It would be nice to go off grid and be in touch with your inner self once in a while. This coming holiday season would be a good time to do that. We all have different preferences for some time off. There are those who like to go out with friends, while there are those who want to go to a hideaway. Maybe you’d like to do some physically challenging activities. As for me, I’d like to catch up on my reading and poetry while communing with nature.
However you want to spend your holidays, there’s always someplace where you can go to have fun and relax. In fact, there are places where you can have the best of both worlds. You can be secluded and then spend some time socializing as much as you want it.
As I’ve said, there are so many places that you can explore. This article will introduce you to different great locations in the Visayas.
Visit the Birds at Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary
First in the list is 1,030 hectares of sand flats and mangroves in Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary located in Mactan Island, Cebu. It is declared as a sanctuary, which supports the largest concentration of approximately 40,000 migratory birds. There are 98 identified species of birds, 48 of which are migratory and the rest are resident birds of the island.
There is a sanctuary office that serves as a jump-off for bird watching in the reserve. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is responsible for protecting and managing the area. Birds from Siberia, Northern China, and Japan flock to the island to escape the winter season in other countries. This happens during the months of September to January, which is the best months to visit and see the concentration of stunning birds.
It will only take you a 30-minute boat ride from Punta Engaño in Mactan Island to Olango Island. When you arrive at the Nature Center, you will be required to pay an entrance fee. You can choose to rent a tent to stay there overnight or you can head to resorts in the barangay. You have to remember to bring food as this may be limited within the reserve. Since you are already on the island, you might as well do some snorkeling, swimming, or diving in the nearby marine sanctuary and see the rich corals and dance with the colors of the fishes.
Explore the Waterfalls in South Cebu
Most people flock to the beaches in Moalboal. But, it could get too crowded during the holidays. Still, it’s a good place to enjoy the clear beach and then get to dine and socialize in the evening. The bars in Panagsama Beach are just lined up for you to pick where to drink and be merry. Since this is already the Southern Cebu, you can do that and more, which is to explore the beautiful waterfalls in this area. There are 9 scenic waterfalls you can gratify your eyes and feel the water on your skin.
You can start either in the southwestern part of Cebu or head to the southeast, whichever you want you will be able to find a suitable place to wind up the day and then move to the next stop. You don’t have to worry about rides since there are plenty of bus rides. And, if you want it fancier, you could hire a rent a car to make your exploration a little bit comfortable. After all, you must say to yourself, you deserve it.
This list of waterfalls is given in the order from the southwestern part of Cebu toward the southeast part. Here are the names of the waterfalls you must visit:
- Kawasan Falls, Badian
- Cambais/Cancalanog Falls, Alegria
- Kampael Falls, Ginatilan
- Bugnawan Falls, Ginatilan
- Inambakan Falls, Ginatilan
- Dao falls, Samboan
- Binalayan falls, Samboan
- Aguinid falls, Samboan
- Tumalog Falls, Oslob
Get Laid Back in the City of Gentle People – Dumaguete
I’ve always loved Dumaguete city. It’s one where I could just take some leisurely walk by Rizal Boulevard early in the morning and then head to Café MaMia, where I could have a good bowl of their Arroz Caldo. When I was there for some breakfast, I read my book to savor both the soup that is to die for, while being transported to another scene in the story. You can stay on and try the other recipes in their menu.
If you wish to have some time for peace and quiet and if you want it spent in a prayerful manner, the Silliman University Church can give this. You can either get inside the church or just sit in one of the benches outside under gorgeous trees with chirping birds. If you have more time and energy you can then visit the Silliman Anthropology museum.
A nice dinner place would be the Sans Rival Bistro and then bring home some of their yummy cakes.
Circle the Island of Bohol in a Day or Two
Bohol is another exquisite point to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. This is a province where you can actually go around with tourist spots from point to point and then cap the day in many different resorts in different towns. Yes, there are resorts in Tagbilaran, Panglao, and Anda. You can choose which ones to stay to take it easy for the night or the day.
Being in Bohol won’t be complete without visiting the usual suspects. In a day, you can actually visit these places in this particular order from Tubigon as a starting point: Sagbayan Peak, Chocolate Hills Complex, Habitat Butterflies Conservation Center and have some of their delicious ice creams. Visit the Bilar Man-Made Forest and then the Loboc River Cruise for lunch or even late lunch. From there head on to the Blood Compact Site near Tagbilaran city and then take that road to Panglao to spend the rest of the day in the many resorts you can choose.
I’d personally recommend for you to visit Bohol Bee Farm and take their farm tour. If you like the crowded nightlife, go to Alona Beach where the nightlife is alive. Also, visit The Library Café for some good sip of coffee and their menu is fantastic.
Get Captivated with Ormoc’s Charm
My first work allowed me to travel extensively and among the first places I visited was Leyte where Ormoc is a point of entry. I explored the city even more with my family where our favorite place to stay is the Sabin Resort Hotel. The kids especially love the swimming pool.
Nature tripping match with physical activities, such as boating/rowing in Lake Danao National Park and then climbing the Alto Peak could give you that exercise you want. On your way to Lake Danao, you might get the wrong impression of seeing some burning activities on the mountains with the white steam. These are actually geothermal plants, which provide generated power to all of Leyte Island and some other areas.
There are still so many places to explore in the Visayas, such as the Rock Formation in Biri Island in Northern Samar, which is another province that still has some places for a laid-back escape.
Why don’t you start to pack your things and spend your holidays in these places?