Places in the Philippines na Parang Pag-ibig

Places in the Philippines na Parang Pag-ibig

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Call me hopeless hopeful hope fool romantic (or just call me maybe). Whenever I travel, I see love everywhere! Not from the couples who couldn’t afford to get a room while they release their romantic tensions. Not from another traveler whom I just met. But I find love in places. Metaphors of love are checking in. Unrequited mostly, ouch. So here are the places in the Philippines that remind me of love:

1. Mayon Volcano. Sometimes, its peak presents itself. Sometimes, it hides. Parang pag-ibig.

Mayon Volcano
Mayon Volcano is known for its perfect cone shape. But the elusive peak could leave the spectators from the feet of the volcano or above from an airplane in awe or in disappointment. Because clouds.

2. Echo Valley where coffins are left hanging. Parang pag-ibig.

Echo Valley
The tradition of mummifying the corpse and hanging its coffin from the walls of Echo Valley in Sagada is based on the belief of locals that the practice will move the souls of their loved ones closer to Bathala. It is really like love. So close yet in the end, bitin.

3. Bacolod. Because Masskara Festival reminds us that despite tragedies, we have to carry on. Parang pag-ibig.

Masskara Festival
A series of tragedies once struck Negros. A vessel carrying the prominent Negrense families met an accident and sank. The sugar cane industry was also in its lowest point. Living up to be the City of Smiles, Bacolod artists and government decided to hold Masskara Festival that masquerades the gloomy atmosphere and radiates hope.

4. Nacpan Calitang Beach in Palawan. Asymptotic twin beaches that get closer and closer but hardly cross each other. Parang pag-ibig.

Nacpan-Calitang Twin Beach
Unless high tide.

5. Making things happen because Makati. Parang pag-ibig.

Ayala Triangle Gardens
Aba! Malandeeeee! Maharot! Makati! The annual lights and sound show in Ayala Triangle Gardens during Christmas Season is successful in drawing attention as the colorful show flirts with your eyes.

6. La Mesa Dam. Because overflowing water is wasted when not held. Parang pag-ibig.

La Mesa Dam
It is like when you couldn’t contain your feelings for someone and he/she is not there to catch these, expect floods the soonest in Manila. Made of tears.

7. Davao. Because Philippine Eagle. Paubos na. Parang pag-ibig.

Philippine Eagle
The monkey eating eagle is the world’s largest eagle and pride of the country. But it is critically endangered. Without the caring heart of Davao City’s Philippine Eagle Center, the species will become extinct.

8. UP Diliman Acad Oval. One-way. Parang pag-ibig.

UP Diliman Acad Oval
A popular fitness spot for casual runners and athletes and known for its canopy of acacia trees is a one-way 4.4 2.2 kilometer roundabout in the campus. (Update: Yes, it’s about 2.2 kilometers! I originally put 4.4 kilometers because backstory: “Naniniwala ka ba sa love at first sight. Oh kailangan ko pa ulit dumaan sa harap mo?” So there, another round!)

9. Dangujan Island. Takes your breath away literally and figuratively. Parang pag-ibig.

Danjugan Dive
A marine sanctuary where you can see species of giant clams, crabs, turtles and corals.

10. Crisologo Museum. Because of this clock. Always pakanan. Broken, if kakaliwa. Parang pag-ibig.

Crisologo Museum
That sounds more like, kinda, parang conyo. Literally a grandfather’s clock from the ancestral house turned museum in Ilocos Sur.

11. Boracay. Because Flyfish. Kapit ka lang talaga. Parang pag-ibig.

Boracay Fly Fish
When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place. Mahal din kasi kaya.

12. Bohol Bee Farm. Because bee. Sweet as its honey. Hurts when it stings like a bee. Parang pag-ibig.

Bohol Bee Farm
Livin’ life, feelin’ free, that’s how it’s supposed to be. Come join my festivities, celebrate like Imma bee. Imma bee, Imma bee, Imma bee, Imma bee. Seriously, Bohol Bee Farm offers a lot more than jolly bees – good view of the Panglao beach, fine dine in restaurants and livelihood crafts.

