Valentines Day is around the corner. While studies have shown that the worst time, the most depressing period, for the heartbroken segment of our society is actually Christmas (ever wondered why “Pasko na Sinta Ko” is popular during Christmas?), we don’t really get to talk much about sad things during the season of joy. But heartbreaks and breakups are fair topics during Valentines. So, if you’re going through a rough patch this Valentines Day, if you’re heartbroken, or if you’ve long been single without much luck in the love department, here are the best places to go in the Philippines or things to do in the Philippines in order to heal that broken heart, all courtesy, of course, of our VisitPinas community (in instagram and facebook; we don’t imply that the folks featured here are heartbroken, they just have some cool photos).
1. Check-in at Camp Sawi
There’s this movie Camp Sawi. The real thing, a resort in Santa Fe Cebu called Camp Sawi, came first. We haven’t been there. Hani Li (@annlicool) apparently did go there, as we see in her photo above. The Filipino word “sawi” can mean “death,” but when it comes to relationships, “sawi” means being brokenhearted. We can only surmise that couples are not allowed in Camp Sawi, and anyone who wants to stay there must present a brokenhearted certificate from the National Bureau of Investigation or something.
2. Jump Off a Cliff
For crying out loud, we don’t mean jumping off a cliff to commit suicide. Do NOT do that. There’s so much beauty in life. Go out to some beautiful cliff jumping places in the Philippines (perhaps Ariel’s Point in Boracay or the Fortune Island in Batangas), take a deep breath, think about all the bad vibes, then shout as you leap forward. The exhilirating experience should purge all the dark clouds away. Scared to jump? Don’t think. Just do it! [Photo of cliffjumping in Fortune Island, Batangas, courtesy of @whataboutpao]
It need not be a cliff, really. Anything that has some sick vertical wall and enough water at the bottom would do. A cave perhaps? Try the Cabagnow Cave in Bohol, like the photo below, courtesy of Princess Alyssa Cabuhayan (@thelostnurse).
3. Go Emote at the Beach
This should be easy. With more than 7,100 islands, the Philippines has an endless list of gorgeous beaches to visit. Palawan, Boracay, Caramoan, Panglao, just to name a few. Go there on your lonesome, sit on that white sand near the water’s edge, then — and here’s the most important part — emote. Dig deep in your heart and soul, uproot all those negative emotions, then exhale as you look longingly at the distance. It works for many people. Besides, who knows if your next future-ex also happens to be there. You might just get lucky. Here’s a photo of Puting Buhangin Beach in Palawan by @irish_jean2]
4. Climb a Mountain, Solo
Go climb a mountain. Or, in the case of Hazel Sam (@docsammywanderer) in this photo, climb a tree on top of a mountain, like the awesome peaks of Benguet — you can always visit our top favorites, Mt. Pulag and Mt. Ulap.
Go to the summit then shout to your heart’s content. That’s what Angelica Panganiban’s character did in the movie “That Thing Called Tadhana” (well, strictly speaking, they didn’t climb to the summit; more like riding a jeepney). Pour out your emotions. Or, because the summit is above the clouds and closer to heaven, you can whisper a silent prayer. No, we don’t think heaven will accept prayers asking for karma to hit your ex, but you can always try (tell us if it works).
5. Book a Date with a Turtle
Turtles don’t hurt your feelings, we suppose. People seem to enjoy spending time with sea turtles, like charlynfaith (@peytfull) in the photo below (Apo Island), who proudly proclaimed that, “I got to spend the end of the year with this guy.” You lucky turtle.
We’re not really limiting this option to turtles. It’s more of spending time underwater. The Philippines has some of the best diving sites in the world. Scuba diving and freediving. Snorkeling, even. We hear diver-friends say that it’s so peaceful down there and the worries of the wretched land seem to fade away. For some minutes, at least. Look at these awesome shots.
