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Cebu Has Been Named Best Island in Asia

The Philippines dominates this annual list again.
Cebu Has Been Named Best Island in Asia
IMAGE Instagram/mie_moi, Unsplash
The Philippines dominates this annual list again.

Condé Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards is a much-awaited awards season for travelers, hotel and resort owners, tour operators, and just about anyone who cares about traveling. It's much like the Emmy or Oscars, but for islands or cities. The awards is especially important for the Philippines because we've been getting a lot of love from Condé Nast Traveler for years now, with some of our islands often taking the top spots. And this year, the title of Best Island in Asia goes to Cebu and the rest of the Visayas.

Cebu, which is in first place, boasts historic sites like the Magellan's Cross, while its coasts have some of the best white-sand beaches in the world
PHOTO BY Robo Godines Formacion Archives
Lambug Beach is one of the best-kept secrets in Badian, Cebu.
PHOTO BY Flickr/Faith Mari
Kawasan Falls in Alegria, Cebu is an adventurer's destination for its canyoneering trails.
PHOTO BY Flickr/Marion Paul Baylado
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"Located in the center of the Philippines, Cebu draws nearly 2 million travelers annually for its pristine beaches and diving off the island’s northern coast. Spanish and Roman Cathoic influences permeate Cebu City; Basilica Minore del Santo Niño houses a small statue of Christ that was presented by Ferdinand Magellan," wrote Caitlin Morton for Cebu's citation.

The Best Islands in the World: 2020 Readers' Choice Awards category is divided per continent. Aside from Cebu, Palawan and Siargao also made it to the top-five list, placing fourth and fifth respectively. Ko Pha Ngan in Thailand and Sri Lanka also made it to the ranking.

El Nido in Palawan, now in fourth place, is known for its lagoons, limestone formations, and crystal-clear waters.
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz
Siargao is known as the Surfing Capital of the Philippines. It ranked first in 2018, but is now in fifth place.
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz

In 2019, Boracay was voted the Best Island in Asia, with Cebu and Palawan coming in second and fourth respectively. In 2018, the list of Asia's best included Siargao on number one as a newcomer, and Boracay and Palawan right behind it. The year 2017 and before it had bigger stakes as the U.S.-based luxury and lifestyle travel online magazine only released a list of Best Islands in the World not grouped by region. The Philippines dominated that, with Palawan, Boracay, and Cebu just swapping places every edition.

Boracay, which was voted number one in 2019, is off the list this year.
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz
Pangulasian Island, one of the four properties of El Nido Resorts, is open to receive guests in a travel bubble post-quarantine.
PHOTO BY Courtesy of El Nido Resorts

Other Philippine sites that gained recognition are: El Nido Resorts' Apulit Island (18th place), El Nido Resorts' Lagen Island (23rd place), and El Nido Resorts' Pangulasian Island (25th place) for Top 30 Resorts in Asia; and Raffles Makati (fourth place) for Top 20 Hotels in Asia.

"With over 7,641 islands in our archipelago, there are still so many left for nature-loving travelers to discover. In our journey towards tourism revival, sustainable and responsible tourism development shall continue to be one of the DOT’s core principles, just like how it has always been in the past few years," Department of Tourism Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said about this recognition.

Condé Nast Traveler is now on its 33rd edition of the annual worldwide survey where 600,000 registered voters weighed in about the world's best islands, must-see cities, and top countries. Nearly 10,000 hotels, resorts, and spas were also ranked and rated by their readers. The results are published online every October and in print every November. "The names in this year’s edition are the ones that brought you comfort, that you still connected with long afterward, that got you through the months without travel," Condé Nast Traveler said.


This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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