Reflections: Island Hopping the Philippines


Known as “The Last Ecological Frontier…" Palawan in the Philippines is the stuff remote island dreams are made of in every single way. Crystal-clear turquoise waters and lagoons lead the way to underwater caves and shipwrecks, majestic beaches, and islands of all sizes, all completely engulfed by glorious sunshine. 

Also, where else can you hop from one island to the next and sleep under the starry skies in your own huts?!  

SYB Philippines

Additionally, voted the BEST island in the world two years in a row by Travel + Leisure magazine, beating out destinations like Santorini and Bali, the Philippines (Palawan in particular) is truly a playground of wonder. And with beaches left and right, surrounded by sparkling blue water and “pinch me” moment views, once you step foot onto our private boat and sail the seas, it’s instantly easy to see why the region has received so much acclaim and praise in recent years. 

SYB Philippines

Critical acclaim aside, let’s venture a bit more into a few personal highlights from this writer’s perspective, which just happened to be SYB’s last excursion in early 2020: 

Nightly “Full Moon” Parties 

Even if the moon wasn’t out every night, our resident DJ certainly shined like a midnight diamond, supplying beats and kickstarting dance parties once the sun set upon every new island stop. 

The Lost Boys 

We’ll immediately be greeted by one of the nicest, most knowledgeable, and funniest boat crews anywhere in the world, let alone the South China Sea. The Lost Boys keep us informed on anything (and everyone) we need to know about the islands and wildlife throughout our adventure. 

SYB Philippines

Filipino Delights Every Night

Speaking of the ship crew…they’ll be the same people that cook us incredibly healthy and delicious dishes each night, always freshly caught and gathered during the trip each morning/day/night. And don’t think we forgot about the drinks. They flow heavily, too.

The Digital Disconnect 

Considering we’re island hopping in some pretty remote areas, cellular service and WiFi are basically non-existent once you board the boat, WHICH IS AMAZING. The benefits of a digital detox and cleanse go beyond the physical, and quickly you’ll forget you even own a device. And don’t worry about missing out on capturing any footage: we actually encourage you to leave your phone in your bag as much as possible because you’ll have your own personal photog following you pretty much every step of the way. Insta flames will be plentiful!

SYB Philippines

Views for Days 

Regardless if we’re on land or riding the waves, there’s endless beauty as far as you can see and so many picturesque landscapes for your eyes and camera to capture. Everything and everywhere is postcard…have you seen Kenny’s photos?!?! *Hint: these are all his*

Ultimate Adventure, Absolute Friendships 

This is guaranteed to be an experience unlike anything you’ve done before. From start to finish, you’ll be in awe, it will beautifully challenge your senses, and you’re surrounded by 20+ new, like-minded friends the whole time. And if you have already been on a similar trip by chance, well, you haven’t done a Philippines retreat with this merriest of SYB crew, who live and breathe adventure like no other. 

 SYB Philippines

Expect a lot of the same this trip, and likely even more since we’ve had a few years to optimize and perfect it, so buckle up and get ready for the plunge - true adventure awaits! I’ll be seeing you in Palawan.