Top 10 Exotic Trips in 2010

January 13-16: Batanes
In the midst of unabated commercialism and overdevelopment of tourist destinations around the, this northernmost province has remained idyllic and laid-back and still maintains its old world lifestyle and values. The people, the place and the aura permeate otherworldly charm and mystique that effortlessly captivate its visitors. Its genteel Ivatans, age-old stonehouses, magnificent lighthouses, verdant green grasses, rolling hills, raging waves, bouldered beaches are a sight to behold.

February 20-22: Ilocos
Gameng, the Ilocano word for treasure, is an apt description to the richness of the Ilocandia, its culture and history. Baroque and neo-Gothic churches, museums and ancestral houses, national shrines, historical markers, white sand beaches, towering lighthouses and monuments, giant windmills, cascading waterfalls, mouthwatering food, these and more can be witnessed and experienced in Ilocos.

August 10-13: Coron
Coron never fails to amaze me even if I have been there six times already! It has the inexplicable charm that drags me every now and there. The saltwater hot spring in Macquinit, the magnificent view atop Mount Tapyas, the brackish waters of Cayangan and Barracuda Lake, the rich marine life in Siete Pecados, the pristine Banol, Smith, and Atuwayan Beach, are just few of the wonders of Coron.

August 23: Tinuy-an Falls
Located in a former bustling industrial hub, Tinuy-an roars mightily drawing curious visitors and heaping praises from them. Being pushed as the primary tourist attraction in Bislig, the majestic Tinuy-an Falls is protected by a motley crew of Manobos deputized by the City Government. Tinuy-an Falls releases more waters from November to June, Surigao del Sur’s rainy season.

August 24: Enchanted River
A perfect example of symbiosis that can be found in Surigao del Sur is the Enchanted River in Hinatuan. Beneath the bedrock is a small passage where the saltwater of Hinatuan Bay perfectly blends with the freshwater from the hinterlands of Surigao, resulting into a spectacular water formation.

August 25-28: Britania Group of Islands and Islets
Along Lianga Bay in Surigao del Sur are the meticulously-placed 24 islands and islets that tame the roaring waves of the mighty Pacific Ocean. Named after the sleepy fishing village of Britania, this group of islands, islets and mangrove forests puts the town of San Agustin into the global tourism map with its unique charm and tranquility.

October 14-15: Bolinao and Alaminos City
The western tip of Luzon island has a lot of interesting places to offer. One can frolic under the sun in the sprawling white sand beach in Patar or in the pocket beaches in Hundred Islands National Park. The cool waters in the caves in Bolinao are also excellent areas to swim. The Cape Bolinao Lighthouse stands tall and proud overlooking the historic Lingayen Gulf. St. James Church in Bolinao used to be a fortress against marauders and foreign forces.

October 18: Danjugan Island Marine Reserve
Lying in the northeastern corridor of the vast Sulu Sea, Danjugan Island is a marine reserve and wildlife sanctuary managed by Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation Inc. (PRRCFI). Established in 2000, Danjugan Island is teeming with natural resources and is surrounded by numerous coral reefs and white beaches, and dotted with six lagoons. The 43-hectare island has a rainforest which is a sanctuary to white-breasted sea eagles, Tabon scrubfowls, pigeons, doves, bats and many other fauna and flora species.

October 19: Carbin Reef
Carbin Reef is the most visited attraction within the Sagay City Marine Reserve, a 32000-hectare marine sanctuary within the Visayan Sea. With a size of 200 hectares, Carbin Reef is ideal for snorkeling, swimming and scuba diving. The tongue-shaped sand bar is perfectly fit for lazing around.

November 11: Siquijor
The mystical island of Siquijor has an undeserved reputation. One has to wander around to debunk all the negative and misleading information. The sleepy island province of Siquijor is blessed with idyllic white sand beaches. A forest park, a spring park, Spanish-era churches and several caves can also be visited in Siquijor.

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