Why You Should Discover Guam this year!

Being a 4-hour flight away from Manila, it’s surprising how the tourist attracting island of Guam is a destination that’s hardly on the travel list among Filipinos. On a recent trip to this US island territory in the Western Pacific, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of things that easily make it worth getting to. Its off the grid spots, for one, are worth noting. That said, I thought of sharing some reasons why you should consider greeting Guam Hafa Adai this year!

1.    Nature & Beaches

Guam is a place for those big on hitting the beach and being one with nature! It has some of the most fantastic beaches I’ve ever seen. In fact, there's a part of the island with this stretch of fine pink sand that’s unbeknownst to many, even for the locals! Thanks to our local guide, Dennis McMurray, who pointed me and 2 other girls that I met on this trip (Ivanna & Steph) to the right direction!

The girls and I struggled quite a bit on our trek along the Hilaan Beach as we waded through the high tide on barefoot to get pass certain beach zones. But  we carried on and were rewarded with this beautiful view towards the end of the trail! Plus, the place is so secluded and unheard of, we practically had it all to ourselves!

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You can enjoy a dip in the Inarajan Natural Pool with a view of the rocks and the ocean waves crashing over it.  A rugged appeal for your Instagram feed, take note.

Although a bit more touristy, you can still enjoy a stroll along the Ypao Beach.

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Jeff's Pirate Cove is a great place to stop by for lunch. Known as the oldest seaside and historical restaurant in the island, you can't go wrong with dining here al fresco

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2.   Its Culture & History

As a country with a nearly similar history as the Philippines (that being a colony of the Spanish, the Americans, and the Japanese), it's interesting to see how it's doing at present. That said, you would find traces of these foreign influences throughout the island. Some places that would give you both the historical digest and the scenes to truly enjoy are the following:

The Japanese Caves in Agaña - These tunnelings were built by the Chamorro, Korean forced labor with primitive tools under extreme conditions. They are all interconnected and are said to have been an entrance at the top of a hill. 

The Japanese Caves in Agaña These tunnelings were built by the Chamorro, Korean forced labor with primitive tools under extreme conditions. They are all interconnected and are said to have been an entrance at the top of a hill. 

Fort Nuestra Señora de la Soledad - A Spanish-era fortification over-looking the Umatac Bay.

Fort Nuestra Señora de la Soledad - A Spanish-era fortification over-looking the Umatac Bay.

The Valley of the Latte - This sustainable island park offers a variety of safe and exciting tropical adventures while you giving you a sense of how their ancestors' livelihood was like. It's great for the adventurers.

The Valley of the Latte - This sustainable island park offers a variety of safe and exciting tropical adventures while you giving you a sense of how their ancestors' livelihood was like. It's great for the adventurers.

3. The Friendly Locals

 I just love it how Guam easily feels like home to me, what with a part of its population consisting of warm and friendly Filipinos! (At nagtatagalog pa rin talaga sila!) The locals that I’ve met have also shown how easy it is to make friends here. Its diverse set of residents, whether of Chamorro, Japanese, Vietnamese, American, Korean or Filipino origin, carry with them a sense of warmth as they go about their day. This makes it easy to ask for directions or simply to strike strike up a conversation in cab rides, especially since everyone here speaks English! This place actually reminds me of Subic - full of Filipinos, only much more organized! 


4. The Shopping
           
I'm not really big on shopping anymore. I made it my mission last year to strip my life down to the bare essentials as I make my full transition into a life of constant travels. For those of you who might be interested, however, Guam has an abundance of fancy resorts, restaurants and store outlets. If you're the type who enjoy the thrill of scouting for good deals out of your favorite designer brands, then the outlet stores on the island surely won't disappoint!

5. Its Scenic Coasts!

 Nestled on a dramatic cliffside and overlooking the Philippine Sea, the Two-Lover's Point is as romantic as it gets! 

 Nestled on a dramatic cliffside and overlooking the Philippine Sea, the Two-Lover's Point is as romantic as it gets! 

Fantastic view, isn't it?

Fantastic view, isn't it?

The U.S. military installations in Guam remain to be one of the most vital bases in the Pacific and they take up 50% of the entire island. This means that its normal citizens, including us, visitors, can only roam around half of the entire island. However, it hardly feels like there's any shortage of amazing spots to get to, especially if you enjoy nature and the sea so much. I have high hopes that its scenic landscapes will remain to be unspoilt in the coming years. (Something I hope we can do as well in our home that's filled with so much natural beauty).

There are still several places in Guam that I have yet to tick off my travel list even after a span of the 3 days I spent there. Perhaps I shall explore the rest of the island another time this year!(?)

- - - 

As a travel film-maker, it's natural for me to embark on any trip with the goal of capturing the beauty of a place and bring it to life in film (coupled with my two cents about adulting and life in general). Here I leave you with my first ever travel film for 2017!  Hope to do more work with travel brands and tourism boards this year! 

Photos & Video by Serica
Words: Alan Watts
Music: Scars to Your Beautiful (Joe Mason Remix)
Backpack - Venque from Urban Traveller & Co

For collabs and commissioned works, feel free to hit me up at serica.ph@gmail.com. Or you could also place your comments below. 
Would love to know what you think of this post and what other places you’d like to see I make videos for! 

Special thanks to Steph & Ivanna for assisting me while I film and the wonderful family who helped us when we got lost in the forest in search of the Lost Pond!

Special thanks to Steph & Ivanna for assisting me while I film and the wonderful family who helped us when we got lost in the forest in search of the Lost Pond!