat (1,500PhP) to take us to our private beach and yeah we had the beach to ourselves for the entire day, and the limestone karsts and forests at our back. The Twin Lagoons are just amazing. It seemed that the Gods had a nice playful day creating this paradise. Kayangan Lake was said to be one of the cleanest lakes in the Philippines and it was certainly a very beautiful one. We had lunch at at Marine Station near the snorkel areas of the Siete Pecados (beware of the sea urchins in some areas) and kayaked around a bit. We then headed to the Maquinit Hot Springs (I think the temps are around 30 degrees) after a hard day kayaking, swimming and snorkeling. I want to go back there very soon since I havent done diving at the Japanese warship wrecks, and checked out the African Savannah in Calauit. Check out my photos on my site for more info.

    Other beaches and dive sites of note:

    1. El Nido- Miniloc and Lagen island – Conde Nast loves it, and who doesn’t?
    2. Pagudpod – it is Boracay according to some (though the comparison was too generous) without the people. It is listed as one of the best undiscovered beaches in Asia though.
    3. Sugar Beach – Sipalay – not very accessible and the accommodations are far and few.
    4. Apo Island – One of the gems of Philippine Diving.
    5. Malapascua – Discovery Channel once featured the elusive and extremely beautiful thresher sharks that feeds on its waters.
    6. Tubbataha Reef – 1,000 USD for a short dive trip to Tubbataha is definitely something. It has one of the richest marine life in the entire world.
    7. Amanpulo, Pamalican Island – Secret island getaway of the rich, the nouveau riche and the Hollywood stars.
    8. Batanes Islands – Beaches are not for swimming, but the scenery is breathetaking. Think Scottish Highlands moved to Asia. One of the safest places in the Philippines too.
    9. Caramoan Peninsula – The French Survivor filmed here. The nice stretch of white beach, hidden coves and lagoons makes it one for the books with the majestic Mayon and Isarog nearby at the biggest wakeboarding complex in Southeast Asia just a ride away.
    10. Siargao – One of the best surf breaks, known worldwide for its perfect barreling waves from the Pacific.
    11. Camiguin – hard to get to. but yeah, diving for an underwater cemetery is quite a thrill. Nice sandbar too!

  60. KapaluaNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Hello, I love this blog, thank you for writing it! Have you ever visited Kapalua Resort on the northwest of Maui, Hawaii? It’s a beautiful resort with lots of beaches, golf courses, and a real pineapple plantation. I’d love to hear what you think of it. Aloha! … http://www.Kapalua.com

  61. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Nina, Palawan is one of my favorite destinations in the Philippines as well. Yet I don’t have any information regarding Malaria. Just take the usual precautions. It’s better not to get bitten than taking the Malaria Prophylaxis with all its side effects. I do the same here in India now, which has an even higher Malaria risk.

    ryan - many thanks for the additional information about our favorite beaches and holiday destinations!

    Kapalua - thank you for the compliments. So far I never been to Hawaii, as it always was too expensive and too far away. Something of a dream destination for me…..dreaming on. :-?

  62. ryanNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    @ Chris. No problem mate. Yeah I agree, take a lot of precautions with Malaria when in Palawan. I got bitten by huge mozzies at that beach in Coron. So take a lot of mosquito repellent with you all the time. (Also, skip the shade, and head straight into sunbathing- there is less mozzies out there.)

    I’d love to visit Hawaii too.. but yeah, there are large pineapple plantations in the Philippines too – Dole and Del Monte exports its pineapples to the US. I am visiting India in 2012. :D

  63. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Wow, in this Lonely Planet thread it sounds like internet service really improved in El Nido over the last 12 months. It’s one of my “heart destinations” but the lack of private internet (not internet cafes) had put me off to stay long-term so far. Smart says at least now on their website, that they have El Nido now 3G covered (besides Coron and PP on Palawan). Something to think of for mid next year?? Let’s see… :D

  64. ryanNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Smart’s signal in that deserted beach in Coron was strong. I really love Palawan. Such a beautiful place. :)

  65. jingNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    chris,
    hi, im glad to found this site of yours..
    just wanna ask your advise to where do you think is best place for couples.. not too crowded but really cool place and has an adventure to offer… thank you. keep sharing..
    jing

  66. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    jing, all places above are good for couples! Actually I left the ones for singles out, ahem. Boracay is pretty romantic for sure with its long bay and soft, white sand. Perfect even for honeymooners. For adventures maybe Bohol or Palawan are better due to more interesting landscapes. Especially Palawan is great for that Robinson Crusoe feeling alone with your loved one. But then, even Camiguin offers plenty of variety (volcano, trekking, hot and cold springs) and if you are both into diving, you should try Malapascua.

