Perfect getaways to lose yourself in
Text: Deneb R. Batucan
LIKE Ferdinand Magellan, a lot of people take pride in being the first to discover something “new,” be it a place, a cuisine, a trend and sometimes even a person of the hot kind. We like to be first in line for anything and everything new and to plant a hypothetical flag that bears our mark — I got here first!
A few young explorers filled their backpacks with travel essentials, studied their (Google) maps and decided to go to places less traveled, and lived to tell the tale. SunStar Weekend rounded up some of today’s adventurers and the “secret” places they’ve been to and what it takes to find that secret summer getaway.
Jeffrey James Torres, 25, Freelance Copyeditor
This is Bawbawon Island in Plaridel, Misamis Occidental, such a little-known place that even some locals haven’t heard of it! To get there, tourists would have to walk through an enchanting mangrove forest on an eight-hundred-meter-long footbridge made entirely of bamboo. It may appear to be a daunting task, but the clean and relatively well-preserved beach area at the end of the bridge is all worth it! The island is virtually uninhabited, and since only a few people are willing to brave the hike through the mangrove forest, it feels like you have the whole island entirely to yourself! Just add island food, good music, not-maarte friends, and of course, booze, and you’re set for a fun-filled day, or night, at a sort-of-private beach.
Katrina Bacasmas, 23, Marketing Officer
Among the four island hopping destinations of Cuatro Islas in Inopacan Leyte, Digyo Island is my personal favorite. The island is packed with palm trees and crystal clear waters perfect for the best tropical island getaway. It also has a mini sandbar the replicates that of Kalanggaman Island. I only knew about the place through my cousins and a couple of Google searches and I must say, the island is just beautiful in all angles!
Jean Lim, 23
It was my first time to go to Bantayan Island, so I wanted to go to the best places the island could offer and be adventurous at the same time. My cousin, Ruby, suggested the Balidbid Ocean Lagoon or Suba sa Balidbid. It is a bit far from where the tourists are, so it was challenging to go there. We rode on our motorcycles and even got lost but it was worth it in the end. You’ll see a different side of Bantayan Island. The water current is strong and rough on low-tide, very windy and so peaceful. Definitely a secret paradise!
Rose Manching, 26, Proofreader
One of the locales I visited this summer are the rice terraces located in Sitio Butong, Argao. To most people, it’s not exactly the ideal backdrop for a relaxing summer getaway. However, it is sure to entice those who do not shy away from adventure and unfamiliarity. I mean, the habal-habal ride to the paddies is already a thrill in itself! Being someone who has always wanted to see the Banaue Rice Terraces, I like to think of my visit to the rice terraces in Argao as a foretaste. Witnessing a sloped terrain of lush greens sustained by a spring can be a great alternative if one wants to take a break from visiting crowded beaches and resorts.
Raymart Escopel, 24, Lifestyle Blogger
The first one is Lagsakan Falls in Igbaras, Iloilo. This is a perfect summer getaway to those who want to have close encounter with Mother Nature as reaching this hidden falls requires two hours of trekking with some challenging trails. The other one is Bato Sumpit Falls in Igtuble, Tubungan, Iloilo. it is a hidden waterfalls where people can enjoy swimming and better appreciate nature. It was named Bato Sumpit as the water literally comes out from the rock formation which also serves as entrance to a cave.
Zach Villegas Aldave, 20, Freelancer
This photo was taken during a trip to Siargao earlier this year. The locals referred to this place as “Secret” or “Secret Spot” located in Dapa, a small town in Siargao. In search for a good surf spot, we asked our instructor to take us somewhere that isn’t too crowded. He eventually brought us to Giwan, where the not-so-secret “Secret Spot” is located. The trip on the way there was nothing short of amazing. We spent a couple hours surfing and just enjoying the quiet. We cracked open a couple coconuts too because what is a trip to the beach without fresh buko? Just when the sun was about to go down, we packed up and hit the road, but unfortunately one of the motorcycles in the group blew a tire. We had to wait the repair out. The trip home was a bit tricky but mesmerizing at the same time. There aren’t a lot of street lamps in Siargao, so we practically were driving blind with nothing but our flickering headlights giving us a bit of vision. It wasn’t easy but it was worth it, mostly since there isn’t any form of light pollution in Siargao so the night sky was dotted with millions of stars and fireflies.