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Where To Go in the Philippines in May

Written by Patrick

Unsure where to go in the Philippines in May? Explore the possibilities – from island hopping adventures to cultural festivals!

Exploring the Philippines in May offers a vibrant mix of experiences – from festive celebrations to exciting island getaways.  May is still the dry season so tourists can still enjoy various outdoor activities and beach adventures.

In the Philippines, one of the most notable events during May is the Flores de Mayo, a month-long festival honoring the Virgin Mary.  Practiced by almost every Catholic church throughout the country, devotees pray and children offer flowers to the Virgin Mary all month long.  The highlight of the event is the procession called Santacruzan which commemorates the search of the Holy Cross by Queen Helena (Reyna Elena) and her son Emperor Constantine.

Aside from Flores de Mayo, May is a great time to visit different cities and islands in the Philippines.  Some of the best places to visit include:

1 | Legazpi

Landscape in Legazpi, Albay

Caption: Landscape in Legazpi, Albay

Legazpi, the capital of the province of Albay, is a city rich in natural beauty, history, and culture.  Witness Mayon Volcano, its top attraction, in all its glory.  Aside from being regarded as sacred in Philippine mythology, it is also home to hundreds of species of flora and fauna including the nearly-threatened Luzon Bleeding Heart and the critically-endangered Philippine Cockatoo.  Some of these animals are housed in Albay Park and Wildlife which is more convenient to visit for tourists with children.

Enjoy the panoramic views of Legazpi City and Albay Gulf from Ligñon Hill Nature Park, the second highest peak in Albay next to Mayon.  Aside from natural attractions such as nature parks, the city also boasts of manmade and historic attractions that will surely attract tourists with varying interests.

READ MORE: Legazpi City Visitors Guide

2 | Guimaras

Beach in Jordan, Guimaras

Caption: Beach in Jordan, Guimaras

Accessible by a short ferry ride from Iloilo City, Guimaras is an island province boasting stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, and rich cultural heritage.  You can go island-hopping to explore the beaches, hidden coves, and nearby islets teeming with marine life.  You can also immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting historical and religious landmarks like the old Guisi lighthouse, Roca Encantada, Balaan Bukid, and Trappist Monastery.

Guimaras is dubbed the “Mango Capital of the Philippines” due to its juicy and sweet mangoes, the island’s prized produce.  Their Manggahan Festival, a celebration aimed to promote their mango industry, takes place every May.  During the festival, you can indulge in eating as much mango as you want and hoard a variety of mango products such as dried mango, mango tart, mango jam, and any others.

READ MORE: Guimaras Island Visitors Guide

3 | Zambales

Sunset in Anawangin Cove, Zambales

Caption: Sunset in Anawangin Cove, Zambales

May is the perfect time to explore the natural beauty of Zambales.  With the summer heat in full swing, visitors can indulge in the pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life that make Zambales a paradise for beach lovers and water enthusiasts.  You can catch waves at San Narciso, a surfer’s paradise, trek through the lush forest of Anawangin Cove, or go island-hopping around Potipot Island.

Don’t miss the chance to witness stunning sunsets over the South China Sea and indulge in fresh seafood delicacies for a truly unforgettable experience.

READ MORE: Zambales Province

4 | Lucban

House decoration during Pahiyas Festival in Lucban

Caption: House decoration during Pahiyas Festival in Lucban

Lucban, a town in the province of Quezon, hosts one of the most colorful and vibrant festivals in the Philippines – the Pahiyas Festival.  During this lively event, the town comes alive with elaborate decorations made from fruits, vegetables, and colorful kiping (rice wafers). Visitors can immerse themselves in the festive atmosphere, marvel at the intricate house decorations, and savor local delicacies such as pancit habhab and longganisa.  Aside from experiencing the festival, you may also want to explore its tourist attractions that include the centuries-old Baroque style Lucban Church, Catholic pilgrimage destination Kamay ni Hesus Healing Church, Aliw Falls, and Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort, a coconut plantation with a waterfall.  Villa Escudero is known for its one-of-a-kind eating experience where guests are seated at bamboo tables partially submerged in a flowing river.

