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Boracay Beach Alternatives To Add To Your Travel Itinerary
We have a number of other paradise destinations in the country
by Vinz Lamorena | Mar 29, 2018
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It seems like President Duterte isn’t going to change his mind about closing the shores of Boracay. Both local and foreign tourists will have to wait an estimated six months to an entire year for the vacation hotspot to be cleaned up and rehabilitated before they can visit its iconic white-sand beaches again.

It’s quite a bummer the government plans to close Boracay during the hottest days of the year, reportedly starting on April 26. They say it’s about preserving the country’s natural attractions, and hopefully building the foundation for the sustainability of eco-tourism in the island.

Now that’s an idea that citizens should support, but others say Boracay’s closure seems too fishy to be coinciding with a casino construction, making the recently proposed government project earn mixed reactions from the public.

But for optimists who are in dire need of a beach break, Boracay’s closure proposes a chance to explore many of the country’s uncharted waters, where everyone can enjoy cooling waves and none of the crowds.

LUZON

Matukad Island, Caramoan, Camarines Sur

            

It’s just one of the many tropical destinations on the Caramoan peninsula where you can definitely enjoy island-hopping. With white powdery sands and towering limestones, Matukad Island gives you the best of Boracay and El Nido in one trip. The hidden lagoon of this small island is also believed to be mystical. But with its emerald waters eclipsed by rock wonders, it’s not so hard to see its natural magic.

How to get there:

You have the following options: 1) Fly to Naga Airport. From there, take a jeep or van to Sabang Port, then take a passenger boat to Guijalo Port. Once you’re there, ride a jeep going to Caramoan Sentro, then take a tricycle going to Bikal Port. Rent a passenger boat for the island hopping to Makutad; 2) Fly to Virac Airport at Catanduanes. From there, take a tricycle to Codon Port, then rent a passenger boat going to Caramoan.

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Magalawa Island, Zambales

If you've already checked off Anawangin, Capones, and Camara Islands from your Zambales adventure list, Magalawa is a place you need to visit. You can opt to spend the night at one of the two resorts there, or go bring your tent and camp for the utmost island experience. The island is also less crowded unlike the three islands mentioned above—perfect if you’re craving to get out of the noisy city. Magalawa is also famous for its powdery white sand and picturesque sandbar.

How to get there:

Ride a bus bound for Sta. Cruz,  Zambales and get off at Brgy. Pangolingan, Palauig. Ride a tricycle to get to Luan Port, walk to the ferry, and take the boat to Magalawa Island.

Botolan Beach, Zambales

 

Another off-the-radar Zambales destination is Botolan Beach. Botolan’s shores offer a sense of privacy and seclusion, coupled with great sunsets and its beautiful reflection on the beach’s fine black sand. You can totally make a side trip to get a glimpse of the Mt. Pinatubo crater lake, too!

How to get there:

Take a bus going to Botolan, Zambales. Get off at Binoclutan, Botolan, and choose from various resorts at Botolan National Highway.

Calaguas Island, Camarines Sur

 

Now that Boracay won’t be an option for tourists, the powdery white-sand beaches of Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte, are calling. Rolling hills frame and welcome you to Mahabang Buhangin beach, and it doesn’t matter if you’re in the mood for trekking or snorkelling—you can enjoy both activities on this island. It’s also fun to pitch your own tent and go camping during your sunny getaway.

How to get there:

Take a bus ride from Cubao/Pasay going to Daet, Camarines Sur. If you're going there via plane, Naga in Camarines Sur is the closest airport. From there, take a two-hour trip going to Daet via van. Naga Van Terminal is open from 5 a.m to 7 p.m.

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VISAYAS

Balicasag Island, Tagbilaran, Bohol

If you thought Bohol is only famous for the Chocolate Hills and tarsiers, you’re wrong. If you have no plans to mingle with the crowd, then the white sand beach of Balicasag Island is the spot for you. You can enjoy the beachfront and you’ll also be amazed by the wildlife (you can witness the natural beauty of the sea at the marine sanctuary). It’s the ultimate diver’s heaven—calm and cool clear waters give you the greatest views to spot countless schools of fish, turtles, and other sea creatures. You can also feed them while you’re under the sea—just make sure you’re supervised by the local tour guide!

How to get there:

From Manila, fly to Tagbilaran. From there, rent a passenger boat going to Panglao Island, then to Balicasag Island.

Malapascua Island, Cebu

Located in northern Cebu, Malapascua Island is another great destination if you’re planning to visit the Queen City of the South. This tiny island is for those who want a laid-back, stress-free vacation. Electricity is limited (the island’s electricity is provided by a diesel powered generator) in the area, so if you’re planning a little soul searching and disconnecting from the toxic world of social media, we suggest you go here.

How to get there:

Fly to Cebu City. From there, take a bus going to Maya Port. Once you’re there, rent a passenger boat going to Malapascua Island.

MINDANAO

Siargao Island, Surigao Del Norte

 

This surfer’s paradise is one of the most popular travel destinations recently (thanks to Paul Soriano’s award-winning film, Siargao). From its engulfing waves, swaying palms, to its Maldives-esque views, Siargao is an obvious choice for unwinding and escaping the real world. While you’re there, you should visit Miss Universe Philippines 2017 Rachel Peters's cool coffee shop, Bake Siargao. FYI, this leggy beauty queen knows how to make one mean cup of coffee. Also, maybe you could let her teach you a surfing lesson or two, too.

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How to get there:

You have the following options: 1) Fly directly to Siargao Island via Skyjet Airlines or Cebu Pacific; 2) Fly to Surigao City, Mindanao, then take a ferry going to Siargao City, then another ferry to Siargao Island; 3) Fly to Butuan, take a bus going to Surigao City, then ride a ferry to Siargao Island.

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