The word breathtaking is often abused and taken for granted. When I say something is breathtaking, it means that your jaw drops, you stop breathing for a second, and then you try to take in all the awesomeness that happens. Ok? Do we get that right?
In my years of traveling, I’ve seen beautiful places, interesting stuff, but only a few were breathtaking. With my definition of breathtaking as our baseline, here are the most breathtaking views I have (and anybody will ever have) seen in the Philippines.
No, the photos you see online aren’t photoshopped. The sand is really fine and white, the water is really clear (It’s like a big pool!), the sunset is really rich in colors (worthy of being printed out with Desiderata printed on it). Over and over again, you’d hear people raving and ranting about Boracay, and that just proves one thing: it’s still is the most frequented beach in the country, just because it’s the most beautiful one. ‘Nuff said.
Imagine a vast land as far as the eyes can see, filled with little hills shaped perfectly, like the God of the universe carefully formed and placed them alongside each other. Sorry for getting all poetic about it, but the Chocolate Hills in Bohol is just amazing that way. I personally think the they deserve to be called “Chocolate” not just because they look like Hershey’s Kisses, but because they give the same warm and fuzzy feeling you get from eating your favorite chocolate.
My breath was literally taken away multiple times during my three-day two-night stay in El Nido. Every time the boat would dock, breathtaking pure shores greeted me. And when it’s time for our boat to go to the next destination, I was entertained by breathtaking islands big and small. Unlike Boracay, it isn’t crowded with rows of restaurants and troops of tourists. El Nido is perfect for rest and relaxation that will let you catch your breath (ironically) in between hectic schedules. It is well worth your airline tickets!
Just like the Chocolate Hills, it’s the symmetry of this natural wonder that took my breath away. Perfect cone shape, and it stands out as a proud icon of Albay. You will appreciate it even more because no other mountain or formation is behind or in front of it, giving you an unobstructed view of its perfection. Just make sure that before you visit, you check for any warning against going there, as the volcano is as active as it is perfect.
Banaue Rice Terraces
Among all the places and views in this list, only this last place is man-made. In a way, its being man-made is what makes it breathtaking. Imagine a face of a large mountain carved by local Ifugaos to achieve an efficient and systematic water flow to enrich their rice fields. It is a feat to achieve, and definitely something that any Filipino can be proud of. In fact, it graced the now non-circulating P10-bill! See it in person and be amazed at the determination of the Ifugaos and at the beauty of the Banaue Rice Terraces.