Romantic, adj.—marked by the imaginative or emotional appeal of what is heroic, adventurous, remote, mysterious, or idealized. (Merriam-Webster)
It is the love month, and in keeping with the season, the Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ 4th Blog Carnival is about the most romantic places in the Philippines. From white sand beaches to high mountain peaks, these 15 entries take us into what travelers define as “romantic”—what they consider “adventurous, remote, mysterious, or idealized.”
Needless to say, emotions varied throughout the entries. Certainly, there were joys and celebrations, but there were regrets, too, as well as sadness and longing. The definition of romance, in this issue of PTB’s blog carnival, has been both validated and reinvented. Seen through the words and images of these 15 Filipino travelers, you will never look at these places the same way again.
(However, if you’re looking for ideas on where to take your special someone on a romantic date in Manila, consider the Manila Bay Sunset Cruise.)
Bittersweet permeates the tone of some entries, when the places they have been to were associated with happy times long gone. In Bantayan Island: Stamping Passage into Each Other’s Lives, Marky of Nomadic Experiences talked of going to the island where he had once meant to explore with a childhood sweetheart. Their plans had been waylaid and he ended up going alone. Though his memories of the place were replete with melancholy, he said in the end that he has learned to hope, and hope he will.
My post, Timeless Memories of El Nido, took me back to the white sand beaches of El Nido in Palawan where time stood still. That chapter in my life has been closed long ago, but El Nido will always have a special place in my heart.
Estan of Langyaw Travel’s heartfelt I want us to go back to Baguio is another bittersweet post of a lost love. In his brief entry, he entreats her to go back with him to the city in the highlands again, where the cold weather and the smell of pines meant romance and happier times.
Beyond regrets and longing, the bloggers’ most romantic places can be sources of joy and celebrations too. Claire of Lakwatsera de Primera fondly remembered her and her now-fiance’s climb to Mt. Guiting-Guiting. They trekked 20 hours, got (almost) dehydrated, and were totally exhausted. Yet, it was here in this grueling and trying condition that she found her most romantic moments.
In the third highest mountain in the Philippines, Angel of Lakwatsero found Love at 10,000 Feet as well. Indeed, it can be hard not to feel romantic with the sea of clouds below and the mountains all around you! Angel witnessed the marriage proposal of friends there, and Pulag became the perfect backdrop to two people’s celebration of life and love.
Ron and Monette of Fliptravels also found love in the mountains. In the small town of Sagada in the Mountain Province, they found out how it felt to “surrender to fate” and lose yourself in your loved one.
Some travelers, though, loved a place regardless of whether they had a partner or not. Jerik of Pinoy Boy Journals, for example, fell in love with Guimaras, the island which made him whole. He praised her beauty endlessly in It’s been one thousand four hundred sixty days, My Love, fondly remembering the days he spent with her.
The same passion ran through Edcel, too, of soloflightEd, when he went to Malapascua Island in Cebu. He saw her as deadly, A Silent Killer, as she slowly but surely insinuated herself into his system and he became hopelessly ensnared in her charm. There’s one thing he vows: that someday, when he finally finds his special someone, he will take her to Malapascua and share with her the beauty of the island which first took his fancy.
Mica of Senyorita can certainly relate with Edcel! She feels the same way about Bolinao, Pangasinan’s Romantic Paradise. From the waterfalls to its lighthouse and beaches, Bolinao is the perfect romantic getaway for Mica, a place for proposals and hugs and stolen kisses with a special someone.
Karlo of the 4AM Chronicles looks at Bacolod the same way too. In his 5 Reasons Why I Heart Bacolod, he tells of his fascination with this city in the Visayas. He doesn’t know exactly what keeps him going back there—is it the food? The low cost of living? The beautiful women?—but there is one thing he is sure about; he will always find himself in Bacolod.
The love affair of Journeying James with Batanes started with a love letter which led to a dream come true. Winning a SeaAir blogger contest, James finally found himself in the shores of Batanes, and he wasn’t disappointed to find her as beautiful as he thought she would be. “Ichaddaw ku imu” (I love you), he told her, and vowed to be back in her embrace again someday, never mind her rocky feel and salty taste!
Like James, Doi of Travelling Feet vows to go back to her most romantic place. In her Calle Crisologo: Fond Memories of You, she remembers her hurried encounter with this charming street in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. Although filled with regrets at the lack of time she spent there, Doi promises to let the town’s heritage engulf her the next time she comes back.
Bridgette of Pinay Wandergirl, in her entry the Most romantic place is the place where I’ve moved on, reflects on the similarities of love and traveling. Both can make one feel excited and sleepless, but as she said, “unlike travel, some love affairs do not always end well.” Heartbroken at the end of a love affair, she went back alone to Iloilo, and there she found her redemption. They might be over as a couple, but her love affair with traveling alone has just begun.
RV sees traveling and love go hand in hand too. In his Love, Sex, and Travel, he mentions examples of strangers falling in love at first sight. However, his post highlights the poems he wrote in Apo Island, creative works of art which drew forth images of a passionate love affair reduced to unopened letters and untold love stories.
Providing a comic relief to the understandably mushy entries for this month’s blog carnival, is Cedric of GalaPinoy’s heartfelt lament. Why, he asks, does Love Always Find This Insanely Good-Looking Traveler? In Bantayan Island, Cebu, he had a hard time fending off the attentions of a pedicab driver and a young boy, proving beyond doubt the difficulties one could have for being handsome!
These 15 entries are truly wonderful glimpses of how beautiful the Philippines could be. How about you? What is the most romantic place in the Philippines for you?