2019 Long Weekends (and suggestions where to go!)
2019 long weekends in the Philippines (and suggestions where to go!)
2019 is a start for everyone and of course, your itch to travel may have been bothering you once again for another #YOLO or #FOMO moment! This year, there are nine (9) long weekends in the Philippines that will surely make you want to just go! I have also included (suggested) places that you might want to visit throughout the year! Let us get that #Project81 running! Here we go!
See also: 3Bu Hostel: The Tribe is Calling
PALAWAN or ORIENTAL MINDORO (Puerto Galera)
Why not kick off your 2019 with an advanced summer treat? Having a four-day escape in one of these islands would be a good start!
In Palawan, you might want to try the Puerto Princesa Underground River (enlisted as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature). You can also bask under the sun in the shores of Coron and El Nido! If you want to have a whole new adventure, try visiting Balabac island, the southernmost point of the province.
In Oriental Mindoro, particularly in Puerto Galera, a nice prelude to Malasimbo Festival would be a nice stroll at the White Beach or try snorkeling in their pristine waters!
CAVITE or BATANGAS
Home to some of the brave Katipuneros and one of the origins of the Philippine Revolution, why not take a historical tour to one of these provinces?
In Cavite, visit the Aguinaldo Shrine where the first official Philippine Flag was waved in 12 June 1898 by Emilio Aguinaldo. Also, the famous Island of Corregidor is part of this province though the main ports servicing the island is either in Manila (near SM By The Bay) or in Bataan. (Please inform me if there are ports servicing in Cavite!) You can also go back time in Museo de la Salle in De La Salle – Dasmariñas Campus. Another good attraction in the province is the Andres Bonifacio Shrine and Eco-Park and the 13 Martyrs Monument. If you want to go nature-tripping, I would recommend that you go trekking to Balite Falls!
In Batangas, what’s not to be missed is their home-grown Lomi! This rich soup is filled with egg noodles with lye water that will scream your heart’s content! Or why not indulge in their authentic Kapeng Barako! Other sites in the province include the Malabrigo Lighthouse, Apolinario Mabini Shrine, and Fantasy World – an abandoned themed park in Lemery. You can also have a guided tour to Taal Volcano or visit the Marian Orchard in Balete. For nature lovers, I would suggest that you go to Mount Gulugod-Baboy (Mabini), Mount Maculot (Cuenca), or the famous Fortune Island (Nasugbu) or Sepoc Island!
BATAAN or BULACAN
Known as the Day of Valor in the Philippines, you can visit two (2) major historical provinces in these dates!
Bataan is well known as the Kilometer Zero of the infamous Death March of thousands of Filipino and American soldiers who marched their way from Tarlac to Bataan during the Japanese occupancy. The province has then been the site of the “Dambana ng Kagitingan” in Mount Samat in memory of all fallen heroes who fought for the country. It is also home to St. Joseph Cathedral just adjacent to Plaza Mayor de Ciudad de Balanga. Or the ever-famous open-air museum of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar! Or why not go to Tarak Ridge, Panoypoy Cove, Sisiman Beach, and the Pawikan Conservation Center in Morong!
Home to the Philippines’ First Republic, Bulacan is just a stonethrow away from Manila. This province not only boasts its Barasoain Church but it also has many sights to offer. You can have a tour in Madlum Cave in the Biak na Bato National Park. Pay a visit to Casa Real Shrine, too, or in the Guiguinto Old Train Station. The province also boasts the Marcelo H. Del Pilar Shrine. A not-so-usual cathedral that can also be visited in Bocaue is the St. Andrew Kim Tae Gon Shrine!
TARLAC (Monasterio de Tarlac) or QUEZON (Kamay ni Hesus, Lucban)
Celebrating the Holy Week in one of these provinces would not just bring you the true essence of the season.
In San Jose, Tarlac, The Monasterio de Tarlac is where you can find solace in this landlocked province. Welcoming you would be Jesus Christ like the Cristo Redentor in Brazil. You can also visit the Capas National Shrine in Capas to remember the fallen and see the towering obelisk as its centerpiece.
If you want to go down south, a 4-hour ride to Quezon Province would not hurt. Paying a visit in Kamay Ni Hesus in Lucban is a site to behold. Before reaching the top of the site, pilgrims must go through a 300-step stairs while seeing the 12 stations of the Cross. It also has a life-size imitation of Noah’s Ark! This pilgrimage site is headed by the famous healing priest – Fr. Joey Faller.