13. Bangui Windmills. Steady. And hindi na babaling sa iba. Parang pag-ibig.

Bangui Windmills
It’s more fans in the Philippines.

14. Kapurpurawan Rock Formations. Ang hard. Parang pag-ibig.

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
But no matter how hard your love life is, it polishes you. You are a diamond in rough. Shine bright like a diamond. Stand pretty like Kapurpurawan Rock Formations.

15. Pampanga. Because Giant Lanterns. Should only be out. At the right time. Parang pag-ibig.

Pampanga Giant Lanterns
And if you let it out, it should be grand. 20-feet in diameter. Illuminated by thousands of colorful bulbs. Pampanga is true to its nickname, the Christmas Capital of the Philippines.

16. Batangas. Because coffee. Even with the right blend, it gets cold when attention’s not given. Parang pag-ibig.

Kapeng Batangas
But it burns the tongue when it’s too hot. Remember that psychology test? That your description of coffee is how you interpret sex? So you want it Venti. Bente, sabay-sabay? LOL.

17. Baler. Because surfing needs right timing and perfect balance of things. Parang pag-ibig.

Baler Surfing
And it really looks cooler at rough high waves than in shores. So take a risk. Love.

18. Tuguegarao. Because jeepneys. Pang-sampuan. Parang pag-ibig.

Tuguegarao Jeep
Aba! Malandeeeeeee! Part 2.

19. Yexel’s Toy Museum. A serious business. To some, laro-laro lang. Parang pag-ibig.

Yexel's Toy Museum
Yeah, the favorite toys of some players. They take good care of their beloved as long as they’re brand new. They keep them first. They don’t let others touch them, have them. But when they get bored or something new has arrived, the once-favorite toys are left in the corner.

20. St. James Parish Church in Dapitan. Makulay kapag napasok mo na. Parang pag-ibig.

St. James Parish Dapitan
Lol. I mean, as you get into a relationship, the world becomes more colorful.

21. National Art Gallery. Because Spoliarium. We need to step backward to see the larger picture. Parang pag-ibig.

An epic and larger-than-life painting by Juan Luna currently showcased in the National Museum complex in city of Manila. A proof that Indios, despite how small the Spaniards look at us, can outperform the conquerors in the arts.

22. Seri Fantasy World. Full of illusions. Parang pag-ibig.

Seri World
Indeed, there is more to than meets the eye. Just like love. You need to use your other senses. And the common sense. Don’t let illusions blind you.

23. Quiapo. Maraming snatchers. Maagawan ka. Parang pag-ibig.

An epitomy that love is battlefield. We need to fight what is rightfully ours. Love is like a hold-up. It’s up to you if you’re going to fight for it until death or run away from it so you won’t get hurt. Pictured here is not a snatcher though. But I managed to snatch an award in an on-the-spot photography race with this subject.

24. Tinuy-an. Pwedeng true. Pwedeng falls. Parang pag-ibig.

Tinuy-an Falls
Is this majestic wide curtain of waters the Niagara version of the Philippines? Maybe.

25. UAAP Cheerdance Competition. Unang ma-fall, talo. Parang pag-ibig.

UAAP Cheerdance Competition
Every year, the competition among the universities gets tougher. The scores of the top contenders have slimmer differences. That’s why producing a clean execution of routines, more than difficulty of the stunts, deemed most important. Kaya una talagang ma-fall, talo na.

Let’s continue the FEELS TRIP, shall we?

26. The Mind Museum. Utak rin minsan. Parang pag-ibig.

The Mind Museum
Located at Bonifacio Global City, this is a futuristic themed science museum infused with cellular and molecular structures true to their mantra – Science comes alive.

