HOTSPOTS: 10 Best Kept Secret Islands in the Philippines

The Philippines is made up of 7,641 islands, so why crowd over to Boracay, Palawan, Cebu, and Bohol? Why frustrate yourself with the huge number of people gathering on the beach when you can enjoy a relaxing vacation to the following densely populated islands:

  1. Seco island, Antique

This small elbow-shaped island surrounded by clear waters is something that you shouldn’t miss. SecoIsland, which is a local term for ‘elbow’, is located 50 kilometers west of the island of Panay. Getting to this island is quite difficult though as one has to travel 4 to 5 hours and battle with gigantic waves to be able to set foot on this pristine island. There is actually nothing much to see in this flat island, but if you want to experience unbothered tranquility, then the white beach is all yours for the taking!

  1. Biri island, Northern Samar

Biriis one of the must-visit place in the island of Samar. Apart from being a typical laid back home to few locals, this island is known for its seven massive rock formations – Magasang, Bel-at, Magsapad, Caranas, Macadlaw, Puhunan, and Pinanahawan – that were duly sculpted by the rugged waves of the Pacific.It is believed that these were created about 18 – 24 million years ago during the underwater tectonic plate movements of the earth.


  1. Apo Island, Negros Oriental

Aside from roaming around Dumaguete City, what else can you do in Negros Oriental? Might as well try visiting the turtle sanctuary of Apo Island! This island located 30 kilometers from Dumaguete City and 30 minutes from Dauin. It is one of the top diving and snorkeling sites in the Philippines because of its community-protected marine life. Swim with different species of fish and turtles and enjoy the panoramic view of the island.


  1. Sambawan Island, Biliran

Sambawan Island is Biliran’s paradise for those who wanted to experience both white sand beaches and rich marine life. This semi-curved beach towered with gigantic rock formations will totally give you ig-worthy photos and memories to keep forever! Moreover, Sambawanisland is a favorite dive site to many scuba and freedivers because of the wealth of its marine life.

  1. Borobangcaso Islet, Masbate

For those who want to experience remotely an idyllic atmosphere of cerulean clear waters, then Borabangcaso islet. Aside from its white sands, one can also enjoy its amazing rock formations! Though small, this island is not frequented by many so you can always have the island for yourself.

  1. Bonbon Beach, Romblon

This iconic stretch of sandbar located three kilometers away from Poblacion, Romblon is one of the best of the island. The best part of this sandbar is that it’s actually connecting Romblon to a nearby island called Bang-og. This means, the island is accessible by foot during low tide!

  1. Panampangan Island, Tawi-tawi

If you can’t get enough with all the sandbars in the country, then probably it’s best to visit the longest of them all – Panampangan Island. Stretching for more than three kilometers, this island part of the Municipality of Sapa-sapa is surely the best. Located about 45 kilometers from Bongao, Panampanganis very rich in terms of marine life and powdery white sand. For safety purposes, make sure to coordinate with the Provincial Tourism Office of Tawi-tawi for tour guides and assistance.

  1. Samal Island, Davao

Aside from durian and Mt. Apo, Davao boasts of its beautiful and exotic Island Garden of Samal. Here you will find a great destination that would accommodate all your cravings for tranquility, adventure, and extreme challenge with nature. Literally, this is just a stone away from Davao City as it would only take 10 to 15 minutes travel to the island. Aside from beaches, this island is also a home to a great number of caves, waterfalls, and pearl farms.

  1. Great Santa Cruz Island, Zamboanga City

White beach? Too common. Have you seen a pink beach? Well, Sta. Cruz Island in Zamboanga City has become a favorite destination to many adventure seekers and beachbums because of its pink sand beach. It got its unique pinkish color from the red-organ pipe coral which were naturally crumbled by the waves. This then turn these corals into tiny red particles which are gradually mixed with the original white sand of the island causing its pink effect.

  1. Masasa, Batangas

Though not as pearly white as Boracay, Masasa Beach takes pride of its crystal clear and shallow water which is best for swimming and chilling by the beach. Its fish-shaped main island provides a perfect angle for photographers and travelers to get that perfectly captured, ig-worthy photos. Because of its close proximity to Manila, more and more guests now are actually visiting the site. Nonetheless, it remains pristine and beautiful; and hope that visitors can maintain the cleanliness and sanctity of the place.

See, there are more than 7,000 islands that Filipinos can still explore around the country. However, always make sure to follow the ‘Leave no Trace’ Principles or abide with the simple ‘CLAYGO’ reminders. No one should have the monopoly of these beautiful resources of ours, but always keep in mind to become good stewards of these creations; so as the future generations can still enjoy them.

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