1. Anda, Bohol—UNTOUCHED PARADISE
Famous for its Chocolate Hills, the iconic tarsier and colonial churches, Bohol is one of the country’s top tourist destinations. While most people flock to the popular beaches of Panglao, try taking a road trip up north to Anda Peninsula, located 99 kilometres from Tagbilaran Airport. The winding coastal road is scenic and peaceful. To the right you have deep blue waters dotted with colourful bancas, fishermen casting their nets, hopeful for a good catch. To the left, are quaint picturesque towns sandwiched between lime-green rice paddies and lush verdant hills. The drive alone is special. Quinale Beach is a long stretch of pure white sand that melds into clear blue waters.
Mostly known only to locals, it’s quiet and pristine. Not too far away are secluded coves and bays from which you can take a boat to go dolphin watching. Lamanoc Island offers a unique and spiritual experience. After a short stroll on bridges through a mangrove forest, a canoe will take you across to the mystical island. Lamanoc boasts several large caves, some of which are adorned with primitive art and ancient burial jars and coffins dating back to pre-colonial times. The Shaman’s Cave is still sacred to the locals, where once a year, the babaylan performs his ritual offerings. If you are looking for an off the beaten path experience, Anda is an excellent choice, with the right balance of tropical farniente (leisure) and magical discovery.