  67. DaneNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    Those lists above are pretty boring if you tell me. Do you want to see the real and rugged beaches with tall coconut trees and nice waves amd huge mountains in the background in the Philippines? Go to the northwestern, North, Northeastern and Eastern side of Luzon Island. None of these typical Visayas beaches.

  68. robertNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    Name the beachs if possible…or if you want to keep it a secret..is ok..

  69. DaneNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    Hi Robert
    The eastern side of Luzon facing the Pacific Ocean is super nice. I am not into resorts but if you go, head to these provinces, Aurora, Isabella, Cagayan- you have to get past the Sierra Madre Mountains to be at these beaches. Thses beaches are undeveloped and they are so remote- it is often difficult to get to but since you are a nomad- you just have to do it if you want it really bad.

    The other provinces are Camarines, Bicol, catanduanes, Rizal and Quezon Provinces. They also face the Pacific.

    To the western Luzon- go to Zambales, Pangasinan, Union, Ilocos regions.

    If ou want to surf and just be away from a-hole tourists- go to these places.

  70. robertNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    thanks, dane…I will be doing a reserch on these beaches…it is a plus that they can be reached by land from Manila…other beaches..you may have to fly and even sail cross the sea..

  71. DaveNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Just a note on the algae in Boracay. I live in Boracay and found the algae to be annoying at first. However, I later learned that this is what “cleans” the white sand to make the beach so beautiful.

    Also your right, no waves, but this is what makes the beach so great swimming. There is a lot of wind in Boracay, especially on Balabag Beach (opposite side of the island from the white beach). Balabag beach has become a destination spot for kiteboarding in the Philippines. Give it a try if you come here. If you don’t like the kiteboarding and want some good waves, head over to Surigao Island for the best surfing in the Philippines.

  72. kate LeeNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    Thanks for a great site like this is ahs certinly helped me in making my mind up on where to go as I have a small child to concider, well done . =D>

  73. RyanNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Oooh and last weekend we went to Clark Airforce City, Pampanga (North of Manila) for the 14th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2009 (and we flew on a hot air balloon! yay!). 150USD per person for the ride but was totally worth it. They had skydivers, ultralights, RC Aircraft, flybys, paragliding, kiteflying. etc etc. You may see some of the stuff on the vid I posted on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z13q0PZixmw

    And this weekend, we are going surfing at San Juan, La Union. :)

  74. charlotteNo Gravatar JAPAN Says:

    Thanks for visiting my country! have a nice day!!! :) :)

  75. karenNo Gravatar IRELAND Says:

    borocay is now dirty, palawan is the place!

  76. RyanNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    You are wrong Karen. I was there in December and Boracay is still as beautiful as always. And it is spelled as Boracay not Borocay.

  77. LizaNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Be careful of worms and parasites when you go to our beaches. For your information my Philippines is a land of worms and parasites.

  78. RyanNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    What a shitty and ignorant thing to say Liza ^^ (Could it be possible you were taking a dip in the nasty Pasig River?). I’ve been to heaps of beaches in the Philippines and I dint have had any problem with it. The Philippines is a tropical country and it comes with the same things tropical countries have all over the world. have you tried swimming with crocs in Darwin, sharks in Sydney or having parasites in Costa Rica.

  79. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Liza and Ryan, for me you both have a point here.

    Sure, you can get worms or parasites almost everywhere in the tropics. It’s just that humidity and heat attract more insects, worms or other creatures and allow for easier reproduction. But the Philippines has no more of it, than any other place. Even on cold Europe’s beaches you can find worms from dog excrement or whatever. And I can tell you, here in India (where I am now) it’s the countless free-roaming cows which produce breeding grounds for parasites everywhere they go.

    So it’s up to you to take precautions and you probably will be fine. Just use a towel when you want to sit in the sand. The salt water of the oceans is a natural disinfect as well. Mosquito repellent works well against sand flies as well.

    Worst case, go to a pharmacy and get a topical antibiotic spray and you should be fine! ;-)

  80. DaneNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    this is ridiculous
    there are more than 7000 islands in the philippines, i am sure there are more than 20000 beaches there. you guys just listed 5 beaches? and you rate it negatively because there are no internet connections? etc, pathetic, holy crap!!! nomad4ever my ass

  81. DaneNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    Liza Says:

    March 2nd, 2009 at 6:23 pm
    Be careful of worms and parasites when you go to our beaches. For your information my Philippines is a land of worms and parasites

    WTF? Where do you swin? Pasig River? You are a joke!!!

