IT IS fun to travel with family and friends. You get to experience new things together, meet new people, bond with each other, and strengthen your relationships. They are our favorite people nonetheless, so it is perfectly memorable to take on an adventure with them.
However, it is also good to spend time with yourself. Travelers all over the world have proven and tested how eye opening and enriching solo travel is. And I can attest to that. Setting out to a new place alone has always been rewarding. It feels different.
If you’re still feeling a little scared to travel to a different country alone, why not try to explore the Philippines first? Trust me, the country has a lot of gems that you need to discover. Here are some of the best places you can travel solo to:
- Sagada, Mountain Province
Even before this got place famous because of a local indie movie, Sagada has already been attracting solo travelers. According to a French architect that I met there around four years ago, Sagada is his favorite destination in the Philippines because of its “authenticity and natural magic.” True enough, Sagada – up to this time – still remains to be on top of my favorite places because of that “magic.”
Try visiting their Hanging Coffins, eat their fresh harvests, witness the famous sunrise at Kiltepan Peak, drown yourself in their heavenly coffee, and interact with the locals.
Also, Sagada is always safe. The people are kind and accommodating. The atmosphere is different. The food is heaven. You will meet wonderful people all over the world who will make your trip one for the books. The journey on their long – and winding – road is completely worth it.
- El Nido, Palawan
There is something about El Nido that will make you crave for more. No wonder, the place is infested with tourists. Some are even moving there to enjoy the chill life. Who would not fall in love with its beaches and small islands?
The road to El Nido is also long – and bumpy. There are only a few direct flights going there so you need to take flights to Puerto Princesa and ride the bus or van to El Nido. Upon reaching the place, you will be greeted by its fresh, sea-scented breeze and unpretentious lifestyle. May it be in island-hopping or just simply chilling by the beach, El Nido is out there to charm you.
- Camiguin Island
I remember watching Camiguin’s promotional video “No Words” recently and told myself that I need to visit the island soon. I’ve been there twice but it never failed to awe me maybe because I am really into serene and unspoiled places.
Aside from its gems like the Katibawasan Falls, Sunken Cemetery, and White Island Sandbar, the people in Camiguin make the place more beautiful. You can go there during their Lanzones season and savor their most famous – and sweetest – harvest.
- Batad, Banaue
We have always been familiar with Banaue because our elementary books contain their world-famous rice terraces. But there is more that the place can offer.
Going to Batad is not an easy road. You have to endure the muddy and steep trails. Upon reaching the remote village, you can stay in one of their traditional Ifugao huts. It will give you a glorious experience. Imagine waking up in the morning on the sounds of rooster and birds, and being greeted by the sun rays while looking at the seemingly unreal rice terraces. Immerse yourself in their culture and just enjoy the place.
- Cagayan de Oro City
Cagayan de Oro City is not the “City of Golden Friendship” for nothing. What people love about the city is its mix of urban lifestyle and natural gems. It has the most popular malls but it also preserves its God-given landscapes. In CDO, you can go from whitewater rafting to clubbing, from visiting an eco-tourim village to food-hopping. The city will definitely give you memorable experiences.
Bohol has various offerings: its Chocolate Hills, bee farm, beautiful beaches, Loboc River Cruise, and Tarsier Sanctuary. This bountiful province is always a must-visit because of its natural wonders.
- Dumaguete City
When traveling solo, I always make it a point to spend a day doing nothing. By doing nothing, I mean walking along its roads, observing its people, and just savoring my time in the place. It’s actually my favorite thing to do in Dumaguete City.
The capital Negros Oriental, Dumaguete City is very low-key. For a more adventurous experience, you can head to Apo Island. But for a more relaxing activity, you can visit Rizal Boulevard and just enjoy the sunset. You can also chill at the restaurants across the boulevard, chug a bottle of beer, and just savor the moment.
The list I made was based on personal experience. But travel bloggers and enthusiasts always say that Batanes is the best. It feels like you are in a different country. I am yet to discover its beauty. For now, I will just feast my eyes on its photos that look like they were straight out of a movie./PN