Destinations Weekend readers recommend to friends and family
By Elisha Judy Tabaque
Image: SunStar File
CAN you remember the last time you had your skin sun kissed and soaked in salty fresh water? How about the last time you visited a neighboring city? Or have you experienced traveling outside of the country? If your answer is a big “No,” then that calls out for a break.
We all deserve a break. After weeks of finishing paper works, completing errands, running a business and accomplishing tasks, one after the other — these surely are exhausting, draining and definitely boring. The world has so many things to offer. If you aren’t the outgoing type, then it’s time for you to shift and find a whole new perspective of the world. But first, you have to check on your calendar and mark the holidays because it’s adventure time!
While you have not thought of the perfect place to go yet, check out these first-hand experiences from our dearest SunStar Weekend readers because their personal recommendations of their most memorable travel experiences will definitely make you want to travel the soonest possible. A little tip; a great incomparable travel is best done with the people that matter to you most. So, bring along your loved ones, especially family or friends.
Cuatro Islas, Leyte
“Ever since Boracay became an extremely touristy place, I have been looking for that one place where I can unwind; where I can just put a blanket on a sandy, grassy field, lie down and read my favorite non-fiction books while listening to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. It’s my dream place — and probably to most of the people who have been fighting hard every day to live. Look no further, folks. Cuatro Islas, the four scenic islets in Leyte, is the answer. These relatively unknown islands are just as enchanting as you might think. With crystal clear waters, white sand, and unique rock formations, these islands are hard not to love. Digyo, one of the main islands, has this laid-back atmosphere that is perfect for individuals looking to rekindle their lost souls, and for families wanting to spend quality time together. My friends and I found ourselves playing, snorkeling, and enjoying the pristine waters of these islands that quickly became our oasis.” — Jeffrey A. Igot, 25, Accountant
Talisay City, Negros Occidental
“I am highly recommending the province of Talisay City in Negros Occidental for a memorable travel experience. Our first destination of the province was the place called The Ruins. The place is considered as one of the most famous heritage landmarks in the Philippines and was even known as the ‘Taj Mahal’ of Negros. This place is considered to be the ‘remains’ of the grand mansion that the wealthy sugar baron Don Mariano Lacson built in 1920 in memory of his wife. The place was torched by American and Filipino armed forces during World War II. Today, it is a tourist attraction for its romantic, yet strong structures. We personally took the chance of experiencing the beauty of The Ruins. The structural design was so elegant. It is truly a picture-perfect and magnificent sight to see. Our next destination was the Campuestohan Highland Resort. It is one of the colorful attractions and famous tourist destinations in Negros Occidental. It stands 800-meters above sea level and the climate of the place is almost similar to Tagaytay or Baguio. The resort is known for its kiddie and big pools, playgrounds, onion-shaped and igloo-like camp houses, several dinosaurs, statues of superheroes and giants, zipline and rope courses. We really had a great time staying at the resort. I did not only experience a wonderful stay in a well-known resort but I also visited one of the famous landmarks in the Philippines. Families and friends will surely love to travel this province.” — Gian Carlo F. Lechido, 21, Seaman
Canyoneering in Badian
“Perhaps going down south of Cebu can make things more interesting for you as it did to my brothers and I. After dutifully gaining parental consent, our sibling outdoor adventure began with a road trip, waterproof things and tent in tow. We headed for Badian to tick off Canyoneering from our bucket lists. The terrain, pristine waters, and fellow daredevil companions, did not disappoint. It was by far, the most exciting trek/swim I’ve ever had. However, canyoneering is not for the fainthearted. With this in mind, family or friends who may not be up for it can directly enjoy themselves in Kawasan falls, where the trek actually finishes. Opting to maximize being out of town, we went along with new friends for island hopping and ended up spending the night in Lambug beach. I figured, before we went out and explored other places, Cebu has still so much to offer and there is still so much to see. Love your own.” — Kaye Lani Rae A. Deloria, 27, Registered Nurse
Panikian Island, Zamboanga del Sur
“White sands and sea turtles. I’m not talking about Apo Island neither what the online trip advisor lists suggest. It was not until my 22 years of existence that I came to know that this place exists. What’s funnier was that it was the famous ‘Canadian of Facebook Becoming Filipino Page’ who discovered it first more than me. It showed me that a paradise exists within my reach. It’s the little island locally known as Panikian Island, which can be found in Pitogo, Zamboanga del Sur. It is located an hour away from Pagadian City. The island is a sanctuary for sea turtles and stingrays. Even I who have been visiting the town for a number of times didn’t know that this town has so much to offer. An additional point is that everything there is so cheap — food, fares and all. If there is one place I would recommend, it is the Panikian Island. Now before tapping the “Confirm” button on your airline application for your Boracay trip, google this place first. And a little tip, don’t forget your sunscreens.” — Phil L. Gaspar, 22, Law Student
“Japan is the place to be. Japanese are the friendliest people I have ever met. The language barrier may be difficult at times but they will do everything to help you. I can personally attest to how kind they were to travelers like us. We had an instance where this young woman whom we asked for directions was really having a hard time speaking in English but she really tried her very best to help us to the extent that she just offered to bring us to that certain place we wanted to go instead of leaving us behind. I have always considered Japan as a food haven. Everything is delicious and is in world class perfection. Everything tastes excellent from ramen to sushi. What I also love about Japan is its culture and ambiance. It is very ancient and its history is well preserved – from castles, samurai houses, Zen gardens, and museums. Their tradition plays a big impact to their country and tourism as well. If you want to travel with your family, bring along the kids to Disneyland and Disney sea as they will enjoy having a first-hand experience of the fun and rides inside the magical castle. These are not only for the children but also for us – kids at heart. They also have trendy boutiques and luxurious shopping malls at Ginza district for those who want only the best products. One thing about Japan and its culture that struck me is their loyalty. I had this picture with the famous Dos Hachiko not because he exudes in character but because it reminds me that even animals have deep feelings for their master. Just like us humans, we exude different characters and we have emotions. Whichever country we may be able to travel, may we always have that compassion and kindness to strangers and to those in need. Japan is for me the best place I can recommend to everyone out there who is planning to travel. Subarashi omoide no tame ni Nihon ni kansha shimasu — Thank You Japan for the wonderful memories!” — Michelle Lorraine C. Caylan, 32, Businesswoman