Eight great spots in the Philippines to see 2019’s first sunrise

At the summit of Mt. Apo. Photograph by Victor Ayson

By Gideon Lasco/abs-cbn.com – Sunrise is associated with renewal, optimism, and new beginnings. Here are a few choice spots to watch the first light of the New Year.

The burden of our everyday lives sometimes makes us forget that we are part of a vast universe, and that celestial bodies too, go about their business, albeit with more elegance and precision than we can ever hope to achieve. The coming of a new year is one movement we recognize and look forward to. It is, after all, the earth marking one full circle around the sun.

For many cultures, the first sunrise of each year is invested with special significance. In Japan, the act of witnessing the year’s first sunrise is known as hatsuhinode and is accompanied with the promise of a wish fulfilled. In India, various articles have celebrated the places where the new year’s first light can be viewed.

Across the world, the sunrise is associated with renewal, optimism, and new beginnings. That’s why there are those who make an occasion of witnessing the first sunrise of the year. If you want to make the first day of 2019 a celebration way after the fireworks have disappeared, here are some great spots to witness the sunrise.

Batanes (6:28 AM)

With stunning seascapes, Batanes offers various spots to see the sunrise. In the main island of Batan, Diura port to Valugan beach are photographers’ favorites; one can also walk up the Rolling Hills or even hike up Mt. Matarem in Ivana to start the year not just with a beautiful view but with a nice workout. Meanwhile if you find yourself in Sabtang, the east-facing coast of Chavayan likewise makes for a great spot to watch the coming of the dawn.

The Cordilleras (6:25 AM)

Spending the New Year up the mountains can be a magical experience, with the sight of distant fireworks and one’s solitude setting the backdrop for contemplating the year ahead. Another bonus would be the opportunity to catch a majestic sunrise—if you’re lucky—above the sea of clouds. Mt. Pulag and Mt. Ulap would be the most popular choices, but there are lesser-known yet no less exciting spots like Mt. Amuyao in Barlig, Mountain Province; Mt. Ugo at the border of Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya and Itogon, Benguet; and Mt. Napulauan in Hungduan, Ifugao.

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