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One word to describe Batanes: breathtaking. You must be there to see its beauty for yourself. One warning though: You will be greatly captivated by its picturesque setting, stunning natural views, laid-back life and hospitable locals – that you might not want to leave.

Many would say that Batanes is a pretty expensive destination, even more expensive than travelling to neighbouring Southeast Asian countries. But hey, it’s not impossible to travel to Batanes on a budget. In fact, a Filipina solo traveller explored Batanes for 5 days with only PHP 8, 000 budget, inclusive of flights, accommodation, food and tours!

Note: EDSA Revolution Anniversary falls on Feb 25 (Thursday) this year, so to maximise the 4-day long weekend, I suggest you file for a leave on Feb 26 (Friday).

Holy Week (March 24-27): Surigao and Siargao

batanes viewIf you want to go on an escapade during Holy Week, I recommend you visit Surigao and Siargao. It is already summer in March, and these two destinations are well-suited for summer getaways with their unique natural attractions and pristine beaches.

In Surigao, you may visit the ever popular Hinatuan Enchanted River, majestic Tinuy-an Falls and Sohoton Cove National Park, to name a few. If you want to go surfing, head straight to Siargao from Surigao via a RoRo ferry. Aside from surfing, there are more things to do in Siargao like snorkelling, island-hopping, chasing waterfalls and trekking.

Eidul Fitr (July 7-10): Cagayan and Camiguin

Cagayan and Camiguin are two of my favourite Mindanao destinations. Cagayan de Oro is popular for white water rafting, but of course, there’s more to CDO than just that. You may also explore some amazing caves systems, have a cultural immersion at Malasag Eco Tourism Village and go on a city tour to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city.

hinatuan enchanted riverFrom Cagayan you may proceed to Camiguin on a fast-craft or ferry. Volcanoes make up most of Camiguin so it’s no wonder that this small island is gifted with natural springs and waterfalls. Dip into the soothing waters of Ardent Hibok-Hibok Hot Spring, plunge into Sto. Nino cold spring, trek to Tuasan Falls and Katibawasan Falls, and frolic around White Island. I must say that Camiguin is truly a paradise on earth!

Note: Eidul Fitr is still tentative. If it falls on July 7 (Thursday), you must file for a leave on July 8 (Friday) to maximise your long weekend holiday.

National Heroes Day (Aug 27-29): Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte

Culture buffs and foodies are in for a treat in the Ilocos region! Live like you’re in the Spanish colonial era in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, a heritage city and one of the New7Wonders Cities. Walk through cobblestone streets, make your own burnay jar, buy indigenous souvenirs, and for a complete cultural experience, be sure to do all these activities in Vigan.

Tinuy-an Waterfalls, Bislig white water rafting cagayan de oro river white island camiguin calle crisologo vigan
Source: www.tripzilla.com
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