It’s a well-worn maxim, but facing your fears really is the best way to get over them. This is especially true for travelers. There are so many places here in the country that offer a panoply of experiences. It would be a shame if you didn’t get to do them because you were afraid. Here’s a list of 10 travel phobias travelers might have along with places in the Philippines where they can be conquered.
It’s a common fear to have, it’s true. But if you’re looking to overcome it, the Philippines has a number of locations you can explore. Take a ride on Asia’s longest zipline, which is at the Dahilayan Adventure Park Zipzone in Bukidnon. It’s 840 meters long, and you can get a view of the mountains of Bukidnon as you zip down the line.
If you’re looking for a wide, open space to face this particular fear, you can’t go wrong with doing it at the La Paz Sand Dunes in Laoag, Ilocos Norte. At 85 square kilometers, it’s a vast expanse to confront. You’ll also be at an iconic location that’s part of Hollywood history. This was where parts of Oliver Stone’s “Born on the Fourth of July” was filmed.
There are a number of caves you can explore in the Philippines to confront this fear. If you don’t want to overwhelm yourself, go to the Callao Cave in Peñablanca, Cagayan. It’s not as constricting as other caves in the country, as its seven chambers have natural crevices that let in light. If you can handle Callao Cave, you can work your way through even more difficult caves.
Being an archipelago, you’ve got your pick of locations where you can face this fear. If you want to do so while firmly enveloped by a life jacket, why not go white water rafting in Cagayan de Oro? You get the assurance that someone is there to ensure your safety. There’s also the added bonus of not having to face the water alone.
The Philippines holds festivals year-round, so if you want to jump in a crowd you’re spoiled for choice. If you don’t want to head out too far from Manila, why not go to Angono, Rizal‘s Higantes Festival? It’s held every 23rd of November, and the 12-foot paper mache “higantes” will surely distract you from the fact that you’re on the midst of a crowd.
While it’s okay to have a healthy distrust of strangers, a complete fear of them cuts you off from so many other experiences. If you want to ease in to meeting strangers, try joining one of Carlos Celdran’s walking tours of Manila. You’ll be with a motley group of people, sometimes from other parts of the world. Not only will you learn to deal with strangers, you’ll learn about the history of Manila as well.
Batanes is famed for its beauty and its remoteness, so it’s the perfect place to face your fear of being alone. You can stare out at the Vayang Rolling Hills, and its majesty may just help you forget that you’re alone. You can also see the West Philippine Sea from here, which would help in keeping your attention.
Reptiles like the crocodile are fierce predators, so it’s understandable if you’re scared of them. If you’re looking to get over your fear of them without endangering your life, try doing it at the Davao Crocodile Park. The park has scheduled crocodile feeding sessions throughout the week, so you can face these predators in a controlled and safe environment.
With more than 30,000 kilometers of coastline, there’s plenty of ocean you can use to face your fear. One location you can choose is the Manjuyod Sandbar in Bais, Negros Oriental. It’s dubbed as the Maldives of the Philippines, and you can spend a night there in the middle of the ocean, staying in bungalows that rise above the sandbar and the water.
What better way to get over a fear of fish than by swimming with the majestic whale sharks of Donsol. They can grow up to 12 meters long, so you may just be overwhelmed by their grandeur and forget that you’re afraid of them.
With all these suggestions, hopefully you overcome your fears and open yourself up to a lot of other experiences in the future.
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