Traveling around the Philippines is an art, especially if you're a seasoned wanderer. You know that the best islands aren't reachable by a direct flight and the most authentic cuisine isn't in a five-star restaurant. It's no easy task to come up with a sulit itinerary (and it takes balls to just go with the flow or follow where your feet will take you). There are secrets that come only from the true-blue traveler.

We round up 10 Instagrammers who make touring our archipelago look so easy and inviting. Careful: Your wanderlust might be incontrollable once you see their photos in astounding shades of green and blue.

Renato Jao |@bicolanoman

Legazpi City, Albay

What do you love most about traveling in the Philippines?

It gives me a sense of pride knowing and finding out that we have such wonderful places, people, culture, history, and cuisines that are comparable to the more popular destinations in other countries. The thrill and sense of awe when you stand in front of Mayon and see her full splendor is a life-changing experience just like when you visit other destinations in other countries. All these destinations make you feel proud of being a Filipino.

What's your favorite Philippine destination and why?

Of course, Bicol. From Mayon in Albay to butanding interaction in Sorsogon, to the thrill of riding horses in the vast lands of Masbate, to riding and conquering the waves of Catanduanes, to renewing your faith in devotion to Our Lady of PeÃafrancia in Naga City, Camarines Sur, to simply basking under the sun in the many pristine islands of Camarines Norteâthere are thousands of reasons why Bicol remains my favorite destination. And we're not even talking about the fiery Bicol cuisine. And of course, Bicol is my home and definitely thereâs nothing better than one's own home.

Julius Calvin Santos |@ihaptraveler

San Francisco Bay Area, California and Maragondon, Cavite

What do you love most about traveling in the Philippines?

The people, culture, delicacies and landscapes effortlessly beautiful, leaving my mind blown.

What's your favorite Philippine destination and why?

El Nido, Palawan: The landscape is so beautiful, it feels surreal. Every sight is "instagrammable." Siargao: Beyond its immense beauty, it is the island that represents the embodiment of pure relaxation.

A photo posted by Lakwatsero (@thelakwatsero) on

Angel Juarez |@thelakwatsero

Metro Manila

What do you love most about traveling in the Philippines?

We are lucky to be living in a country overflowing with scenic natural wonders, be it from the vivid depths of our waters to the glorifying hues of our peaks and everything in between. The diversity, colors, and richness of our 7,107 islands complemented with unpretentious smiles from friendly locals make traveling in this country truly addicting!

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What's your favorite Philippine destination and why?

It would be Palawan! From the northern group of islands of Calamianes down to Balabac isles, Palawan boasts panoramic seascapes and landscapes that are among the world's best! Nothing beats my scuba diving experience in Tubbataha Reefs and the Japanese shipwrecks of Coron, nothing compares to the powdery white sand beaches of Balabac, nothing matches the mystifying hidden lagoons of El Nido. Then there's Dumaran, Linapacan, Cuyo, Cagayancillo, and other offbeat places that offer more surprises! ClichÃd as it may sound but Palawan is truly a piece of heaven!

Gael Hilotin |@thepinaysolobackpacker

Sorsogon

What do you love most about traveling in the Philippines?

I get to see places that I thought only existed in my childhood dreams. I get to meet different types of people and experience different cultures. I get to share their stories and encourage people to travel around the Philippines first because it helps the local economy.

What's your favorite Philippine destination and why?

That's a tough question. I've never been to a place I didnât like. But the Cordillera is special to me because that region sparked my love for solo travel.

Edgar Alan Zeta-Yap |@eazytraveler

Cebu City, Cebu

What do you love most about traveling in the Philippines?

I love the beautiful diversity of the Philippines, from the sea of clouds of the Cordillera highlands to the turquoise seas of the Sulu archipelago. Every trip to a corner of my country harbors a wonderful surprise.

What's your favorite Philippine destination and why?

Exploring the country's largest protected area of Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park was like embarking on a scientific expedition. It involved a 14-hour boat ride with dolphins along the Pacific Ocean; meeting nomadic Dumagat tribes; swimming in deserted beaches and waterfalls; and trekking in untouched, ancient rainforest.

