2022 was a year of travel revenge and recovery for me. As travel restrictions got eased, I had the chance to explore new provinces after almost two years of staying close to home. It also meant enjoying, again, the exhilarating feeling of riding a plane. It was a breath of fresh air and renewed excitement to explore the different corners Philippines once again.
Visayas was my core travel this 2022 with its eastern side sweeping me off my feet. I was also more into the offbeat destinations this year which gave me a more raw and relaxed vibe of Pinas. It was a nice way to re-start my passion for local travel and working towards visiting the remaining provinces to complete my #GOT81 project. Just like previous years, I will be closing 2022 with my #Top3PinasDestinationsFor2022. These destinations are all off-beat and are waiting for their turn to shine.
Guiuan, Eastern Samar
Guiuan was love at first sight for me. I loved how the laidback vibe of this town on the eastern side of Samar fused with the natural beauty of its coastline. It is a a little piece of heaven for beach lovers. It gives you that adrenaline pumping waves on one side and a more relaxing one on the other side. It has a perfect match for every kind of beach person.
Apart from its beach spots, you can also enjoy the different natural and historical attractions that Guiuan has to offer. This quaint town played a crucial role in our country’s history, both in Magellan’s voyage and in the country’s liberation in World War 2. The town is seasoned with a perfect mix of history, religion, natural beauty, and people that makes it hard for anyone not to fall in love with the place.
Guiuan is my one and only. It was one of those destinations where I actually foresee a good future for development and a great place to settle down. It is a destination that I plan to visit again soon. It captured my heart and I sorely miss it.
Sambawan Island, Biliran
Sambawan Island was a welcome break from the stress of a divisive national elections. It refreshed me of “back-to-basics” travel where you live a day with the barest of necessities, and that meant sleeping on wooden floors without electricity and limited water supply. It also meant having to “survive” with what food that you brought with you. This came as a surprise as I really thought that the island was “touristy”.
The island was a perfect spot to disconnect. It was rustic and laidback that you have got nothing else to do but enjoy the island in its raw form. The different angles of the island, from its viewing deck, were all amazing. Walang patapon. In fact, you will get a full load of a tropical island life as you enjoy the full day of enjoying your time for self while communing with nature. Here you enjoy everything as time slows you down.
Sambawan Island was a perfect spot to re-start and recharge. It was living the island life at its finest. I just hope that further development of the island will preserve its natural beauty and calm vibe. It was nice that an island like this gave me a much-needed respite from the strains of urban living.
Naging mailap but I finally got it covered and I do not regret having explored it. Quirino is a landlocked province that is offbeat and underrated. The rugged terrains of the province is a treasure trove of natural attractions above and below it, not to mention the waters that snake through its land. It gives you a wide range of travel experience that drives your adrenaline to relaxing your mind and body.
The province can be quite a challenge to explore because the destinations are spread out along the expanse of its mountain ranges. Although road systems were already built for easier access, public transport to these destinations can be quite a challenge. Take the time to enjoy the spots. Enjoy the rush and breathe in the rugged natural beauty of Quirino.
Quirino remains rugged and offbeat keeping most of its attractions in its pristine beauty. Since all of its attractions are inland, it will take time for the usual travelers to appreciate its beauty. It is one destination that I would like to see come out of its shell and be given the attention that it deserves.
POST TRAVEL NOTES
As we enter a new year, I am excited to explore more Pinas destinations. I am excited to work on most of my last 14 Pinas provinces to complete my project. My target is to complete my #GOT81 project in the next two years. Here are the destinations that I am working on this year:
BaSulTa (Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi) - These three destinations are my ultimate goal for this year. I think it is about time that we give the natural and cultural beauty of these destinations the attention it deserves without the prejudice.
Marawi City - Ravaged by war, the city was rehabilitated by the Duterte administration. The once “hostile” territory is now an attraction that also deserves attention without the prejudice.
Dinagat Island - The islands of Dinagat is calling again. This was one destination that I had to miss out because of the lockdowns. I guess it is calling me out again.
Sorsogon - I have always wanted to backpack around Sorsogon. It has been on my plans for years now. I guess it is time to start putting the plans into action.
Mount Pulag - The sea of clouds beckons. I need to see the sun rise from this vantage point. I know that it is going to be a perfect view.
Traveling around Pinas is in my genes. Nothing beats enjoying the rhythm and the beat of our local destinations. While it is true that we have one of the most beautiful spots here in the country, its beauty is further brightened up by the Filipino spirit. My hope is that more Filipinos will discover and share our country’s beauty this 2023.
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Marc del Rosario
I believe in education, entrepreneurship, and caring for the environment.