MAGUINDANAO or TAWI-TAWI
A good way to celebrate Eid this year is to go to Mindanao! Two of the most famous tourist destinations that you can visit are Maguindanao or Tawi-Tawi.
Maguindanao is famous for the eye-catching Masjid Dimaukom or the “Pink Mosque” in the Municipality of Datu Saudi Ampatuan. This province is not your usual destination because is also has the monicker “Gateway of Philippine Islamic Culture.” There is a perfect mix between the Muslim and Catholic faiths as many churches and mosques flourish in the province. Two of the most notable places of worship are Tamontaka Church and Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Masjid, or “The Grand Mosque of Cotabato.” Also a must-try in almost all parts of Mindanao is their famous delicacy – pastil! This glutinous rice with chicken (or any other ingredient) wrapped in banana leaves is truly an identity of Mindanao.
Tawi-Tawi is one that should be ticked off your bucket list soon! The country’s southernmost province is also home to the very first Islamic site in the Philippines. Located in Simunul Island, the Sheik Karimol Makhdum Mosque is the first mosque in the Philippines. It was established by Makhdum Karim, an Arabian trader, in 1380. When I visited there last 2015, I was surprised because Tawi-Tawi is a very peaceful place. It is also there where you can find Panampangan Island – the longest sandbar in the Philippines! You can also hike the province’s highest peak – Bud Bongao!
“I shall return” to the Queen City of the Orient Seas – Tacloban! Also, Leyte is one of the major tourist destination in Eastern Visayas. You can either bask under the sun touring around the province or go island hopping! With this, Leyte is known because of the Cuatros Islas and the famous sandbar – Kalanggaman Island. It is also the place where Gen. Douglas MacArthur set foot during the Japanese occupation in the country.
Take a dip in Lake Danao or have a tour in Santo Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum. It also boasts the Madonna of Japan, Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park, and the M/V Eva Jocelyn Shrine. You can also have a sidetrip to Samar via the 2-Kilometer long San Juanico Bridge!
MOUNTAIN PROVINCE (Sagada) or IFUGAO (Banaue)
Why not visit the Cordilleras in this time of the year? Particularly in Sagada and Banaue, these municipalities is more than meets the eye.
In Sagada, you can greet the early morning with a “Sunrise Bathing” in Mount Kiltepan! If you are lucky, a sea of clouds will welcome you to Mountain Province’s most famous municipality. During this season, too, the municipality is famous for their fire offering in front of the tombs of their departed loved ones. Do not forget to try their yogurt and lemon pie, too! For more information about Sagada, click on the link above!
In Ifugao, it is a must-go to visit the Banaue Rice Terraces (separated through various viewpoints) and the Batad Rice Terraces. These Stairway-to-Heaven UNESCO World Heritage Sites will dazzle your senses. What’s more to Ifugao is its Museo Ifugao and Kiangan Shrine in Kiangan. It is also in this province where Gen. Yamashita surrendered to the Americans during the American Occupation.
Feel the cool Christmas Breeze in one of these popular tourist destinations! This year, tick off at least one of these places to make you 2019 travel book awesome!
In Bukidnon, enjoy a cool Mindanaoan climate in San Fernando’s Little Baguio (Overview Nature and Culture Park)! This place is also known as “BuDa” because it is situated along the Bukidnon-Davao Road. This will not get you far enough and will let you experience Christmas in a whole new level. Have a visit at Dahilayan Adventure Park and experience Bukidnon in a whole new level! You can have a trip to Davao and nearby provinces, too! I also suggest that you also go to Apo Lake, the Del Monte Pineapple Plantation, Alalum Falls, and the Monastery of Transfiguration.
Celebrate and welcome the New Year in the land of the Chocolate Hills and Tarsiers – Bohol! What’s new about this island province is the Panglao-Bohol International Airport, which is bigger than the one in Tagbilaran.
Aside from the Hills and primates, you can explore the province by visiting the Loboc River, Hinagdanan Cave, the Man-made Mahogany Forest, Baclayon Church, Blood Compact Shrine, Can-umantad Falls, and have a glimpse of Bien Unidos’ Underwater Grotto! You can also have a relaxing stay in the pristine Panglao Island which boasts pristine beaches and tropical island life!
I can see that 2019 is going to be a good year for travel! Why not just go! Tick off stuff on your travel bucket list now!
We’re born to travel!