In pursuit of exploring the Philippines one island at a time, I have come across, and in many cases taken a dip in, countless bodies of water that have induced expletives in disbelief that such sights go beyond default desktop images. I am most drawn to the clearest of them, and photos of these sights somehow end up landing on the home screens of our gadgets. They’re easy on the eyes, cool, and transparent; just the way I like most things (and humans).
In light of transparency, I’m sharing with you eight of the clearest bodies of water in the Philippines that you might want to visit this summer, listed in no particular order:
1. Calaguas Group of Islands, Camarines Norte
The most visited one among the group of islands is Mahabang Buhangin or that which has been repeatedly called a mini Boracay sans the commercialization. Tents and simple lodges are the only available options for an overnight stay, so going there makes for a no-fuss kind of adventure. A long road trip generally isn’t the most inviting come-on for vacations but hey, it’s awesome to know that heaven is within a 10-hour land trip plus a two-hour boat ride from Manila.
2. Bulog Dos Island, Coron, Palawan
It would literally take you a minute to walk through this short stretch of sand during low tide when the island is completely protruding. The area where it makes its appearance is populated with small and medium-sized rock formations that make it even more picturesque. The island, which is just an hour and a half away from Coron Town, is a standout among its neighboring islands in Calamian.
3. Enchanted River, Hinatuan, Surigao Del Sur
Several myths have been told about this deep spring river; hence, its name. But it is just as enchanting as it is purportedly enchanted. Its water is too clear, I got to see its most shallow ground 15 feet beneath me in HD. The best time to head there is in the morning when there’s a higher chance of sharing the place with no one else but the fish, and you can swim by the edges of it in slight eeriness and full glory.
4. Anguib Beach, Santa Ana, Cagayan
What makes this secluded slice of ecstasy even more scenic are the verdant mountains that surround it and the pine trees that are strewn through its shoreline. The beach is an ideal spot for grilling your own meals, devouring them with your bare hands and possibly camping out for a night if an afternoon there turns out to be too short a time.
5. Apo Island, Negros Oriental
The crystal clear waters surrounding this island, coupled with the abundant marine life that bounds it, make it a go-to place for divers and tourists who want to meet sea shanties. The startling creatures to be seen within the periphery of the island are sea turtles and hundreds of species of fish.
6. Small Lagoon, El Nido, Palawan
Palawan wasn’t repeatedly dubbed the best island in the world for nothing. And the Small Lagoon possibly epitomizes the world-renowned province. Its seafoam waters are enveloped by towering jagged limestone cliffs and surrounded by some of the most immaculate beaches. It is a banquet for the eyes, to say the least.
7. Salagdoong Beach, Siquijor Island
The waters are too inviting on this side of Siquijor. So much so that it only makes sense to take the plunge from a 35-foot-high cliff platform. Once you see what’s down there, you’ll realize that the underwater scenery is even more beautiful than when it's viewed from above. Of course, this beach makes for a fantastic snorkeling spot!
8. Mam-on Island, General Luna, Surigao Del Norte
This would be the island to escape to for a complete recluse. No resorts are in sight and it’s trickier to get to from Siargao Island in contrast to the ones that are closer to it. You’ll be fine to use this as a hideout as long as you’re well-equipped with a mosquito net, water, and your fresh catch to make sure you don’t go hungry. Surf board and beer are optional.
Preview.ph’s guest editor for the month of March is the Bookie PH team. Comprised of Dijo Songco and Monica Copuyoc, these frequent nomads run a travel website whose goal is to make all your local travels happen. If you’re interested in seeing our country's unreal natural beauty, head over to their website to create your summer adventure.