Yuletide ‘starts’ early even during the pandemic.
“Christmas in our Hearts” began playing in the Philippines this September 2020. Indeed, Christmas carols fill the air as the “ber” months begin in the country. However, composer Jose Mari Chan tweaked the lyrics to stress the spirit of giving. Christmas this New Normal will be different.
Of course, most Filipinos would spend Christmas with the family at home. Many may recall past vacations in different destinations. But the coronavirus is still out there. Best to be safe at home.
Still, as tourism stakeholders have begun promoting local tourism, there will be those who flock to vacation destinations. We listed six great places in central and southern Philippines and want to ask you your preferences. If you have comments or other places in mind, please do tell us what you think below. Cheers!
Let us read what visitors have to say about the place.
“Descriptions of translucent sea and talcum white sand had me salivating for Christmas to come quickly. I was sold on the idea of relaxing on those beaches,” said blogger Monica, a travel writer and photographer from Texas in “Gorgeous Globe.” One might want to check out the whole article.
Ourawesomeplanet.com, on the other hand, shows why Christmas in Boracay is great for the family especially the kids.
Lovers and party animals, nevertheless, heed this. Commenters in tripadvisor.com.ph advise that one can’t get a better New Year’s Eve celebration in the Philippines than the one you get in Boracay.
Have you tasted what Anthony Bourdain described as the world’s best roasted pig?
Cebu has many delights to offer. You can enjoy world class resorts in Mactan or explore the more adventurous hideaways in Bantayan and Malapascua. Or you can go uptown and swing on a zipline on top of two skyscrapers.
But on Christmas, don’t miss Cebu’s delicacy. The island’s roasted pig is known in the Philippines as “Lechon Cebu.” For many in the Philippines, the Noche Buena is not complete without the lechon. Lechon after all is the “best pork ever.”
A lot of new developments in the City of Love like the pulsating night life, the romantic ambiance of River Esplanade, or the wide bike lanes should make Christmas celebrations doubly fun.
One can also hop on a brief boat ride to the nearby Guimaras province and spend Christmas exploring the raw, un-manicured white beaches, islets, and caves.
Meanwhile, the Tanza public cemetery has become a Yuletide hub with its tombs and trees brightened with Christmas lights and the parol (lanterns), the Belen (three-dimensional art depiction of the nativity scene of Jesus Christ., and other decorations.
Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Oriental
From Bacolod City, the drive to Don Salvador Benedicto usually takes 45 minutes to an hour. One would not miss 1.7 kilometer stretch of pine trees lined up beside the road on top of the Negros Occidental mountains. There would not be the usual Christmas hustle, lights, and noise. But behold the lush, green mountain canopy. Breathe to clean, cool, and foggy air.
One can enjoy the view of Malatan-og Falls from Lantawan or the viewing deck. Or just trek through the trails. Aside from the falls, pass under the Maglahos River tunnel. One might even want to look closer at the rice terraces. This place of peace and quite would be great during the Christmas season.
Cagayan de Oro
Aside from the lighted giant Christmas tree at City Hall, the lights around the city, the lanterns, and parties, Cagayan de Oro offers something extra special for the Noche Buena — the Ham.
The city has three local hams: the Pine Ham, Oroham, and Slers. Take your pick. The hams are definitely better than the more commercial hams in our supermarkets. Only that, one still has to buy these specialties in Cagayan de Oro.
You want to experience Christmas in Davao away from the malls? Check out Mana Davao or Mana Casa de Artes y Antiguas, the Christmas attraction in Bajada. There is also the People’s Park and Rizal Park. Or one might want to view Davao’s skyline at Jack’s Ridge.
One may either love or hate it, but visitors, nevertheless, must consider buying the Durian as Christmas pasalubong. If one can’t stand the fruit, consider the Durian candy or Durian coffee. This is not as strong but still preserves the distinct Durian flavor.