The long weekend fever isn’t over; if you think that it will take some time before you experience another long weekend, then brace yourself for the following weekend as Monday, July 31, has been declared as a non-working holiday. If you’re planning to go out and have fun this next long weekend, why not try these top five places—without straining your budget, of course. Since we’re concerned about you having fun without the need to put a huge dent on your wallet.
White Beach, Puerto Galera
Whoever said that beaches are only for summer has probably never enjoyed beaches under the rain or swam with towering swells. While Boracay may be too expensive for you and Calaguas may not be worth the trip despite its status as a well-kept paradise, Puerto Galera is one of the most accessible beaches from the metro, not to mention affordable.
To get to White Beach, you need to take a bus headed to Batangas Pier, then board the ferry to White Beach. With the number of affordable accommodations offered by the locals, finding a cheap one is not hard. Furthermore, food is also cheap there and some rooms equipped with kitchen, especially for people who want to minimize their food expenses by cooking. If you’re looking for a nearby beach where everything is cheap, try Puerto Galera.
Pico de Loro, Cavite
Hiking can be physically and mentally challenging, especially that it requires intense training. While some people have to go to fly to other places—or even overseas, especially for experienced climbers—just to satisfy their thirst for altitude. For inexperienced climbers who either want to enter the game for the first time or those who just want to test the limits of their bodies, Pico de Loro is the perfect place for your maiden climb.
Reachable via a bus to Nasugbu then another tricycle to the foot of the mountain, Pico de Loro is one of the friendliest climbs where even amateurs can enjoy the hike and at the same time, challenge themselves and make them push to their vertical limits. Just make sure you have sturdy hiking boots and a bag big enough to hold your hydration kit, food, and other supplies.
National Museum, Manila
Have you seen the country’s cultural marvels such as Juan Luna’s Spolarium and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo’s The Assassination of Governor Bustamante? Excited to see the unearthed artefacts from Prehistoric Philippines? If you want to experience the country’s culture, then going to the National Museum is your best bet in getting a glimpse of the country’s rich and diverse culture.
Located near Manila City Hall, the National Museum houses some of the country’s best artworks, ranging from colonial era artworks to contemporary installations. Furthermore, the museum also exhibits artefacts from prehistoric Philippines, including the famous balangay that exhibits the shipbuilding skills. Despite the number of attractions offered by the National Museum, the entrance fee is only Php 150 for adults. And if you want to get in for free, just drop by on Sundays and the entrance is on the house!
It was reported that the former president Ferdinand Marcos was a big fan of Ramon Lee’s famous fried chicken. Meanwhile, people from all walks of life flock to Wai Ying to have a taste of their famous shrimp dumplings, which is more commonly known as hakaw. All these and more can be found in Manila’s best kept open secret: Binondo, the oldest Chinatown in the world.
Enjoying the sights, sounds, and flavors of Binondo need not to be expensive; after all, the only thing you need is water, towel to wipe off that sweat, and some durable walking shoes. As for the restaurants, Binondo is littered with dozens of famous joints that serve some of the best Chinese food in the country, with recipes running down from generations already. Taste the culture authentic Chinatown culture—for a steal.
Rizal Park, Manila
The older generations may still recall the good old Sunday picnic: sitting on a grassy lawn with the family, running and playing with reckless abandon while munching on good home-cooked food. While most people pay nowadays for quality family time, the good old days are still there. And what better way to experience this than going back to the country’s point of origin: Rizal Park?
While most people may only think that Rizal Park is nothing but a sprawl of lawn tucked in the middle of Manila’s busy streets, the park offers more than just that. At night, families can enjoy the famous musical fountain. Aside from musical fountain, there’s also one of Rizal Park’s best attractions, the long running Concert in the Park that happens every Sunday. No need to pay for these fares; everything is free of charge and open to the public.
Long weekends need not be expensive; you just need to find the best way to have fun with friends and family without having to pay for almost everything. So what are you going to do this long weekend? Try these activities and you’ll be surprised that having fun isn’t always synonymous to spending money!