To many, travel is the medicine when we feel worn out. It is a way to recharge so we can bounce back strong on work or school. It is also a way to make more memories as we discover new things, experience big adventures, and spend quality time with ourselves or with the people we care the most.
However, we cannot always take long leaves especially if there are lots to do in the office or at school. So, we try to make the most of what breaks we have. For instance, we plan out our long weekends so that can get maximum enjoyment without being absent at work or school.
To give you some ideas of trips you can take on long weekend that don’t require booking for a flight, here are where you can go and what you can do.
8. Unravel the secrets of Tagaytay – both old and new
Tagaytay continues to change and expand. I remember from way back, there were very little options to enjoy here like the People’s Park, Palace in the sky, dining at a restaurant with a view of Taal, having a Mushroom Burger, and capping off the trip with a cup of joe from Bag of Beans.
Now, there are many new things to experience in this countryside city. New restaurants and hotels are popping from all over the city. Malls have also opened shop here. There’s also Skyranch and Puzzle Mansion.
Bonus, weather is cool most of the time and the breeze is refreshing.
7. Be one with nature in Laguna
A couple of hours drive away from the bustling city of Manila, Laguna is a great avenue to get up close and personal with nature. You can hike, trek, and take a dip in hot springs, falls, or rivers that surround the province.
If you have been dreaming of seeing the Enchanted River in Surigao del Sur, the Bukas Falls in Majayjay is a nice alternative.
Another great destination in this province is the Buntot-Palos Falls in town of Pangil.
It is a 90-ft waterfall with thousands of liters of water cascading down into a beautiful basin. Buntot-Palos is just one of the many falls found in the mountain range of Sierra Madre. With water thundering down the cliff with a deafening roar, the falls is definitely worth the two-hour trek.
6. Discover the hidden gem that is Mariveles in Bataan
If you want a Batanes-like view at the end of a trek, you may want to consider going to Five Fingers in the town of Mariveles. They call this place the “Batanes of the West”.
There is also Hawla Beach if you want to go for a swim.
5. Travel back in time at Las Casas
Another amazing destination in the province of Bataan is Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. This vast community of old houses they saved from obliteration is located in the town of Bagac, some 3-hour drive away from Manila.
Las Casa Filipinas de Acuzar, or The Philippine Houses of Acuzar, is an open-air museum and heritage park consisting over 50 old houses. Some of these houses were transferred from their old locations to Bagacto preserve them and prevent them from being decimated, while some houses that don’t have salvageable parts were made with replicas.
Jose “Gerry” Acuzar, owner of New San Jose Builders, started this endeavor in 2003, which initially served as a personal collection that is now open to the public.
4. Trek the once-violent Mt. Pinatubo
Or take a helicopter ride above it.
Mt. Pinatubo erupted in the 90s. It spewed out an ash cloud that covered the entire country and brought on “ash snow” throughout Manila and the rest of the Philippines. Lava flowed and “lahar” has taken over our world for a moment, but now has created a breathtaking world of it’s own.
You can find this exotic environment if you’re brave enough to take a trip back to the ashes of Mt. Pinatubo, and if you do, you’ll find a very beautiful surprise waiting for you at the top of her crater.
Although the trek in itself is calm with minimal slopes, it is super fun to ride the 4×4!
At the end of this trip, you can also try the “sand spa” where they cover your body in “lahar”. You can experience this at the Puning Hot Spring, which is a a wellness and relaxation destination at the lahar-covered foothill of Mt. Pinatubo.
3. Chill on the beach in Batangas
There are many secluded beach in Batangas that you can enjoy with very little crowd and best of all at a very minimal expense.
There is Malabrigo Beach in the town of Lobo that you can travel for about P500. Although this beach does not have white sand it is uniquely filled with pebbles.
Another amazing beach is located in the town of Calatagan. This one though has powdery white sand akin to Boracay.
Another amazing destination can be found off the coast of Barangay Bucana in the town of Nasugbu.
Fortune Island was a luxury island resort club long owned by Ex-Batangas Governor Antonio Leviste. It closed down in 2006 but the remnants of what it was in the past still remain. Fortune Island has a similar vibe to that of Greece’s Acropolis with these pillars left.
You can swim or dive into the cool waters that surround the island and go snorkeling to see the fish and crabs, take photos framed by dilapidated structures and sculptures of mythical creatures and take a hike to the island’s light house.
Groups can also camp overnight and host numerous team building activities. Imagine the campfire ghost stories!
2. Ride the waves and more in Baler
Feeling more adventurous in the water than just hanging out by the beach? Surf the angry waves of Baler in Aurora!
Sabang beach is the popular surfing spot in Baler. No need to fly to Siargao to ride the waves. Even if it is your first time to surf, that’s alright because there are many surfing instructors along the beach that can teach you. You can get a quick Surfing 101 lesson for a few hundred bucks.
Aside from surfing, there are also other things you can do in Baler. Trek and take a refreshing swim at Mother Falls. Visit the huge and oldest Balete tree. Go up the Ermita Hill to see Baler from the top. Hike the lighthouse.
1. Learn about history and go ghost-hunting in Corregidor
If you want a little piece of history to enjoy over the long weekend, Corregidor is just a couple of hours away from the city via ferry. You don’t have to spend a long time traveling, but you get to be in some place that is totally different from the concrete jungle. You can go to Corregidor through Sun Cruises, you can also book a tour and accommodations through them.
What are the things you can do in Corregidor aside from learning history?
You can watch the dramatic sunset at the Battery Grubbs with Bataan at the background.
If you’re into something scary, you can explore Malinta Tunnel at night and do some ghost-hunting.
Where are you traveling on the next long weekend?