8 of the Most Underrated Philippine Cities You Should Visit at Least Once

Ready for the city adventure of a lifetime?
by | June 17, 2022

From pristine beaches and eclectic cuisine to decades-old buildings, there’s no denying that the Philippines is a wonder of its own. There are thousands and thousands of cities to unleash your inner wanderlust, but your sneakers can only travel for so long before you’re all drained. Traveling is fun, and having your own city adventures are even better. Don’t know where to start? Each one of these cities deserves a spot on your next travel. Read on and find out why.


Biñan (Laguna)


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Known for its delicious puto biñan, Biñan is a city that preserves its history despite the progressive waves of time. It’s home to the School of Rizal Site and Museum and Historic Alberto Mansion, which gives a glimpse into the life of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. You can also find Splash Island perfect for those wanting a relaxing swim after a long, exhausting work week. Biñan isn’t that far from Manila, so you’re always welcome to visit anytime.


Mati City (Davao Oriental)


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Adventure-seekers love the city of Mati for its panoramic cerulean coasts, rich marine biodiversity, and white shores like Dahican Beach. If you’re not a certified beach bum, though, going to Badas View Deck gives you a clear view of the entire city!


Dumaguete (Negros Oriental)


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Dumaguete is home to the colorful Buglasan Festival, a week-long celebration of food, culture, and trade fairs. Considered Negros Oriental’s largest city, weekend warriors flock to this beautiful city to taste the best seafood dishes or go scuba diving. Some of the must-visit destinations here are the Siliman Beach, Atlantis Dive Resorts, and the Fish Unlimited Beach & Dive Resort.


Valencia (Bukidnon)


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Rolling hills and lush forests surround the fertile lands of Valencia City in Bukidnon, so going on an outdoor adventure is very fitting. Mount Kitanglad Range National Park, Laligan Falls, and Pulangi River, to name a few, perfectly defines what it feels like to live a serene rural lifestyle⁠. 


Cagayan de Oro (Misamis Oriental)



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Whether you’re a proud Kagay-anon or just a simple tourist, it’s not that hard to be charmed by the beauty of Cagayan de Oro. Despite its prosperity, you can always feel the warmth, respect, and friendliness of locals everywhere you go. Cagayan de Oro also has a wide array of transportation options to explore nearby cities, earning the nickname “The Gateway to Southern Philippines.” 


Digos (Davao del Sur)


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Dubbed as the “Mango Capital of the Philippines,” Digos is like a gateway to countless adventures. Hikers will love the thrill of climbing Mount Apo while white water tubing awaits adrenaline junkies at Sibulan River. Want to go on a stroll in a man-made islet? Go to Passig Islet and take photos of the glorious sunset. 


Zamboanga (Zamboanga del Sur)


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There’s more to Zamboanga than producing delicious sardines or multicolored vintas. The influence of Spaniards to this day veils Zamboanga, as evidenced by the preservation of Fort Pilar and the Chabacano language. Of course, no trip to this city is complete without visiting some of the most stunning waterfalls you’ll see like Tagbilat Falls and Nancy Falls.


Santo Tomas (Batangas)


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Santo Tomas is considered one of the oldest towns abundant in beautiful destinations and very accessible from Manila. If you’re a hiking enthusiast, Mount Makiling and Mount Manabu are pleading for a visit. Imagine pitching a tent while surrounded by a sea of clouds and dense grasslands — just breathtaking!


This article was republished with permission from 8List.ph.

Edgardo loves to write. When he's not busy staring at a blank document, you can find him drawing illustrations or eating fried chicken.

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