Published: October 3, 2019 | Updated: September 23, 2020 | Posted by: Venus Zoleta | Lifestyle
This article was originally published on September 7, 2018 and was updated on October 2, 2019.
The ber months have finally arrived! That means malls will start playing Jose Mari Chan’s greatest hits, employees will start receiving their 13th month pay, and newscasts will start their holiday countdowns. Yes, the holiday cheers aren’t hard to miss. But along with the season comes a lot of stress, especially if you’re choosing among the top holiday destinations.
Baguio is on top of every Filipino’s list of holiday destinations. But in the past few years, the City of Pines has become too overcrowded—not to mention the worsening traffic situation—with the tourist season peaking from October to December.
So where should you go? Whether it’s for a family reunion, bonding with friends, or just a solo trip, here are the top local and international travel destinations to consider for your next holiday vacation.
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Want to avoid the hustle and bustle of Baguio but still want to enjoy a chilly weather? Head over to its laid-back yet equally charming neighbor: Sagada.
Sagada is the perfect holiday destination for the soul-searching solo traveler. It offers plenty of activities for anyone who wants to be one with nature. Explore the caves, rivers, and waterfalls. See the iconic hanging coffins. For thrill-seekers, go hiking in lush mountains and try rock climbing. And for coffee lovers, take a sip of Sagada’s homegrown organic coffee.
Of course, your Sagada trip won’t be complete without reveling in the stunning view of the sunrise at Kiltepan Peak. Just don’t forget to respect the culture and tradition of the locals by cleaning after yourself and not interrupting sacred rituals. If your time and budget permits, you may also want to take a side trip to Bontoc and Banaue.
The festive Christmas vibe starts early in Cebu. Huge lanterns, intricate decors, and sparkling lights adorn malls, shops, hotels, and other establishments all over the city as early as September. Beer and music enthusiasts can look forward to attending concerts and other events in Cebu like the Oktoberfest from September to November. And for foodies, time to experience Cebu’s famous authentic lechon!
During the ber months, adrenaline-pumping water activities in this small city become all the more exciting. It’s when the Cagayan de Oro River—the longest and biggest in the Philippines—comes to life. Whitewater rafting in this river is the most popular activity for tourists in CDO. You can also try river tubing, canoeing, and kayaking with your family and friends!
Siargao is the Philippines’ ultimate surfing destination, especially in the ber months when the waves are usually higher and more aggressive. What better way to quench your thirst for adventure than visiting the country’s new surfing capital?
The island is also becoming a popular alternative to Boracay, which has been closed for rehabilitation and was re-opened in October 2018. Siargao is reminiscent of Boracay’s former glory, with its secluded white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and vibrant nightlife. It also helps that Siargao is now more accessible through direct flights from Manila and Cebu.
If the South has Siargao, the North has Baler as its famed surf spot. Come ber months, the waves get as high as 9 feet, perfect for both noobs and pros. Beyond that, Baler has more to offer for nature lovers. It’s home to breathtaking waterfalls, rock formations, and coves.
The capital of Aurora also boasts a rich Hispanic heritage. On your Baler trip, make sure to visit Museo de Baler, Baler Church, and Doña Aurora Ancestral House for an unforgettable trip down memory lane.
A trip to Thailand is one of the best and cheapest ways to enjoy a unique Asian cultural experience. Visit its majestic temples, ride a tuk-tuk, sample a variety of street foods, shop ’til you drop at the Chatuchak Market—your travel itinerary will surely be packed with fun activities.
The best time to visit the Land of Smiles is during autumn, which is the end of summer and the start of the cool season. Particularly, September and October are the best months to go to the northern city of Chiang Mai, while November and December are great for exploring the capital Bangkok.
Thanks to Taiwan’s trial visa-free program, more Filipinos can now get the chance to visit the country. Don’t let that rare opportunity pass up, as you have only until July 31, 2020 to enter Taiwan without a visa. So many wonderful attractions in Taiwan are waiting to be explored. It’s also the best place to try Taiwanese dishes like xiao long bao (steamed soup dumplings) and stinky tofu.
A great travel destination during the ber months, Taiwan is best explored in autumn from September to November when it’s at its most beautiful and the weather is mild and pleasant with little to no rainfall. This is also an off-peak tourist season, which means the country isn’t as overcrowded.
South Korea is great to visit all year round. But if you want to take home postcard-worthy pictures of gorgeous red and orange autumn foliage, then time your visit between September and November. While Seoul is one of the top-of-mind holiday destinations for travelers, there’s another way for Filipinos to experience Korea without going through the trouble of getting a visa: Jeju Island. Its many natural wonders will leave you in awe.
Apart from travel hacks, choosing where to go is an important part of travel planning, as it affects your budget and travel experience. So plan your itinerary carefully! And no matter what you pick from these holiday destinations, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy quality time with yourself or with your loved ones. Explore new places and make new memories before the new year begins!