  82. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Dane, I see you are back after less than 2 months (posting at #67 and #69). Still can’t get over the fact, that your favorite beaches aren’t in there? This is an introduction and more of a quick overview of some of the popular beaches for people who’ve never been to the Philippines. I’m sure you don’t want to send them to undeveloped or remote island for a starter. But I’m glad, that you found those places and are happy with them. And thanks for sharing! :D

  83. RyanNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Amongst the beaches that Dane has enumerated – La Union, Zambales, and Aurora – these are mostly surfing beaches. San Juan in La Union can get pretty crowded with weekend surfers (so move to Bacnotan). I was there 2 weeks ago. Baler in Aurora has better beaches than in La Union – Just around the bend of Cemento Beach is Dicasalarin cove with pretty little stretch of white sand beach. Baler’s waves are getting better this time of the year, so beginner surfers will have a better time with both beach and reef breaks. The swells last month apparently was huge, but then again, this place faces the Pacific. Baler is closer to Manila but the roads arent paved all throughout. It has fewer tourists and surfers than La Union and Baler has more character and history. According to my surfing mates, Zambales can be huge rip-off although Anawangin and Potipot Islands are worth a visit. Skip Camaya Beach (beach right next Ocean Adventure). The beach is rocky, the beach huts has seen better days, and hordes of families with screaming kids descend on it on weekends.

    Another place that you may wanna check out as well on top of the earlier list that I have posted here is the Dinagat Island – an island close to Siargao (The Philippine’s surfing capital and an important in the international surfing circuit). In one part of the island, it has its one and only beach resort in a small cove- with white sand beaches-and little limestone karst islets jutting out in the horizon – a sort of little version of the Hundred Islands in Pangasinan.

  84. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Wow, Ryan! Thanks for these detailed explanations! That surely helps a lot more than having just the names of those beaches. :D

  85. RyanNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Oh there are heaps and heaps of undiscovered beaches in the Philippines, I love traveling around and checking out new places not known to most (I could defo give Lonely Planet a run for its money). It is quite sad and annoying, ignorant and moronic comments made by Liza are quite pretty common, and you have rabid posters who flame comments’ section all the time- but I guess that’s a little price you have to pay for a very public blog like this.

    Moving forward, I stumbled upon two “new finds”. Apparently, Bohol has at least one nice sandbar up north in Talibon town (which disappears during high tide). It is a nice strip of white sand appearing just barely above the turquoise waters, and I have yet to confirm another one close by Panglao Island. I have been to Bohol and Panglao a couple of times and I havent heard of this and I almost got into a sort of heated discussion with another guy about this because I insisted there was none in Bohol, and I thought it was in Camiguin – because it looks pretty much the same.

    The other is the Cavanaran Beach in Batanes- whichever island it is I absolutely have no effin clue since even the Batanes government website doesnt even list it as one of their attractions, but it looks like they have a white sand beach, with some interesting rock formations, and calmer waters (compared to the Boulder Beach). Batanes is by itself a major destination now, and SEAIR has daily flights direct from Manila to Basco RT. I look forward into flying over there early next year. I have to do the Crucifixion in Pampanga early next month, then Banaue-Bontoc-Sagada (rice terraces-lakes-waterfalls-hanging coffins) trail end of April. If cash would permit, I would hie off immediately to Baler to surf, check out the Dicasalarin Cove, the beach where they filmed Apocalypse Now and the uber-historic Baler Church (Spain’s last stand in Asia)

    24 hours in HCMC, Viet Nam, for a visa run with my partner, then off to Pagsanjan (another Apocalypse Now film site) to shoot the rapids, and then Hello Camiguin! yay!

    Now if only this stupid global financial crisis bottom out soon… I could squeeze in more destinations. Oh yeah, I’ve read one of your retirement articles here. Philippines has one of the countries with the most National Hollidays! :)

  86. DaneNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    Hi ryan/chris- i was just pissed that all seem to go to touristy areas. Not all of the beahces are surfing beaches. You can swim and bodysurf also. BTW La Union has 140KM of shoreline. San Juan is always empty if you go to the right of Urbiztondo the surf area, San Juan has nice swimming areas with waves. Also, Ilocos Norte and cagayan has many beaches. Claveria in Cagayan is always empty. Travel to the islands of Cagayan and you will see empty beaches.
    Zambales has nice beaches too go to Subic Bay. Pangasinan has Bolinao and huge shorelines and lots of islands always empty. Aurora has Dingalan and lots of shore line.

