14 Spook-tacular Halloween Events In Manila This Week

Here at Ellry, we’re all about making everyday feel like an adventure. We’ve got ideas on how to make the most of your time, even when you’re not leaving town! Find out what’s happening in Manila with Ellry’s weekly guide.

01 Starving for ArtStarving For Art, Starving for Blood

Halloween is just around the corner, and DITO is once again holding its monthly Starving For Art festival to spook everyone in attendance. SFA is an open mic platform for all art forms, from both emerging and seasoned artists alike. This month’s theme is horror. (Organizers’ note: feel free to interpret this word however you want it.) Interested performers should sign up for their  15 minutes of fame soon, as the slots are slowly disappearing. Those not too keen on performing can also just enjoy the acts and pop-up booths at the venue.

October 28 – 29, 2016 | 5:00PM – 11:59PM
DITO: Bahay ng Sining, J. Molina St, Marikina
Fee: Free admission
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These Eerie Spots Near Manila Will Get You Into the Halloween Spirit

by Julia Escaño

Between visiting departed loved ones and partying in your chosen costume, Halloween season is always full of festivities. But is this really what Halloween is about? Or is it about letting the spirits and elementals of the netherworlds roam freely for one night?

No matter your flavor of Halloween, there’s no denying that ghost hunting and horror stories are part of the holiday. Looking for a destination to get your hands on some hair-raising excitement? These top haunted places near Manila are sure to give you a taste of Halloween’s essence. So bring your brave buddies, strap on those running shoes (just in case), and get the ultimate Halloween experience!

St. Pancratius Chapel, La Loma Cemetery

Photo by cyndayco/ CC BY | Photo by cyndayco/ CC BY

Approximately 132 years ago the La Loma Cemetery, then known as the Cementerio de Binondo, opened its original wrought iron gate to the gentry of Manila. Since then, dozens of the country’s elite have been laid to rest in its grounds, lying beneath ornate tombs and magnificent mausoleums. It has also been years since the old St. Pancratius Chapel at the heart of the cemetery was put to use.

As creepiness goes, the abandoned chapel with its baroque design and skull and crossbones details is pretty hair-raising, especially when you visit it on a quiet afternoon. If you’re lucky enough to peek through an open window, the empty hall and debris on the floor are a haunting remembrance of decay. That said, actual horror stories at the St. Pancratius Chapel are pretty rare, so there should be low to no chance of sightings.

Corregidor Island

Photo by Roberto Verzo | CC BY
Photo by Roberto Verzo | CC BY

Corregidor Island is an integral part of our history. Most Filipino children grow up knowing of its role during the war. Thus it is no secret that hundreds of soldiers died brutal deaths in its soil. Thanks to countless features on horror TV shows, it’s also famous for the eerie things that happen to visitors. To this day, it’s certainly the #1 spot in top haunted places near manila.

If you’re looking to make your heart pound while learning more about our history, go on an overnight tour of the island with Sun Cruises. The package includes sunset visits to the lateral passageways of the Malinta Tunnel, where Japanese soldiers detonated themselves before they can be captured. You will also visit the skeleton of the old Corregidor Hospital, which was air-raided by the Japanese. Whether you experience anything or not, the knowledge of the gruesome events that happened here are enough to creep you out.

Clark Airbase Hospital

creepy-spots-near-manila-clark-airbase-hospitalDeep in the trees of the former Clark Air Base is an abandoned hospital. It’s long been known to locals as a home of spirits and strange things. It became known to the rest of the world when it was featured in National Geographic Channel’s “I Wouldn’t Go In There.” Unlike Corregidor’s World War II hospital, this was used mainly during the US’s Vietnam War. It was where wounded soldiers were extracted and nursed back to health.

Since it was abandoned, the jungle around the hospital has taken free reign. Thus when you enter its long and overgrown driveway, it immediately feels like entering another world. However, based on personal experience as part of the event team that organized the Nat Geo show’s local media premiere, I would recommend you not to go in there either as whatever is in there is not to be messed with. (I certainly never would again!)

Laperal House, Baguio

Image source

Anyone who has been to Baguio has almost certainly passed by the Laperal White House at some point. It sits on Leonard Wood Road, one of the main thoroughfares of Baguio. It was built in the 20’s and served as a Japanese garrison during the war. Over the years, it gained a reputation for being a legitimately one of the top haunted places near Manila. Popular sightings in the Laperal House are of a little girl in the front steps and a lady looking out from a window.

Its security guards and caretakers also have a collection of personal stories for anyone willing to listen. These days, the Laperal House is open to the public thanks to a small museum of local artworks on the ground floor. But the fact that people come here in search of something else doesn’t escape the staff. Rooms in the second story are now fitted with strategically-placed mirrors and hidden dolls inside closets just to give guests a good jump.

