"A Backpacker's Travel Log" nimato's Profile

My Philippine Backpacking Top 8

1. Boracay

I'm not surprised why a lot of 'outsiders' are being pulled to settle in Boracay. I felt the same the first time I got there. Awesome island of pristine white sand beaches. Clear turqoise-blue waters. Romantic sunsets. Mouth-watering seafoods. Fresh sea breeze. And lots and lots of tropical sunshine! Exciting water sports and lively night parties are abound for the action-seekers. There's so much to see and do in just one small lovely island!

2. Sagada

On one side, picturesque Sagada is a place for relaxation and invigoration. With clean and green surroundings and laidback atmosphere complimented by year-round crisp cool weather, Sagada is a perfect spa for stressed-out urban dwellers. On the other side, Sagada is also for the adventure-spirited: plenty of interesting ancient burial sites, challenging caves, lovely rice terraces, waterfalls and mountain peaks to hike and explore. Surprisingly, food is great too. Rustic but comfy restaurants offer well-prepared international dishes at reasonable prices. Aside from these, there is something in Sagada that will make you come back... again and again.

Note: The photo at left was taken at the lawn of St. Joseph's Resthouse.

3. Mount Pulog

Towering over 9600 feet above sea level, Mount Pulog (or Pulag, as locals pronounce it) is Luzon Island's highest peak. It is the most beautiful mountain I have hiked so far. Awesome grasslands, stunning pine forests, spooky mossy forest and a strong but refreshing rocky river make up the usual Ambangeg-Akiki Trail. On its summit at sunrise, the mountain offers the most fantastic views one will ever see: protruding peaks of the surrounding mountains over a sea of clouds create a stunning version of Bohol's Chocolate Hills above the Cordillera Mountain Range!

Checkout my Benguet page for my tips on Mount Pulog.

4. Banaue

You'll stand in awe seeing this marvelous Ifugao creation began more than 2000 years ago. The Banaue Rice Terraces is a testament to the Filipino people's legendary and undying 'bayanihan' spirit. Bayanihan is Tagalog meaning making a hero out of one another.

5. Bohol

The Province of Bohol is one of the top Philippine destinations. Some of the interesting stuffs unique to Bohol are the fantastic Chocolate Hills National Geological Monument and the Tarsier - reputedly the world's smallest primate! Add to these the well-preserved old churches, Loboc River cruise, alluring beaches of Panglao Island and island-hopping (Balicasag, Pamilacan, etc.) with snorkelling/ diving/ dolphin-watching and you get a totally irresistible compact destination!... And oh didn't I mention the angelic Loboc Children's Choir?

6. Cebu

Cebu is the cradle of Christianity in the Philippines. It was here where the first Filipinos were baptised under the Catholic faith way back 1521. Today, Cebu City has evolved to become the second largest city in the Philippines. Hailed as the Queen City of the South, Cebu is modern and cosmopolitan -- but more breathable compared to Manila.

7. Tagaytay

Tagaytay City has been known as the place to dine, stay, play and pray. Numerous country homes, restaurants, hotels, recreation and retreat centers are mushrooming the Tagaytay ridge. Best of all, it has one of the best views of Taal Volcano and Taal Lake.

8. Mount Pinatubo

Mt. Pinatubo's eruption in 1991 was so enormous that it reached even our place south of Manila, approximately 150 kilometers away. The sky went dark in the middle of the day and then suddenly ashes came pouring in and covered almost everything - the roofs, the roads - everything you see was white ass!.. Oops! I meant ash. In the aftermath, hundreds were killed and several towns were literally erased from the map! Seeing the crater-lake for the first time in November 2005, I couldn't imagine such a beauty was a product of that event that caused so much devastation!

Check-out my Province of Pampanga page for more on Mount Pinatubo.

  • Intro Updated Aug 17, 2007
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