6. Go Eat
The eating scene in the Philippines has never been better, drawing top chefs and culinary shows like the Madrid Fusión Manila. Food is like anesthesia to a broken heart, although some certainly don’t need a broken heart to gorge on food. Certain food triggers the release of dopamine, a feel-good chemical flooding the brain. It’s like addiction without tokhang. We’ve read that fruity favorites rich in dopamine-inducing components are apples, bananas and berries. Yes, strawberries. The Philippines has lots of those (we have more bananas, though). You can opt for the fresh strawberries of Sagada, paired with yoghurt, like in this photo by Jovic FerrerImages (@ferrerimages):
7. Hide in a Cave
Ostriches bury their heads in the sand when under pressure or confronted by predators. That, of course, is false (they do dig a hole on the ground for their eggs, giving the [mis]impression that they’re burying their heads), but it’s a good jump-off point for this entry in our Top 10. When nursing a heartache, perhaps it’s a good idea to go deep underground. It’s beautiful down there and because you’ll most likely use all your strength and mental power to avoiding slipping and staying alive, you’ll soon forget about your heartache. The Philippines has so much spelunking venues (click to see more venues), Batman would be at home here. There’s our favorite, the Sumaguing Cave of Sagada (also, the Callao Cave of Cagayan province). We were about to feature the Aglipay Caves in the town of Aglipay, Quirino (photo below courtesy of Pam Delos Santos, @iampamdls), then realized there’s another Quirino Cave also tagged #visitpinas.
8. Go Chase Waterfalls
What does the phrase “don’t go chasing waterfalls” mean? It’s from a TLC song, which goes: “Don’t go chasing waterfalls / Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to / I know that you’re gonna have it your way or nothing at all / But I think you’re moving too fast.” Some say it means do not take unnecessary risks (that’s a long drop to the bottom of a waterfall, so stay in your lake). Others say it’s more like stop wasting your time and effort on impossible endeavors (since a waterfall is constantly flowing at a rapid pace, it’s impossible to catch it). Tell us if there’s another meaning to that phrase.
There are loud, huge waterfalls in the Philippines (click here), but we’re thinking more of the little, quiet ones, like the Anghalo Falls in San Felipe, Zambales. Perfect for medidation, as shown in the photo above from @cs_jazz. If you get the meditation right, or if you slip off that rock, we bet our Valentines budget that you’re going to forget your ex.
And should you decide to still chase waterfalls despite our community’s expert love advice, well, good luck. Here’s what will happen to you, photo at Tinago Falls in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, courtesy of @pretty.lakwatsera:
9. Go Watch a Sunset
We’ve always wondered if a beautiful sunset — and Philippine sunsets are absolutely gorgeous — is still beautiful if no one is there to appreciate it. And if you used to be a couple, and you’re now alone watching a Philippine sunset, would it be half-beautiful? Yep, we’re trying our soft ass to be pseudo-intellectual right there, but we’re just getting you started in the suggested topics you’re supposed to debate in your mind, by your lonesome because you have no special someone beside you, as you watch a lovely sunset. For good measure, we suggest you strike a pose (you’re alone anyway, so why worry what others will say?), like this one by Noemi Ruth Hernandez (@doyounoemi) at the Apo Reef.
Nice, right? Right. We’re a little biased on this one because we love sunsets. Oh, darn, there pops the word love. So the love you shared with someone ended. Grieve if you must, but it’s going to be ok. Pretty much like a sunset. We’ve actually written about this. “The last moments of the sun, before the day ends, is bursting with color and beauty. Soon the sunlight will be no more. Darkness sets in. But we see no sadness in that. It’s beauty meant to be celebrated, lived to the fullest, fleshing out to what we say about sucking out all the marrow of life. It’s a source of hope that the sun will rise again, and day breaks with renewed vigor, and life begins. Every beginning is a step towards greater things.” It’s going to be alright, you’ll see. Here, watch a splendid Manila sunset, courtesy of Anton Labao (@can_ton).
What About the Last One?
What about the last one, you ask? There’s the problem, getting stuck with the question, what about the last one? He/She is done. It’s over. Time to move on, my friend.