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Chill places to visit in Visayas

by Gaby Agbulos

IF one were to talk about Visayas, the first place you’d think of is probably Boracay; its white, sandy beaches, the clear blue waves… and the thousands of tourists that swim in them. 

You may plan on going on a trip soon, and Visayas might not be your first bet given how popular it’s become a tourist destination. What you may not know, however, is that Visayas is more than just crowded beaches and sun tanning. 

It’s a place filled with endless activities to try and a deep, rich history to learn about.

If you’re looking for places to visit in Visayas that are a little more lowkey, here are some you can try checking out. 

  1. Sea of Clouds, Bohol

If you aren’t the type who prefers hiking up mountains instead of swimming at the beach, you can try the Sea of Clouds hike in Danao.

It’s recommended to come here as early as you can – sunrise is most optimal. 

This hike isn’t recommended if you have heart problems or are afraid of heights, and given that it’s started to rain more often recently, the trails might be more slippery than usual.

There’s also an entrance fee you need to pay to be able to go up the trail, but it’s worth it to see that gorgeous view of vast greenery, surrounded by white, pillowy clouds. 

As per The Valiant Life, even before you reach the top during this short hike, you’ll be able to see the rising sun peeking out through the clouds. At the top, you’ll see the rice terraces, feeling like you’re on top of the world as you take photos and take in the scene in front of you. 

Take note, though: this may not be for you if you’re a beginner hiker, much less if you haven’t tried hiking in the past at all. But if you have experience, or if it’s something you’re sure you can do, why not give it a try? 

  1. Taklong Island National Marine Reserve (TINMAR,) Guimaras

If you’re interested in marine life and want to learn more about Visayas’s vast marine biodiversity, maybe consider taking a tour of the Taklong Island National Marine Reserve, otherwise known as TINMAR.

This organization is focused on the conservation and protection of marine biodiversity and the sustainable use of the resources within the area. It’s filled with a plethora of different species of fish, mollusks, crustaceans, sea turtles, and more, with many considered to be extremely rare species.

Aside from participating in the boat tours, you can also try snorkeling and diving in Guimaras to see the marine life up close. 

During their visits, tourists have seen rare, extraordinary fish, such as Spadefishes and Titan Triggerfishes. Some have also described it to be “nature at its best,” as it is full of natural treasures and is extremely diverse in both its flora and fauna. 

  1. Casa Gorordo Museum, Cebu

Don’t want to go swimming at all, or just aren’t the outdoorsy type? No problem!

During your trip to Visayas, you can instead focus on the rich culture and history of the region. One place you can try visiting is the Casa Gorordo Museum in the Parian district of Cebu.

This house museum, named one of the National Historical Landmarks in the country, is a time capsule of Philippine history from the house alone, as it was built in the 1850s. Even as two revolutions have passed, it continues to stand strong. Even as renovations have been made, it continues to have that balay nga tisa form. 

“[The] Casa Gorordo Museum evokes the lifestyle of a family experiencing the transformation of the Philippines from a colonial to a modern society,” they write on their website.

“Within its walls and objects are stories from centuries past which we love to share with each visitor who comes to us. We tell these stories through innovative means to stimulate interaction, imagination, learning, and enjoyment.”

Aside from walking around the museum, you can participate in their events, learning sessions, and tours, wander around their branch of Bo’s Coffee, or buy some souvenirs from their shop.

Take note, though, that entrance to this museum isn’t free. You can check out their rates, which are posted on their Facebook page as well as their other social media pages.

  1. Kawa Hot Bath, Antique

If you happen to find yourself near the Kayak Inn in Antique, you might want to try the famous Kawa Hot Bath, where you can enjoy a steaming hot bath while surrounded by nature.

Melo Villareal of the Out of Town Blog explains that in the Kawa Hot Bath, they add herbs, leaves, and flowers to the water. They also light a fire under the tub, whose heat can range from 96 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

This bath helps to lower the stress and strain level of your body and even removes toxins given the warmth, as well as the added factor of the herbs and flowers floating around in the water.

Again, this doesn’t come for free, so be sure to check the rates for the amount of time you’ll be spending in the bath. 

  1. Taoist Temple, Cebu

If you want to focus on maintaining faith and peace during your vacation, consider visiting the large Cebu Taoist Temple, which Travel Cebu describes as a testament to the deep commitment of the area’s Chinese Filipino community toward the given faith.

Aside from coming here to meditate and get away from the deafening chaos of the metro, you can also learn about the philosophies of Taoism, as well as the history, culture, and depth of spirituality of the Cebuanos who practice this religion.

The temple also has a balcony overlooking the city, so after meditation, you can marvel at the beauty of the area. 

You can also look for the green dragons around the temple, which are a representation of protection and strength. 

In this temple, it’s important to take note of the different rules that they have, such as dressing modestly, maintaining silence, and entering barefoot. 

Be respectful of the rituals, even if you may be new to them or do not understand them.

The best part? Entrance is free!

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