All The Philippine Spots The Miss Universe Candidates Visited
We just wrapped up the Miss Universe 2016 coronation in Manila yesterday. For my pageant-obsessed countrymen, hosting the event in the Philippines was more than just a beauty pageant; it was a blockbuster of Superbowl proportions.
As the buzz centers on the winner, Miss France, and the candidates are flying back to their respective countries this week, let’s take a look back at the tourist spots the 86 candidates visited while they were in the Philippines.
What they did: swimsuit photo shoot, dragon boat festival, and weaving activities with the locals
What you can do: If it’s your first time, book an accommodation near station 2 to be in the thick of things. Go fly-fishing, snorkeling, banana boating, and island hopping. Go on a food trip at classic joints like Jonah’s Fruit Shakes, True Food, and Real Coffee. Shop at D’Mall and Talipapa Market for good deals. If you’ve been to Boracay several times and would like to try something different, book a room away from the main stations, like Shangri-La Resort & Spa and Kama Beach Club. Try alternative activities like ATV tours, zorb riding, and mermaid lessons.
2. Ilocos Sur
What they did: terno fashion show in Vigan and a trip to Baluarte Zoo
What you can do: Walk and pose like a model, seriously! There are picturesque cobblestone streets in Vigan where you can selfie and Instagram all you want. While you’re in Ilocos Sur, you may as well visit the numerous churches and museums around the city. For sand surfing and the famous windmills, ride a bus or rented car to Ilocos Norte.
What they did: attended the Governor’s Ball at SMX Convention Center, shopped and relaxed at Mall of Asia, visited the Philippine Navy, and partied at Okada Manila
What you can do: If it’s your first time in Manila, start with Bambike Tours, Carlos Celdran’s Walk This Way or Ivan Man Dy’s Old Manila Walks for a crash course in Philippine culture. Dine and shop at Mall of Asia and its neighboring casino-hotels. Flex your bargaining skills in Greenhills or if you dare, Divisoria (with a Filipino buddy in tow). For bars and clubs, try Malate, Greenbelt, BGC, and Makati’s Burgos Street.
What they did: island hopping in Siargao and preliminary swimsuit competition in JPark Island Resort
What you can do: Swim and scuba diva at Mactan’s beaches and resorts. Visit the different churches and religious structures. Go to Oslob to watch (not touch) the sharks and visit the falls. Spend your last sunset in Cebu by going to Tops Lookout for a summit view of the city.
What they did: visited Panagbenga park, planted trees, picked strawberries, played golf, and dined at Baguio Country Club
What you can do: For newbies, visit Mines View park, Burham Park, Bencab Museum, Botanical Garden, and Camp John Hay. For food and shopping, stay away from SM Mall (which destroyed trees for the sake of infrastructure) and go to Session Road instead. If you’re adventurous, book a Mt. Pulag or Sagada hike.
What they did: fashion show and cultural experience in Eden Nature Park
What you can do: Visit Jack’s Ridge, Philippine Eagle Center, Malagos Garden Resort, and People’s Park. If you want to get wet, there’s Tagbaobo Falls and Samal Island. Don’t leave without sampling the durian and other native fruits.
What they did: sailed to Pico de Loro and photo shoot at the beach
What you can do: Batangas is huge and just a drive away from Manila. Here are some options to start with: climb Mt. Maculot or any of the nearby mountains, have lunch beside Villa Escudero’s man-made waterfalls, and check out Taal lake.