You know that feeling when you come face to face with a stunning landscape or scenery and you just want to hold your lover’s hand or hug tightly as you bask in the beauty of the place. The more you lovers travel to these kind of places the more your bond tighten as you make beautiful memories together.
The Philippines is blessed to still have many stunning natural landscapes, from the topmost province in Batanes, to the southernmost islands in Mindanao and forlorn places in between. A warning, these places are difficult to go to and often off-the-beaten path. I’ve been to all of these beautiful areas listed here and, unfortunately, most were enjoyed alone or in the company of friends.
Soon. I will bring you to each of these places. Except probably #4.
1 Nagudungan Hill (Calayan Island, Babuyan Group)
Its a massive slab of a rock rising from the flats at the edge of Caniwara Cove. Sparsely vegetated with eternally bent trees, it affords a stunning view of this part of Calayan Island. One ascends a steep incline at one side of the island and midway, you just have to stop and look below. Three coves side by side with Cibang Cove in the middle, it’s white sandy beach inviting. While Caniwara Cove below, the waves slowly advancing to shore.
READ MORE: Nagudungan Hill, just out of this world!
2 Kapurpurawan Rock Formation (Burgos, Ilocos Norte)
Kapurpurawan Rock in Burgos is one of the must visit sites in Ilocos Norte with its wind swept limestone hill formed into a beautiful and streamlined form over the millenia. Stunning is an understatement as you slowly and carefully make your way to the white and polished rock, passing the sharp coraline rocks. Once above, you have stunning views of the area, depending on the season, strong waves hit and splash below. Late afternoons are the best time as you can see the sun set at the West Philippine Sea while enveloping the place in a golden light.
3 Taggat Lagoon (Claveria, Cagayan)
Not many people know about this part of northern Cagayan province but Taggat Lagoon is just stunning. Once you get inside the area, you will be met with lines and lines of fishermen’s outrigger boats neatly docked on the beach. It’s a natural shelter for strong winds and waves. Follow the shore to the rocky portion at the right and be prepared to be in awe of the shallow tidal pools and rock formations.
READ MORE: Scenic Taggat Lagoon in Claveria, Cagayan
4 Tagpao Falls (Tubo, Abra)
Its probably the highest waterfall in the Philippines and one of the most difficult to reach. Located at the triboundary of Ilocos Sur, Abra and Mt. Province, you need to trek for a day over steep mountains and hike for an hour from your basecamp over difficult, leech infested trails just to reach this waterfall. It’s so high, its volume massive and at a promontory that gives you a stunning view, the sound of the water falling is akin to the sound of several rounds of gunfire. But because of its remoteness, its safe to say that less than a hundred people have seen and been to this cascade, mostly native hunters.
5 Highest point of the Philippine Highway System Viewdeck (Atok, Benguet)
At an elevation of 7,400 ft, this point of the Philippine highway system is the highest in the country and found in Atok, Benguet. Here, you can make a stop at the viewdeck and just marvel at the stunning vista of the Cordilleras. The best time to visit is in the morning.
READ MORE: Spectacular landscape at Atok highest point
6 Hagdanan Peak (Magsaysay, Mindoro Occidental)
It’s strange and baffling but when the setting sun hits its ocher surface, it glows and looks like on fire! To some extent. Hagdanan Peak is a solid rock formation that can be seen along the highway in San Jose, Mindoro Occidental. It’s jagged peaks looks like a cock’s comb.
READ MORE: San Jose, Occidental Mindoro in one day
7 Unspoilt beach (Sumilon Island, Cebu)
It’s one of my favorite island resorts because for such a small place, there are so much to do, so many pristine areas to visit and during a hike around the island, I just saw this gorgeous view of an unspoilt beach from a promontory. And I was speechless looking at this vista. It was still early in the morning and the sun was still near the horizon. The wind was strong and below, the wave, slowly edged to shore. It was such a magical sight to behold!
8 Magpupungko Rock and tidal pools (Pilar, Siargao)
All I know about Magpupungko Rock in Siargao, before I visited the place, was all about the massive boulder sitting on a rock. But little did I know that the pristine tidal pools are its most endearing character that I just fell in love with the place. There are different kinds of colorful fish swimming around (and some sea snakes). Go farther, near and around the sitting boulder for more tidal pools and more fish sightings.
READ MORE: 7 memorable places I’ve traveled to in 2013
9 Aliwagwag Falls (Cateel, Davao Oriental)
Last month was my second time to visit Aliwagwag Falls in Cateel, after 10 years and there have been favorable developments. The ecotourism area has been developed but with the least disruption to the waterfalls with two designated swimming areas. But the best place for lovers is this spot which is just a few feet above the second swimming area and connected by a wooden footbridge. It’s the closest you can be to the waterfalls and feel its might. This spot has a small dip pool too good for two persons.
READ MORE: The stunning cascades of Aliwagwag Falls
10 Little Sta. Cruz Island
What makes Little Sta. Cruz Island special is the snaking sandbar that juts out. Depending on the time of day and the height of the tide, its possible to walk this sand bar and the stunning thing? When water from both sides flow in and merge at the center while you walk to the main island. It’s a unique view and one of my most memorable trips. But note that not everyone can visit this island as this is a designated protected area with limited access. Consider yourself lucky if you ever set foot here.
READ MORE: A snaking sandbar at Little Sta. Cruz Island