This Young Cebuana Has Traveled to All 81 Provinces in the Philippines

This Young Cebuana Has Traveled to All 81 Provinces in the Philippines

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and Nicole del Rosario has seen right through our motherland's beauty when she embarked on her #Project81PH journey. Read more as she shares her experience!

If you’re looking for some travel inspiration, THIS IS IT.

Young Cebuana Nicole del Rosario traveled all over the Philippine archipelago. Yep, that’s right—she went and explored all 81 provinces to complete her #Project81PH bucket list.

Nicole truly believes that our country has it all when it comes to adventures and picturesque spots. We talked to Nicole and asked her some in-depth questions about her travels and her boundless love for her own country.

What pushed you to do this project?

NICOLE: I love traveling! I really like going on adventures and exploring new places. I also love our country, so why not travel from Batanes down to Tawi-Tawi?

Where was the first province you went to? How was your experience there?

I can’t remember the first. When I started #Project81PH, I really didn’t start counting from zero. I already counted the provinces that I’ve visited on past trips with family and friends. But it was during a backpacking trip to the Cordillera region in March 2015 that I decided that I’ll do #Project81PH.

What was the last province you went to? How was your experience there?

For the last ones, I did a nine-day backpacking trip in Mindanao in June 2019 to finish my remaining six provinces (Basilan, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Sur, and Lanao del Sur). It was a bittersweet feeling. I was ecstatic that I’ve accomplished my goal, but at the same time, my heart broke when we saw the ruins in Marawi. I hope that they recover and rise again soon.

What’s the most unforgettable province you went to?

Experiencing the beauty of Batanes for the first time! Batanes has always been my dream destination. From the rolling hills of Batan to the cliffs of Itbayat and the landscapes of Sabtang, seeing all the beautiful scenery with my very own eyes is definitely my most unforgettable experience in doing #Project81PH.

What are the things you learned from this project? 

One is it’s good to invest in ourselves and our experiences while we’re still young. Adventure is out there! Second is that I got to appreciate our country more. The Philippines is very diverse and that’s what makes it beautiful. I really hope that we love our own country and choose to travel to the Philippines first.

It’s not a race. Travel at your own pace and enjoy every moment. You’ll appreciate and love our own country more.

If you could do the project all over again, what would you do differently?

Nothing. It’s not just the beautiful sceneries, the adrenaline, and the highs brought by sunny skies and picturesque sunsets that made this project memorable. It’s also the challenges — chasing storms, getting lost in a city, making adjustments on the fly — that made it more fulfilling.

What are your travel essentials? 

I pack light. For photos, I just bring my phone and an action camera.

What are the most interesting facts you learned from doing #Project81?

Our country has a lot of beautiful places and people. We are blessed with world-famous destinations like Batanes, Palawan, Cebu, Boracay, and Siargao, but we also have a lot of hidden gems that are less known and underrated but are equally beautiful. From the coves and cliffs of Calayan Island in Cagayan, the limestone terraces of Kaparkan Falls in Abra, to the powdery sand and blue waters of Calaguas in Camarines Norte, and the amazing rock formations of Biri Island in Northern Samar.

Other memorable activities include island hopping in Gigantes in Iloilo, ziplining through the seven falls, and boat-riding through lotus flowers in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. Our country has it all.