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Apr 14, 2017
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Going on a romantic beach getaway is a great and pretty convenient idea because there is no shortage of gorgeous destinations here in the Philippines. If anything, your biggest concern would be choosing which one to go to since all of them have something unique to offer.

To help you avoid option paralysis, we’ve listed 10 islands that we think would be great for a couple’s getaway. Get your game on, pop that champagne, and snuggle up as you catch the sweetest sunset (or sunrise) of your life.

1) BellaRocca Island Resort & Spa

This exclusive resort is perfect for couples looking for a passionate escape. Inspired by the world-famous Greek island of Santorini, BellaRocca (translation: beautiful rock), sits off the coast of Marinduque. Luxurious, with 10 exclusive villas, each with their own private infinity pool fronting the Sibuyan Sea. There are three other pools—plus snorkeling sites and even a nine-hole golf course—that regular guests from the 30 other rooms can enjoy. You’ll never want to leave this slice of paradise.

Getting there: By land, you can take an eight-hour drive from Manila to Marinduque, including a RORO ride, and then from the port, it'll take about another five minutes by service boat to the island itself.

Cost: Keep in mind that this is a luxury resort, so if you’re thinking of going on a shoestring budget, well, there are nine other islands in this list to try. They don’t disclose their rates on their website, but published rates from five years ago peg one night in a Deluxe room (2-3 adults max, plus 2 kids below 12 years old) to be at around P30,000. 

2) Britania Islands, Surigao del Sur

This obscure spot is just about to make the headlines, so couples looking for an adventure they could still call their own better start packing. Located in the town of San Antonio in Surigao del Sur, the group of Britania Islands is comprised of 24 totally unspoiled islands; a number of the islands are uninhabited, with some having only very minimal to no vegetation at all. The obvious upside to this lack of infrastructure is that you’ll be rewarded with crystal clear blue waters, and white beaches that rival that of Boracay’s. 

What to do: Snorkeling and lounging are fine, but there’s apparently a “secret cave” that can be accessed by crossing between two islets during low tide.

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Cost: Airfare to Surigao aside, land travel by van to the drop-off in Tandag, Salvacion can be as cheap as P100 per head. If you want an even cheaper alternative, you can take the public bus, which costs P50 per trip. If you're willing to do it the cowboy way, the habal-habal direct to Brgy. Britania costs only P20. A decent hotel room with private bath is around P1,000 per night. If you’re not that queasy about sharing a bathroom with other guests, you can find cheaper accommodation rates. As for the tour, P1,500 can already take you island hopping to Hagonoy, Boslon, Naked, and Hiyor-Hiyoran Falls. For food, you can get everything fresh from the market or straight off the local stores, then just have them cooked and prepared for your baon.

3) White Island, Camiguin

It’s more a sandbar than an actual land formation, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying what this 1.4 kilometer slice of heaven has to offer mere mortals. Specifically, it’s located on the northern shore of Mambajao in Camiguin Island, another equally enthralling location you must check out.

Top Attraction: Sunrises and sunsets are big spectacles for tourists here. With a stunning, unobstructed view, it’s easy to come up with plenty of romantic scenarios to make this getaway even more memorable.

Cost: From the airport to the Balingoan Port, prepare around P300-P400 for a two- to three-hour land travel via express van and transfer bus. You can also take a cab if you want the comfort and convenience, but be prepared to cough up P400-P450 one way. A mid-range resort in the main island of Camiguin can cost anywhere from P700 to P3,000 per night, depending on the amenities you seek. As for the activities, a whole day White Island tour can cost you around P800, including the van and boat rentals, optional equipment like snorkels and fins, travel fees to the marine sanctuary, and minor environmental fees. Food is fresh and cheap, so you can splurge on that.

4) Jomalig Island, Quezon Province

If you want a golden getaway with your partner, then take her to the golden beaches of Jomalig Island. This hidden beach is just southeast of Polilio Islands in Quezon Province, which is about eight to nine hours away from Manila (three hours by van to Real, Quezon; five to six hours by boat) to the island.

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It’s such a no-fuss island that the only way to get around Jomalig is by renting a habal-habal, a tricycle, or your own motorbike. Get a tan, island-hop, bird-watch, or even go rock climbing. 

What to Eat: Polilio Islands is very rich in seafood. Trust us, you’ll want to gobble up all the fresh seafood, like lobsters, crabs, shrimps, and a wide variety of fish that'll satisfy your cravings.

