As a tropical country, the Philippines is defined by its warm to mild temperature, with the idyllic image of sunny, clear blue skies. This is most evident in the summer, where the temperature rises significantly. But summer in this archipelago of more than 7,000 islands is not just about the heat. It comes with the refreshing idea of fun in the sun, great places and unique locales with exciting activities that cool the mind, body and spirit.
As an extensive archipelago of 7,107 islands of varying topography, culture and character, there may just be a special place for everyone looking for a pleasant escape from the heat. The following are some such places where locals and foreigners alike have spent their summers in.
1. El Nido, Palawan
From the towering marble cliffs and enchanting lagoons to its 100 white sandy beaches, lush jungle and mangrove forest, prehistoric caves and waterfalls, El Nido is one of the top tourist destinations in Palawan, which is often referred to as the "Philippines' Last Frontier".
In the November–December 2007 issue of the National Geographic Traveler's magazine, Palawan was chosen as one of the best travel destinations in the world, and particularly, it recommended El Nido and the Calamianes Islands.
In 2012, CNNGo, the travel news website of the international news agency Cable News Network, declared El Nido as the Philippines' Best Beach and Island destination.
This is a small island in the Philippines located approximately 315 km (196 mi) south of Manila and 2 km off the northwest tip of Panay Island in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. Boracay Island and its beaches have received awards from numerous travel publications and agencies.
Apart from its white sand beaches, Boracay is also famous for being one of the world's top destination for relaxation. It is also emerging among the top destinations for tranquility and nightlife. In 2012, Boracay was awarded as the best island in the world from the international travel magazine Travel + Leisure.
3. Puerto Galera
This coastal town is well known among tourists for its numerous pocket beaches and many snorkeling and Scuba diving spots. The area was designated a Man and Biosphere Reserve of UNESCO in 1973 and has some of the most diverse coral reef diving in Asia.
The marine environment has benefited in recent years from the influx of tourist dollars. This has seen a huge reduction in the number of fishermen in the area, as they gain higher revenue from tourists.
Puerto Galera is a listed by the Club of the Most Beautiful Bays of the World, and is the only bay in the Philippines to be listed there. Among the famous beaches in Puerto Galera are Sabang Beach and White Beach, which have an active nightlife with numerous bars and restaurants. Both beaches also have an array of first-class and economy-class accommodations.
The province is a popular tourist destination with its beaches and resorts. The Chocolate Hills, numerous mounds of limestone formation, is the most popular attraction.
Panglao Island, located just southwest of Tagbilaran City, is famous for its diving locations and routinely listed as one of the top ten diving locations in the world.
Numerous tourist resorts dot the southern beaches and cater to divers from around the world. The Philippine Tarsier, considered the second-smallest primate in the world, is indigenous to the island.
Tourism is one of Baguio's main industries due to its weather and history. During the year end holidays some people from the lowlands prefer spending their vacation in Baguio, to experience cold temperatures they rarely have in their home provinces. Also, during summer, especially during Holy Week, tourists from all over the country flock to the city.
During this time, the total number of people in the city doubles. To accommodate all these people there are more than 80 hotels and inns available. Local festivities such as the Panagbenga Festival also attract both local and foreign tourists.
Baguio City is the lone Philippine destination in the 2011 TripAdvisor Traveler's Choice Destinations Awards, Asia category, with the city being among the top 25 destinations in Asia.
These are just a few of the many amazing summer destinations in the Philippines waiting to be discovered, so make sure to set aside some time for visiting these wonderful places.