    I have been to Boracay when there was nothing but jungle in the middle of it.
    been to Honda Bay. been to Davao I believe Davao has the best beaches in The Philippines. If you go to the right of Mindanao to the Pacific- you will find white sand with no one around. Been to Samar-incl north and east and they have awesome beaches white sand and pink sand.

    Anyways have fun LOL

  87. DaneNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    I stand corrected- Davao has the best beaches in The Philippines now that I have been there. LOL

    Anyways, I hope I didn’t offend anybody. Sorry for my lame outburst. Ryan I will check out batanes for sure and Chris, I will go to Boracay again also. I bet everything is crazy there now!!! LOL ….I come in peace for all beaches…..

  88. DaneNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    BTW La Union has a lot of history- been one of the trading post with the Chinese and other nations long before the Spaniards came. And in WW2 San Juan was destroyed by the Japanese and recovered a decade later. The Americans had a base there in San Fernando. La Union is the economic centre in the Ilocos region. La Unuion is now one of the richest provinces in the Philippines- just look at the houses in San Juan for instance. it was also one of the centres fo the Catholic Church in the 1580s.

  89. RyanNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hi Dane,

    I was at San Juan 2 weeks ago to surf, but seriously, the waters were getting crowded in front of Sebay/San Juan Surf resort (i.e. beach breaks), there were little people further up north near the reef breaks. I went to the Ma-Cho Temple as well in San Fernando and I know that the Americans had their airbase nearby.

    I have been always been interested to go to Cagayan to check out the Callao Caves and the beaches. I will check that out as well. There are new surfing destinations in Samar as well as rock formations in some parts of the coasts as well as this huge National Park in that island.

    With Boracay, you should come there off season. There are heaps of coves and little beaches far away from the maddening crowds (Puka, Diniwid and Angol beaches amongst others), and take a day trip to Carabao Island in nearby Romblon.

    Cheers

  90. DaneNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    Cool Ryan

    The surf breaks in northern Samar are for serious surfers only- reefs under neath and you need to wear helmets- most of the surfers there are awesome aussie surfers and they don’t even go when conditions are just right when I was there. The one in Calicoan is not bad. Pretty pricey to stay there.

    As for San Juan- the best time is October to Dec when the water is abit cooler and waves are bigger. Also, during the typhhon season form June to October is really good. Waves are higher than normal during that time.

    The swimmming beach of San Juan is in between Taboc and Sebay (just one 2 km north of Sebay). That’s where we skimboard and body surf at night. I like beaches with waves – ankle to overhead high while swimming skimming. We only go to Sebay when there are no people and when the waves are mushy and we use super thick fish boards- the locals dont even bother when the waves are mushy. Too many longboarders there. It is all about the board. The Cement Pier in Bacnotan is not bad too during typhoon season.

    What board did you use in San Juan- thick Fish is the best option.

    There is also surfing in Blue Lagoon Pagudpud- certain times only. Not bad there. No people.

    If you are really good- Catanduanes during the typhoons or rainy season is amazing. Never been there but that’s one of the guys in San Juan said.

    I grew up in La Union BTW. We are going to Baler in 2 months. I will keep you posted on other breaks.

    I will probably go to Batangas and do some snorkling and surf fishing. Bora for sure if we have the cash after.

    Dane

  91. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Ryan and Dane, great discussion here! Thanks for adding more and more tips. Even better, if those are beaches less traveled. So people who are interested have something to explore. I will go back to the Philippines in 2-3 months for a longer stint, then I hope to update this site here with some more beaches and pictures as well. ;-)

  92. FLORNo Gravatar UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Says:

    Boracay the best beaches in the Philippines. We explored the whole island of boracay, You will witness the white beach, bluish water , Puca beach, shells & Fishes. We tried riding in banana boat. WHowww

  93. reneprinceNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hi! Palawan is always mentioned when it comes to white sand, good ambience and a good vacation haven for all . . . try going down south of Palawan where you can spend a week of living in a nipa hut, fishing and diving and cooking for yourself (in short — no script to follow) . . . just try Punta Sibaring (Bugsuk Island, Palawan)

  94. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    reneprince, agree with you 100%. Palawan is always worth a trip. Friendly people, great laid-back atmosphere, fresh sea food and an easy-going lifestyle far from any stress and problems.

  95. AnkaNo Gravatar BELGIUM Says:

    After We visit banuae, Batad… we went to Borocay two years ago, in november. Nothing like phuket!! Felt as if there were only 30 touristson the hole island. Only the dogs and the dog poo-poo were a downside. Maybe this year to Palawan! :D

  96. AnkaNo Gravatar BELGIUM Says:

    Can’t see what I wrote but meant Boracay ;;)

  97. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Anka, you must have really caught a good time to go there. A month later during Christmas, the whole island would probably explode.

