6 Travel Destinations for Filipinos After COVID-19

3 August, 2020

Your 2020 vacation plans were put on indefinite hold due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic around the world. Countries have established their own travel bans from foreigners and tourists trying to contain the virus from spreading.

But for places who have managed to control the virus from further spreading, they have now reopened select cities for tourism to countries that have low to zero COVID-19 cases. 

While leisure travel is still not allowed for Filipinos, it won’t hurt to come up with a new vacation plan when everything settles down. Here are some places where Filipinos can travel to the soonest. 

1. Manila 

Photo courtesy of Mara Rivera via Unsplash

While the country’s economy recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, one way to help ourselves get back up is to support local tourism. Manila has loads of tourist destinations even locals can enjoy. Many of these tourist spots are greatly influenced by our colorful history which we can now appreciate more after everything we have been through. Here are some of the best destinations in the country’s capital. 

  • The Walled City of Intramuros - travel back in time to the old Philippines in Intramuros, Manila. The walled city of Manila shares a glimpse of how the country was under the Spanish regime. Intramuros is home to Fort Santiago, Manila Cathedral and the San Agustin Church. 
  • Go on a Food Trip in Binondo - If there’s one thing our country is famous for internationally, is that we’re home to many famous dishes even foreign tourists crave for. And what better way to go on a food trip than to be in a lively historical site in the city. Binondo, where Chinatown is is home to many authentic Chinese restaurants and budget-friendly streetside shops. The Binondo Church, which is an important symbol for Chinese Catholics in the country, can also be found here. 
  • Go Museum Hopping -  Manila is home to a handful of museums that highlight our rich history as well as showcase artwork from the masters and the up-and-coming artists. Among the famous museums include the National Museum of Fine Arts - home of the famous Spoliarium painted by Juan Luna,  Museum of Natural History, the Upside Down Museum, and the Dessert Museum.  

2. Boracay 

Photo courtesy of Deedee Geli via Unsplash

Back in June, the island of Boracay was reopened to the residents of the Western Visayas region as the island’s quarantine measures loosened. Western Visayans can now enjoy a walk on the famous white beach. 

Boracay is a good place to relax and unwind after staying at home for so long. Take a walk in the numerous Instagram-worthy islands or take a dip in the waters of Puka Beach, Crystal Cove Island, and Crocodile Island. You can also enjoy the breathtaking sunset from your hotel balcony. If you’re looking to visit Boracay anytime soon, consider going as a solo traveler to make the most of the activities available in the new normal. 

3. Palawan 

Photo courtesy of John Hernandez via Unsplash

Following the reopening of Boracay Island, the Department of Tourism is looking to open Palawan next to local tourists. Tourism is one of the top economic sectors on the island and has taken quite a hit amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Home to El Nido, Coron, Puerto Princesa, and many more,  Palawan is famous for its breathtaking natural beauty. Diving sites are all around the island  which makes it a perfect place for solo travelers.  

Palawan is rich in coral reefs, making it a hot spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. It’s also famous for its Underground River which became a UNESCO World Heritage site and was declared one of the 7 Wonders of Nature. 

4. Bali, Indonesia

Photo courtesy of Diego van Sommeren via Unsplash

Bali, Indonesia will reopen its doors to foreign arrivals on September 11, 2020, with strict health protocols to be followed by foreigners and locals alike. With tourism being the country’s number one source of income, their government is looking to revive its economic activity soon. 

Among the top destinations in Bali include the Pura Tanah Lot, which is one of the most famous temples on the island. The Sacred Monkey Forest is another famous location for animal lovers. You can also experience the Ubud culture and the Balinese art movement, made famous by the movie "Eat, Pray, Love" in Bali. 

5. Taiwan 

Photo Courtesy of Rovin Ferrer via Unsplash

Taiwan is one of the first countries that was able to contain COVID-19 with zero local transmissions in the last two months. It’s highly likely that Taiwan would be one of the first countries in Asia to reopen for tourism. With the country extending its visa-free entry for Filipinos until July 2021, Taiwan is one of the places Filipinos can travel to. 

As soon as COVID-19 ends, you can enjoy a peaceful day at the Sun Moon Lake and the Formosa Aboriginal Culture Village. Taiwan is also the host of many natural wonders like the Alishan Mountain Railway and the Taroko Gorge. You can also enjoy modern destinations in Taiwan like the Miramar Ferris Wheel and the Shilin Night Market. 

6. South Korea 

Photo courtesy of Yeo Khee via Unsplash

While South Korea only allows essential travels to their country, it won’t hurt to start planning a safe itinerary to their top tourist spots. 

South Korea is known for its modern and cultural destinations like the Changdeokgung Palace, the Seoul Tower, and Lotte World. South Korea also has historical neighborhoods where tourists can enjoy exploring the old culture of the country like the Bukchon Hanok Village and the Gwanghwamun Gate. 

Things may not go back to normal after the pandemic so it’s important for you to be aware of the changes in the countries you plan to visit in the next few months (or years). In planning your vacations, keep these things in mind: 

  1. Are you healthy enough to travel? Make sure that you’re in great shape before booking that plane ticket. Otherwise, put your plans on hold. 
  2. Know their health protocols. Understand that countries will prioritize the safety of their locals. If their protocols include having a negative test for COVID-19, then you should follow that protocol. 
  3. Know their minimum health standards. Health standards vary from country to country, it is your responsibility as a tourist to know their “new normal” protocols and follow them accordingly. 

A vacation sounds even more divine now especially after staying in your homes for a long time. But always remember that the health and well-being of everyone come first, so if it can wait, then you should wait a little longer. But if you’re ready, then it's time to pack your things for a fun-filled vacation!