Great destinations this holiday season


Posted at Dec 23 2008 07:37 PM | Updated as of Dec 24 2008 04:04 PM

Are you raring to go out of Metro Manila to take advantage of that long holiday break? There are many destinations in the country that might just spice up your vacation this holiday season. So, pack your bags, go on a road trip and explore the beauty of the Philippines.
Great destinations this holiday season 1For beach lovers, Melo Villareal, owner of travel blog Lakbay Pilipinas, recommended beaches in the provinces of Batangas and Cavite down south. 
Villareal said some beaches in Batangas, particularly in San Juan, are comparable to Puerto Galera. New resorts in Cavite, on the other hand, are also worth checking, he said.  
Up north, Baguio is still the favorite destination among Filipinos especially this Christmas. The province of La Union is also worth visiting especially for some surfing adventure, Villareal added. 
Pangasinan's Hundred Islands and the province's sea foods are worth that five-hour trip from Manila. 
Pampanga, Villareal said, will satisfy those who are looking for gastronomical adventure.     
If you're in the mood for an atmosphere of peacefulness and calmness, T House Tagaytay, a bed and breakfast hotel, provides that kind of ambiance.
Resident manager William Barquin told ANC's "Shot Talk" said T House is very "homey and personalized."
"It's all about nature because it is constructed all around trees," he said.
"Rooms are inclusive of breakfast plus at night we have little surprise for them. Before going to bed, we give them a good night tea," he added.
Massage and spa treatments are also available to guests, said Barquin.  
Great destinations this holiday season 2Boracay still on the list
There are many vacation hot spots in Visayas. Villareal cited Bacolod, Romblon, Iloilo and Roxas. 
"Romblon is a destination much like Boracay. We can find the Carabao Island, which is said to be the next Boracay. [The sand] is really white, as white as Boracay," he said.
Iloilo, Bacolod and Dumaguete are considered "heritage destinations," said Villareal. He said the beaches in these provinces might not be as beautiful as Bohol and Boracay but they are rich in heritage. 
The island of Boracay is still the favorite destination among tourists.
For young and hip or if you just want something different, staying in Tides Hotel is a treat.
Steven Khu, Tides's marketing and sales director, said the hotel is famous for its "non-traditional rooms" and roof deck lounge that has a "360 degree view" of the entire beach. 
Great destinations this holiday season 3The Plantation Bay Resort and Spa on Mactan Island, meanwhile, offers the traditional Filipino food like bibingka  and puto bungbong to its guests.
The hotel is designed where families with young children and honeymooners can stay and enjoy.
Going to Mindanao, Villareal recommends Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon, General Santos, and Camiguin. Mindanao is also a great destination if you want to discover different cultures.