    Yeah, the stray dogs are a major annoyance in most countries in Asia. Guess only in Malaysia and parts of Indonesia they are caught and culled. But Bali, Thailand and here in India it’s pretty similar to the Philippines.

    So what time this year are you planning to visit Palawan? Maybe we’ll bump into each other, as I want to check out El Nido around the 3rd quarter this year.

  98. AnkaNo Gravatar BELGIUM Says:

    Hi Chris,
    It’s gonna be around october-november, so we will just miss each other…
    We have no plan of what we want to see yet. First we want to go too Borneo. Unfortunately there is no direct flight to Palawan… So we’ll have to swim over ;-)
    Palawan is pretty big, so maybe we will just travel around the island

    El Nido is a place to stop and stare… it looks gorgeous on pictures!! So I hope to read something from your Palawan trip by that time!

  99. reneprinceNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Chris, I am inviting you and your friends and fans to go to my place in Bugsuk Island, Palawan, Philippines. . . you take care your own fares and nothing to pay for the place. . . should you want to see photos of my place just email me . . . it is super powdery white sand with lots of aguho (wild pine trees) along the seashore. Abundant seafoods and coconuts. . . no grocery nor stores . . . it’s survival bro. . . I am doing this as a trial before going into a commercial resort.

  100. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Anka, I hope by that time I was in El Nido already. So all the best for your trip!

    reneprince, wow thanks – that’s a very generous offer! I have no clue at the moment, where Bugsuk island is, but will try to find it via Google Earth and google a bit around. As Palawan is high on my list to visit again, I hope I can make sometime in Q3 this year. :D

  101. reneprinceNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Chris, my place is exactly at Barangay Sibaring, Bugsuk Island, Palawan. It is under the municipality of Balabac (much bigger island than Bugsuk) located almost on the tip of southern Palawan and is bounded by Sulu Sea and South China Sea. . . they call it “The Backdoor) because we are so close to Sabah, Malaysia. My family owns a parcel of land which we inherited from our parents. . . Keep in touch bro! This place is not a tourist destination as of now but maybe two or three years from now it will be on top of the list of the backpackers and nature lovers and of course those who want to escape the rat race and get energized.

  102. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    reneprince, it definitely sounds interesting and I will keep it in mind. Furthest South in Palawan I made it so far to Puerta Princesa, but now I have another aim to shoot for. Thanks! :D

  103. RyanNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hi Rene, can you post links of photos of Bugsuk Island and how to get there?

    Has anyone heard of this Island – http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t226/cosmosnegros/cadiz/scottkendal.jpg – Lakawon Island, Cadiz City, Negros Occidental? I just stumbled upon it tonight.. seems spectacular and reminded me of Camiguin…Also apparently, Badoc Island in Ilocos Norte is awesome surfspot and and is being kept a secret by Aussie surfers…. Hmmm…

    Also, the 7 kilometer Manjuyod White Sandbar in Bais City seems to be nice too! Ugh… I am discovering more and more islands tonight!! My Philippine travel list is growing!!

  104. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Nice pic, Ryan! Yeah, there are many nice and lonely islands out there, it pays to travel a bit off the beaten track, finding your own special paradise.

    And yep, reneprince, I can only second Ryan’s thought – a few pictures of Bugsuk Island would go a long way… :D

  105. reneprinceNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Nice pic, Ryan! Yeah, there are many nice and lonely islands out there, it pays to travel a bit off the beaten track, finding your own special paradise.
    Chris, please check your email . . . just send several photos of my place in Bugsuk Island and kindly share those with Ryan or Dane. . . Mabuhay!!!!

  106. reneprinceNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Ryan Says:

    April 1st, 2009 at 10:40 pm
    Hi Rene, can you post links of photos of Bugsuk Island and how to get there?

    reneprince Says:

    April 2nd, 2009 at 4:27 pm
    The best months to go to Bugsuk Island is April to June. But, you are welcome to my place anytime. . . From Puerto Princesa it takes 6 to 7 hours of straight driving to Rio Tuba (southern tip of the mainland Palawan). Another 3 hours for crossing Rio Tuba to Bugsuk Island by banca (outrigger), passing by another nice island called Ursula Island (bird sanctuary and a dive site not frequently visited by divers. . . After Bugsuk Island comes Balabac Island (3rd class municipal — the jumping point for adventurers who wants to travel to Sabah, Malaysia . . . Check my email with Chris for photos of the place. Nice viewing bro!!