Bahay na Pula, Bulacan

Photo by Judgefloro | CC BY

There are few things more horrific than real-life atrocities. The Bahay na Pula in San Ildefonso, Bulacan was a witness to this. During the war, it was used as a garrison by Japanese soldiers. It became the prison for their captives and comfort women, where torture and brutal crimes were committed. Tens, if not hundreds, of Filipino war-crime victims reportedly met their violent ends here in the span of a few years.

At present, only the skeleton of the Bahay na Pula remains, yet the dark cloud surrounding it still seems to linger. Dragging chains, loud pounding on doors, and sometimes even  desperate pleas have been reported here. With or without these creepy experiences though, the memories within the house alone make it one of the top haunted places near Manila.

Mt. Makiling

Photo by incrediblethots | CC BY

Unlike the ghosts and lost souls supposedly dwelling in the previous destination, the inhabitants of Mt. Makiling are said to be elementals or engkanto. There are countless stories of strange encounters from mountaineers where they get dazed, mysteriously lost, encounter strange beings, and sometimes even get possessed by mountain spirits.

The scariest part about experiencing all these in Mt. Makiling is, instead of being able to run away quickly, you are stuck in the middle of a jungle with nowhere to go. Casual ghost hunters are advised against simply going up the mountain’s trails, though. Reliable mountain guides or at least some experience in hiking is required not only to give yourself a shot at successfully exploring the mountain but also to enjoy yourself.

14 Captivating Events in Manila This Week

Here at Ellry, we’re all about making everyday feel like an adventure. We’ve got ideas on how to make the most of your time, even when you’re not leaving town! Find out what’s happening in Manila with Ellry’s weekly guide.

01 UK-Phil Friendship BallUK-Philippine Friendship Ball

With 70 years under its cap, what’s a better way to commemorate the long years of good relations between the UK and the Philippines than through a Friendship Ball? Fashion will take the spotlight in this event with a magnificent fashion show, while the REO Brothers and 4th Impact will provide entertainment to guests. There will be pop-up food booths and an open bar to gratify attendees. A four-course dinner will keep everyone sated. To top it all, there are fantastic raffle prizes at stake, such as a chance to fly Business Class to UK on Etihad Airways.

October 20, 2016 | 6:00PM
Manila Polo Club, McKinley Road, Makati
Tickets: Php2,500 (regular); Php2,000 (for a table of 10 persons)
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24 Hours in Bataan: A Day In The Country’s Cultural Haven

by Julia Escaño

The weekend is coming, and you have nothing planned. Maybe your bones are still a little sore from that climb you did last weekend. But there’s the undeniable travel itch, and you just have to get out there and do something. You want to travel, but hopefully somewhere not too far it will take up your whole weekend again.

We get it. Wanderlust on a time budget is a thing, and we’ve got you covered.

Bataan province is a promising destination for culture and history enthusiasts. The best thing is that it’s only 2 hours from Manila — easily accessible by bus or car! Between shrines, memorials, and beautifully preserved colonial architecture, there is so much to see and do here to foster national appreciation.

If you’ve only got a day for exploration, make every minute count with this handpicked selection of things to do in the country’s cultural and historical mecca. You can kiss your travel itch goodbye for now.

In the morning: Get in touch with history in Mt. Samat National Shrine

Photo by Storm Crypt | CC BY

Start your morning with a solemn but exhilarating bird’s eye view of Bataan’s hills and rice terraces at Mt. Samat Shrine. A scenic drive to Continue reading 24 Hours in Bataan: A Day In The Country’s Cultural Haven

13 Invigorating Events In Manila This Week

Here at Ellry, we’re all about making everyday feel like an adventure. We’ve got ideas on how to make the most of your time, even when you’re not leaving town! Find out what’s happening in Manila with Ellry’s weekly guide.

01 Korean Film Fest2016 Korean Film Festival in Manila

Koren film lovers will take great delight in this 4-day Korean Film Festival,  featuring movie genres ranging from rom-com to arthouse delights. The Korean Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines will be showing 5 popular Korean movies from 2012 to 2015. These films are about sacrifice, love, truth, and success as this year’s festival revolves around the theme “Strong Hearts.” You can choose to watch any or all of these movies in the film festival: How to Use Guys with Secret Tips, The Suspect, Confession of Murder, The Beauty Inside, Ode to My Father. All films have English subtitles.

October 13 – 16, 2016 | 12:00PM – 6:00PM
SM Megamall Cinema 6, 3/F SM Megamall, Edsa cor. Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas, Mandaluyong
Tickets: Free admission
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Welcome to the Mindanao You Rarely Hear About

by Julia Escaño

Imagine this: you’re a group of friends planning your next travel getaway. If you’re the adventurous types, beaches, waterfalls, caves and rivers would probably be on that list. A quick Google search shows you that all the top sights can be found in Mindanao. You’re all excited and pumped up, until someone from the group asks the perennial question — “Is it safe?”

