For less than P2,000, you can enjoy up to a two-day vacation at these breathtaking spots in Luzon.
Take a breather from all the stress of your busy life by going on a day or overnight trip on the cheap. Whether you’re going solo, with friends, or your significant other, here are the top five budget destinations to satisfy your every whim—all for less than P2,000.
1. Island Getaway: Cabalitian Island
Cabalitian Island is located off the coast of Labrador, Pangasinan. If you want some peace and quiet in a secluded island, Cabalitian provides you with a serene beach setting. The rock on the beach is perfect for photos or simply for exploring and swimming. It is highly suggested, however, that you bring your own food. There are also affordable rooms and cottages on the island, but you may also set up a tent if you want.
Victory Liner to Alaminos, Pangasinan
Get off at Tobuan beach:
P786 round trip
(P393 one way)
Boat to Cabalitian Island (vessel is called baluto)
…which can hold up to seven persons:
Boat rental P120
4-6 pax P600
6-10 pax P800
10-15 pax P1,000
The island offers air-conditioned rooms and cottages. Since we’re going for a discount, these are the rates for their cottages.
Pigmy cottage small: P200/person maximum of 4 pax
Sylvester cottage medium: P300/person maximum of 6 pax
Majestic cottage large: P1,300/person maximum of 15 pax
Total, if you’re a group of five staying in a small pigmy cottage overnight = P1,106
2. Mountaineering: Mt. Pinatubo
Mt. Pinatubo offers breathtaking scenery and exciting activities, and it’s only a few hours away from Metro Manila. A day trip would only cost you less than P2,000 granted you go with a group of five people.
Estimated day-tour expenses
Take a public bus and get off at Capas Public Market. You may also take the bus routes to Baguio, Ilocos, or Pangasinan and go down on Sta. Juliana, Capas, Tarlac.
P200 one way
Tricycle to Sta. Juliana
If you’re coming from Capas Public Market, you can haggle the fare with the driver.
P300 one way
P500 per person
P3,000 for five passengers
P600 per person
Aeta Passway Fee
P150 per person
Total = P1,750
3. Historical Tour: Mt. Samat, Bataan
Get your historical travel fix at Mt. Samat, Bataan. The place is famous for the Dambana ng Kagitingan (Shrine of Valor), and a two-hour hike will take you to the Memorial Cross in honor of Filipino and American soldiers who fought during World War II. It also has a war museum with paintings of Philippine heroes and collections of armaments during the Japanese occupation.
The summit has a breathtaking view of Corregidor Island and Manila Bay. After the hike, drop by the Death March km 0 Marker in Bagac, one of the two starting points of the brutal 96 km walk of the Filipino and American prisoners of war.
You can stay overnight at Stella Mariz Beach Resort which offers affordable accommodation. Enjoy a leisurely day at the beach before heading back home.
Estimated two-day stay expenses
Bataan Transit Bus to Balanga, Bataan from Cubao Terminal
P280 one way
P560 round trip
Jeepney to Cabog-Cabog
Get off at the Mt. Samat intersection at Diwa, Pilar, Bataan.
(You can opt to take a tricycle for P100, but you can just walk to the top of Mt. Samat. The hike is about two hours.)
P17 one way
Entrance fee to Mt. Samat
P20 per person
Elevator fee to Dambana ng Kagitingan (Shrine of Valor)
Overnight at Stella Mariz Beach Resort
From Diwa, take a bus going to Bagac.
Tricycle from Baga to Stella Mariz Beach Resort
Ask your driver to take a stop by Death March 0 km marker, the Japan-Philippine Friendship Tower.
Stella Mariz Beach Resort overnight entrance fee
Open-air medium cottage
(For reservations and inquiries, contact Delia at 0999-4382963.)
P800 per night
Total = P1,552
4. Newest Spot: Masungi Geo Reserve, Tanay, Rizal
Opened to the public in December 2015, Masungi Geo Reserve is starting to get more attention not only because of its Instagram-worthy bird-watching hammock, but also because of its rainforest setting. Located in Tanay, Rizal, it looks much farther away from the city in pictures. Activities include trekking, exploring caves, going around the trail with your group, and spending time at the giant cozy hammock.
You will need to arrange a group of at least six to 11 persons and set a reservation date. The entrance fee is P1,000 per head from February to March 2016, and P1,400 per head from April onwards, including snacks.
The whole trail will take three to four hours, and may be extended depending on the tour guide. This is open for people ages 13 years old and above.
Jeep to Cogeo
Get off at Garden Cottages
P1,000 per person
Total = P1,030
5. Art and Cultural Appreciation: National Museum of the Philippines
Not a lot of people remember to go back to their roots and immerse themselves in the Filipino culture. If you’re on a budget but want to do something new over the weekend, National Museum offers FREE entrance every Sunday. They are open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Get to know our National Artists such as BenCab, Vicente Manansala, and Carlos “Botong” Francisco. Marvel not only at the world-famous “Spoliarium” by Juan Luna, but also at every Filipino artwork and the grand architecture of the building.
The National Museum is located at P. Burgos Drive, Rizal Park, Ermita, Manila. If you’re coming from Gil Puyat LRT 1, take the FX to España and ask the driver to drop you off near the Museum.
From Gil Puyat – FX to City Hall
Tell the driver to drop you off near the Museum.
Tuesdays to Saturdays entrance fee rates
Senior Citizen P120
Large groups of 51 or more are discounted:
Adult/senior citizens P120
Tip: Save more by bringing your own food and a tent. Bring some extra cash for souvenir shopping and some unexpected expenses. –Kristel Serran