If you’ve been wanting to hit the road, you’ll be happy to know that many of the Philippines’ must-visit spots are just a drive away from Manila. The ride may take a few hours or a few days, but the sights and stops along the way promise to be just as interesting and exciting as your destination.

1. To Tagaytay

tagaytay_2 When it comes to quick and easy road trips, Tagaytay is a top favorite. This cool and calm cliffside town is just a one- to three-drive from Manila and is packed with attractions and restaurants that never seem to grow old. So if you want ride a zipline, trek to a volcano’s crater, hop on the country’s tallest Ferris wheel or indulge in everything from pies and mushroom burgers to organic salads, bulalo (beef shank stew) and gourmet cuisine, Tagaytay is perfect for you.

2. To Rizal

paete Also down south is the province of Rizal, where the art scene and churches are worth the drive. But do stop by Paete, Laguna, first and check out the workshops of its famed woodcarvers at J.V. Quesada Street and then enjoy brunch at Kape Kesada, a visually stunning café that features pieces from heritage houses in its interiors. Next, get a glimpse of modern Filipino art in Antipolo, Rizal, by visiting the extensive collection of the Pinto Art Gallery. While you’re in the area, head to the Antipolo Cathedral and seek guidance from Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. If you’d like to see more churches, squeeze in Baras, Morong and Tanay into your itinerary.

3. To Baler

baler It’s a six-hour drive from Manila to Baler in Aurora, but if you love surfing, every minute of that drive will be worth it. The town’s Sabang Beach is a haven for surfers, with its swells and breaks and host of surf schools and shops. Not a fan of surfing? You can take a refreshing dip at Diguisit Falls, frolic in the white sand of Dicasalarin Cove or go on a side trip to neighboring Maria Aurora, where a towering balete tree that’s about 600 years old stands.

4. To Pampanga

atchi-lilian-3 In the mood for a road-cum-food trip? Pampanga has you covered. After two hours on the North Luzon Expressway, you’ll reach San Fernando. Here the piece de resistance is Everybody’s Café, a restaurant serving exotic local dishes such as camaru (adobo-style mole crickets) and betute (stuffed frog). Drive to Angeles city to sample the original version of sisig (pork hash) at Aling Lucing’s, Pampanga-style pizza (with local sausage, salted duck eggs and pickle relish as toppings) at Camalig and the pan de bagnet (porchetta-inspired sandwich) at Bale Dutung. Also stop over Kusina ni Atching Lillian in the town of Mexico for authentic and homey Pampanga cuisine.

5. To Subic

subicbay For a day of adventure, drive to the municipality of Subic in Zambales. Once you get there, you can trek along the Pamulaklakin jungle trail and dive and explore Subic Bay’s marine life and World War II ship wrecks. This is also your chance to step into a tiger enclosure as part of Zoobic’s caged tour and swim with sea turtles and dolphins at Subic Ocean Adventure. The bonus: enjoy a shopping spree at the Royal Duty Free Store, Harbor Point Mall and the outlet stores of international brands such as Adidas and Nike.

6. To San Antonio (Zambales)

nagsasacove San Antonio is the perfect route for those seeking out the natural wonders of Zambales. The town is home to Pundaquit beach, your jump-off point for the hidden coves and islands of the area. You can park your car here and then rent a boat to take you to the Nagsasa and Anawangin Coves, where the beaches are lined with pine trees. Most rides also lead you to the islands of Camara and Capones, where the rock transformations are a sight to behold.

7. To Baguio

baguio_4 In the Philippines, it’s not every day that you get to drive and breathe in cool, crisp air laced with the scent of pine trees. In Baguio, you get to enjoy that and more. The city may be an eight- to 10-hour drive from Manila, and you will have to endure a lot of steep and winding roads, but Baguio won’t disappoint with its lovely parks, cozy cafes, strawberry farms and stores selling second-hand designer apparel.

8. To La Union

la-union Surfing enthuasist, but not as keen on Baler? Well, gear up for a road trip up to La Union, the closest surfing capital from Manila where you can ride consistent and clean waves. With an impressive coastline that’s the fifth longest in the world, San Juan is recommended for a variety of surfing spots that cater to every need. Not a water-baby? The area is also known for its pottery! Culture vultures can hit up some fascianting attractions too, including the World War II Vintage Canon, Pindangan Ruins and Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers.

9. To Vigan and Ilocos Norte

bangui Heading further up north, you’ll get to step back in time in Vigan, a heritage city in Ilocos Sur that will charm you with its old houses, cobblestone streets and horse-drawn carriages. And at your final stop, Ilocos Norte, you can go sandboarding at the dune of Laoag or visit Paoay church a UNESCO heritage site, see the huge Bangui windmills up close and bask under the sun at Blue Lagoon (Pagudpud) Beach, as well as the famous sand dunes, also at Pagudpud.

10. To Bicol

mount-mayon-volcano-with-flowing-stream The Bicol region has plenty in store for road-trippers. A 10-hour drive from Manila, Daet in Camarines Norte is home to the popular surfing spot Bagasbas Beach and is your gateway to the stunning Calaguas Islands. Just two hours away is the CamSur Watersports Complex, a top wakeboarding spot that also has a skate park. You could also head southeast to Legazpi, Albay, for a sightseeing tour of Mount Mayon and the ruins of the Cagsawa Church. Between March and April, you might also want to drop by Donsol, Sorsogon, and watch and swim with butandings (whale sharks).


Source: http://www.skyscanner.com.ph

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