12 Hot Spots in 2012


With the year 2012 quickly eating up our calendars and the summer just around the corner, I made a compilation of 12 hottest destinations in 2012 based on the search keywords that landed on my blog on the first 15 days of the year, thanks to Google Analytics 🙂

These are the places that most lakwatseros and lakwatseras out there are planning to see based on their searches.

1 Calaguas Islands

Remoteness and beauty that ignite curiosity

Topping the list is the pristine fine white sandy beach located  in the Calaguas Group of Islands in Camarines Norte. Once a secret destination, Mahabang Baybay of Tinaga Island is fast becoming a tourism hotspot due to its serenety and divine beauty. Prepare for a camping trip and bumpy boat ride and head on to see the real paradise that is Calaguas.

2 Palaui Island

An island full of mystery and enchantment

An island off the coast of the north easternmost town Sta. Ana in Cagayan Provice, Palaui beckons everyone with its  white sandy beaches, amazing rock formations, rich diversity of flora and fauna and hidden waterfalls. But what makes the island enchanting is the Farol de Cabo Engaño, an 18th century lighthouse built by the Spaniards that guides ships entering and leaving the coastal town. The so-called long lost sister of Batanes, Palaui Island’s fusion of rugged coastline and grassy terrain surrounded by howling waves are truly worth the long journey going there.

3 Anawangin

A secret no more

What used to be a mountaineers’ secret getaway after a climb is a now a famous camping site of tourists from all walks-of-life. A smaller version of Nagsasa Cove, it has a placid stream that flows directly to the roaring South China Sea, and a beach of ash and sand mixture dotted with Agoho trees. Anawangin can be reached via half an hour boat ride from Barangay Pundaquit or San Miguel in San Antonio, Zambales or via a four to six hours trek of Mt. Pundaquit.

4 Caramoan

On the rise

Beyond Naga is the town of Caramoan, famed for white sand island beaches and limestone cliffs. The filming of various international franchises of Survivor paved the way for its international exposure,thus making it one of the most sought after destination not only for local tourists.

5 Nagsasa

Double the beauty, double the fun!

The rise of Anawangin Cove in the western area of Zambales paved the way for other coves in the area to be known too, including Nagsasa Cove. Farther, twice as big and more appealing than Anawangin, Nagsasa Cove is one of the best places near Metro Manila for a weekend camping trip. The beach of ash and sand mixture, beautiful landscape, Agoho trees, and the calm stream merging with the roaring water of the South China Sea are what make Nagsasa Cove a truly breathtaking destination.

6 Callao Cave

Callao Cave
A dramatic cave

The seven chamber Callao Cave in Peñablanca, Cagayan is perhaps the most famous cave in the country. Its main attraction is The Chapel, a chamber turned into a cathedral by the locals. The place draws a dramatic picture as the skylight illuminates the hall through its opening.

7 Capones Island

Old and beautiful!

The bone shaped island of Capones, off the coast of Barangay Pundakit in San Antonio, Zambales is home to one of the oldest lighthouses in the country – the Faro de Punta Capones, one of the lighthouses originally built by the Spaniards. Aside from this old heritage, the island boasts of its white sand beaches conducive for overnight camping, day picnic and swimming; turquoise water; and rich marine life that is great for diving and snorkeling.

8 Kalanggaman Island

So beautiful, so tempting!

A popular dive site of operators from Malapascua, Kalanggaman is an island blessed with long stretches of white sandbar on both ends. It is a fast rising tourist destination of the town of Palompon in the province of Leyte.  From afar, the two white sandbars on both ends shine like a pearl as the sunlight touches the island – so beautiful, so tempting. The clear turquoise water surrounding the island is so inviting, that you will want to quickly get off your boat to experience the paradise that is Kalanggaman.

9 Pagudpud

Pristine north


Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte on the northern shore of the main island of Luzon is an ideal place if you love the beach minus the crowd. Its white sand, pristine beaches and crystal blue waters are the reasons for tagging this place as “Boracay” of the north. It is said to have the longest contiguous white sand with mighty waves and strong winds in the Philippines, making it another haven for surfers. Pagudpud’s other attractions include the Kabigan Waterfalls, Patapat Viaduct, Blue Lagoon, the windmills of Bangui, the Kapurpurawan Rock Formations and the old Lighthouse in the neighboring town of Burgos.

10 Tagaytay/Caleruega

Timeless charm

Tagaytay’s, with its temperate weather, fresh air, astonishing landscape, beautiful scenery and great food, is still a favorite destination for tourists. Just few hours drive from Manila, Tagaytay has been evolving constantly to be one of the best cities in the Philippines without sacrificing nature and its scenery. Set in the backdrop of the world’s smallest active volcano and just stone throw away from Caleruega Chapel of Nasugbu, Tagaytay’s timeless charm continues to draw crowd.

11 Camotes Islands

A group of islands composed of four towns of Cebu (Poro, Tudela, Pilar and San Francisco), geographically located east of the province mainland and two hours by boat from Danao is a piece of paradise… Of beautiful white sand beaches, great underwater treasures, amazing caves and lake, rich culture and history and lovely people – Camotes Islands!