27. Islands of El Nido. Too many options. Too much to handle. Parang pag-ibig.

El Nido
There are 20 islands in the Bacuit Archipelago that you can choose from the open sea. These islands are grouped into 4 tours. Therefore, one will see 5 islands per tour. This is the Philippine’s ultimate beach destination. And no wonder why travel magazines and lifestyle shows describe El Nido as the world’s number one summer destination.

28. Cagayan de Oro. Because white water rafting. Risky. Wild. You have to go with the flow. Parang pag-ibig.

Cagayan de Oro River
Cagayan de Oro has been synonymous with White Water Rafting because of the unique thrill and adrenaline rush the activity is giving.

29. Biak-na-Bato. When that time comes, Rak na itu! Parang pag-ibig.

Biak na Bato
This national park is the home of the Republic of Biak-na-Bato, the first republic ever declared in the Philippines. It also established the first constitution in the Philippines which is written also word by word from the Constitution of Cuba. Emilio Aguinaldo, together with his fellow members of the Katipunan declares the republic but only to be followed by his exile after a month. First but short. Parang pag-ibig.

30. SMX Convention Center. Because Philippine Fashion Week. We can only wonder why. Ang bilis din nilang magpalit. Parang pag-ibig.

Philippine Fashion Week
The Philippine Fashion Week is held twice every year. The first week runs every May for the Holiday season. The second week happens every November for the Spring-Summer seasons. It’s like a May-November love affair.

31. Naked Island of Britania, Surigao del Sur. You don’t always see it but you know it’s there. Parang pag-ibig.

Naked Island of Britania
And one blink, it’s gone.

32. Bacolor Church in Pampanga. Time has gone by. Pero nakabaon pa rin. Parang pag-ibig.

Bacolor Church
It is known as the lahar sunken San Guillermo parish church of Bacolor in Pampanga. It was half-buried after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991. The people of the town of Bacolor had to dig dirt and lahar to take out their precious altar and images which were miraculously saved from lahar. It was also used as a setting for the television show, May Bukas Pa.

33. Islands of Batanes. Distance means so little when it means so much. Parang pag-ibig.

You will appreciate life, the Philippines, and everything else, more if you get to see the beautiful landscapes of Batanes. The province is always an item in the bucket list of every Pinoy wanderlust.

34. Mt. Maculot. It’s further than it looks. It’s taller than it looks. It’s harder than it looks. Parang pag-ibig.

Mt. Maculot
Love is like a mountain. It is hard to climb but once you get to the top, the view is beautiful.

35. Puerto Princesa Underground River. Minsan nadadaan din sa text. Parang pag-ibig.

Puerto Princesa Underground River
Voted through text and web clicks, St. Paul Subterranean River National Park in Puerto Princesa is part of the Seven New Wonders of Nature in the World. And just like love, admit it, there are some people who simply fall for someone through SMS and chat.

36. Pyromusical Competition in SM Mall of Asia. It started with a spark. And then it’s gone. Parang pag-ibig.

Pyromusical Competition
An annual meeting of the world’s leading pyrotechnic experts competing in painting the Manila skies with vivid fireworks accompanied by music. The Philippine International Pyromusical Competition is held at SM Mall of Asia and has drawn several spectators since it started last 2010.

37. The Alternative Restaurant in El Nido. When you’re not the priority and you’re just an option. Parang pag-ibig.

The Alternative
Number 2, The Querida, The Third Party, The Other Woman, My Husband’s Lover, The Alternative.

38. Calaruega Church. Wedding oo. Wedding hindi. Depende. Parang pag-ibig.

Calaruega Church
One of the most popular choices as the venue for wedding ceremony is the Calaruega Church in Nasugbu, Batangas near Tagaytay. Calaruega is a small town in Spain. The Spanish influence in the architecture around this nuptial place is evident.

39. Mt. Pinatubo. Turns from destructive to attractive. From bad to beautiful. Parang pag-ibig.

Mt. Pinatubo
One of the more fitting metaphor of love is Mt. Pinatubo. While love could bring us near our self-destruction, with enough amount of time and space, love also could bring the better from us. “Hu u” sila sa atin. Apir!

