Tour the country's 7 must-visit places with our top volleyball stars

Jul 17, 2019

THE country's top volleyball players love to unwind and travel to beautiful vacation spots here in the Philippines whenever they have free time.

With a year-round schedule fighting for school pride in the UAAP and NCAA and playing for their respective club leagues in the Philippine Superliga or Premier Volleyball League, these Pinay Spikers only have a little time to relax and momentarily get away from the game.

That’s why whenever they get a chance to take a short break, they make the most out of it.

Spin.ph asked some of the top volleyball players in the country to name the top local destinations that they visit the most— and here are the seven favorites they've chosen.

top travel destinations for volleyball stars

Boracay

The new and improved Boracay, with its pristine white sand beaches, great food, and engaging nightlife, has regained its reputation as one of the top destinations in the country.

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Reigning UAAP MVP Sisi Rondina of the University of Santo Tomas has seen the environment-friendly improvements up close when she competed in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Boracay Open last May at the White House Beach Station One.

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“Malinis na ngayon sa Boracay, lalong gumanda,” says the four-time UAAP beach volleyball champ and MVP, who now plays for Petron in the PSL.

“Kagustuhan naman yan ng tao kung san sila pupunta. Pero kung ako lang ang pipili, Boracay pa lang yung napuntahan kong magandang beach resort sa ngayon.”

top travel destinations for volleyball stars

Siargao

Siargao is a paradise to adventurers who love to swim, surf, and explore. The tear-drop shaped island in Surigao Del Norte is perfect for Island-hopping, diving, and surfing with its clear blue waters and inviting tree-lined surroundings.

Nothing can be more perfect for relaxation than Siargao in Cignal HD Spiker superstar Rachel Anne Daquis' book.

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“Love at first sight ako sa Siargao," certified beach bum Daquis declares. "Laidback doon and hindi pa siya ganun ka-commercialized.”

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Marinerang Pilipina and Adamson University’s outside spiker Chiara Permentilla seconds the veteran's view, citing Siargao as her top-of-mind destination for when she wants to reconnect with herself.

“To unwind away from the city, naging safe haven ko na yung beach. I love the idea of sunsets by the shore,” says the Fil-Italian pro, who hails from Lipa, Batangas. “Whenever I’m stressed out the first thing that comes to my mind is to go to the beach. There’s something about the ocean that draws me back to it every time I want a break.”

top travel destinations for volleyball stars

Batanes

Batanes, an archipelago province in the Cagayan Valley region, is where nature-lovers with passion for eco-cultural and nature-tripping tours should go.

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The northernmost province in the country is famous for showcasing the Ivatan way of living, which is characterized by its people's oneness with nature.

This is why Pacific Town-Army and Cignal opposite hitter Jovelyn Gonzaga considers Batanes very much suited for soul-searching.

“Gusto ko kasi nature or beach, basta kakaiba sa paningin ko. Actually pinaka-latest na pinuntahan ko ang Batanes. Kung kailangan mong mag-soul-searching sobrang okay doon,” says Gonzaga, who, until recently, had been juggling double duties for the Lady Troopers and HD Spikers in the PVL and PSL, respectively.

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“Kakaiba rin ang atmosphere dun, parang nasa ibang bansa ka. Sobrang quiet, magkakaroon ka talaga ng peace of mind dun.”

The former national player says she'll keep returning to Batanes and maybe consider even settling down there. “Mas gusto ko roon. Parang kung anumang may mangyari sa akin parang gusto ko sa Batanes ako tatakbo or mag-stay. Gusto ko nga mag-settle down doon e.”

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Gonzaga's fellow national team member Mika Reyes has been raring to take her family to Batanes for a week-long vacation.

“Yun ang gusto ko na at least a week mag-spend ng time doon,” says the Petron star middle blocker. “They said kasi it’s very peaceful there. Breathtaking ang landscapes and very touristy and very provincial ang vibe.”

top travel destinations for volleyball stars

Palawan

Palawan rivals Boracay as the best beach destination to visit in the country. Its main draws are without a doubt the picturesque islands of El Nido and the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

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Motolite franchise player Myla Pablo has been frequenting Palawan of late because she can never get enough of what the province can offer. "The best talaga yung mga bakasyunan ng mga tao dun kasi napakaraming pwedeng mapuntahan," says Pablo, who loves to explore the awe-inspiring El Nido some more because of its irresistible charm.

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top travel destinations for volleyball stars

Batangas

Here's what many veteran travelers consider a Pinoy classic.

Of the many beaches that surround the province, San Juan, Batangas pride Alyssa Valdez naturally vouches for the ones located in her hometown. The Phenom is quite partial to popular Laiya, which is the most visited beach in Batangas.

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“Every time I go to the beach, nare-relax talaga ako," says the former Ateneo Lady Eagle. But besides Laiya, the national team star wants to experience exciting thrills in neighboring beaches around her home province.

“I would really love to explore Batangas dahil hindi ko pa napupuntahan lahat ng beaches dito, especially since Batangueña ako,” the Creamline Cool Smashers captain says.

top travel destinations for volleyball stars

Tagaytay

Alyssa also recommends neighboring Tagaytay City as an ideal place for chilling out. Its cool weather is perfect for heart-pumping strolls around Picnic Grove and mind-centering hikes in Taal Volcano, no matter how many times you've done both activities in the past. “Kung medyo mas chill talaga ang hinahanap ninyo, Tagaytay," the three-time PVL MVP says. "Pag gusto mo mas relax or mas malapit yun ang magandang puntahan.”

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top travel destinations for volleyball stars

Cebu

As Valdez proudly toots her hometown's horn, Rondina, who has considered Boracay as her top destination in the country, urges you to give her home turf, Cebu, a long look.

The first destination you should tick off your list, according to the high-flying 5-foot-6 spiker, should be Bantayan Island. Just like Boracay, Bantayan Island also features white sands and crystal clear waters. No wonder Rondina loved both beaches.

“Punta sila sa Cebu sa Bantayan Island basta sa mga end ng mga lugar,” said the pride of Compostela, Cebu.

Besides the beaches, a visit to Cebu will be incomplete without you making stops to check out Magellan’s Cross, Fort San Pedro, Basilica Del Santo Nino, and other historical places.

“Maraming makikita sa Cebu kung gusto nila na pumunta ng maraming isla and maka-discover ng magagandang beaches,” Rondina adds.

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