My oh my, it’s May! Summer has officially started and we are feeling the rising temperatures already. Nothing refreshes the city-weary spirit than an escape to the beach. It’s the best way to beat the heat and just bask in the sun.

For two straight weekends, Coron has been my playground. Thanks to the back-to-back long weekends, we were able to enjoy the many incredibly beautiful islands from Busuanga to Linapacan.

​The islands around Coron, called the Calamian Islands, are our country’s “last frontier.” The Calamianes islands have pristine, bone-white beaches, unbelievably turquoise waters, rich marine life, World War II shipwrecks and jade-colored lakes hemmed in by karst limestone hills. If you imagine Palawan as an italicized letter i, the Calamianes form the dot in the i.

With the calm seas between each island, I find the best way to travel is by Air Juan Philippines with their seaplanes landing right in front of the island resort. Check out www.airjuan.com for airport-free travel.

With so many islands, the Calamianes are an excellent destination for family vacationers, hardcore backpackers, beach lovers and adventurous divers. Accommodations range from backpacker-friendly to sky’s the limit rates abound. Coron town has a lot of mid-range to luxury resorts, and a great place to start island-hopping tours.

Some of my favorite resorts are Busuanga Bay Lodge, Club Paradise, Huma Island Resort and Spa, and Two Seasons Island Resort and Spa. On top of that list is Ariara Island, a private island resort secretly hidden in an untouched corner of the Linapacan island group. Check out www.ariaraisland.com for details.

Ariara is the ultimate “off the beaten track” destination. This private hideaway allows guests exclusive use of the whole island, managed and serviced by the owner’s personal staff. British Vogue voted it the No. 1 Most Fashionable Place to Stay in the World, and it consistently lands on best holiday destination lists.

Over Labor Day weekend, my first cousins Nannette De Leon-Santos and Karla Delgado-Araneta were also in Coron experiencing the ultimate Tao Expedition. A Tao voyage meanders along the route from El Nido to Coron, leisurely jumping from island to island on a traditional Paraw sailboat.

The expedition combines stretches of pure sailing with time for exploring the islands, reefs, and villages along the way. Tao’s barefoot sailors were among the traditional craftsmen that built the Paraw.

At the end of each day, Tao docks in one of their base-camps. Each has its own personality, a raw untouched island, a fishing village, an organic farm or a hidden jungle lodge.

I prepped for our Coron adventure by upgrading my beach wardrobe at the Rustan’s The Cabana Pop-in Launch. This event was the perfect shopping opportunity to create an Instagram-worthy collection. All the freshest picks from the season’s finest collections were included in the pop-store exhibit for easy browsing.

Every corner of The Cabana Pop-in is a summer inspo. During the launch event, guests marveled at the set-up of the pop-in, as well as the carefully selected pieces it has to offer. DJ Eduardo Lara and Christi McGarry filled the air with fresh beats and setting the tropical vibe.

As the main highlight of the evening, an exciting and playful fashion presentation showcased tons of wanderlust fashion inspirations for the guests. Models walked into the stage in the most stylish summer ensembles and showed how fun summer can be for anyone – whether on the beach or other destination travels.

Nothing beats great deals during this fun time of the year. Their promo is pretty cool: “Be one of the first 500 people who can spot and snap the Rustan’s Cabana Pop-In ads online! Head on over to Rustan’s Makati and show the screenshot of the online ad to instantly receive a Rafe Pouch. Shop a minimum single receipt purchase worth P8,000 from the Rustan’s Cabana Pop-in and get to pick a prize. Stand a chance to win a 3-day, 2-night stay at Cebu’s renowned Kandaya Resort. Every purchase worth P3,000 across all departments at participating Rustan’s Stores from April 25 to May 31 will entitle shoppers to one electronic raffle entry.”

Adding to my beachwear, I picked several outfits from Criselda Lontok and Jojie Lloren. Their colorful floral prints and printed patterns were just perfect to match the breathtaking sunsets over the weekend.

For my swimwear, I shop at Speedo. The new Speedo Sculpture line offers all-over body shaping that helps sculpt the body in all the right places, ultimately flattering the shape with its unique lightweight fabric for a sleek silhouette and its visual shaping.

The only footwear needed this summer is a pair of flip-flops. Next weekend, head to the SM Mega Fashion Hall for the biggest annual flip-flop customization event in the country, Make Your Own Havaianas. Happening from May 12 to 14, everyone is invited to experience the thrill of flip-flop customization in a whole new level by taking its theme on a leap through time and back to the awesomeness of the ‘90s.

Hundreds of guests got a whole new thrill in flip-flop customization as this year’s cool new pieces: the commemorative pair, a classic black pair with colorful pixels, inspired by the 8-bit video games that were “the bomb” during the ‘90s decade, and a new set of ‘90s-themed glow-in-the-dark pins, ranging from throwback icons of a TV, cassette tape, boom box, and a video game icon! Everyone just loved the new designs of the special pins: lightning bolt, smiley, star, lips, and the letters M-Y-O-H.

To those who will miss the fun on these dates, don’t worry because Havaianas is making sure MYOH will be hanging around for the whole summer. Catch the nationwide mix-and-match flip-flop craze at different malls throughout May and June. For more information, follow Havaianas Philippines on Facebook and @havaianasphils on Twitter and Instagram for updates on #MYOH2017. Get started on mixing and matching different combos at myoh.havaianasphilippines.com.

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