A photo posted by Mario Ban (dib) (@doctoban) on

Docto Ban |@doctoban

Bacolod City, Negros Occidental

What do you love most about traveling in the Philippines?

I love the way we can travel the Philippines practically and conveniently; most of my weekend/holiday trips are in a budget range of only P3,000 to P4,000. The genuine hospitality of people in the provinces, who are very approachable and helpful. And, there are so many unspoiled destinations to discover that are not often visited by tourists.

What's your favorite Philippine destination and why?

My favorite destination in the country, by far, is south of Cebu. I just feel like it's a gateway to all beautiful places; from mountains to hike, turquoise waterfalls, to white-sand beaches. Everything can be reached easily and is cheap.

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Mervin Marasigan |@pinoyadventurista

Imus, Cavite

What do you love most about traveling in the Philippines?

I love meeting new friends, trying different local cuisines, and exploring different off-the-beat destinations.

What's your favorite Philippine destination and why?

That would definitely be Batanes. The lovely people, peaceful community, and its fresh air keep me wanting to visit it again and again.

Ron Alegre |@backpackingph

Taguig City, Metro Manila

What do you love most about traveling in the Philippines?

Aside from the thousands of beautiful, pristine beaches, the wide variety of delectable Filipino food, and dramatic sunsets, it all boils down to the people you meet along those bumpy, extraordinary roads. That feeling of having the opportunity to share a moment with them even for a short period of timeâit's just worthwhile.

What's your favorite Philippine destination and why?

My most-favorite places are El Nido and Bontoc Province. El Nido holds a special place in my heart mainly because it's one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The island is so perfect for everyone who wants to go on a perfect vacation. I could spend a whole day in Hidden Beach, sitting just to catch the sunset or at night, or lose myself dancing with the friendliest tourists at Pukka Bar.

Bontoc Province where the Maligcong Rice Terraces is located is a blissful escapeâa heaven on earth I always say. You just can't help it, but appreciate rawness of its beauty. And by just looking at these massive rice paddies, this piece of artwork, you'll feel something that is beyond what your eyes can see.

Rodrigo Acuzar Jr. |@justgopilipinas

Diliman, Quezon City

What do you love most about traveling in the Philippines?

It brings me pure joy to endlessly wander and get lost in this land I call "Republika ng Paraiso" (Paradise Republic). Nothing beats the thrill of getting to know your own homeâour unique Filipino culture, the hospitality of our people, the most breathtaking views one can witness and the most inspiring stories that make us shine and feel proud to be Pinoy.

What's your favorite Philippine destination and why?

Mt. Pulag. It was like a dreamâtowering mountains light up in orange and peaches, beds of clouds moving like waterfalls. The sun romances the early morning sky in its full gloriousness turning everything into gold. It was witnessing the creation face to face!

Claire Madarang |@iamtravelinglight

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Metro Manila

What do you love most about traveling in the Philippines?

There is always something beautiful to exploreâbeaches, lagoons, mountains, architecture like old churches, and rich culture like colorful indigenous weaves. I doubt anyone will get bored even after traveling around the Philippines for a long time. And the people are warm and friendly, too! This I can especially attest to when I traveled solo for around two months, where I was helped by strangers in more ways than one.

What's your favorite Philippine destination and why?

Danjugan Island in Negros. Aside from its white beaches and mangrove forests, this is a place so rich in marine life that I see moray eels and baby sharks in ankle-deep waters. Eagles fly overhead too, and when you see one flying in a graceful arc while you enjoy the stillness and beauty of a lagoon, it can leave you speechless. Danjugan is a place where you can still feel the rawness of nature. What I also love about the island is their story and advocacy. It is an island rescued from wildlife poaching and dynamite fishing by concerned environmentalists. Now, they hold educational environmental camps in the island, especially for youth from public schools, with the intention of encouraging possible future advocates for the environment.

This story originally appeared on Spot.ph.
*Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.

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