Not so long ago, a trip to Palawan usually meant either Coron, El Nido, or Puerto Princesa. But the breezy southern islands of Balabac – also dubbed as the ‘Last of the last frontier’ – are becoming subtly well-known for their sleepy town, fine white sand beaches, towering coconut trees, and open skies.

The Balabac islands are always reliable, with their crystal-clear waters, towering coconut trees, and open skies. Given its proximity to Malaysia—closer than mainland Palawan—the diverse range of consumer goods here is sourced more from Malaysia than the Philippines. What the island lacks in pork and beef products, it compensates for with bountiful seafood. You’ll likely enjoy a different variant of fresh crab meal every day on your island-hopping tours. If lucky, you’ll get to try lobster too.

Balabac is the kind of place you go to for an escape. The central appeal of the region is being able to immerse yourself in its landscape. As you frolic in the sandbar, swim the day away in natural sea pools, and dine and sleep in transient houses or your own pitched tent, you experience a simple way of life that’s deeply rooted in history. That rustic simplicity is a key part of Balabac’s charm as a best-kept secret destination in recent years.

You definitely need to see it for yourself, but for now, here are some photos of our trip delving into a constellation of islands, laid-back fisherfolks, and houses built on stilts overlooking the clear turquoise West Philippine sea. Here’s one of Palawan’s most charming – and relaxing – holiday destinations — Balabac, an idyllic wonderland.

Did you enjoy this article? Follow me on Facebook and Instagram, or subscribe to my RSS feed to receive updates!