12 Rainy Season Friendly Places in Visayas
As far as we here at Tralulu are concerned, the summer season is over in the Philippines, like in most Southeast Asian tropical countries. Goodbye heat (YES!), artificial wind, high season, expensive flights, overcrowded beaches, subtle free time and perfect weather for travelling. Now that the rainy season has kicked in, we welcome random rain showers and opportunities to travel.
Opportunities to travel? Did I hear that right? Oh yes you did!
Although the dog days are over, that shouldn’t stop you from travelling. The world is so huge that the places to visit and discover are not enough. In fact, they will keep coming, multiplying throughout the period of your lifetime and for the future generations to come. So for all of you who didn’t make time to travel during summer, now is your chance! The Philippines alone has a million hidden gems in its vicinity. Here we narrow down a list of venues that you need to scout for in the Visayas region. In addition, most, if not all, these locations are unquestionably rain proof. Nothing can rain on your parade!
1. The Ruins, Negros Occidental
Also known as one of the best landmarks in the Philippines, The Ruins in Negros Occidental is considered one of the twelve most fascinating ruins in the WORLD! Did we mention that it is also known as the Taj Mahal of the Philippines, so you won’t need to travel to India anymore! Just kidding. Judging from the many awards this place has received, you would definitely agree with whoever acclaimed its beauty. The Ruins has its own love story behind the monument. It was built in loving memory of Maria Braga, the wife of Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson. It was one of those “love at first sight” scenes: this man was travelling the world and saw a beautiful Portuguese woman on one of his travels to Hong Kong. He instantly had to meet the father of the lovely lady, who thought that they were a perfect match. (So much for parents’ consent.) It did not take long, take note, before he asked for Maria’s hand in marriage. They then lived in Mariano’s ancestral house in Talisay after the wedding, and were blessed with ten charming children. Unfortunately, during Maria’s eleventh pregnancy, she had slipped in their bathroom causing her to bleed profusely. This accident had caused her and her baby’s life, since she was already in a very fragile state. Her husband was devastated, so he decided to build her a mansion in her honor. This destination would be the perfect place to bring your next Valentine to, while the tragedy of a story would be the perfect tale to tell.
2. Cantabon Cave, Siquijor
Siquijor is nation-wide famous for its beautiful beaches and, not to mention, spectacular diving sites. Little do people know that in the three hundred forty square kilometer land exists much more than you can find under the sea. Among the attractions in the Central Visayas region is the Cantabon Cave. This place is obviously rain proof because it is located indoors, but do not be fooled: the atmosphere inside the cave can conjure the feel of something worse than rain. The height of the cave is short, luckily for the petite, but forcing the rest to bend down. On top of that, the floor is slippery due to mud and water, which is why aqua socks are much more recommended in here than slippers or normal rubber shoes are. Despite the odds, the gorgeous view of the cave is worth all the hard work you put into getting inside. The best news of all: you will only need to be shedding off five hundred pesos for a group of three — you and two friends. This is inclusive of the mandatory necessities: helmets, headlamps, and a guide.
3. Museo Dabawenyo, Davao
Like many museums, Museo Dabawenyo was once an old building, formerly the Court of First Instance. It got a total makeover to showcase the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the people of Davao. You will get a major history lesson as you explore the lives of these people. There are a total of four rooms in the museum. The first room is called the Indigenous People’s Gallery is a collection of arts, crafts, musical instruments, weapons made by the different tribes who lived in Davao. Miniature houses, lamps, boats, chairs, armors and crowns used by the Muslim people in Mindanao thrive in the Moro People’s Gallery. The Contemporary Gallery is home to classic designs from wood carvings. This room also features modern paintings. The last room, The Memorabilia Gallery, showcases clothes from the old times, paper money bills, musical notes, and porcelains. There are only two museums in the city, Museo Dabawenyo being the smaller of the two. Another exciting announcement: admission is free to the public! Just take note that they are not open on Mondays. You now have no excuse not to visit this posh museum located at Insular Village in Lanang.
4. Basilico de Santo Niño, Cebu
If you were born in the Philippines, you may have heard of the popular Santo Niño. You were probably obliged to adore him on certain feast days. In English, the direct translation is “Christ Child”. The revered statuette, which dates back to the time of Magellan, is housed in the Basilica Minore Del Santo Niño, also known as the oldest church in the Philippines. The church suffered tons of damage in the past. Just recently, during an earthquake of October 2013, the church’s bell tower came crumbling down. Can you believe the church was also burnt down three times before being fixed into its present form? When you visit this church that is considered to be the holiest in Cebu, you might be able to appreciate the figure of the Child Jesus better, with your new found knowledge of the history. And do not worry, the church has been given special attention so it won’t come crashing down when you visit. Hopefully not.
