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Explore more of ph this summer

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By Johannes Chua

It is always summer. Though a lot of people will complain about the sweltering heat or the sweaty feeling, it can’t be help that ma­jority of Filipinos plan their entire year around summer.

FALLSCOVER – There is so much more to discover in the Philippines. Up north, Abra is opening up as an exciting destination. Drop by the Kaparkan Falls to beat the summer heat. (Estan Cabigas / MANILA BULLETIN)

FALLSCOVER – There is so much more to discover in the Philippines. Up north, Abra is opening up as an exciting destination. Drop by the Kaparkan Falls to beat the summer heat. (Estan Cabigas / MANILA BULLETIN)

Flights during the coming weeks were already pre-booked, some as far as a year ago. Outfits (or now popu­larly known as OOTDs) were already planned, color coordinating the upper and lower body clothing from day time to party night.

Bodies were also ‘planned’ for summer, making sure that the painful diet experienced from January to March will finally pay off with a beach-ready body in April.

If the beach-body is still not ready, there are apps with filters to ‘slim’ one down, making sure that one is IG-ready.

Before spending summer some­where far and away, why not consider the Philippines?

Yes, you have been to Boracay, to Baguio, to Tagaytay or to Davao. But have you considered Abra? Or Camiguin? Or Siargao?

Recent developments reported by the Department of Tourism showed optimistic growth in tourism arrivals.

Data also showed new developments now rising in previously unknown places.

When Boracay underwent a much-needed rehabilitation last year, people soon began exploring other destinations.

Soon, the beaches of La Union or Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte seemed like viable alternatives. Ditto with beaches in Bohol, or in Catand­uanes, or in Sarangani.

There is no reason why one can’t explore more of the Philippines. Aside from the availability of flights or ship­ping routes (for example, Romblon, anyone?), it is now more convenient to travel with online reviews, online bookings, and travel apps.

Each province already has an established tourism program that there is no dearth of information.

Even though the Philippines’ tourism slogan is still “#It’s More Fun In The Philippines” (with a refreshed look and its own font), a lot of LGUs (and sometimes with cooperation from the private sector) took the initiative to create their own tourism campaigns, for example, in Paoay (Paoay Ku­makaway!), Makati (Make it Makati!), Camiguin (#FeelCamiguin), Davao (Life is Here), Quezon City (QC Welcomes You), among others.

The tourism scenario going into the summer of 2019 is robust, reaching high occupancy rates for hotels and resorts, and making the country competitive among our neighbors, tourism powerhouse Thailand or Singapore.

A lot of new resorts have also opened, some really luxurious ones such as in Palawan (e.g. Seda Lio in El Nido), in Cagayan de Oro, or in Aurora.

If one does not want to go outside Metro Manila, then tourism options are a lot.

New hotels are rising, especially down south in the Entertainment City near the airports.

Staycation is now an “in” thing and a nice hotel in Quezon City near a mall has revealed that it is already fully occupied for the whole month of April – and most guests are local residents.

So for this summer, make the Philippines a part of your travel itinerary. The country promises not only a memorable vacation experience but an endless sunshine to make your summer one of the best seasons of life. Indeed, summer is more fun in the Philippines.

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