"We do not have snow in the Philippines but we have our own way of experiencing a White Christmas..."

White Christmas is every Filipino's dream to experience. Snow-capped mountains, wearing layers of winter clothes and skiing are probably topping their wishlist. By reason of being a tropical country that is detached from mainland Asia, the Philippines is an archipelago often visited by typhoons rather than snow storms. However, the Philippines has its own version of "White Christmas." The basic requirement of a freezing-cold weather and a white landscape can also be experienced in the Philippines, hence, a tropical white Christmas that I wish Filipinos would appreciate. The following are places I have visited in the Philippines that could offer us a tropical White Christmas experience. I hope you like it!

(1) SABLAN

Sablan is a high town in Benguet adjacent to Baguio City. During December and even in some random seasons, the intra-town highway is veiled with fog turning the environment white. There is also a possibility you might get lost if you are not accustomed traveling here because villages are hiding within the thick fog.

The mountainside villages have been hidden by the fog


So if you wish to experience a tropical white Christmas in Sablan, survive first a challenging ride through roads already blurred with thick fog. Drive slowly and keep safe and enjoy!

(2) MT. POLIS

Mt. Polis is located at the border of Banaue and Bontoc in the Cordilleras. A road connecting those towns passes through Mt. Polis. Due to its higher altitude, this area is often covered with thick fog even if it is summer.


Most of the time, Mt. Polis is white, even during summer


So if you want to experience a tropical White Christmas in this part of the country, get ready to be frozen. Anyway, there are several coffee shops waiting to give you warmth here any time of the year.

Erratum: Please forgive me for the wrong photo label, it should be #BONTOC * MOUNTAIN PROVINCE * PHILIPPINES and not #BANAUE * MOUNTAIN PROVINCE * PHILIPPINES since Banaue is part of Ifugao.

(3) PRE-SUNRISE AT THE KILTEPAN PEAK

Why not spend your Christmas the adventurous way as you climb to the top of the Kiltepan Peak in Sagada? This is one of the best spots to experience a White Christmas in Sagada if you do it before sunrise.

Pine trees within the white air


The intensity of the White Christmas here at the Kiltepan Peak in Sagada escalates when the thick sea of clouds starts to appear and veil the sunrise. You're simply above the clouds which makes you feel like you're at the heavens.

(4) SITIO AGCO, ILOMAVIS

Another whitey place you might want to spend your Christmas is Sitio Agco in Brgy. Ilomavis. This village is an ancestral domain of the Manobo tribe located on a high altitude at the slope of Mt. Apo, the Philippines' highest mountain.

Jungle trees soar high inside the forest covered with fog


There are actually several adventure destinations in Ilomavis like visiting a boiling lake of Agco, Jacuzzi waterfalls or simply trek in search for waling-waling orchids (but please don't take any plant you see, just look, don't get). Ilomavis is located in Kidapawan City of Mindanao Island, Philippines.

(5) BESSANG PASS NATIONAL PARK

Ilocos Sur is known to be a province rich in history and heritage. In Bessang Pass, the history is never leaving your White Christmas experience because this site is where a battle happened - Battle of Bessang Pass (World War II).

The dangerous cliff can deceive you with this beautiful white background


Brave Ilocanos sacrificed their lives to defeat the imperial forces of the Japanese people here in Bessang Pass. Fog is very much present here all year round which turns the landcape white.

(6) BAKUN

The welcome arch to the town of Bakun, oftentimes, deprive you of getting an idea what to see in this highland town of Benguet. The road entering the town seems like leading to nowhere which feels like your destination is somewhere there, in the fog.


Entering Bakun. The destination beyond the road is mysterious.


Bakun is a tribal town inhabited by fair-skinned people with almond-shaped eyes. Get immersed with the people or simply enjoy the White tropical Christmas. When you see fair-skinned chinito people speaking in a dialect with ch-, -ng and f- sounds, it's like you're in China.

(7) ATOK

When we talk about fog and tropical White Christmas, Atok is grossly, the place to be. Atok town in Benguet is where the highest point of the Philippine Highway System is located. The highest village in the Philippines is also under the jurisdiction of the municipality of Atok.

Fog in Atok is not selective, as in fog is everywhere in town.


Atok is where I experienced that first chill wherein I thought I am gonna die secondary to hypothermia. I shivered gravely to death. I consumed 2 cups of coffee within few minutes but it was not enough to give me warmth. I think Atok is the best place to experience a White Christmas - the closest picture of the real white Christmas with snow. To note, ice even falls down from the sky in this town. Water is also gravely cold. You might skip taking an early morning bath.

Due to its altitude, the town's vegetable farms are at times hit by frost thereby damaging their crops. Atok is 46 kilometers away from Baguio City.

(8) BUSCALAN

The high-altitude village of Buscalan is also a good place to experience a White Christmas with a touch of immense cultural display.

Buscalan is the home of Fang-od, the last tribal tattooist of Kalinga.


Since the village is higher than any other area seen nearby, the cliffs surrounding Buscalan is occupied by a sea of fog. So the village turns out to be an island in the sky outcropping from the white air.

(9) BAUKO

This town in Mountain Province is yet another exciting destination to spend your tropical White Christmas. It can give the chill you are looking for plus a white environment that can stay until high noon.

Foggy Road in Bauko


Enjoy the smell of the fog (yes, it's aromatically fresh) of Bauko and try to find the sunrise, good luck, and your Christmas would never be the same again.

(9) BATAD

Batad is not all about the over 2000 years old rice terraces but also for a White Christmas display. To experience its White tropical Christmas offering, wake up early (before sunrise) to catch the massive build-up of fog over the mountains of Batad and nearby villages in Banaue.

Fog-capped mountain, 'coz there's no snow


The view above is taken from the Batad Saddle. The whitey mountain ranges have turned the view unusual as the sunrise is trying to color the sky with gold.

(10) MALIBCONG

Malibcong is yet another remote town in Abra. Its highland communities are lucky enough to experience a weather that's cool all year-round. Fog also builds up over the mountains anytime of the day.

The white display has been defeated by the golden colors of the sunset.


The photo above is taken during sunset so the whitey environment is gone. This town is also an ancestral domain of three tribes. Enjoy the fog and be lost beautifully in this far, far away destination.

__________________________________________________________

So I hope you got what I mean when I said White Christmas. We do not have snow in the Philippines but we have our own way of experiencing a White Christmas, in fact, some of the destinations mentioned can still offer you a white Christmas anytime of the year -- or even White Summer, White Valentines, White September. The Philippines has it all! Be Proud. Stay Proud. And to note, the Philippines has the longest Christmas in the world! /end

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Map of the Destinations Mentioned in this Post

Map Courtesy of Wikipedia


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EDMAR GUQUIB

Born and Raised in Vigan, Philippines. Hardcore Ilocano. Genuine Bigueño. Sucker of Long Land Trips. Loves the Highlands. Professional Nurse on Weekdays. Coffee Addict. Travel Blogger in Between. For sponsorship, advertising, event invites and collaborations email me at edmaration@gmail.com.

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