40. CDO Night Cafe. Mapapamura ka talaga. Parang pag-ibig.

CDO Night Cafe
Cagayan De Oro Plaza has their own Divisoria that draws crowd every Friday and Saturday nights.

41. Isdaan Sa Gerona, Tarlac. Taksyapo! Parang pag-ibig.

Isdaan sa Gerona
Enough said.

42. Tarsier Conservation Center. You can view all you want. Get closer even. But no touch. Parang pag-ibig.

Tarsier Conservation Center
You can look at these cute tarsiers but you can’t take them. You can’t bring them home. Endemic and attached to Bohol, these tarsiers are nervous and anxious when camera flashes and even being touched. They become stressed that leads them to hit their head against objects. Self-destructing. Parang pag-ibig.

43. Binondo. Because Shanghai Fried Siopao. Merong bola-bola. May asado. May umasa masyado. Parang pag-ibig.

Shanghai Fried Siopao
Don’t forget the fried siopao in your Binondo Food Trip. But stay away from being SIOPAOZONED. Yung pinaramdam nya sa iyo kung gaano ka SPECIAL. Pero in the end, BOLA-BOLA lang. PinaASADO ka lang. Yung tinanggalan ka ng PAPEL sa kanyang buhay. Ay SAUCE. Sa una lang pala MASARAP.

Binondo is also a home of delicious siomai and hopia. I SIOMAI love for you. HOPIA love me too.

44. GarinFarm in Iloilo. Dahil magtanim ay di biro. Parang pag-ibig.

Garin Farm
Located in the far south town of San Joaquin in Iloilo, Garin Farm showcases agriculture, leisure and pilgrimage all in its 14-hectare paradise. One can learn loving nature through its experiential walk in its farm, stroll in the park and hundreds of steps hike towards a hundred feet Divine Mercy Cross.

45. Casa De Segunda in Lipa, Batangas. Because antique items. Habang tumatagal. Lalong napapamahal. Parang pag-ibig.

Casa de Segunda
Formally known as the Luz-Katigbak Ancestral House, the casa (or house) is named after Segunda Katigbak, the first love of Dr. Jose Rizal.

46. Pagburnayan in Ilocos Sur. You have to shape it, to form it, to leave it even in flames. Parang pag-ibig.

The burnay is an earthenware jar crafted in Vigan by a potter’s hands with the help of a potter’s wheel. It is baked at a high temperature in a huge brick-and-clay ground oven that makes it harder and more durable than other terra cotta.

47. Mt. Pulag. Ain’t about how fast I get there. Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side. It’s the climb. Parang pag-ibig.

Mt. Pulag
Also, if you decide just to stand still, you either die of freezing (oh yes, hypothermia is so true in Pulag) or later fall into ravine. More lesson: Move on.

48. Oslob, Cebu. Because Butanding. It becomes unhealthy if clingy na rin. Parang pag-ibig.

Oslob Whale Shark
A long debate has sparked since 2011 when some purist environment advocate claim that domesticating these wildlife creatures imposes threat. Because it dulls the survival instincts of the whale sharks due to the dependency to the local fishermen feeding them.

49. Japanese Tunnel in Davao. There’s no point in hiding forever. Parang pag-ibig.

Japanese Tunnel in Davao
Hello to all prisoners of love out there. During the pre-war or as early as 1930’s, Davao was dubbed as the Little Tokyo in the Philippines due to economic ang political control of the Japanese. And more than a decade later, this part of the tunnel has been used by the Japanese as their hideout during the World War II. Rumors has it that this tunnel in Davao is connecting underground passageways to Samal Island and even to the foothill of Mount Apo.

50. Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue. One can hardly move on. Parang pag-ibig.

It is the longest and the most congested highway in the metropolis that puts the Philippines in the world map of countries with most challenging traffic. It stretches 23.8 kilometers. And along this road, marami na ring ipinaglaban. Parang pag-ibig.

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