5 Romantic Places for Budget Adventurers
It’s that time of the year. Do you hear your wallets singing? Kidding! It’s February and the population of us millennials is divided on how to go about this month.
Unmistakably those who are in a relationship have that unspoken agreement to show their love to their partners. While those who are single or have yet to find their special someone is keen on having a blast with their single crew. Whether or not you believe in the commercial holiday that is Valentine's Day, February has created into the month of love.
When I was in high school, Valentine's Day was all about the gifts. The flashier, more expensive and greater number of gifts you receive said a lot about who you are. Well, to the mind of a pre-teen that said a lot.
A decade later, we've all grown a lot wiser. When you start to earn your own money and sustain yourself, spending money on things that don't bring value seems frivolous.
Of course, there's the delicate balance between splurging to show your affection and appreciation to your loved one (it depends on their love language) and still making sure your finances aren't crying.
While I don't speak for the general public on this as the reasoning behind this comes from my personality and the experiences that informed it, most millennials value experience over tangible items like the latest iPhone or the newest handbag from Prada.
For me, it's always about the experience. The novelty of a brand new gadget quickly fades away as it becomes used but memories of adventure stay for a lifetime and beyond if you immortalize your memories into something "tangible" like a photograph or a written story.
Then again, the question of spending still looms. Yes, we've still got to spend at least a little to get these experiences but there's always a way to work within your budget. With Valentine's Day coming around the corner and this year's Chinese New Year is in the same week, we're having a long weekend for the festivities.
Make sure you've got your leaves approved if you intend to spend more time exploring your next weekend getaway. If you're looking to have a great experience without spending so much money and time, it's the east coast of Mindanao. Let's get started!
Chill on the beach in Dahican
There's nothing more romantic than watching the sunset together either on the beach or in the line-up while waiting for the last waves of the day. Dahican, for me, will always be the most accessible and adventure-filled escapade that one could ever have. From options to extreme watersports to just lounging on the sand at the Surf Shack in Dahican Surf Resort, Dahican is the paradise that doesn't break your bank and watch.
You could either come here to chill, enjoy the view or for the adventurous couple, try a new activity together whether it's snorkeling, skimboarding, surfing or join a dolphin watching trip with accredited operators.
If you're wondering when's the best time to go, that totally depends on you. Surf season peaks up around November way up until March or April. June to September sees little to no waves. It can get totally flat but for this February, you're sure to see action on the shores as the surfers are busy catching waves this season.
A word of caution, if you can't swim and are afraid of the deep water, better to stay on the shore or go to another beach where you can enjoy snorkeling and simple wading. The other side of Dahican (where Bahia Resort is) is more gentle than the Pacific-facing Dahican.
Trek the Sleeping Dinosaur
If your company fancies trekking, Sleeping Dinosaur which is a quick ride from Dahican Beach is a perfect place to watch the sunrise or set as it overlooks the beautiful Pujada Bay.
Be sure to bring your own water and make sure to bring your trash as you trek back to the highway. If you're physically fit for long treks, you could actually make it to the edge of the Sleeping Dino trail and take a dip at the beach at the edge (if you manage to find the trail leading to it).
The Sleeping Dinosaur is a very photogenic location. Don't forget to bring your tripod or monopods with you! You'll be taking more time to take photos than walk, I'm sure of that.
Enjoy the cliffside views in Pusan Point
Davao Oriental is not short on romantic cliff views either. If you fancy going further out to avoid the crowds then head up towards the municipality of Caraga to catch the sunrise on the easternmost inland point of Mindanao.
If you have your own vehicle, you can opt to stay overnight in Dahican Beach and drive to Caraga early in the morning. It takes around almost two hours travel. It's an additional road trip that I'm sure adventurers would find refreshing. Great roads, an even greater view minus the crowds and traffic.
Dahican seems as the perfect base as there are plenty of choices for accommodation, just remember that the budget-friendly ones are almost always fully booked if it's a long weekend so make sure to book ahead.
Seek solitude and sunsets in Lianga
Looking for that secluded beach getaway? Say hello to Lianga in Surigao del Sur. If you're after great waves for learning or if you're looking for fewer crowds, Lianga has got it.
There's a river mouth break that helps beginners practice their surf basics and a nearby reef break that has a beautiful parola right in front of the lineup. Ride a wave at this spot and you'll see colorful corals right underneath as you glide towards the shallower portion of the reef.
Don't fancy surfing? That's sad but the good news is, from Lianga, you can rent a boat to take you to go island hopping in the Britannia Islands in San Agustin. The islands can be seen along the shores of the Gran Ola resort in Lianga. Accommodations here range from hammock style to honeymoon suites so, up to your budget and taste.
Live the island life in Siargao
I haven't watched the movie yet and I'm not adding to the hype about Siargao. Despite the recent developments that are starting to make General Luna and nearby areas of Siargao commercialized, Siargao is still a romantic paradise.
Whether you're with someone or in a relationship with the waves, Siargao will never fail to give you a good time. If you're not much of a party person and you're planning to enjoy world-class waves and food then Siargao is the place for you.
With a lot of choices for accommodation and food, Siargao can please even the timidest of adventurers. Go on motorbike adventures around the island from Magpupungko Tidal Pools to Pacifico up north.
Hire a boat and go island-hopping around the trio islands of Daku, Guyam and Naked Island. Not in the mood to get salty? Then hire a bike and go on a gastronomic adventure! The choices are endless and Siargao is sure to have something for you.
Don't forget to clean up after visiting every location. Respect the rules, respect the environment and most definitely the locals of the place. Let's be thankful for allowing them to share their own slice of paradise with us.