  107. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    reneprince, I received your pictures via e-mail and they look really stunning! A nice island you have there! What would you think if I post them in one of the next articles introducing Bugsuk Island? Then plenty more readers would benefit from it. Hopefully some more travelers would come also to support the local economy? :-/

  108. reneprinceNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Chris, it is an honor for me in considering Punta Sibaring, Bugsuk Island in the discussions, however I would like to add a proposal on the discussion: first, I really don’t know on what to do with the property; secondly, our family would like to sell the whole property; and third, we are still looking for investors to join us in putting up a resort. . . please help me/us resolve this problem. . . of course you can share to the viewers the photos. God bless and more power to you bro!

  109. MabelNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Thanks for posting this! Am glad to know that many are considering to go to PH for their vacation.

    This is such a great read! I want to explore my country and I want to go somewhere which is not overrated. Am considering Bantayan. Thanks for the options!

  110. kenny junNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    please include Saud Beach in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. it is named as “the best beach in asia”. thank you

  111. RyanNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Thanks reneprince. I will pester Chris with the Bugsuk Island getaway!… Heading to Lucban’s Pahiyas Festival tomorrow and will hop onto three nice islands with white sand beaches nearby. :)

  112. audrey55No Gravatar HONG KONG Says:

    Nice website and reviews for the philippine island, i also want to share the SImara island in Romblon Province, i think it also near Boracay itthink this island is still untouchable , has anyne heard of this island before? i just saw this island from someone in FRIENDSTER, just move the mouse down for more video clip of the island:
    http://profiles.friendster.com/20059860

  113. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    audrey55, untouched islands are always nice to check out. Simara Island? Never heard of it….interesting addition! It really is near Boracay, at least it shows on the map. Just wonder how to get there. There must be something like a ferry from either Roxas on Mindoro or the neighboring island of Tablas. Looks pretty tough to getting there. :D

  114. RyanNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Simara looks nice. Will take note of that when I visit that area in January. :)

  115. audrey55No Gravatar HONG KONG Says:

    Cris my friend was born there but she’s based in the US now and i think she was promoting her island she said the place is quite remote and isolated as you can see on those video clip , there’s no shopping malls like you see in other island that’s why i’m not surprised that no one heard about this untouched island but i also fell in love when i saw those clips , it looks so peaceful there and not crowded,it will definitely a good place for diving and hiking too but you need to bring your own equipment gears and some food…..My friend said it’s an hr travel by boat from Romblon City…..

  116. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Just an update regarding Bantayan: there is an ATM here now for a couple of years. It’s located in Bantayan Proper, operated by Allied Bank and accepts foreign Bank and even Credit Cards. Maximum transaction size is 10.000 Pesos, daily limit is 20.000 Pesos (2 transaction a 10.000). Should be more than enough for everybody. :D

  117. LindaNo Gravatar SWEDEN Says:

    I must put a note in for El Nido, north Palawan. Great atmosphere and great island-hopping in Bacuit archipelago. Great place and easy to get to other beaches where you can be all alone. Definitely on my list of the perfect beaches.

  118. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Linda, from the pictures I saw, El Nido must be paradise. Will hopefully have a chance to check it out and shoot my own photos later this year. About time! :D

  119. rene princeNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hey Chris! I am going back to Bugsuk Island comes September 13. We are clearing and preparing the place for the opening of the Family Camp on April 2010. . . Soon, I will be detailing all the infos and how to get there. . . Everybody is of course invited, local and foreigners. Keep in touch and regards to all our friends.

  120. RyanNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hi Rene,

    Email me about Bugsuk, I’d like to cover it on one of my future travel articles for Palawan. Thanks!

    Ryan

  121. RyanNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Oops my email is ryan.buaron@gmail.com

    Thanks

  122. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Good to know that things are catching up! Although April 2010 seems quite far off. But anyway, sounds like a nice place to be and worth to check out as something different beyond the common and trodden tourist trail. Best of luck rene prince with your vacation venture! ;-)

  123. KateNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Visited PI in March 2009 – Donsol and Palawan

    Snorkelling with the whale sharks in Donsol is a once in a lifetime experience, if you happen to make it there do not skip the night time firefly boat tour up the river – it may sound like a tourist trap – but is actually a brilliant spectacle of nature. The beaches in Donsol are not much to comment on, but its great to be part of saving the whale sharks from extinction! There are a few basic accommodations in Donsol – we looked at all of them, I would reccomend the Amor Resort, we did not stay there but we did end up there for most meals/hang out time.

