One of my goals when I started travel blogging was to visit at least half of the Philippines’ 80+ provinces. It was important for me to experience what my country offered before moving on to travel extensively around Southeast Asia.

It took me around three years to satisfy that goal and I did not regret witnessing the beauty of the Philippines first when I could have spent my time and money exploring, seemingly more exotic, foreign countries.

What’s next on my travel bucketlist? A clearly marked road leads to completing all the 81 provinces of the Philippines but it’s not the path that I want to take. This time around, I don’t feel that it’s personally satisfying to rush things just for reason of kicking the travel bucket or finishing a list of “X” places to visit before I turn “Z” year’s old.

I do, however, have a list of particular places to travel that excites me more than others. Here are some of the places in the Philippines that could make me pack my bag and book that next flight / bus / ferry faster than you could finish skimming through this whole list:

Bugsuk Island

This island seems to have what it takes to dethrone Boracay’s claim on having the ultimate mix of having powdery white sand and a lengthy uninterrupted stretch. Long Beach in San Vicente, Palawan may indeed be lengthier but the sand is not as fine as Boracay’s and while Calaguas Island’s sand may be nearly perfect, it lacks as much length.

Bugsuk’s white sand beach measures up to 15 kilometers in Google’s satellite imagery! I’m curious to see if the sand is indeed comparable to Boracay. Bugsuk island in Balabac town is located near Palawan mainland’s southernmost tip, uncharted territory for mainstream tourism. Getting there is already a journey in itself. About Bugsuk: link1.

Coron Islands

This self-confessed sea-loving seasoned Pinoy travel blogger hasn’t been to Coron. I should be locked up! Whenever I planned trips to Palawan, it had always been a toss up between El Nido and Coron. I always chose the former and, unfortunately, I didn’t have the time and money to do both.

Travelers who have been to both told me that El Nido is more beautiful over water. Meanwhile, Coron’s beauty lies under the veil of its aquamarine waters. It is considered as one of the best snorkeling and diving spots in the Philippines.

Coron group of islands is located beyond the northernmost tip of Palawan mainland. About Coron: link1.

Batanes Islands

Now that airfares to Batanes are getting cheaper, there’s no excuse not to visit. Just seeing photos of its picturesque rolling hills and unique cultural attractions are already enough to make me want to go there.

Batanes is the northernment group of islands in the Philippines. It is located near the southern border of Taiwan. About Batanes: link1.

Calayan and Palaui Islands

If Batanes is to gentle rolling hills then these islands are to steep jaw dropping rock cliffs. Calayan and Palaui are very off-beat islands that seem to be worth a visit.

The islands of Calayan and Palaui are part of the Babuyan group of islands in Cagayan Province, located north of Luzon and south of Batanes. About Calayan: link1; About Palaui: link2.

Bonggao and Panampangan Islands

These islands in Tawi-tawi province initially attracted me to venture into what most Filipinos would consider as dangerous places to visit. After budget airlines started flying to Bonggao, the capital town, accessibility became less of an issue. Many Pinoy Travel Bloggers had already explored and blogged about Bonggao and nearby islands in Tawi-tawi.

Unlike the rest of Sulu Archipelago, many of Tawi-tawi’s island’s are mainly inhabited by the Bajao tribe, known as “sea gypsies” and are largely described as pacifists.

Bonggao and Panampangan are located at the northwestern corner of the Philippines. About Tawi-tawi: link1, link2.

Sulu Archipelago

If like me, you have tried exploring the islands of Sulu Archipelago on Google Earth, then you will understand why I would want to go there. It is full of seemingly gorgeous white-sand-fringed atolls that are largely un-blogged because of the security issue in the area. I’m not forcing a trip to Sulu but when the opportunity knocks at my door, I will highly consider it.

