Here in the Philippines, we are blessed with stunning coastlines and crystal-clear turquoise waters. We bask in the limelight of being a tropical country and thrive in it. While we have the popular islands—Boracay, El Nido, Siargao, Cebu—we also have hidden gems that may take a bit more time and effort to get to. It may be exhausting, but the wee bit of burnout is always worth it.
1. La Manok Island
The debate continues as to whether La Manok Island is part of Cebu or Masbate. Either way, it’s a slice of paradise waiting for visitors to experience its pristine beauty.
To get there, board a bus from Cebu North Terminal to Maya- Kawit, alight at Tapilon port, and hop on a boat headed to Carnaza Island. From there, charter a boat to La Manok Island. On good days, travel time is about 6 hours, but when waves are rough it can take as long as 10 hours. We guarantee though that all the tiredness and fatigue from the journey will melt away once you find the island with a long stretch of white sand and a lone rock formation.
2. Cresta De Gallo
Another island on the rise and another destination that requires you to be physically present is Cresta De Gallo in Sibuyan Island, Romblon. Much like La Manok Island, it’s deserted, but a lot bigger and with more greenery. Here, you’ll feel completely isolated from the world and you’ll experience nothing but bliss as you sink your feet into the powdery white sand.
It’s only accessible via a motor boat from the town of San Fernando and travel time can take up to two hours. Overnight camping is allowed, but make sure to be a responsible traveler and leave nothing but good memories.
More popularly known as the island in the competitive reality series, Survivor, Caramoan has definitely boomed in terms of tourism, yet it remains secluded. One of the reasons may be that it’s so remote that it’s mentally, physically, and sometimes even emotionally draining to get to. But that seems to be the pattern here, the more difficult it is to reach, the more rewarding the destination.
Located at the lower eastern part of Camarines Sur, the island has over 4,000 hectares of limestone forests rich in diverse flora and fauna. There are many ways to get there, but the most common route is via Naga City. From there, catch a bus to Sabang Port and board a roro to Guijalo Port. There are also vans from Naga that will take you directly to Caramoan, but are only available when the weather is good.
4. Nacpan Beach
Palawan is home to some of world-renowned beaches, but it doesn’t stop there. If you take the road less traveled, you’ll find yourself at Nacpan Beach, a long and beautiful coast of white sand (4 kilometers!), towering palm trees, and the bluest of waters.
Some would even claim that this is the most beautiful beach in El Nido. To get there, fly to Puerto Princesa and board either a bus or a van to El Nido town proper. Then, alight a roro- bus to Nacpan, which could take up to 6 or 7 hours. Remember to stretch those tired legs every once in a while!
5. Palaui Island
Up north in Sta. Ana, Cagayan is Palaui Island, a special economic zone blessed with stunning shores. Despite the town’s modernization efforts, they have managed to keep their beaches pristine.
However, Palaui Island is not your typical tropical destination. It has rugged terrains which make the drive a bit more exhausting and challenging, but its air of mystique has made it a prime location for travelers. To get there, fly to Tuguegarao and take a bus headed to Sta. Ana. Proceed to the PASAMBOA office in San Vicente port and charter a boat headed to the island. If you’re lucky, it’ll only take about 4 hours.
Remember that traveling comes with a cost, and we don’t just mean that financially. It takes a great deal of time, effort, and physical energy to get to your destination and be able to fully enjoy it.
Here at Discover MNL, we go on lots of trips to various places and one of our tried and tested tips to take Multivitamins and Minerals (Berocca Performance). The specially formulated vitamin B and mineral supplement has been clinically proven to help boost physical energy and mental sharpness, giving us focus and positivity despite exhausting journeys. Berocca also helps improve one’s mood, allowing you to completely take in nature and enjoy more of the outdoors. So hey, it’s a win-win!
We’re excited to see your travel photos! Where are you headed off to on your next adventure?