    More along the lines of this discussion, however, is the beauty of Palawan. The drive from Puerto Princesa through Honda Bay to Sabang is now mostly paved and will soon be overrun with tourists – go now before its spoiled! Sabang has many nipa hut accomodations, but one very special place only about a year old named Daluyon. Instead of staying in Puerto Princesa we stayed at this beachfront property, we’d already been on vacation in the PI for a month – Palawan made us extend for another week! It was so relaxing and beautiful, affordable prices, 5 star service, gourmet food, a bar on the beach, and a great pool where you can watch the bats come out at sunset!

    Unfortunately, construction has already started on a 195 room Hilton just down the beach in Sabang, so – go now – before its too late!

    The underground river was great, nice beaches, not too many tourists after the van trips from PP leave in the early afternoon.

    We talked with some other guests who came from Subic, El Nido, and Boracay who all thought Daluyon at Sabang was their favorite.

    I haven’t been to those beaches, I’ll head back in October to start comparing!

    I’m a bit afraid of the vast commercialism at Boracay as I live on an island in with a population of 100 so I get a bit overwhelmed on vacation – but I am looking to learn to kiteboard on this upcoming trip. Does anyone have advice about another destination that has a good kiteboarding school, good diving, and also good restaurants?

    Thanks so much for your advice!

  124. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Kate, great update regarding Donsol and Honda Bay/Sabang/Palawan. Thanks a million! Regarding your question about kiteboarding – of course Boracay comes to mind with probably the best offers there. Others would probably also recommend Surigao on eastern Mindanao. ;-)

  125. RyanNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hi Kate,

    Great update on Palawan – will be heading out to Puerto Princesa, Sabang, Port Barton and El Nido for Christmas and New Year this year. Cant believe they are building a Hilton in Sabang now. Anyway, re: kiteboarding – yes, Boracay comes to mind but I also heard there is kiteboarding in Bagasbas, Camarines Norte. Not a heap of tourists and perfect jump off point to explore the stunning beaches of Calaguas Islands (they got supernice white sand beaches I heard and not much tourists.

    Cant wait to head out to Hundred Islands + Bolinao next week and then Caramoan the following weekend.

    Cheers!

    Ryan

  126. ronanNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    nice site,hey chris thanks for your great reviews,your’e definitely right!we have more to offer other than boracay,you can check,calaguas in camarines,mati in davao,and gumasa in gen san,for surfing lanuza is catching up guys,ey guys agas agas bridge opened recently,if extreme sports is your thing,bunjee jump and down hill long boarding this is the next big thing in southern leyte youve heard it,lets rock and roll,this is the highest bridge in the country,wohooooo

  127. BrianNo Gravatar GERMANY Says:

    I will fly to the Philippines on 23rd Jan. 2010.

    Can’t decide where to go this time.

    Bohol, Camiguin, Tinago Falls and Siargao are on my list.
    Or should I also visit rumbling Mayon volcano too? :-)

    I will definetely visit Samar and Manila because of family.

    Last year I was on Palawan (El Nido and Coron). Absolutely amazing!
    I’ve uploaded some pictures on my webpage:

  128. RyanNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    @brian -check the free travel guides on the Philippines- http://tourism-philippines.com

    Try including Batanes next time… super beautiful place.

  129. AlexNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    I spent a week in Macathi and Tagai Tai this January 2010 on my way to Australia found Philipine people are frendly and food there are great.I am
    Planing to visit again for more exploration of diffrent part of the country. Is any body can suggest me a best place for retirement and safe.

  130. RyanNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hey Alex, you meant Makati/Tagaytay right? For retirement, I personally would vote for Bohol. There is a sizable expat community in Panglao Island. Great folks there. They’ve got a decent city there close by, and Cebu is pretty close which also serves as an international gateway.

  131. nimfaNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    I agree that the Boracay’s powdery white sand is better than Maldives’ :) Maldives is a great place for people who just want to have a relaxing and romantic holiday on the beach, and yes it’s expensive but it’s worth it. Reading this article makes me want to go back to Boracay again :)