Cost: This location is perfect for even the most tipid hits traveler because you can spend as little as P1,500 for a full three days and two nights stay here. A regular bus from Manila to Quezon Province will cost you P170 for about four to five hours travel time. Boat from Real ranges from P350-P400, depending on the size. Accommodations, meanwhile, can set you back P650/day per head.

5) Palaui Island, Cagayan Valley

The first thing you have to know about Palaui Island is that it’s a protected area. It’s a marine reserve, which means strict regulations on environmental protection are strongly implemented (as they should be).

The trade-off, however, would be the amazing sights, such as the blue-green waters, lush forests, and stunning land formations.

Where to stay: Because tourism is just starting to stir this quiet island awake, homestay accommodations are the only option. Yes, there’s no hotel or resort here. If that’s what you’d prefer to have, then you can book something in the nearby town of Santa Ana.

Cost: A Victory Liner bus ride to Tuguegarao from Manila costs P650. From the terminal in Tuguegarao City, you’ll need to make another trip by van to Sta. Ana. Note that there is a P50-fee that must be paid at the Tourism Visitor’s Office, as well as a login book to be signed, before you can proceed to the island. For your island hopping needs, you can rent a boat for as low as P500 to as high as P1,800, depending on the size and how far the island you’re going visit is. There are package tours available too, ranging from P1,000 to P3,000, depending on how much activities you intend to do. 

6) Great Santa Cruz Island, Zamboanga

White and gold beaches no longer cutting it for you? Then try out a pink one for a change. There’s one right in Zamboanga City, in the Great Santa Cruz Island. The pink color is said to be caused by the red corals washed upon the shore that eventually get crushed into fine sand. 

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What to do: There are plenty of things to do, from the usual beach activities to the more educational cultural immersion you can have in the local Sama-Bangingi community.

Cost:  Island fee (to be paid at the Tourism Office) is P100. Boat fees from the mainland to the Great Sta. Cruz Island is P1,000. The bigger your group is, the cheaper it will be per head. Cottage rental on the island itself will cost you anywhere from P100 to P500.

7) Seco Island, Antique

Sports enthusiasts recognize Seco Island as one of the top kiteboarding spots in the country. Located in Tibiao, Antique way down south and off the Sulu Sea, Seco is actually hailed by the locals as the province’s crown jewel. Once you see it, you'll understand why. The sandbar island is absolutely pristine, untouched by intrusive tourism. Instead, local fishermen use it as a refuge from bad weather when they are out at sea.

Where to go: There’s literally nothing in it as it is a protected island, so where will you stay? Why not Boracay? Yes, the mother of all party islands in the Philippines is just four and a half hours away.

Cost: Since this is only accessible as a day trip destination, you will need to coordinate with a tour group. A day tour package for a minimum of two persons is at about P3,000. 

8) Dimakya Island, Coron

This exclusive beach resort is popular among couples, whether it's for their wedding or honeymoon.

What to do: Island hopping, snorkeling, exploring the quaint town of Coron—these are just some of the things you can do here. 

Cost: For inquiries, check out the website of Club Paradise Palawan.

9) Apo Island, Dauin, Negros Oriental

Marine life is as rich and amazing as it could possibly be in this world-famous diving spot. If you and your partner are avid fans of the life aquatic, this would be a great place to bond and relax.

What to do: Visit the sea turtles—underwater, of course, or hike to the local lighthouse, the island's highest point. The latter is certainly going to be a romantic highlight of your trip. If you’re all about the ambiance, go there right before sunset. The hike to the top of the lighthouse is about 15 to 20 minutes, so if you’re planning to get down on one knee and propose during the sunset, make sure your timing is just right.

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Cost: A boat ride from Malatapay to Apo Island icosts P300, while P500 can get you decent accommodation that throws in breakfast for free.

10) Bantayan Island, Cebu

It’s where Camp Sawi is located, but rest assured being sawi is not a requirement for you to enjoy the island. Bantayan Island is accessible via Cebu and affords you fantastic local sceneries of endless beaches, scuba diving sites, the historic ruins in Kota Park, and the gorgeous heritage houses in the local town.

Pro-Tip: Divers and other adventurers who would like to extend their stay can hop to Malapascua Island, or make a day trip even farther down to the amazing sandbar island of Kalanggaman.

Cost: Tricycle fee per person from Sta. Fe to Bantayan town proper costs about P25. Beachside lodging can cost anywhere from P400 to P16,000 per night. For activities, the gorgeous underground cave with natural pool, known as Ogtong Cave, has an entrance fee of P120 for adults and P50 for children. The amazing sunset and sunrise are absolutely free.

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