Costa Pacifica Baler: Where Chill Surfing Vibe Meets Upscale Comfort

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As a country surrounded by bodies of water, local and foreign travelers are treated with plenty of beach destinations in the Philippines. City dwellers like us only need to drive for a couple of hours to get to beaches during weekends. But for the adventurous souls looking for more than just lazy days on the beach, surfing destinations like La Union and Baler are also easily reachable via bus or a private car from Manila. After spending most of our days off at the beach last year, we craved for riding the waves to kickoff our February, exactly a year after we surfed in Sorsogon.
Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

Brisa Marina Beachfront Resort: A Picturesque Getaway Near Manila

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“What’s the best beach destination near Manila?” If we could get a hundred bucks for every time someone asks us that question, we’d probably have enough money to go jet setting every weekend now.

 

Most people think of Batangas as the best beach destination near Manila, it being just 3-4 hours away from Metro Manila. But if you want to to explore beaches aside from good ol’ Batangas, head to the North where we discovered a picturesque and very Instagrammable resort in Morong, Bataan called Brisa Marina Beachfront Resort (check the room rates here).
Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

Hoyohoy Villas: Your Private Tropical Retreat in Bantayan Island

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What’s your idea of paradise? For us it’s being surrounded with palm trees while inside a nipa hut-like house with the sound of the waves lulling us to sleep on a lazy afternoon. Luckily, we have a lot of those here in the tropical country of the Philippines with our 7,641 islands. Bantayan Island in Cebu, an underrated destination that we fell in love with after staying there for a week (READ: Why Bantayan Island Should Be in Your Philippines Travel Bucket List) , is one of those places and we found the perfect tropical retreat in Bantayan Island’s Hoyohoy Villas (check the rates and book a room in Hoyohoy Villas here) that we discovered thanks to Traveloka App and became our home for 2 nights.

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Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

Azumi Boutique Hotel: Your Stylish Home Away from Home South of Manila

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For years now, there’s been a never ending comedic offline and online battle between citizens of Manila’s North and South. From stereotypical personalities to which is the better part of Manila to live in. This argument never ends. Here’s one example.

 

As someone who has lived South of Manila my entire life, of course I’d battle you out just to prove my point that the South is better. Compared to the North, we have a more chill vibe and it’s always nice to come home to the South with it’s homey ambiance after a tiring day at work. Since there are no infrastructures like the MRT/LRT and major thoroughfares like EDSA, it’s less chaotic, less polluted, and greener thanks to subdivisions and parks that don’t cut down lush trees to build business districts or malls. Not to mention, we’re pretty close to the airports! These are just some of the reasons why more and more people are considering settling down in our side of the Metro.

 

If you don’t have a home yet in the South or are just in Manila for vacation, you can get a taste of this comfy living by staying in Azumi Boutique Hotel (check room rates and book with better deals here) in the heart of Alabang. Beep and I booked a 2-day staycation in Azumi during a long weekend just this November using the Traveloka App where we got up to 20% off the publish rates. Read our review of Traveloka App for booking hotels here

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Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

Why Bantayan Island Should Be in Your Philippines Travel Bucket List

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Kota Beach
With over 7,000 islands (7,641 to be exact), the Philippines has a lot of hidden paradise waiting to be explored. We thought we’ve already seen the best of Philippines when we traveled to El Nido and Coron, Palawan which are always listed in the top beach destinations in the world (if not number 1); but our trip to Bantayan Island, a small island north of Cebu, proved us wrong yet again. This is what we love the most about our home country and our promise to explore  more of the #PhilippinesFirst, there are a ton of little El Nido’s in every corner of the archipelago that mainstream media don’t write about or are not included in coveted destination lists but are equally stunning as the ones they do. 

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Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.
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