5. Ulan-ulan Falls, Biliran
Do you remember looking at those post cards in various airports and seeing such picturesque photographs of waterfalls? Ulan-ulan Falls has definitely got to be one of them. Just take another quick look at the featured photo! It looks like a drawing! Ulan-Ulan comes from the Visayan dialect which means literally means “rain”. Even in Filipino, “ulan” means “rain”. It is about a thirty minute walk to Ulan-Ulan, and it will take you through the path of a river, a mountain and several waterfalls. Make sure to keep your camera safe when trying to document the scenery! Make sure to wear your swimsuit because the cool, blue waters are irresistible. You can’t not skip a swim here. It is not a place to stay for overnight though, since there are no cottages and the pathway can get steep and rocky. You shall not come to Almeria without planning to visit these wondrous falls!
6. Chocolate Hills, Bohol
It is said that the Chocolate Hills are an unusual geological formation found in Bohol, yet it looks exactly how kids would draw mountains: uniformly shaped, round, and green. They got their name because they are usually covered with grass all year around, but turn brown during the dry season. It would be nice to see them brown, but it is still a perfect time to go during the rainy season! They can stand as tall as fifty meters high. It is found that there are one thousand seven hundred seventy-six hills included in the Chocolate hills.
7. San Juanico Bridge, Leyte
The San Juanico Bridge, part of the Pan-Philippine Highway, is surely one of the most elegant and precise engineering projects in the history of the Philippines. With a total length of about two kilometers, it is the longest bridge in the country that spans a body of seawater. It is a captivating sight to behold as it stretches across the islands of Leyte and Samar. Below, you can behold the glimpse of the San Juanico Strait, wherein you will also be able to see boats passing under. It was built so monumental, it looks like one of the bridges straight out of the Hollywood movies. It is no surprise that it is regarded among the most well-known bridges of the Philippines.
8. Isla de Gigantes, Iloilo
This once unknown place is making its way to the top of the list of Philippine scenic destinations. Backpacking enthusiasts are raving about Islas de Gigantes. It isn’t exactly a virgin land since the locals had been scouting its beautiful territories before any foreigners ever came upon this beach, which sits in the northeastern tip of Panay Island. Gigantes Norte and Gigantes Sur are the two main islands that comprise this jewel. Gigantes Norte is the home to Langub beach, Baquitan and Baquitan Cave, and Gigantes National Museum. On the other hand, Gigantes Sur is made fit for the island hopping lovers. You may be familiar with the striking Cabugao Gamay. You’re probably wondering why we would recommend a beach during the inclement weather, but you have to see this particular beach! Plus, it’s not high season anymore, so boat and air fares will be cheaper.
9. Sohoton National Park, Samar
If you’re ready to go cowboy, you won’t mind travelling to Sohoton National Park in Samar! The journey (upriver to be exact) to the park is not the kind of scene you would want to include in your vlogs. Villages of bamboo houses on stilts. Limestone outcrops. A three hundred meter walk through the forest. There’s nothing wrong with these sights, it’s just that you would probably be too distracted trying to fight off insects that seek you as prey. Under the arch of the limestone bridge exists a wide swimming hole that gives the park its name. Guides tour visitors to caves with sparkling stalactites and enormous stalagmites. Kayaking trips are also available. Beware: flash floods are likely to happen due to heavy rain. Take note that the park is often closed during the wettest months of December to February, which is good news! The trip here is not cheap. You have to bring your own food and pay for transportation, entrance fees, and even mayor’s fees. On top of that, remember one of the strongest typhoons that ever hit? Although typhoon Yolanda hit back in 2013, Tacloban is still in dire need of funds. Think of your trip here as an outreach program.
10. Guisi Lighthouse, Guimaras
Formerly known as Faro de Punta Luzaran, Guisi Lighthouse functioned as a navigational aid to the fisherman and sailors passing the Panay Gulf. Located at the southwestern coast of Guimaras, in Barangay Dolores, Nueva Valencia, resides one of the oldest lighthouses in Philippines. It was built by the Spanish government to light up the maritime coasts in the country. It’s cute and small size makes it the ideal place for photo shoots, since the place is filled with overgrown bushes, hinting a sort of romantic feel of the 19th century.
11. Twin Lakes National Park, Dumaguete
The captivating Lake Balinsasayao and its twin lake, Lake Danao, lie peacefully in the mountains of southern Negros Island. Being one of the major tourist attractions in the province, these lakes are a protected Natural Park. Expansive ecosystem and prosperous biodiversity thrive here as well, since they are the habitat of many animals such as rare birds and a profusion of fish! You will also get to admire mother nature since this zone is surrounded by lush tropical greens and vegetation. You will never get bored here as you can go swimming, fishing, boating, trekking, and kayaking. You can even use a CLEAN restroom! You won’t have to worry about food and water since there is a small canteen in the area.
12. Parola Park, Occidental Mindoro
You need to head over here if you’re looking for the best sunset view in town! Named after the wife of former Mayor Loreto Urieta, the Parola Park is also known as the Presing Park. It was once a historic watchtower and battlefield. Defenders stationed would signal and warn the people to hide while launching cannon fires volleys, in defense of the town. A cannon was built to fight Muslim pirates and intruders who used to tresspass around the area. Today, the ruins of a lighthouse and an old cannon could still be found inside.
Sources: Dailypedia, Trip Advisor, Choose Philippines, Looloo, Tourist Spots Finder, Rappler, Finding Henru, Blogspot