One of the things I consider when picking a destination is if the place is not yet touristy, or should I say, underrated. And among the places I visited, here are the top three most underrated.
1. Calayan Island, Cagayan
The airport in this island is not yet operational so the only mode of visiting its beauty is via lampitaw or a motorized cargo boat. The boat ride takes 6-7 hours, crossing the Bashi Channel northernmost of Luzon, and riding 5-12 feet of waves. It's all worth it after you get drenched by the blue waters of Sibang Cove and mesmerized by the out-of-this-world ocean view from the Nagudungan Hills.
2. Biri Island, Northern Samar
This island is four hours of boat ride away from Matnog, Sorsogon, crossing the seas between Luzon and Visayas. Or an hour of boat ride from the mainland of Northern Samar. It features breathtaking rock formations, some made naturally beautiful by the known typhoon Yolanda that killed thousands when it hit Samar.
3. SOCCSKSARGEN (South Cotabato, Cotabato City, Sultan Kudarat, Saranggani, General Santos)
A two-hour plane ride away from Manila and hours of road trip to the four provinces of Region 12 will show you the natural attractions, including the rich and diverse cultural heritage of its people with various ethnicities such as the Taduray, T’boli, Blaan, Islamic and Christian settlers. From the lotus blooms of South Cotabato Lake Sebu to its Extreme Water Tubing adventures, from the solemn and magnificent mosques and infrastructure in Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato City to the heavenly Asik-Asik Falls, and from the serene beaches and the hospitable Blaan tribe of Saranggani to the amazing pineapple fields with Mt. Matutum as backdrop, there's a lot more places to discover in SOX.
There's always a lot more to explore in the Philippines and beyond its territories.