Sulu archipelago is composed of several island groups situated at the the southwestern corner of the Philippines. About Sulu: link1

Agusan Marsh

A riverine world spanning 148 square kilometers, one of the largest fresh water wetlands in the country. Agusan Marsh became one of my frustrations after a failed attempt to go there on a solo trip. I stayed in Bunawan town and after a few days of asking around, I came to the conclusion that it was too costly to rent a boat and go there on my own. Forcing a trip by local transport would also be too risky because of the security issue in the area, plus I would need to rent a whole boat from the main villages to get to the main attractions anyways.

Agusan Marsh is located near Bunawan in the interior of north-eastern Mindanao, in the Agusan River Basin, Agusan del Sur province. About Agusan Marsh: link1, link2.


I had always wanted to go to the northeatern side of the Luzon island, over the Sierra Madre Mountain Range. Baler is the most accessible destination but I would not mind going further north into more remote coastal areas of Aurora and Cagayan Province.

Baler is located some 230 kilometres (143 miles) northeast of Manila in the Province of Aurora. About Baler: link1link2


Unknown to most Filipino travelers, Sipalay is one of the famous foreign backpacker destinations in the Visayas thanks to its prominent listings in Lonely Planet guidebook. Sipalay has chocolate hills-like land formations that are bordered by secluded white sand beach and rocky coves.

Sipalay is located at the southwest corner of Negros Island. About Sipalay: link1.

North Cebu Islands

Gorgeous islands that have always remained in my bucketlist. Particular islands that I want to visit are Malapascua and Bantayan Island, hometown of my paternal grandparents.

About Bantayan and Malapascua: link1link2.

Mount Kanlaon

One of the more popular hiking destinations in the country. Mount Kanlaon is an active volcano and its possible to go all the way to its arid steep crater.

Mount Kanlaon is located in Negros Island. About Mt. Kanlaon: link.

Mount Apo

The highest peak in the Philippines with beautiful hiking trails. Nuff said :p

Mount Apo is located at the southeastern corner of Mindanao island in Davao region. About Mt. Apo: link1.

Mount Pinatubo

Yet another popular tourist attraction that has remained on my bucketlist. This active volcano has a beautiful turquoise colored lake on its huge crater.

Mount Pinatubo is located north of Manila in Pampanga province. About Mt. Pnatubo: link1.

Mount Guiting-Guiting

Considered as one of the most difficult to climb in the Philippines. I was supposed to conquer its knife-like mountain edges with Ivan early this year but our trip got cancelled because of bad weather at the time :(

Mount Guiting-guting is located in Sibuyan Island of Romblon Province. About Guiting-Guiting: link1, link2.

Ponggas Falls

There are so many spots in the Cordillera mountains that I want to visit. Ponggas Falls is just one specific spot that has been on my mind since the first time I read about it online. If I go back to Sagada, I would probably explore more remote areas of the Cordilleras particularly in Abra, Kalinga, and Apayao.

Ponggas Falls is located in Sagada, Mountain Province. Read about Ponggas: link1.

Asik-asik Waterfalls

A curtain-shaped waterfalls flowing over a wall of green shrubs. It definitely seems like a must-visit attraction for waterfall-loving travelers in the Philippines.

Asik-asik Waterfalls is located in Alamanda, North Cotabato province, in Mindanao. Read more about Asik-asik: link1link2.

Limunsudan Waterfalls

The 67-tier Aliwagwag Falls, may technically be the tallest in the Philippines, but its beauty cannot be seen in just one view. The Limunsudan waterfalls, on the other hand, only has two massive tiers that can be enjoyed from a gorgeous overlooking view. Its lower cascade alone is taller than the Maria Cristina Falls.

Limunsudan Falls is located in Iligan City in Mindanao. About Limunsudan: link1.

Mahangin Falls

Although it’s not even on the list of the tallest waterfalls in the Philippines it seems to be sizable enough to command attention. Not a single traveler had blogged about it yet because of its remote location and reputation as a refuge of  leftist rebel groups.

Mahangin Falls is located in Lambunao town of Iloilo province. Read more about Mahangin: link1.

So far, I’ve made concrete plans this year to cross off two items on my bucketlist namely, Asik-asik and Limunsudan Waterfalls. Hopefully, I would get the chance to travel more this year, budget and time permitting :)