LA Asks: Where in the Philippines Have You Been to Recently?

Sometimes, traveling is what people terribly need these days—as long as we exercise caution.

Stuck within the walls of their homes for the past year, it is natural for the fortunate to feel overwhelmed. Returning to old pursuits, trying new ones, and maintaining a routine may no longer work the same way they used to.

Now with continuous vaccine rollouts, more people are now traveling—locally—while other countries have not opened to leisure travelers yet. From beautiful islands to structured parks and golf clubs, we speak with Venus Ngu and Alelee Andanar about their recent local trips.

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Alelee Andanar

Many of those who traveled locally went to their private vacation homes or in Andanar’s case, to the hometown of her husband, Martin. The family visited the Surfing Capital of the country, Siargao. With its coconut woodlands, azure waters, and breathtaking scenery, it is easy to fall in love with the island. This holds true especially for those daring to catch the spectacular, towering waves.

For all the wonders Siargao offers, Andanar reveals she can’t help but view their trip as bittersweet. “It’s sad to see many locals who lost their jobs because of the lockdowns but, on the other hand, you will see nature replenishing itself,” she explains. Much like in other islands, coral reefs started recovering over the quarantine from the heavy human activity.

While nature is healing, people are also practicing caution around. From social distancing to wearing masks even in strolling along the shores, she says it can be an uncomfortable experience. But she knows these are for the safety of fellow travelers, ultimately creating a secure environment for travel.

There may be discomfort unlike the vacations pre-pandemic but she is still able to find joy in it. “Not only are there so many hidden beaches, surfing, and nature spots, but there are also new restaurants and cool places popping up every time we visit,” she continues about Siargao. This makes her visits to the island charming and memorable every time.

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Venus Ngu

Helping the country’s tourism recover does not only mean having beach getaways. Sometimes, it can be visiting attractions in the metro. For Ngu, she and her family headed south to Puerto Azul Golf and Country Club in Ternate, Cavite.

When she heard it looks similar to the Pebbles Beach Golf in California, the golf enthusiast didn’t let go of the chance to see it—and she was amazed at the scenery.

“The morning ride from Makati to this place took us 1 hour and 20 minutes,” she recalls the experience. Taking Cavitex, the trip was smooth as there was not much traffic on a weekday.

Upon arriving, the blue skies and good weather allowed her to witness the immaculate green field of the golf destination. “This is my first time playing golf here,” she says, having been invited by touring pro-golfers and a junior player. “We played [for] two consecutive days here.”

The 18-hole golf course has views of the mountains, streams, and rivers. The signature holes 17 and 18 are near the ocean, creating serene views while the members play. “It is quite a long course and a bit challenging for me but the fairways’ view is just magnificent!” Ngu exclaims.

Aside from playing at the course, members can take breaks at the restaurants and tee houses or rest and lounge in the gigantic swimming pool and the massage rooms. Other parts of the country club are still under rehabilitation golfers can play as much as they want.

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