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Great destinations and outdoor activities

Summer in the Philippines spells sun, sea and sand. For some, it’s going to the boondocks to hike and reach the sky. For the less adventurous, a day in the theme park is all they want to experience rides and see various attractions. The “Agila” is a must-see place at the Enchanted Kingdom in Santa Rosa, Laguna.

A highly “edutainment” experience, participants feel the exhilarating fly with the Philippine eagle as it travels all over the archipelago.

For some, sightseeing is the name of the game. For others, malling to make themselves cool and while away their time is all they need. Indeed, summer is here, and there are many ways to spend it whether at or away from home.

With the Piso and promo fares by the Philippine Airlines,  Cebu Pacific and AirAsia,  every Filipino  can now afford to travel and become tourist of his own country with 7,107 islands ready for exploration.

The top tourist destinations in the country in the hot months of April and May include the cooler places of Baguio City and Tagaytay, and the beach perfect islands of Boracay, Palawan,  Cebu, Siargao and Bohol.

Summer all year in Samar, Leyte

In recent years Samar and Leyte are becoming famous with various attractions getting the attention both by local and foreign tourists. The best way to enjoy Samar and Leyte is travel by land from Calbayog. First stop should be at the Tarrangban Falls at San Joaquin. It can be reached by 30 minutes uphill trekking, some 940 meters away from the takeoff point. The challenging rough road walk and all the sweat, after all, are worthy upon seeing the majestic falls.

From Calbayog, traverse the San Juanico bridge connecting the two provinces. View the Yolanda memorial at the SantaRita municipality and visit the newly renovated Oriental Hotel, which was badly hit by the infamous typhoon; and revisit history with the ‘I shall return’ monument of General Douglas McArthur.

The list of beautiful destinations in Samar is endless. Guests can try the traditional art of mat weaving, which Basey is known for at the Saob Cave. Marvel at the 841-hectare Sohoton natural bridge and national park in the municipality of Basey, with its rich flora and fauna, geological wonders at the Panhulugan Caves I and II, and the natural stone bridge that connects two mountain ridges.

From the cave, the natural bridge, the magnificent stone bridge connecting two mountain ridges can be reached through kayaking. Underneath the bridge flows the Sohoton River, which allows one to go swimming, spelunking, nature tripping and boating, and Instagrammable photography, among others.

The Kalanggaman Island in Palompon,  Leyte—the island for a day, a limited number of people reserving seats within the day—is famous for its white sand and sandbar at low tide.  Then the island is gone at high tide. Guests have to make the most of their time in the island, to be there from lunchtime until 4 p.m. For a well-organized tour,  visit the official Philtoa Facebook page for details.

Revisit history

Just over an hour ferry ride from Manila is Corregidor Island, the last bastion of Filipino and American forces against the Japanese in the Second World War. A well-guided tour is made by the team of Sun Cruises  Inc.

At the island, learn about the role the Philippines played and explore the barrack ruins, historic relics, the Pacific War Memorial and secret passageways. Then relive history at the Malinta Tunnel Light and Sound Show, which chronicles the events that shaped the center of American operations in the war. Admire views of Manila Bay and the surrounding islands atop the Spanish lighthouse. For more information, visit: https://corregidorphilippines.com/

‘Tayo na sa Antipolo’

For those who have tight budget, a stone’s throw away from Metro Manila is the town of Antipolo, which offers a spontaneous  escape away from the urban jungle’s heat, noise, pollution and bustle.

Head to Cloud 9’s 360-view tower, climb the hanging bridge, shout to the excitement of heights, feel the fresh, cool breeze of Antipolo and see the night view of Rizal and Manila. Drop by the Antipolo Cathedral and buy the famous suman, kasuy and mangga within the vicinity.

A fifteen-minutes drive from the church is Loreland Farm Resort  It boasts of  zipline, restaurant, food stalls, mini playground, chapel, sports and recreations, and lots of swimming pools especially kiddie pools. Loreland also offers function rooms, cottages for day outing and private rooms for overnight accommodations.

Sports clinic

Summer is also the best time for outdoor sports. Learn a skill or two by enrolling in swimming, basketball or contact/mixed martial arts, such as karate, judo  taekwondo or muay thai.

Over at Colegio San Agustin in Dasmarinas Village,  Makati City, is the now popular Cholo Camp for the basketball enthusiasts.  Kids as young as three years old up to 18, both boys and girls,  have benefited not just to become ballers, but equipped with basic and competitive, basketball IQ,  manners and class.

Now on its fifth year,  highly experienced head coach Cholo Villanueva,  who is also a former PBA star and coach,  personally oversees the training composed of 10 days with two hours each session, significantly focused on strengthening skills like shooting, dribbling, ball handling, to name a few.

Equipped with a degree in education psychology, Cholo worked as guidance counselor and special-education coordinator first before establishing Cholo Camp, with much success in teaching kids to be good leaders and followers,  and for them to be able to control their emotions in winning and losing games.

On hand to assist Cholo is his team of professional coaches, licensed PE teachers, therapists and varsity players. For more information,  visit the official Cholo Camp Facebook page.

Image credits: freepik.com



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