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The Best Philippine Travel Spots to Visit after the Pandemic

The Best Philippine Travel Spots to Visit after the Pandemic Photo Credit: Binga Beach Resort

It has been months since the rapid spread of the coronavirus disease was officially declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). It has also been months since the state of travel as we once knew it last was.

For more than half a year, travel to many parts of the world has either been shut down or restricted. While we don’t mind staying in for the sake of public health and general welfare, we can’t wait to travel again as soon as this is all over. Here are the best places in the Philippines to visit after the pandemic:

The Best Philippine Travel Spots to Visit after the Pandemic Photo Credit: Bonifacio Global City

Metro Manila


Metro Manila is often overlooked as a mere drop-off point to pass through before one can officially start their Philippine vacation. As home to the country’s main international airport, it is where most departing and arriving passengers from both domestic and international flights are entertained. However, it offers more than just layovers.

Metro Manila is arguably the only place in the Philippines where the most modern of technologies meet with the stronghold remnants of the past. On one side, there is the ultra-futuristic Bonifacio Global City with its many blocks of skyscrapers, high-end malls, and state-of-the-art museums. On the other, there is the walled city of Intramuros with beautiful parks, old churches, and cobblestoned streets that are stuck in time.

The usually heavily congested streets of the Philippines’ most densely populated area has been a ghost town ever since the lockdown was imposed. Its once lively bars and restaurants now see few to no people at all. That is why a trip to Manila is something to look forward to once the pandemic is over.

Eating authentic Chinese food in the world’s oldest Chinatown of Binondo is an otherworldly experience. Museum-hopping at the National Museum Complex by the famous Rizal Park really opens your eyes. When you plan your after-pandemic trip to the Philippines, pencil in a few days to spend at its capital. Watching the sunset from the Baywalk along the City of Manila’s Roxas Boulevard is something that you simply must experience at least once in your life.

The Best Philippine Travel Spots to Visit after the Pandemic Photo Credit: PH Bus

La Union


The province of La Union is around three to four hours away by car from Manila. For so long, its gorgeous waves and sandy beaches were a well-kept secret among its locals and a few Manilans. Come the late 2010s, it was not so much of a secret anymore.

La Union has really grown up as a travel destination over the years. It has transformed itself from a sleepy coastal province into a haven for both adventures and parties. Families love its clear blue waters and sprawling farms. Hardworking professionals, on the other hand, love it for its cool bars, good food, and laidback vibe that is perfect for weekend getaways.

La Union was not as badly hit by the coronavirus as neighboring Manila. With less than five hundred cases confirmed, life goes on as usual for its locals. Minus all of the tourists and visitors from nearby provinces, that is. Its beaches are still clean and the waves that crash on its shores are just as tantalizing. It is merely waiting to be discovered again.

Notable spots to drop by when you visit La Union after the pandemic include the town of San Juan. Its Urbiztondo Beach is where the best waves for surfing on this side of the Philippines can be found. Not too far away from the beach itself is the provincial capital of San Fernando. Here you can find authentic Ilokano dishes that are truly unique to this part of the country. Their twist on the halo-halo is a must!



Cebu


If you’re looking for good food, look no further than Cebu. This island province in the Philippines’ Visayas region is home to the Queen City of the South, as well as a variety of other natural wonders.

Have you ever heard of the sumptuous lechon? It is best served in the city of Carcar, a few hours south of Cebu City itself. Cebu Province is also the place where you can lounge on pristine white sandbars, and go canyoneering in the mountains all in one day.

For a time, it looked as though Cebu City was going to be the next epicenter for the coronavirus disease in the Philippines. However, it has since flattened the curve and is on its way back to how life was before the pandemic.

You will need at least a week to take in all that Cebu has to offer once the province opens itself up for tourism again. With places like Moalboal, its south is a sanctuary for scuba divers. Thanks to islands such as the Bantayan Island to its north, Cebu has beaches that can rival that of Boracay.

The Best Philippine Travel Spots to Visit after the Pandemic Photo Credit: My Boracay Guide

Boracay


If the Philippines is the Pearl of the Orient, Boracay and its white sand are the shining glories of that pearl. There are more than 7,000 islands in the Philippines. As such, there are many beaches all over the country. Still, none of them can compare to the world-famous beach of Boracay Island.

Boracay has been the number one spot to visit among the best places in the Philippines for almost fifty years. Thousands if not millions of people from around the world have flocked to Southeast Asia specifically for the purpose of visiting this island. Over the years, its appeal brought about great development and opportunities for the local people. Sadly, it also caused great damage to the island itself.

In a bid to save the beauty of Boracay before it was too late, the island paradise was closed for a period of six months in 2018. When it opened again before the end of that year, it was cleaner, calmer, and brighter—and ultimately, better—than it ever was before.

In March of 2020, Boracay Island closed again in response to the pandemic. Seven months after, it has reopened itself to local tourists. This time, with the pandemic mind. Strict protocols and restrictions were put in place so that everyone can relax, unwind, and stay safe all at once. If you’re a traveler who is still worried about catching the coronavirus even after the pandemic is over, Boracay is a place that you can visit and be rest assured that you are safe.

The Best Philippine Travel Spots to Visit after the Pandemic Photo Credit: Binga Beach Resort

Palawan


Although Boracay has been known as one of the best places in the Philippines for almost fifty years now, Palawan is internationally recognized as the absolute best island in the world.

Boracay is great, but Palawan has a lot more to offer. While it is also an island, it an entire province rather than just a dot on the map. It has both beaches and mountains, and it is as magnificent below the water as it is above it.

The Philippines is only home to a total of six UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Two of them are in Palawan. Beyond the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park and the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, there is a lot more to discover here.

The Kayangan Lake in Coron is dubbed as the cleanest lake in the world. The limestone cliffs of El Nido, when seen in contrast to its clear blue waters, is a mesmerizing sight to behold. In the town of San Vicente on the western side of Palawan, the beach goes on forever.

Palawan was not marked safe from the threat of the coronavirus. It recorded its first confirmed case in Puerto Princesa City toward the end of April. Fast forward to six months after on October 29, 2020, and the city has been confirmed as COVID-free. The province’s three remaining towns with active cases—Culion, Cuyo, and Roxas—are looking to follow Puerto Princesa soon.

Palawan has beautiful glamping resorts opened for domestic travelers within the island. In doing so, it is currently making dry runs and conducting studies on how to facilitate tourism in a post-pandemic world. The threat of the coronavirus may continue to linger on in the months and years to come but that will not stop Palawan from finding ways to continue sharing its beauty. As is with the rest of the world, it is looking forward to when the pandemic ends.

Conclusion


It may take a while before this chapter of modern history comes to a close. Even when it eventually does, the way that the world we had grown accustomed to was will not come back in its entirety. There will be changes, and these changes are and will be for the better.

Hang on tight until that day arrives. Plan your next trip to the best places in the Philippines while we’re waiting, and keep in mind these five destinations as you do.

This is a contribution from one of our contributing writers.



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