12 Cagbalete Island

An adventurer's treat

Cagbalete is one of the jewels of the Quezon Province. Located in the Lamon Bay fronting the Pacific Ocean, it is surrounded by white sand that are significantly exposed during low tide. Home to a diverse ecosystem, with variety of birds, rich marine life, and the abundance of unique species of plants, the island is a complete paradise for adventurers and nature lovers.


  1. Jewel Rose

    Hi, I am a tour coordinator and a native of Caramoan. I arrange all kinds of tours and give you the rate from the most expensive to the most conservative. I also send guest to travel agencies and tour operators that you may want to work for your needed tour. If you are interested, you may contact me @ 09106534561. My husband who happened to be an american and traveled all over the world always wants the best tour and I’ll give it to you.

  2. Hi and good day to all.

    If you are planning for an outing with your barkada or officemates, we can help you. You can check our affordable tour packages on our website at http://www.leisure28tours.com.ph/ for more info.

    Thanks and God bless!

  3. Jim

    So sad… that we only like to go to those well known places, little that we know we missed other equally or even more exiting and beautiful places here in our country. I wish and hope that with this kind of site on the net will somehow encourage others to try those other places… a LOT out there just waiting for us to discover, experience and enjoy!… just visit sites like this for a starter and plan your way through to have your great and unforgettable vacation all year round in this country of ours the Philippines.

  4. Dhu

    I always visit this site. very informative & inspiring for a lakwatsera like me 🙂

  5. Phoebe

    Great compilation! Thanks Angel! 😀

  6. jfrancisco19

    ganda ng site nyo

  7. jfrancisco19

    ganda po ng site nyo, very helpful talaga.. lalo na sa aming mag aswa na gusto mag outdoor…..

    1. Thanks sir! Keep on traveling 🙂

  8. coo

    I have been to calaguas, anawangin, nagsasa, capones…..the experience……No words can explain….I prefer Calaguas…the best!!!!!….Planning a seocnd trip to Calaguas

  9. I want to be there too. esp. the 1 – 3 place. whoo!! great list for escapade with family and friends!

    1. Make it happen mitch 🙂

      1. yho

        i heared a story before that Anawangun is haunted…. but truly truly,,,, love the 10 spots

  10. cielo

    thanks for advertising our own Kalanggaman Island… hoping for more tourists this year!

    1. No problem cielo! My mom is from Palompon too 🙂

      1. cielo

        really? whats her name? who knows i might know her… hehehhe

  11. this is a cool list!

    sarap puntahan lahat ito dis year!

    i’ll start with calaguas this march.. 🙂

    sayang ung calaguas last Jan 1-6.. grabe ulan sa Cam Norte.. ndi nagbyahe ang mga bangka.. 🙁

    1. Wow! Calaguas will be a good, hmm not good, but a great start! Keep exploring!

  12. gusto ko sumidetrip sa Nagsasa kapag may chance nako to climb Mt. Cinco Picos and Mt. Balingkilat…

    1. Sama ako sa climb 🙂

  13. Awesome compilation Angel! Oh… I’ve never been to Calaguas, Palaui, Caramoan, Kalanggaman Island, and Cagbalete… hopefully soon mapuntahan ko din yan… specially Calaguas… 🙂

    1. Thanks Mervz! Naku for sure matatapos mo itong mga ito this year, parang every week may lakad ka eh 🙂

  14. tatlo na lang ang di ko napupuntahan sa list mo gel. sana makapunta kaming kalanggaman island sa holyweek plus camotes na rin.

    nga pala gel, mas malapit ang malapascua sa kalanggaman diba? iniisip ko kung sa malapascua na lang kami magrerent ng boat or bantayan tapos skip na lang namin ang malapascua at mag-camotes island na lang kami tutal nakapagmalapascua na last year.

    1. Mas malapit ang Kalanggaman sa Malapascua, pag Bantayan kasi iikot pa pataas (pa-Malapascua) ang bangka baka mas mapamahal kayo 🙂
      Mag-Camotes kayo, maganda din dun sa Camotes 🙂 When ulit ang punta nyo?

      1. jen

        sa holyweek gel. sama ka?

  15. wow, sa isang pasada pwede agad yung tatlo sa zambales!

    1. 3-in-1 yes! Hehe! Are you joining Ivan Lakwatsero?

  16. paL0s

    i hope you could invite other people to join you guys. i wish to see palaui and calaguas.
    and maybe you want to go on hiking in pulag, i’m totally in.

    1. Sure sure! I am planning to have an open invitation trip 🙂

      1. paL0s

        let me know of a picturesque spot in Aparri and Claveria. i will have my version of lakbay norte.

  17. Sikat ka sa beaches! 🙁 Walang Sagada – kasi sa ibang site napupunta yung mga yun. haha

    1. Haha! Yun na! Go Visit Sagada! Wait, palalakasin ko Sagada search sa blog ko 😛

  18. dami ko pa di napuntahan dito…. sna maubos ko ngayon taon na ito ang lahat ng asa list u hehheh =)

    1. One at a time Marie, just do not stop traveling 🙂

  19. 4 out of 12. Palaui and Caramoan – next destinations. Great list by the way.

    1. Thanks Mach! Enjoy Palaui and Caramoan 🙂

  20. pito dito ang plano kong puntahan this year.. yeeha.

    1. Haha! Everyweek talaga may lakad ka ha! Kaso yung mga invites mo naman di ako avail like yung Anawangin this weekend 🙁

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