READ MORE: Quezon Province

5 | Vigan

Calle Crisologo in Vigan

Caption: Calle Crisologo in Vigan

A sunny day in May is a perfect time to stroll through the cobblestone streets of Vigan City.  Recognized as one of the New 7 Wonders Cities in 2015 and UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999, Vigan’s Calle Crisologo is lined with centuries-old Spanish colonial houses turned into shops, restaurants, and museums.  Grab the chance to take a kalesa ride or horse-drawn carriage.  It would surely feel like you are being transported back in time.  Aside from its significance to history, Vigan offers the opportunity to enjoy authentic Ilocano cuisine such as Vigan longganisa and empanada.  

During May, the Viva Vigan Festival of the Arts takes place as well.  The festival celebrates the feast of Sto. Cristo Milagroso and promotes the culture of Vigan.  The festival features various activities including food and trade fair, art shows and exhibits, live performances, street parade, dance fest, and many others.

READ MORE: Vigan City Visitors Guide

6 | Moalboal, Cebu

Free Diver exploring Moalboal's coral reef.

Caption: Free Diver exploring Moalboal’s coral reef.

Fancy swimming with millions of fishes, specifically sardines?  Plan a trip to Moalboal in May.  The sardine run is a popular attraction in this part of Cebu as it gives tourists the opportunity to be with a huge number of fishes in their natural habitat.  While the sardines can be seen throughout the year, it is best to go during the dry season to avoid the chances of typhoons and how it can affect your tour.

READ MORE: Moalboal Visitors Guide

7 | Mindoro

Beach in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro

Caption: Beach in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro

Mindoro, particularly Puerto Galera, is a favorite travel destination among tourists coming from Manila and nearby areas due to its accessibility.  See Sandbar Island, explore the underwater cave in San Antonio Island, or spend a day in one of its pristine beaches such as White Beach and Aninuan Beach.  Aside from beaches and islands, you may also want to check out the waterfalls or the dense jungles of Mount Halcon, the highest mountain in Mindoro.

READ MORE: Mindoro Island Visitors Guide

8 | Cagayan de Oro City

River rafting in Cagayan de Oro River

Caption: River rafting in Cagayan de Oro River

The capital of the province of Misamis Oriental, Cagayan de Oro City is the gateway to Northern Mindanao.  The city, along with the nearby towns, offers breathtaking landscapes and outdoor as well as urban excitement.  From whitewater rafting along the Cagayan de Oro River and spelunking in Monigue Crystal Cave to nightlife and shopping, there’s no shortage of something to do in the city.  The city is also a popular jump-off point to Bukidnon, Camiguin, and Iligan City so might as well take advantage of that.

READ MORE: Cagayan de Oro City Visitors Guide

9 | Batanes

Scenic sunset in Batanes

Caption: Scenic sunset in Batanes

Batanes offers cooler temperatures in May while many places in the Philippines can get extremely hot.  Feast your eyes on the breathtakingly beautiful views of the rolling hills and the rocky coastlines and limestone cliffs.  Explore the island’s rugged terrain, visit its historic sites, and immerse yourself in the unique Ivatan culture.

READ MORE: Batanes Visitors Guide

The end of May marks the beginning of the transition from dry to wet season.  It’s still a great time to explore without the worry of getting stranded due to typhoons but just be prepared for some rainy days and cooler evenings during your adventures.

READ MORE: When & Where to Visit the Philippines: A Month by Month Guide

Have YOU been to any of these destinations?

About the Author

Patrick

Patrick is an entrepreneur, digital nomad, explorer, and photographer. Patrick is always in search of fun and adventure. He is well travelled throughout the world, and although location independent, his home base is Phoenix, Arizona in the USA. Patrick loves island lifestyle which is no wonder why he is so interested in spending time in the Philippines with it’s over 7,000 islands. Patrick created this site to share his knowledge of and experiences in the Philippines with Filipinos as well as other foreigners.

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