3 Green Places to Visit in the Philippines: For Nature Lovers
I know that some parts of the world celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday in commemoration of the life of St. Patrick and also a celebration of Irish culture, recently. I also know that this year’s Earth Hour, an annual activity that unites people to protect the planet, is coming up this Saturday. Because of the green theme of both these events, I decided to write about three of the greenest places to visit in the Philippines today. I have yet to visit any of these places, so this short list is as much a must-see for me as it might be for you. 🙂
Mention Bohol and what immediately comes to mind? Chocolate Hills, tarsiers, and coral reefs. A friend said that a weekend is too short a time to spend in Bohol because the place just has so many things to offer. I’m taking her word for it!
What to do
Wanna hit the beach? Consider visiting Alona Beach in Panglao Island. Enjoy the 1.5-kilometer stretch of sand and dive and snorkel to your heart’s content. Fancy adding a bit of culture in your itinerary? Check to see if you can catch a performance of the acclaimed Loboc’s Children’s Choir during your stay. They’ve won numerous awards abroad, including the National Champion Prize in the prestigious NAMCYA or the National Musical Competition for Young Artists. Animal lover? Perfect! Did you know that Bohol is the habitat of one of the world’s smallest primates? Make sure to fit in a visit to the Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary in your iti.
Who hasn’t heard of Palawan? With its 650-kilometer shoreline stretching all the way to Borneo, “…the Philippines’ most sparsely populated region is also the most beguiling,” according to Lonely Planet. If you want to take a break from the urban jungle and just immerse yourself in the splendor of nature, then Palawan is one of your best bets. Actress Rachel Weisz even referred to it as a paradise island (she shot scenes in Palawan for the film “Bourne Legacy”).
What to do
What can one do in Palawan? Lots. You might be surprised to know that safari animals such as giraffes and zebras call the Calauit Game Preserve & Wildlife National Park in Busuanga their home. Choose to go on a 2-hour guided tour there for Php 1000., or ditch that and join an underground river tour in Puerto Princesa instead. The longest navigable subterranean river was voted by the global community as one of the new 7 wonders of the world on January 28, 2012.
An acquaintance of mine mentioned that there used to be so few flights out of Batanes that tourists had to stay for a week or so to wait for the next flight. That’s now a thing of the past, what with national carrier Philippine Airlines flying out to Basco daily.
What to do
Rent a bike for Php 300. and appreciate the breathtaking landscapes, the romantic lighthouses, and the beaches with ferocious waves. Be sure to sample local fare. As for where to stay, I’ve been hearing fantastic things about Fundacion Pacita.
Of three locations in this list, Batanes is the most remote. It’s the most untouched by modern conveniences which I honestly think can be a relief sometimes. Imagine being unplugged for a few days. Anyway, speaking about honesty, they have this shop called Honesty Cafe wherein you just take what you need and leave your payment behind. Trust me: if you’re from the capital, that’s a lovely novelty.
Have you been to any of these places? Where else can one go for fun and relaxation in Bohol, Palawan, and Batanes? I’d love to hear your tips! See you in two weeks!
The Philippine Tarsier Wildlife Sanctuary – I can’t seem to open the website listed by Bohol.ph, but try to email firstname.lastname@example.org. Their address is Km. 14 Canapnapan, Corella, Bohol 6300.
Calauit Game Preserve & Wildlife National Park – Lonely Planet lists 0921 215 5482 as the number to call.
Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge – Visit their official site for room reservations.
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Image from Wikimedia Commons.
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