Philippines Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat says the country has been hard at work, developing tour packages and circuits together with the various local government units.
The Philippines is blessed with many pristine beaches, including Boracay Island and Palawan Island. The beauty of these islands has already captured the world. Palawan Island was named as one of the 30 Best Beaches in the World by Conde Nast Traveler in 2020. Meanwhile, Boracay has been recognized by international travel magazines, Travel + Leisure, as the Best Island in the World in 2012; and several times by Conde Nast Traveler, including Best Island in the World in 2014, Top 10 destinations to watch in 2016, and World's Best Island Beaches in the 2020 Readers' Choice Awards.
Philippines Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat says the country has been hard at work, developing tour packages and circuits together with the various local government units. “Once international travel resumes, we are ready to welcome visitors again to our famous beach destinations like Boracay, and showcase our undiscovered gems and other improved tourists attractions that are just as beautiful and relaxing.”
Included in the list of undiscovered gems are new destinations, such as these secluded beaches that offer the ultimate escape from the feeling of confinement, with wide-open spaces and friendly smiles from the locals.
With more than 7,000 islands in a beautiful archipelago, definitely more fun awaits visitors for their next beach escape to these pristine and quiet little pieces of paradise.
Bantayan Island, Cebu
Located at the northernmost tip of Cebu, Bantayan Island boasts of stunning white sand beaches and eco-tourism sites. From the Mactan Cebu International Airport, the island is easily accessible by boarding a bus at the Cebu North Bus Terminal. The journey will take you on a scenic ride to the northern tip of Cebu including a short ferry to the island. Activities in Bantayan include swimming, cliff diving, island-hopping, kayaking, and even skydiving. One can soak in the local culture by approaching locals who engage in fishing and the production of savoury dried fish as their main source of livelihood.
Kalanggaman Island, Leyte
The waters surrounding this long stretch of beach are crystal clear, with a white powdery sandbar that is perfect for a long solitary stroll and for taking lots of photos.
Kalanggaman is derived from the word “langgam,” which means bird in the local dialect, as the two ends of the island seem to flap like bird's wings when viewed from above.
There are no big resorts on Kalanggaman Island and crowds are kept at bay with the Municipality of Palompon putting a cap on the number of tourists that can visit per day. Those who want to spend the night can stay at native cottages or set up camp along the strip of beach and watch the stars put on a show against a gorgeous velvet sky.
Secret Beach, El Nido, Palawan
Framed by towering cliffs and turquoise-hued waters, Secret Beach in El Nido is a hidden paradise waiting to be discovered by travellers who want to experience the thrill of finding a treasure from Mother Nature. The beach is accessible only by swimming through a crevice among the limestone rocks that's just above the water.
Sugar Beach, Sipalay, Negros Occidental
This aptly-named beach in the sweet province of Negros Occidental is a destination that is known mostly to locals as Langub Beach. Locals love to spend their lazy summer afternoons swimming in its azure waters. Here, one can catch a beautiful sunset while listening to the waves and relaxing on the warm brown sand. Among the activities to try are snorkelling and paddleboarding, or simply taking a refreshing dip in the cooling blue waters.
Mantigue Island, Camiguin Province
A 20-minute scenic boat trip from the eastern side of the alluring Camiguin Island brings travellers to this gleaming white sand island framed by lush greenery. Mantigue Island is a four-hectare slice of tropical wonderland famous among divers because of the endangered hawksbill turtle frequently sighted in its clear waters. This island is indeed a diver's dream because it is teeming with colourful and rare marine creatures such as colourful clownfish, nudibranchs, frogfish, sharks, and dense schools of fish with a backdrop of amazing gardens of corals and seascapes.
To complete your experience, you can admire the local wildlife of its mini tropical jungle, frolic among the waves, laze on the powdery sand, or you can grab a bite of the sea urchin (uni) offered by the locals on the beach right out of the ocean! There are no big crowds on the island as it is only open for day tours and the number of visitors is limited to help preserve its natural beauty.
Guyam, Daku, and Naked Island, Surigao del Norte
Siargao is fast becoming a favourite surfing destination for local and foreign enthusiasts, but for those who want to experience the more idyllic side of the province, they can book a boat tour that will take them island hopping for a whole day of enjoyment among small secluded sandbars. Guyam, Daku, and Naked Island are destinations for those who want to feel what it is like to live on a tiny remote island. Guyam is a small circular island with swaying coconut trees and beach huts, while Naked Island, as its name implies, is a bare beach with deep waters suited for scuba diving. Daku, which means 'big' in the local dialect, is large enough to be home to a small and friendly fishing community.
Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte
The white sand and blue seawater of Calaguas Island in Camarines Norte has become a popular destination among local beach lovers who want to experience a quick getaway from urban life. Among the activities available for travellers aside from swimming and catching unobstructed sunrise and sunset views are heading to the neighbouring Tinaga island to trek on its rolling hills.
Travel safely to the Philippine shores
The Tourism Department, which has been awarded a SafeTravels Stamp by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in recognition of its adoption of “health and hygiene global standardized protocols” that will ensure safe travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, conducts thorough inspection and assessment to ensure that only those who are accredited are allowed to open and receive guests.
To ensure that travel to these beautiful beaches will be safe, the Tourism Department is enhancing its health and hygiene protocols, with tourism workers undergoing constant training and tourism establishments implementing standardized safeguards in their premises to protect their guests and employees.
The Philippine government through its Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) is constantly updating its protocols to safeguard Filipinos and foreign nationals who are travelling to the Philippines.