There is an unparalleled thrill that comes with setting foot in a previously unexplored place, in the hope that it would be love at first sight. No matter how many times you’ve seen that intriguing small town or mysterious tropical paradise in pictures or on a screen, nothing beats the fulfillment of experiencing it firsthand, allowing you to expand your horizons in both the literal and figurative sense.
The funny thing about places that feel like home is that they haven’t always—they probably used to feel unfamiliar, slightly uncomfortable, and strangely new. But in the same way liquids take the shape of their containers, we grow into places to find spaces where we belong, which means that undiscovered spot might actually end up becoming the place that makes your heart the lightest and happiest, if you let it.
You’ll never really know until you try, so go ahead and pour yourself into these charming under-the-radar destinations tucked into secret corners in the country. They’re looking forward to meeting you, too.
Sirom Beach House
Deriving its name from the Pangasinense word for shelter, Sirom Beach House truly feels like a safe space, where there’s not much required of you than to just be yourself. An airy beach house comprising only five bedrooms and located in a quiet fishing village, the unassuming resort is the perfect place for travelers whose only agenda is to lounge around by the pool, catch up on some reading, and feel the warmth of the sun caressing their face. Soaking up its slew of simple joys, you’ll almost want this spot to be your own selfish little secret—if only it weren’t too good to keep to yourself.
Tambobong Beach, Dasol, Pangasinan
G Villas Siargao
It’s easy to get into the super chill, hang-loose mindset at this sweet new resort a short stroll away from the popular Cloud 9 surfing spot. Shake off the haters and don’t let anyone judge as you post photo after photo of your bohemian-chic villa (#aesthetic), along with that snap of a colorful cocktail framed by a stunning cotton candy-hued sunset. There are no cliches here, only good times, as you embrace tropical bliss in a tear-shaped island named the 2019 best in the world by Condé Nast Traveler.
Barangay Catangnan, General Luna
Surigao Del Norte
(0917) 679 3088
Reál Coast and Surf
Those with a deeply ingrained taste for adventure will find themselves drawn to this activity-laden spot in Quezon province, where a plethora of natural highs await. Swim out to sea and catch a wave (at an average height of 2-4 feet, the ones in this area are beginner-friendly), avail of the complimentary 1-hour use of standup paddle board or kayak, or go river rafting and waterfall trekking. At night, sit around a blazing campfire and regale your companions with stories, discovering the often-untapped excitement that even the smallest and most innocent of moments can hold.
Barangay Malapad, Reál, Quezon
Solina Beach and Nature Resort
Perched on the northeastern tip of Iloilo, this sprawling yet serene luxury stay is the perfect homebase for expeditions to the world-famous Islas de Gigantes. Traveling with your significant other? Pave the way for romance with a stay at their endearingly-named Balay Palangga honeymoon suite, which features plush amenities and comes with its very own private jacuzzi or hot tub.
Balasan-Carles Pronvincial Road
Brgy. Guinticgan, Carles, Iloilo
(02) 664 7515
(0917) 150 0570
(0939) 918 2160
Aquascape Lake Caliraya
Feel your worries drift away as you spend the night in a rustic, solar-powered floating cottage in the middle of a calm, clear lake. (Those who need the certainty of the ground beneath their feet have the option to stay in one of the lakefront cabins instead.) Proximity to a body of water is always a catalyst for reflection and an appreciation of solitude, but in this Laguna gem, you’re free to indulge in sociable merrymaking—if you wish—in their karaoke function room and mahjong room.
Brgy. Kanluran-West Talaongan
Kahanamoku Bed and Breakfast
Witness the already-chill Baler at its most laid-back with a refreshing surf and yoga break in this cozy bed and breakfast. Feel the positive shift from within as you savor nutritious vegetarian breakfasts and take in majestic mountain views after a good night’s rest in your Asian-inspired suite. If you’re in the mood to wander, make your way to Cobra Reef in Cemento Beach, Dicasalarin Cove, and Ditumabo Falls. If you can’t seem to find peace of mind in the concrete jungle, this is a good place to start.
Cemento Beach, Brgy. Zabali
(0998) 857 4851
(0917) 833 9615
Let the ocean write your story at this dreamy beachfront resort in Liwliwa, Zambales, where hearty vegan food, warm and friendly service, quirky thatched-roof accommodations, and mindful experiences like sunrise and sunset yoga sessions propel the narrative toward nature-driven introspection and effortless relaxation. Give yourself some well-deserved headspace in this relatively uncrowded part of the province, with the expansive ocean and an undisturbed stretch of sand setting the scene, and come home with a story worth telling time and time again.
Sitio Liwliwa, Brgy. Sto. Niño
San Felipe, Zambales
(0917) 813 8404
Find more under-the-radar gems in our Discovery Destinations collection!
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This article was last edited on November 5, 2019 by the DG Traveler team.
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