  132. romNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Visit the islands off northeastern Iloilo-Sicogon, Pan de Azucar, Gigantes Is.
    If you fancy gray sand beaches, then head to southern Iloilo.
    For those who want to retire, I would like to introduce Iloilo City. Check Robert Hammerslag’s website or Exploreiloilo.com. Iloilo has this historic Calle Real District, Spanish-era churches/convents/houses/bridges not only in the city but in the surrounding towns as well.The church in Miag-ao town is a UNESCO world heritage site. The one in San Joaquin is in the Philippine heritage site list. Guimbal, Dingle, Duenas, Tigbauan, Sta.Barbara, Cabatuan, etc. has beautiful Spanish-era churches. Iloilo has shopping malls, hotels, museums, markets, great cuisine, etc. It’s very liveable. Its a 15 minute ride to gorgeous Guimaras Island-beaches, mango plantations, hiking/biking/seafoods etc. Also in Iloilo, visit the backcountry and see Mariit Conservation Park (Lambunao town) for endangered endemics such as Panay Cloudrunner, Visayan Tariktik Hornbill, etc plus a waterfall. In Dingle town, explore the caves and a national park close to Moroboro Dam. Leon has rice terraces. Have a picnic in Maasin’s damsite. Plus see the ricefields and saltbeds and listen to Ilonggo folksongs! Nearby Antique, Capiz, Aklan and Negros Occidental have lots of interesting places to see.

  133. JocelynNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    Hey Chris, I was wondering whether you could clairify something for me. My friend told me that the average salary for someone in the Philippines is as low as 5-10USD a day, is this outdated?

  134. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Jocelyn, the average salary in the Philippines is even much lower, in a department store, shopping mall or similar job you only earn around 100-200 Pesos a day. If you are more skilled, have an office job, work for a multi-national company or have something similar to a career (which is not the norm in the Philippines), the salary will be in the range you mentioned or even higher. But it all depends on your skillset and location of course, with Manila and Cebu having the highest salaries.

  135. czaldyNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hi Chris,
    Awesome review, i will head to Bantayan in two weeks time :) .

  136. Philippines and Bali soon directly connected » nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    [...] discovery of flight over 100 years ago. Lol! It would be so easy now to continue looking for your other island paradises or enjoying the cheap costs of living in Pinas for a while, while maintaining a base in one of [...]

  137. Jojie A.No Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Interesting article about our beaches. May I help you with some of the visuals to further promote the beauty of my islands? Some of the most striking beaches have yet to be explored from where I come from. Feel free to visit my site (though I don’t want to come off as advertising it). Just thought it may help give clearer ideas to a curious lot. Am a wandering nomad as well, so I appreciate your lifestyle and thoughts about my country. Thanks.

    http://www.pbase.com/jojie_alcantara

    Sincerely,
    Jojie

  138. DavidNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Wow! The beaches in Philippines are absolutely beautiful, I will be sure to add it in next holiday plans

  139. deeNo Gravatar 41.54.203.7 not found Says:

    hi there,..
    can you suggest maybe 2 top beaches in phillipines for :
    small beginner learning to surf beach break waves/
    white sand/idyllic place/
    cheap accomodation /island style to hang out for 2 weeks??

  140. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    dee, I only know that the beaches around Surigao and Siargao are advertised as surfing destinations. You might want to research them a bit. If all fails, you could always travel to Bali, which has lots of beaches for all kinds of surfers – beginners, amateurs and pros. :D

  141. RyanNo Gravatar VIET NAM Says:

    dee,

    Try San Juan La Union for beginner breaks.

  142. Marco PelizzaNo Gravatar ITALY Says:

    ;-) Never Heard about Calaguas ???
    May Be it’s the “Perfect beach” of Philippines …
    Take a look on Youtube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjlqy5VameA

  143. carlynNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hi Rene!

    So how is your vacation place in Bugsuk? I stayed in Bugsuk (2 years!) in the early 80′s and loved it. I’ve since gone back to Manila and have not heard of Bugsuk. I would love to hear about it now. Do you know about the Agricultural Investors Inc. area there? That’s where we lived and where my husband worked! I wonder what happened to the area now; how the housing area looks like now. I will appreciate any info you can provide.

    Thank you!

  144. carlynNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hope I’ll hear from you regarding how Bugsul is now.

  145. mishaNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Good post about the beaches here in PH. I’ve never been to Boracay or Palawan and would really love to go there soon but our family are planning to go to Bohol, Batanes, and Vigan which makes me excited….
    For now, the favorite sight I’ve seen is in Tagaytay where we can see the Taal volcano and we tried the zipline which is great coz it felt like I’m flying above the mountain…

  146. Ted HuntNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    rom: shhhh don’t tell anyone about the island of Guimaras, because I will be retiring there next year. As you said Iloilo is only a 15 to20 minute boat ride away.It has some great senic views and is 20 miles long and 10 miles wide, so it is not tiny.
    My only complaint about it, is that it is expensive to ride around and see all the sites.
    I live in Iloilo City for the mean time.

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