Philippine beaches never run out of holiday makers. All year round, tourists from everywhere around the globe visit Philippines for its beautiful white sand beaches. With Boracay being the most visited, its closure left Boracay island fans feel like expectant parents. Sure, there’s the sadness that we all have to see its closure and go for so long without it. So many people had been affected, especially the residents of the island. But we know there’s work going on to rejuvenate the island, and we can only wait expectant to see what kind of Bora we will see after six months.
In the meanwhile, beach-bound travelers are blessed with other options. The Philippines is the quintessential tropical paradise, if you know where to look. And you don’t have to look far, as we have many more stunning white beaches and turquoise clear waters waiting for you!
Here’s a shortlist of five Boracay alternatives that would relieve your Boracay-sickness!
This sleepy Visayan island, a Marine Reserve in its entirety, has something to offer to everyone. Its interior is mountainous, with an assortment of trails, rovers, and caves. The rim of the island, on the other hand, is clad with stretches of picture-perfect white sand beaches.
One such is Paliton Beach, or officially known as the Paliton Marine Sanctuary. This is a stretch of sand and palm trees that show us what a virgin beach should look like. Contrary to Boracay’s party atmosphere, Paliton is barely developed and you can still see the fishing boats that the locals use for their livelihood. If your idea of going to the beach is to reconnect with the raw, uncut gems of nature, then Paliton does just that. You can literally laze around all day, just admiring the beauty of the scenery, all the way down to the jaw-dropping sunsets!
More developed than Siquijor thanks to its international popularity as a surfing haven, Siargao offers a better balance of nature’s beauty and social interaction. However, that does not mean it’s turning into the mosh pit that Boracay was (at least, not yet). In fact, the other side of the island from Cloud 9, where Alegria Beach is, is as unspoiled as possible. The long stretch of immaculately white sand is perfect for those looking for some time away from music and conversation.
There’s also Burgos and Pacifico beaches, which are also worth visiting if only to revel on the local flavor of the island. There’s plenty more here — in fact, if you take time to wander around you’ll find that you won’t run out of beaches in Siargao!
Long known as one of the most likely successors to Boracay’s crown, this Palawan mainstay has a completely different atmosphere to offer from the other beaches in this list. Here, parts of the rustic nature feels give way to the posh treatment of the island.
Indeed, El Nido has a feel of exclusivity just like Boracay, except that it’s not as suffocating. Secret beach is a perfect example, hidden behind towering limestone cliffs. The stretch of sand and water is like a dimension all its own, and everything else in the world does not exist. The same thing goes with Hidden beach. There are several other beaches here, of varying lengths and sand (a medley of white and brown). One of them is Star Beach, which aside from the dazzling white sand also features views of limestone cliffs as well as interesting rocks you can find as you walk.
Of course, don’t forget to drop by the twin beaches, Nacpan and Calitang, which have all the necessary amenities for a Boracay-esque stay. If you prefer a location that has stunning sunsets to match, try Marimegmeg beach and its groves of palm trees. Oh, and it’s the location for an outdoor disco, too!
Near the bustling metros of Bohol and Cebu is the small Panglao island. It’s the perfect destination for those one-stop beach travels, because it’s near other sites like the Chocolate Hills and Loboc River. It’s also the site of several awesome beaches, which aside from providing white sand and crystal-clear waters also showcase amazing coral reefs for diving and snorkeling!
One of the most-visited beaches in Panglao is Alona beach, which has 800 meters of sand and an atmosphere that is closer to Boracay than any other in this list. Aside from merely lounging around, you can also take advantage of the wealth of water activities that can be found here!
But if you’re more for aesthetics than socialization, your best bet would be Dumaluan beach, which looks pretty similar to Siquijor’s Paliton beach (albeit more developed). There are also lots of things to do here, complete with island trips, but the nights aren’t as filled with the din of music and partying. For more local flavor (and generally more locals), try the Libaong beach, which is locally known just as White Beach (for good reason). And for a sense of seclusion a la El Nido’s Hidden and Secret beaches, head over to the barely-discovered San Isidro beach cove!
Probably one of the most famous beach spots in this area is the Camiguin White “Island”, which is a stretch of white sandbar surrounded by clear Pacific waters. The thing is, many people claim that the White Island is pretty overrated. Even if you find that so, you’re still in luck as Camiguin has lots more beaches for you to discover!
There’s Mantigue Island (this time a real island) which is famed not just for its picturesque beach but also for the richness of the island itself. Then there’s the Golden Sunset beach, which as the name says is perfect for watching the day close. Cabua-an beach combines white sand with grassy land that makes it perfect for family picnics. The Cantaan White beach also offers a giant clam nursery that is a feast for both the mind and eye!
Indeed, many say that Boracay’s closure will divert tourists to other Asian beach destinations like Bali and Phuket. I say, why look in other countries when the Philippines has everything a beachcomber might look for? Most of them are even near Bora itself! So what are you waiting for? The tropical paradise beckons — take your pick and see the beauty of the rest of the country’s beaches!
It’s another wonderful evening here in the North Sea. The winds are so quiet with seas even more calm than the last time we transited here. Surely I will be missing more of this fantastic weather as I am signing off from ship in nearly two months. Thinking about going home soon, now I have in mind where to go and chill for the holiday.
Photo: Mr. Wood