Updated: as of July 31, 2018
Updated: as of July 31, 2018
|CORREGIDOR AND MANILA||Populous and fast-paced best describe Manila, the country’s capital city. Yet, amid the bright lights and the blaring sounds of progress is a world of discovery. The newly-opened National Museum of Natural History will introduce you to the history of natural sciences in the Philippines and answer some of your questions about what makes this nation rich in wildlife and biodiversity.
From Manila, take an hour ferryboat ride to Corregidor, an island-fortress located 26 miles west of the capital. Known as “The Rock” during World War II and the last Filipino-American bastion to fall to the Japanese, the island will take you back in time as you explore its historical landmarks using an era style tram and discover its secrets as you step into the cavernous Malinta Tunnel, which served as General Douglas MacArthur’s headquarters during the invasion.
|BATANGAS AND TAGAYTAY||Batangas is more than just a source for one of the country’s best coffee brews. The province’s rustic setting is also a sanctuary for those looking to relax and rejuvenate. Amid the verdant hills of Lipa lies The Farm at San Benito, an award-winning holistic wellness center offering health programs and treatments to de-stress and revitalize the mind and body.
Neighboring Batangas is Tagaytay, home to a prized destination: the world-famous Taal Volcano, which sits on an island within a lake within an island. As you rest by one of the viewing points or luncheon areas overlooking what’s known to be the smallest active volcano in the world, you’ll be rewarded with a picture-perfect view of the topography that bedecks Taal Lake. A trek to the crater itself, where a massive and spectacular looking crater lake awaits, highlights the total experience.
|BATAAN||Bataan is a goldmine of history and one of its most revered attractions is the Dambana ng Kagitingan or the Shrine of Valour, built in honor of Filipino and American soldiers who fought for Philippine freedom against the Japanese during World War II. Located in Mount Samat, the shrine in the form of a cross, also marks the site of the bloody battle against the Japanese army. It takes a 6.5km trek uphill to reach the apex and an elevator ride to the cross’ viewing deck for a marvelous panoramic view of the surrounding terrain.
And for a bit of rest and relaxation, the Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is the ideal destination. An hour away from Mt. Samat, this 18th century palatial estate of restored Spanish-Filipino homes offers more than scenic spots for afternoon sunsets. It’s also the perfect place to revisit colonial times and know more about Filipino heritage.
|LAGUNA||Laguna has seen massive developments over the years. Yet, the rise of real estate, various infrastructures and malls has kept the laid-back charm of the province unscathed. This can be felt when visiting Pagsanjan Falls, a majestic force of nature that will sweep you off your feet.
Declared as a Natural Park, Pagsanjan boasts of exotic flora and fauna and the impressive three-tier waterfall that can be reached via an adventure-filled 17-kilometer boat trip along the Pagsanjan Gorge or a trek through a natural scenic route where rappelling down a caged ladder awaits.
For those seeking a more relaxed yet productive trip, Costales Nature Farms, found on the foothills of Mt. Banahaw, will let you experience farm life first-hand. This agri-tourism destination offers organic and healthy meals, farm tours and the perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.