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These under-the-radar summer destinations should be part of your travel plans

Within the Philippines’ 7,641 islands, there’s always a new summer getaway to explore and discover.

It’s understandable why destinations like Boracay and El Nido are always on top of our mind whenever we think of our summer vacation plans—after all, the world already knows and continues to hype up their white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and otherworldly outdoor wonders.

However, the Philippines has definitely more to offer when it comes to summer getaways. Hidden gems and treasures await within our 7,641 islands, known only by those who live in those locales or adventurous spirits who love exploring every inconspicuous corner of the archipelago.

If you want to shake things up and discover new destinations for the summer, check out our list of under-the-radar spots across the country:


In the 80s, Sicogon Island was known to be the playground of the rich and famous. The 1974 film “Ang Pinakamagandang Hayop Sa Balat ng Lupa” starring Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz was shot in this picturesque location.

While Sicogon Island was known as the playground of the rich and famous back in the 80s, it positions itself today as a relaxing getaway spot with its pristine waters, quaint resorts, and serene atmosphere. Partnering with Turista PH, the island recently held its first Environmental Week, holding activities such as beach clean-ups and a lagoon trail launch.

To date, AirSwift Airlines is the only carrier that offers direct flights to Sicogon, which is just a stone’s throw away from Gigantes Islands—another noteworthy destination in Iloilo. Though the island is undergoing several developments, Sicogon remains a relatively quiet and low-key gem.

White Island, Camiguin

The island of Camiguin looms behind the uninhabited White Island, a sandbar that changes shape according to the tides.
Photo: Unsplash

Looking for a white sand beach without the buzz and fanfare? Granted, Boracay’s power-like sands are some of the best in the world, but White Island in Camiguin offers a similar experience, albeit a smaller, quieter, and inconspicuous one. Located over a kilometer away from the northern shore of Mambajao, White Island’s horseshoe shape changes with the tides.

From the sandbar, travelers can take gorgeous photos of Camiguin’s peaks: Hibok-Hibok Volcano and Mt. Vulcan.

Sipalay, Negros Occidental

Tinagong Dagat in Sipalay encloses jade-colored waters with lush and verdant hills.
Photo: Unsplash

At the southern region of Negros Occidental lies the mining city of Sipalay. With several pristine beaches, diving spots, and resort developments, the coastal city has been dubbed by many as the “New Boracay” of Negros.

Kalamggaman Island, Leyte

Kalanggaman Island takes its name from “langgam,” which translates to “bird” in Bisaya.
Photo: Unsplash

This bird-shaped island in Leyte (hence, its name) is an elongated sandbar dotted by palm trees and surrounded by vibrant blue waters. While the sandy expanse and ocean views make for gorgeous photos, the depths offer picturesque sights as well. Around the area are several diving spots that give you access to vivid and colorful coral reefs teeming with aquatic life.

Potipot Island, Zambales

The west side of Potipot Island is known for its sunsets.
Photo: Unsplash

If staying in a remote island for a day trip is your kind of getaway, Potipot Island in Zambales will satisfy your desires. Just ten minutes off the coast awaits a white sand beach, clear waters, and an island that you can easily tour in just under an hour. The sunsets are known to be quite alluring.

Balabac, Palawan

The municipality of Balabac, considered the westernmost point of the Philippines, boasts of pristine beaches and sandbars. Getting there, however, is a different story.
Photo: Unsplash

A quick visit to Balabac’s website immediately warns you that “this adventure is not for everyone.” After all, the trip entails hopping across Palawan’s most remote islands. However, if that’s the kind of exciting outdoor trip you’ve always wanted, then you’ve come to the right place. Besides, the gorgeous shores and waters that await you after you rough it out in nature? Priceless.

These are just some of the country’s hidden gems that await your discovery. Go off the beaten path and make your summer memorable with these destinations.