Heartbreak is one of the main reasons why people travel. It’s almost a ritual of going away from yourself to find yourself, and often times, it’s a good way to heal. The Philippines is home to many beautiful places, and we have listed four that may seem quite common, but in fact still has more to offer than the usual tourist spots. These are beyond any hype and offer spaces of solace—if you know where to look for them.
Puerto Princesa, Palawan
A lot of people choose Coron over Puerto Princesa, but you can never really compare the two. This provincial capital can be a haven if you’re longing for a slow, quiet reprieve without totally losing touch of what any city can offer. Of course, there are the usual activities which you should definitely join, such as island hopping starting from Honda Bay, going through the famous Underground River, and heading up to Baker’s Hill and Mitra’s Ranch, but what makes Puerto Princesa beautiful are those places that’s not on your tourist map – the gorgeous sandbars, the Vietnamese villages, and an underground world of artists and musicians that proudly tell the story of their hometown. Ask a local to take you off the beaten road, and explore a different Puerto Princesa as you traverse your personal path to healing.
Sagada, Mountain Province
We know that it’s nice to have someone to cuddle with in Sagada’s low temperatures, but the atmosphere is actually one of the things that can help you forget your heartbreaks – which is why Angelica Panganiban’s character Mace in the movie That Thing Called Tadhana headed there.
Don’t expect posh hotels or resorts, as Sagada is a natural refuge with welcoming townsfolk – provided that you know how to respect their culture and their land. Don’t go looking for Wi-Fi, because it’s not the place for it. What we suggest is for you to go offline for a few days and just marvel at the beauty of the Pride of Mountain Province. Pay homage to the elders who have gone before in Lumiang Cave. Visit Bokong Falls and see if you can swim in its cold waters. Or just sit and be quiet in your transient home and let Sagada rejuvenate you.
Siquijor Island, Central Visayas
Siquijor has a rich history and culture involving the occult, and due to the urban legends that have been told about it, it’s a place that’s rarely visited until recently. Siquijor Island is home to so many beautiful natural retreats that you can call one as your own even just for an afternoon. If you want to sit quietly on a pristine white shore, head over to Paliton beach with crystal-clear waters and a beautiful view of Apo Island. Cambugahay Falls is also a great place to explore, although it’s more crowded than Paliton. If you wish for a literal change of perspective, head up to Mount Bandila-an, which is the island’s highest peak, and maybe if you’re alone, you can scream out all the hugot you’ve been keeping in.
Cagayan De Oro, Misamis Oriental
Cagayan De Oro is an urbanized city very much like Metro Manila, but at the heart of it lies forests protected by the townsfolk. It’s a place where you can still feel connected with the rest of the world, but where you can push yourself to face your heartbreak.
Visit the Mapawa Nature Park, and hitch with a tour group. It offers a beautiful walk through a natural and man-made reserve that boasts of everything good that’s rarely seen in a city. Touch the bark their largest centuries-old tree as a salute to the land’s history, and get ready to slide down slippery slopes, jump off cliffs, and rappel 65 feet down a waterfall. Yes, you will be scared and you will scream, but the activities – especially the free-fall of 25 feet – can actually be life-changing. Mapawa Nature Park challenges you to face your fears, and it’s exactly what you need to do to move on.
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