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  • 5 Out-of-the-City Escapades for Couples

    Rekindle your love for one another with these undiscovered romantic getaways for Valentine month.
    by Matet Garcia-Reyes .
  • Escapade 3: Sumilon Island, Cebu
    Joei Gana, who keeps a blog at www.joeiandme.com, together with her boyfriend Timothy Teves went to Sumilon Island on their 4th year anniversary. "Because of the day-to-day stress we get from work, we tend to bring that sort of mood to our personal lives without meaning to. Once we stepped into the island, we felt all the negativities suddenly disappear. My favorite moment is waking up each morning to beautiful shades of blues and greens, giving me a certain calmness from within. Sumilon Island is definitely a place where you can relax with your partner and fall in love all over again", says Joei.

    Nestled at the southern tip of Cebu, Sumilon Island is a solitary haven that marries adventure and luxurious living.

    What to do:
    The island is a perfect place to lounge at the shifting sand bar, do some kayaking and snorkeling at the first marine protected area in the Philippines. It is also quite an experience to feed the fish, ride the glass-bottom boat, trek to the lighthouse and watchtower, have a bonfire dinner, and do some glamping (or glamorous camping).

    How to get there:
    Local carriers fly to Cebu daily. Upon arrival at the Mactan International Airport, a resort representative will take you to a 2.5-hour scenic drive down south of Cebu. Should you opt to be more adventurous and utilize public transportation, a Ceres bus at the South Terminal bound to Oslob is the best choice. Just tell the driver to drop you off at Bancogon port. A boat will be waiting for you at the Bancogon port and take you to a 10-minute ride to Sumilon Island.

    How much to shed:
    P10,000 per person, inclusive of overnight accommodation, breakfast, romantic dinner, island activities and boat transfers.

    Escapade 4: Siquijor and Apo Island
    Camille Butler of Coco Grove Beach Resort in Siquijor says that once you set foot on the mystical island of Siquijor, you will be bewitched by its turquoise blue waters, surreal marine sanctuary, swaying coconut trees and a plethora of colorful flowers, rather than be spooked by the myths associated with the island. Sunsets in Siquijor are simply enchanting. Different hues of yellow, orange, red and purple fill up the skies of the island.

    In fact, the island has now become a frequent venue for proposals, weddings, honeymoons and anniversaries. “We loved the place. The food was great. A moonlight serenade added to the romantic ambiance of the place. It was a perfect choice for my boyfriend (now fiancé) to pop the question to which, without any doubt, I said yes”, says lawyer Marian Barredo who is now enganged to John Divina after he proposed to her at Coco Grove Beach Resort.

    What to do:
    Arrange for a romantic candlelit dinner at a private cove, do Paraw sailing, snorkeling and scuba diving at one of the world’s best diving spots, Apo Island, where you can find 650 documented fish species and 400 coral species.

    How to get there:
    Daily flights are available from Manila to Dumaguete. From Dumaguete, board a ferry bound to Siquijor. For an Apo Island adventure, private boats are available at Malatapay Port in Dumaguete City.

    How much to shed:
    Room rates at Coco Grove Beach Resort start at P2,400. Private boats from Malatapay Port in Dumaguete City to Apo Island can be rented for P2,000 to P3,000.

    Escapade 5: Coron, El Nido and San Vicente, Palawan
    Palawan still tops the list of the most romantic destinations to celebrate the love month. The magnificent Malcapuya Island in Coron is my personal bet. The view is just perfect - limestone cliffs, secluded cove, fine white sand, marine life and hammocks. There are no fancy hotels or restaurants in the area, so if you’re the backpacker type and you love nature, this place is for you.
    Another emerging romantic spot in Palawan is the Long Beach in San Vicente. If you fell in love with Boracay’s 4 kilometers of white sand, San Vicente has 14 kilometers of fine white sand, the longest white beach in the Philippines! Couple Charisse Sanchez and Jonel James Aguiton of La Tiara Tours and Conventions describe Long Beach in two words - enchanting and untouched.

    Charisse and Jonel were also amazed by the wonders of El Nido. “Fun never ends in Palawan. This is the place to be if you want to celebrate love and be adventurous. You can do caving, diving, camping, snorkeling and share these wonderful moments with your loved one”, says Charisse. “When we are in El Nido, we feel as if we are newlyweds on a honeymoon!” she adds.

    What to do:
    Snorkel, dive, visit the caves, go camping and beach bumming.

    How to get there:
    For Coron, daily flights to Busuanga are available from local airlines. For San Vicente, book a flight to Puerto Princesa, then arrange for a van pick up to take you to San Vicente where the Long Beach is located. For El Nido, direct flights are available via Island Transvoyager Inc. and Seair. A more affordable alternative is to fly to Puerto Princesa and take a public van to El Nido.

    How much to shed:
    Tour packages usually starts at P 4,000 (excluding airfare).


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    Main photo from flickr creative commons

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