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4 Underrated Tourist Spots in the Philippines You Have to Visit

4 Underrated Tourist Spots in the Philippines You Have to Visit

Tourism is a major industry in the Philippines for good reason. There’s no shortage of natural and man-made attractions in the country that appeal to all sorts of travelers. A lot of foreign tourists visit the Philippines to enjoy its many tropical beaches, but even domestic tourists find themselves with plenty of possible options for leisurely excursions in their respective provinces and regions.

In 2021, the travel and tourism industry contributed USD 41 billion or 10.4% of the country’s gross domestic product. This is despite the fact that the country only truly opened its doors to fully vaccinated international tourists in early 2022. According to experts, this indicates that the tourism and travel industry is well on its way to recovery.

Now that traveling has become much easier as of late, it’s also the perfect time to rediscover the Philippines and see how the country has changed in the past few years. While everyone else is flocking to the pristine beaches of Boracay and Cebu, how about visiting underrated and less crowded areas in the country that you’ve probably never set foot on before? Here are a few suggestions. 

4 Underrated Tourist Spots in the Philippines You Have to Visit


Dumaguete Tourist Spots in the Philippines You Have to Visit

Dumaguete City


Known as the “City of Gentle People,” Dumaguete is the capital of Negros Oriental. It offers much to both local and international tourists, especially those who have time to spare and want to get to know the charms of this highly livable university city. There are plenty of hotels in Dumaguete that cater to different budgets and experiences, and you’re certain to find one or two options that can help you meet your holiday objectives. 

If you’ve found a holiday base close to the city center, you can take a stroll along Rizal Boulevard and sample food items like ice cream, fish balls, and fancy cakes while enjoying views of the shore. The prestigious Silliman University, established in 1901, is also located near the boulevard and has museums that tourists can visit. Among other notable tourist spots in Dumaguete City are the St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral and its belfry, which are considered to be among the oldest landmarks on the island. If you’re willing to venture outside the city, dropping by the twin lakes of Balinsasayaw and Danao is a must. There are also a few falls you can visit, such as Pulang Bato and Casaroro.


Siquijor Tourist Spots in the Philippines You Have to Visit

Siquijor Island


From the City of Dumaguete, it’s possible to go on a day trip to the majestic island province of Siquijor, but a few days’ stay here is very much worth it. Steeped in stories of sorcery, Siquijor has long been associated with healing rituals and the creation of potions, and this works to the benefit of its local tourism industry. Contributing to this mysterious air is the moniker “Island of Fire” which came to be because of the large number of fireflies observed here during the Spanish colonial era. But even if you’re not intrigued by the mystic arts, Siquijor has plenty to offer, especially if you love nature. The island has white sand beaches, falls, and caves. The waters surrounding it are also rich in marine life, including sea turtles and hundreds of fish species, thus justifying the presence of many diving resorts in the area. 


Iloilo Tourist Spots in the Philippines You Have to Visit

Iloilo City


Home to about half a million people, the City of Iloilo is the hub for commerce, finance, industry, and education in the Central Visayas Region. It’s a great destination for anyone who wants to access the modern comforts of city living while enjoying walkable and bike-friendly streets.

Here, one can find a wide range of historical, cultural, and culinary attractions. Calle Real, for one, is home to Spanish- and Commonwealth-era buildings and offers a treat for people who appreciate architecture, and there are several churches and government buildings in the city that reflect facades and motifs from different styles and times. The city has a number of museums where one can get a glimpse of its colorful history, economic progress, and art scene. For those who are interested in good food, there are plenty of local dishes and delicacies that are best tasted in Iloilo City, such as La Paz Batchoy and a variety of breads, but there are also restaurants here that cater to those who are looking for international cuisine. 


Zamboanga City Tourist Spots in the Philippines You Have to Visit

Zamboanga City


The flagship tourist destination of Zamboanga Peninsula, Zamboanga City is one of the biggest urban centers in the country in terms of land area. There are about a million people that call the city home, and there are attractions here that will appeal to people who like spending time in nature and those who like to go on heritage tours. Perhaps one of the most famous attractions in the area is its Pink Beach found in the Sta. Cruz Grande Island. The pinkish color of the sand is due to the weathering of the red corals near the shore. Aside from dropping by the beach, you can also take a guided tour of the lagoon and see its thriving mangrove trees. 

On top of island tours and island hopping trips, it’s also an option to get to know the city proper well and see the green and public spaces that make Zamboanga highly livable. You can visit the Museo de Zamboanga, Pasonanca Park and Camp Limbaga, and the bird sanctuary at the Zamboanga State College of Marine Science and Technology. These are just a few of the places you should include in your itinerary when you plan a holiday in so-called “City of Flowers.”

If you haven’t visited any of these places yet, now is the best time to plan a trip and explore what these underrated destinations have to offer. Book a holiday in these cities and islands before many other tourists discover their unique charms and attractions.




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