Condé Nast Traveler just named Philippines one of the Top 2013 Holiday Destinations.
Isn’t it time to do something about NAIA, with its collapsing ceilings, hideous bathrooms, and disgusting food choices?
Sayang naman now that Travel & Leisure, Lonely Planet, and Condé Nast Traveler all say 2013 is our year!
Anobah, who is in charge of NAIA??
Destinations to watch in 2013
For travellers willing to go the extra thousand miles for a deserted beach, the Philippines has around 7,000 of the most heavenly islands in the world. It’s still not the most obvious beach-holiday destination, but it soon will be.
It’s becoming particularly popular among serious divers, who come for the incredible underwater life, unspoilt coral gardens with rainbow-bright fish, green sea turtles and dugongs. In Bicol you can swim with the biggest fish in the world, the whale shark. While fish-fans of a different nature can go deep-sea fishing in one of the deepest trenches in the oceans, not far from the little-known island of Siargao.
The archipelago of Palawan ticks all the boxes: palm-fringed white-powder beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, natural lagoons for wild swimming on Miniloc Island – all of it protected by UNESCO. Its Bacuit Bay is something like Halong Bay in Vietnam, only without all the tourists – for the time being, at least. There are just a handful of resorts, which are tasteful and deliberately low-key. Two of the newest are Ariara Island
and El Nido Pangulasian Island, a private-island resort with palm-thatched villas, a spa, its own dive centre, and sea views to melt the heart.
Another super-stylish new opening is Dedon Island, on Siargao; it’s owned and designed by contemporary furniture brand Dedon.
And a perennial favourite is Amanpulo, yet another high-design private-island hotel on Pamalican Island.
Or sail around them all in style on Alila’s new boat, the Phinsi.
As the gateway to these private-island retreats, the Philippines capital of Manila is also having a moment. Among its new openings – another one in December 2012 – is the Fairmont Makati City.
Sorry, Maldives… We love you, but we’ve got a new flame.