Ive been traveling all over the Philippines since the 90’s and and I must say that till now, there are still Philippine Gems that remains unexplored. It was also during that time when I started publishing LakbayPilipinas.com where I featured some of the road less traveled destinations in the Philippines.

Philippine Gems Coron Palawan
Coron is a small fishing town located on the southeast part of the Busuanga Island. The town is kept alive by the fishing and tourism industry and has been labeled as one of the world’s famous wrek diving destination.

More and more travelers are now publishing their journals trough blogs and Im glad some private companies are now also helping the country in promoting its tourist destinations like the Isla Lipana and Co.


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Philippine Gems: The search for Top 10 Philippine Tourist Destinations

With a goal of showcasing the country’s “good side” to the world, Isla Lipana and Co., the Philippine member firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers, has spearheaded the search for the country’s next mainstream tourist destinations. This tourism initiative also aims to help the government to achieve its target of having 10 million tourist arrivals by 2016.

Apulit Island in Taytay Palawan
Taytay is a highly popular wreck diving site in the northern coast of Palawan. It is also the location of Apulit Island Resort. Taytay also has several easily accessible historical landmarks.

The main goal of this project is to recognize the emerging Philippine tourist destinations through online voting.  Based on their criteria, Emerging destinations are those tourist attractions that has tourism potential but are not yet a popular choice for local and foreign tourists due to lack of awareness.

Salagdoong Beach in Siquijor
Siquijor is known for the infamous agimat and gayuma. In spite of this, Siquijor offers incredible sites and sights and is rapidly becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines.

This project is not just targeting an increase in tourist arrivals but also an increase in tourism related investment and development within the local community. They believe that when tourists start to come in, business investments would follow. Its somehow related to former tourism Sec. Richard Gordon’s popular statement – “Tourism Means Job”.

Lola Ida in Batanes
The Batanes group of islands is located at the northernmost tip of Philippine territory. It is known for its scenic waters and terrain and clean environment.

Isla Lipana started with a huge list of 175 Philippine tourist destinations which are gathered from its employees and online travel bloggers, before trimming it to 50 sites. After the final screening, a shortlist of 25 destinations was announced, from which online voters will choose the Top 10 “Philippine Gems.”

Apo Island Beach Resort by Ola Welin
Photo by Ola Welin – Apo Island is a small, pristine island surrounded by calm and clear waters. It is perfect for underwater activities such as snorkeling and diving; it has even been rated as one of the best dive sites in the world.

These 25 destinations include Apo Island; Apo Reef Natural Park; Batanes; Biri Island Rock Formation; Bucas Grande Island in Surigao del Norte; Busuanga and Coron in Palawan; Cagayan de Oro; Calaguas Islands in Camarines Norte; Camiguin; Camotes Islands in Cebu; Caramoan Islands; Danjuan Island in Negros Occidental; Donsol; Kapurpurawan Rock Formation in Ilocos Norte; and Lake Sebu. Also included on the list are Mount Pulag; Mount Kanlaon; Mount Pinatubo; Pagudpud Beach in Ilocos Norte; Panglao Island in Bohol; Sagada; Siargao Island; Siquijor Island; Taytay in Palawan; and Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park.

The Philippine Gems project was done in partnership with the Department of Tourism. Anyone can visit the website and cast their votes at www.philippinegems.com with a minimum of three destinations and up to maximum of ten to vote for. Philippine Gems Online voting will close on August 9, 2013.

Top 10 Philippine Gems via Melo Villareal
Top 10 Philippine Gems via Melo Villareal

While voting for your favorite Philippine Gems, a verification process is required. Before you submit your vote, you will be asked “How did you find out about the Philippine Gems”? Just please enter Melo Villareal then just hit OK to complete and validate your vote.

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