The Philippines is arguably one of the best travel destinations in all of SE Asia, home to 36,289 km of beautiful coastline which includes some of the worlds most renowned reefs, beaches, and biodiversity. In fact, just this year, Siargao, Boracay, and Palawan islands have been ranked 1st, 2nd, and 3rd (respectfully), as the “Top 5 Islands” in all of Aisa. It’s not surprising then, that these prime locations are alluring to travelers from around the globe, people who want to sample the natural beauty of the Philippines.
2018 has been a great year for tourism in the Philippines and 2019 is projected to do even better. So if you are planning a trip to the Philippines for 2019 here are our picks for the best Hotel Resorts to visit in the new year.
Bicol has always been a popular destination for both local and international travelers, as it is home to one of the most beautiful works of Mother Nature. Although shy to show its tip on most days, the Mayon Volcano’s perfect cone structure has continued to attract all forms of tourists.
This region is also popularly known for their cooking – especially when it comes to coconut or chili-based dishes. So much so that they have started to package the popular Bicol Express, Pinangat, and Inulukan in frozen bags for people to take home. While those alone already make for the perfect pasalubong, why not try other unique items?
Here are some pasalubong ideas I spotted on my last visit…
BICOL LOVE written by Anton Diaz for the Awesome Life Planner 2012
Unique cuisine, fun adventure destinations and the ever-majestic Mayon Volcano await you in Bicol. The best time to go would be during the summer months when you can also travel all the way to Donsol to swim with the whale sharks. To get to Naga or Legazpi City, you can take a 12-hour road trip or a one-hour plane ride from Manila.
8 Compelling Reasons to Visit Bicol
1. Climb Mayon Volcano!
When we were kids, we often drew volcanoes as perfect triangles with perfect cones. Beholding Mayon Volcano, as it towers over the Bicol region, is like seeing those childhood drawings come to life. You can hike the lava trail or go up to the halfway point of Mayon. The best viewpoints are in Daraga Church and the zipline in Lingon Hill.
Good food is part of our criteria when deciding where to travel next. Our travels and food adventures have made us realize that just because an establishment is charging high-end prices, the quality of food will also be high.
Misibis Bay Resort in Cagraray Island in Albay, Bicol is marketed as “Your Luxury Island Playground”. It is a beach escape where you can relive your childhood fun with a lot of sports and adventure activities that both adults and kids can enjoy.
It is located on an exclusive cove in Cagraray Island, which is an hour away by land from the Legazpi Airport. You can stay in pool-side or beach-side villas, enjoy good buffet food, and relax with all the urban comforts of cable TV + Wifi.
Thousand Bears for Bicol Project (Bonakid Aidan not included)
I’m sure most of you were skeptical (like me) when I posted Cathy’s Thousand Bears Project for Bicol. But there is something in me that made me post that article on Thousand Bears Project. This is a great psychological help for the trauma that the kids experienced during typhoon Reming. I was following the development via her blog Midlife Mysteries, and I was amazed that she reached 1,000 bears last Dec. 17, Sunday. I was touched also when Cathy wrote in his blog post, A Thousand Bears and More!!:
“In a text message from Col. Mike Asperin, who had just returned from Albay I found my affirmation. Last Wednesday, Col. Asperin brought with him the 500 bear pillows that were donated by KFC earlier this week. ” I’m now in Manila. Got you tons of pictures for the teddy bear giveaways. I gave one to a child who embraced it and uttered words I could not understand. The lola who was accompanying the child was so overjoyed because it was the first time her apo spoke since they lost their family. It was a heart-rending scene and I cried so hard… the bears are helping the kids cope. None of them would let go of the teddy bears!” The tears just flowed after I read his message. It was then that I realized then how a little gesture could make such a huge impact on the life of a child. I thank the Lord for the inspiration of TBB. Truly, when HE plants a dream in your heart, He will see it through, all the way.”
I was soo busy these past few days and still been battling with my cough sickness until today. But I’m glad I was able to finally send our family of bears to Cathy yesterday after my visit to the doctor. The first batch of the bears have been shipped out already (see Bears, bears! By land, sea and air!) and I’m not sure if my bears made it to the batch last night or this morning. Anyway, the Bears project will continue with a second mission: Bearhugs for Bicol that has been set for February. So keep the bears coming and send them to Cathy.
I knew that Typhoon Durian/ Reming would be devastating since it was a Category 5 typhoon (the highest ever category) and a lot stronger than Typhoon Milenyo (category 3). After seeing the photo of this devastation from Cathy’s Nancydrewandme Blog, I’m determined to help out in any way I can. My mom’s province is in Catanduanes, Bicol and the devastation left the island with estimated 6 months without electricity and water. In Legaspi, our family friend Sarah’s father died of heart attack because of the sound of the typhoon as the entire city was engulf by water-shed-deep mud flood. The worst thing about Typhoon Durian was not only because it was a category 5 typhoon but also it stayed steady in Bicol for 4 hours.
We are blessed that the typhoon did not pass Metro Manila. You can send some bears over to Cathy @ A Thousand Bears for Bicol, 41 Milkyway Drive, Blue Ridge, Quezon City with a some noodles or canned goods. Please help in any way you can via this Thousand bear project or in cash via Red Cross.
Typhoon Reming has left death and destruction in its wake. Many families have lost their homes and property after a series of mudslides and flash floods struck their villages. Schools and other makeshift centers are now crammed with thousands of evacuees with no other place to stay. They are in dire need of your help. You may send you donations to the Philippine National Red Cross through: Metrobank Port Area Branch
1) Peso Account
Account name: The Philippine National Red Cross
Account number: 151 – 3 – 041 – 63122 – 8 – MBTC
2) Dollar Account
Account name: The Philippine National Red Cross
Account number: 151 – 2 – 151 – 00218 – 2
Swift Code: MBTC PH MM
B. Globe G-Cash
Just text: DONATE <space> <AMOUNT> <space> <4-digit MPIN> <space> RED CROSS then send to 2882
C. Globe Donate-A-Load
Just text RED <space> <AMOUNT in 5/25/50/100/300> then send to 2899