A Great Summer Escape to Apo Reef

Stressed-out at work? Pressured by projects after projects? Tired of hectic schedules and deadlines. Need a break?

Jopa in his controversial summer pose 'I have nothing to wear"

Well, these are almost every office worker’s questions these days which I think the answer of which all boils down into a big “YES”. In the workaholic worlds of professionals or should we say disruptive office life of the digital millennials and techy baby boomers, who doesn’t need a break? Everybody does. Righty.

You know what I mean. In this beautiful country “The Philippines”, summer vacation is really a perfect escape from office nightmares and daydreams. I’m pretty sure you can closely relate on that. That routinely 9-5 thing, 1-hour lunch break, Monday meetings, urgent reports to submit to a demanding boss (apologies if you are), and who would not forget about that “bulls#@$%!” traffic in EDSA the whole week round, oh c’mon, forget about them for a few days. What’s the best remedy?

Go to Apo Reef!





Exactly! And this is the best action taken by my friend and college classmate John Paul (a.k.a. Jopa) and his friends this April 2018. They decided to escape out of their office cubes and feel the heat of summer into a place that is quite off grid.


Relax at Apo Reef
Alrighty. This post is about relaxation, rejuvenating, soul searching, unwinding, breathing fresh air, and that thing we call “going off grid” so I would not the best I can make you feel stressed while reading this. Just stare on the blue ocean, green vegetation, golden beaches, colorful boats, and “confidently beautiful” coral reefs to which the remote island is known for. Did I just a borrowed a phrase from an ex-Miss Universe contestant from the Philippines?! Anyway, imagine for a second you’re here.






How about that? Picture-perfect horizon views and magnificent aerial shots – what a great summer trip to remember for Jopa’s group!

While it is easy to Google Apo Reef on that computing device these days, photos taken from a unique perspective could be not. I mean, you can find a lot of photos and articles about a place over the internet but that feeling of the photographer and his or her subjects while taking those shots are certainly “un-Google-able”. That being said, being there in a place that offers freedom from stress is completely a treasure that is hard to search if you’ve pinned yourself down in the hustle and bustle of the city life. That feeling of being literally there, in Apo Reef, is something to be jealous about of those officemates of Jopa who decided not to go, indeed. (No offense guys if you are. Peace. Better go next time.)


About Apo Reef
But hey, alright, allow me to borrow these lines from Wikipedia. Just for everyone’s awareness of why Apo Reef is so special to the Filipinos and foreigners alike, here is the perfect Wiki for that:



“Apo Reef is a coral reef system in the Philippines situated on the western waters of Occidental Mindoro province in the Mindoro Strait. Encompassing 34 square kilometres (13 sq mi), it is by no means the world's second-largest contiguous coral reef system, but is the largest in the country. The reef and its surrounding waters are protected areas in the country administered as the Apo Reef Natural Park (ARNP). It is one of the best known and most popular dive sites in the country. It is listed in the tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage Sites.” Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apo_Reef

That alone is a great reason to escape out of the city stress and be here in Apo Reef Natural Park in Sablayan, Occidental, Mindoro.


Imagine you being one of these happy guys standing on top of a lighthouse in the remote Apo island. It’s the 360 degree view of the island and whoah, you’re there experiencing it.



And how about you experiencing the cold water in this bluish sea filled with corals and nemos to find. That surreal movie “Moana” is a reality here.



You’ll envy Jopa in this cool pose in the rocky part of the island. Touching those sharp rocks gently is far different from hitting that keyboard to compose an email. The strokes are completely of different feeling inside and out.



Riding the boat going to Apo Reef in the calm seas of Mindoro in a group to whom you can exchange jokes with, oh my, priceless experience. Did anyone use their smartphone’s compass here? Just a thought. 



As a parting statement, let me say something more about the beautiful paradise of The Philippines.


Why travel in the Philippines?
Travelers, both local and foreign, really find excitement and amazement in the many islands of the country. There is no question about it for the best word to describe them is – BEAUTIFUL. The thing is, the best places to relax and be stress-free is right in this country of the Filipinos. Fresh air? Don’t go elsewhere but only in the attractive, resources-rich, land of hospitable people, and budget-friendly places of the Philippines. Near or far, it just takes a little bit of planning and the rest is about friendly discussion of when to be there. Just like what Jopa and his officemates did, they go to the remote paradise of Apo Reef and feel it with their bare feet.




So why don’t you give it a try too? Just search “Apo Reef” and you’ll find posts that will exactly tell you how to be here.


Photo Credit
Now, it’s about time to give credit to the owners of the photos I shared here. In this groupie, with the monumental signage of Apo Reef at the background, I would like to express my thanks to everyone for making this blog post possible. Putting photos into words is something that I love to do. To Jopa and friends, thank you for sharing me your memorable pics in Apo Reef.




Related Posts:

Traveling to the Philippines is a One of a Kind Life Experience

Great Travel Tips to Boracay, Bohol, Palawan and the Whole Philippines You Many Not Want to Hear

Summer in the Philippines: Famous Beaches, Different Types of People and Spending for Fun

Lobo, Batangas – a Place of Wonder and Simplicity



About this Blog
This blog site is created with the primary goal of introducing Philippines in real positive and negative ways. Yes, negative way, in the sense that you will not be able to know what a country is if you would not explore the innermost characteristics of it - its people, culture, tradition, politics, society, etc. While many articles introduces the wonders and beauty of the Philippines, there is a lot as well that explains why there are something bad that needs to be changed in this country. The author, Noriel Panganiban (also the founder of www.knowriel.com), personally experienced and witnessed the reality of life of the Filipinos despite the fact that they are in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. This blog is the voice of who we really are as a nation, that if heard, people may start to do their part in making this nation great again.

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