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Pristine islands to rock your summer

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Pristine islands to rock your summer

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Summer’s underway and if you’re still planning that ultimate escapade, these two island getaways will surely serve as great additions to your travel bucket list.

Burias Island, Masbate

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If you want some downtime away from the noisy crowd, go off the beaten path to Burias Island—one of the three major islands in Masbate province.

The unspoiled turquiose waters and scenic rock formations of the islands are surely worth the long 10-hour trip.

An island hopping tour will take you to the beautiful islands of Burias, which are distinct from each other.

The island of Animasola features streamlined rock formations reminiscent of the more popular Kapurpurawan in Ilocos Norte, while the clear waters surrounding it makes it ideal for snorkeling after basking in the stunning rock formations.

Another natural wonder that tourists love are the sandbars—and Masbate boasts of one on Tinalisayan Island. You can walk up the island to enjoy a panoramic view of the sea.

For adrenaline junkies, the islands of Dapa and Templo are perfect for cliff diving.

Accommodation is available on Sombrero Island, which is named such because of its hat-like shape. You can either book a cottage with toilet and bath for around P3,000 or pitch a tent by the shore, go stargazing at night, and watch the sun rise in the morning.

To get there: From Manila, take a bus in Cubao, Pasay or Alabang to Naga. Get off at Naga Terminal and ride a jeepney to Pasacao Port, where you can rent a boat to San Pascual on Burias Island. You can also get to Burias Island from San Andres, Quezon province via bus or a private van and from there, just rent a boat to get to the island.

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Oslob-Moalboal, Cebu

Cebu is a top local destination, accounting for about a fifth of the total visitor arrivals to the Philippines by airport in February. For an extended weekend, head to the southern part of the province and be in awe of its beauty, from white-sand beaches to a magical waterfalls, heritage sites and diving spots teeming with rich marine life.

Four hours from Cebu City is the town of Oslob, which has become popular because of the whale sharks frequenting its waters. Environmentalists and conservationists, however, have long opposed the practice of local fishermen feeding the whale sharks and luring them to areas where tourists can interact with these gentle giants as this disrupts their natural feeding behavior.

If you choose to skip swimming with the whale sharks, there are other points of interest around Oslob that will make your trip one to remember.

You can either go on a day trip to the nearby Sumilon Island, visit the enchanting Tumalog falls, or walk around the Oslob Heritage Park in the poblacion and inspect the town’s old structures.

From Oslob, take a three-hour bus trip to Moalboal, which boasts of several dive sites, among them, Pescador Island and Tuble Point. After a day of diving and snorkeling, grab some food and drinks and catch the picturesque sunset at Panagsama beach.

To get there: There are several flights daily to and from Cebu. From the airport, head to Cebu Southbound terminal and take the bus going to Oslob.

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