Beaches in the Philippines Perfect for Social Distancing

The future of traveling is facing uncertainties brought on by the “new normal” or as aptly put: the "temporary abnormal", until a vaccine for Covid-19 is discovered. Until then, expect travel to become heavily reliant on precautionary measures such as social distancing. Crowded tourist destinations will—for the meantime—be out of our travel plans. This however, shall challenge travelers to be extra creative in exploring places. Great news though, beach-goers need not worry. Because in a country blessed with more than 7,000 islands, we have a lot of beach choices that meet the criteria for proper social distancin. Here are some of them.

Seco Island

Cibang Cove, Calayan Island

Calayan Island

With a population of a little over 16,000 people plus a handful of tourists at any given time, you can achieve a double dose of recreation and social distancing on this island speckled with picturesque nature spots. From hiking trails leading to waterfalls, hidden lagoons, rolling hills and the long powdery white sandy shore of Cibang Cove, there's several places on the island for you to escape into the island’s offering of solitude bliss.

Panampangan Island, Tawi-Tawi

Panampangan Island

This island with the longest sandbar in the Philippines extending to three kilometers, is hard to reach because of its secluded location. One needs to rent a speedboat from the island of Bongao in Tawi-Tawi for a two-hour sea journey before reaching Panampangan Island.  Safe to say, you won’t share the island to anyone. The only people you will see here are a few Badjao families whose stilt houses can be seen half a kilometer from the island. Other than the coconut trees and random shrubs, the island is devoid of permanent structures. It will be just you and the pure white sands and crystal-clear waters surrounding this island.

Discalarin Cove, Aurora

Discalarin Cove

A few clicks on the map up north from the surfing haven of Baler, one will come across an extended shoreline glistening with white sands and azure-colored waters. Far from the crowd and perfect for pitching a tent and sleeping under the stars at night, the beach of Discalarin Cove shields you from the hordes of travelers.

San Vicente, Palawan

San Vicente Palawan Marky Ramone Go

Social distancing or no social distancing, the best time to visit this place is NOW. Because who knows how long before the San Vicente tourism master plan transform this quiet beach into a Boracay-like tourism hub. With a shoreline stretching to 14 kilometers and a jump-off to another remote beach found in Port Barton, San Vicente beach is the ideal spot to count secluded strides.

Seco Island, Antique

Seco Island_Marky Ramone Go

The rough and three-hour sea journey to Seco Island is a difficult one to take even for hardened backpackers. But upon laying eyes on the place, everything becomes worthwhile. Shaped like an elbow, Seco Island is a Marine Protected Area thanks to a bounteous set of marine life flourishing around it. Be wary, social distancing with the fishes is almost impossible if you go snorkeling in the waters of Seco Island.

Alibijaban Island, Quezon

Alibijaban Island

Hard to pronounce but easy to love, Alibijaban Island is located on the southern tip of the Bondoc Peninsula in Quezon Province. Known for its rich set of coral reefs and mangrove forest, the island is also a home to just 1,643 residents—all of whom best typifies the simple island life. It is an island boasting of an expansive wilderness area, and a shoreline perfect for beach bumming without the crowd.

Danjugan Island, Negros Occidental

Marky Ramone Go in Danjugan Island

This 45-hectare island is a protected marine sanctuary and home to an incredible biodiversity. To date, there are a total recorded 10 bat species, 72 bird species, 22 butterfly species, 572 fish species and 244 coral species all flourishing inland and in the surrounding waters of Danjugan Islands. Man-made structures are limited as much as possible and the island only allows a few visitors per day—all done via online reservation—making it the ideal island to get closer to nature.

Palumbanes Islands, Catanduanes

Palumbanes Island_Catanduanes_Sophia Gianan

Palumbanes group of islands is composed of Parongpong, Tignob and Calabagio. All three are known for their postcard-like appearances—especially during summer—thanks to its green-contoured mountains, pure white sands and enveloping waters teeming with marine life. The sheltered vibe of these islands made it a popular shooting location of numerous "Survivor" reality series from different countries.

Kalanggaman Island, Leyte

Kalanggaman Island

Already a popular day-trip destination but if you come on weekdays, there’s a huge chance you will get the island to yourself. Pitch a tent–just like what we did–and watch the canopy of stars give way to a fiery sunrise the next morning. Cap it off with a long walk over its fine white sandbar. Take note of the strong undertow at the sandbar, so best advised to swim on the shallow part fronting the main body of the island.