Years of unrest have tarnished Mindanao’s reputation among travelers. Fear, scorn, or at the very least, a hint of concern from our well-meaning Titas are the usual reactions to this travel destination.  A great shame, we think. While there are legitimate reasons to be wary of certain provinces, not all of Mindanao is buried in turmoil. Some regions are just as peaceful- and beautiful – as the rest of the country.

This month we welcome you to the Mindanao you rarely hear or read about. It’s time to get to know this southernmost island groups beyond the grim news we see on TV. Many of the Philippines’ most stunning landscapes, whether natural or man-made, are found here. If you’re ready for an experience of a lifetime, check out these gorgeous sights awaiting you when you travel to Mindanao.

(And yes, Tita, they’re safe.)

Surigao Del Sur

Tinuy-an Falls 

Photo by Rolly Magpayo | CC BY

“Majestic” is perhaps the word that best describes one of the largest waterfalls in the country. With 3 tiers, Tinuy-an Falls stands at 55 meters tall and 95 meters wide, with the middle tier having the biggest drop. It’s a 45-minute to an hour habal-habal ride from Continue reading Welcome to the Mindanao You Rarely Hear About

Farm-to-Table Culinary Adventures in the Philippines

by Anj Santos

You’ve probably noticed the growth of farm-to-table restaurants in the food scene lately. If you’re wondering what it means, it is quite literal – these restaurants get their produce directly from the farm where it was grown. Not from the market, the grocery, or from any third-party supplier. Sometimes, the restaurants grow their own produce too, to ensure the best quality!

While the concept has been around since the 80’s (as a dissent to the then-rising fast food industry), interest in farm-to-table dining has grown in the recent years as people become more health and eco-conscious. Fans go to these restaurants for the assurance that there are no canned or processed ingredients in their foods. The meats, vegetables, and fruits are also healthier since they were harvested at the peak of their ripeness, and go straight from the farm to the restaurant, giving less time for nutrients to dissipate.

But, if you want to get close to the source, here are some 8 of the Philippines’ top farm-to-table tours to try, as well. You’ll see for yourself how the produce was grown, harvested and produced and get to enjoy the end-products right at the farm!

Try these tours for a trip that’s both sensory and educational:

1. Organic Vegetables and Meat
Costales Nature Farms, Laguna

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13 Energizing Things To Do in Manila This Week

Here at Ellry, we’re all about making everyday feel like an adventure. We’ve got ideas on how to make the most of your time, even when you’re not leaving town! Find out what’s happening in Manila with Ellry’s weekly guide.

01 PeliculaPelícula-Pelikula 2016: The 15th Spanish Film Festival

Film fest and chill at the 15th Spanish Film Festival, presented by Instituto Cervantes de Manila, the Embassy of Spain, and the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP). There are 20 carefully selected movies from Spain and Latin American countries that you can enjoy watching, including the much-talked about Isla Bonita, this year’s blockbuster movie in Spain. Bring your friends and binge watch on other acclaimed movies from Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela and Chile. Who knows, your movie binging might just pay off: for every 5 movies you watch, you will qualify to join a raffle that could win you a round-trip to Spain. Hasta la vista?

October 5 – 16, 2016 | 2:00PM – 12:00AM
Greenbelt 3 Cinema 1, Greenbelt Drive, Makati
Tickets: Php100
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Got Skills? Stay for Free at These Lodgings When Traveling Around the Philippines

by Julia Escaño

You’ve booked your flights. You’ve searched through every digital nook and cranny of your destination. You’ve outlined your Must-See and Must-Do lists. You might have even created a special playlist for the trip. All that’s left to tick is finding your home away from home.

Finding cheap accommodations anywhere in the country should be easy enough, but why settle for cheap when you can get it for free? If you’re willing to sweat it out and share your skills, the Philippines has free accommodations for serious travelers who want more bang for their buck.

From the city to the countryside, from the land to the sea, here is a list of free accommodations in the Philippines that allow you to travel while giving something back to the community!

Share your skills for a bed in this Tacloban hostel


What would you do for a free bed? In this hostel, talent and skill are the currency.  Yellow Doors Hostel, an award-winning hostel in post-Yolanda Tacloban, offers a stay-for-free program for skilled guests. By imparting your knowledge through different kinds of workshops, sharing your music by joining jam sessions at their rooftop bar, or offering any other talent that might be handy, you can stay in the hostel for free. It’s not just about saving money,  you get to help enrich the experiences of others while fostering community and Continue reading Got Skills? Stay for Free at These Lodgings When Traveling Around the Philippines

13 Pleasurable Learning Events in Manila This Week

Here at Ellry, we’re all about making everyday feel like an adventure. We’ve got ideas on how to make the most of your time, even when you’re not leaving town! Find out what’s happening in Manila with Ellry’s weekly guide.

Danish Film Fest2nd Danish Film Festival

Here’s another opportunity to watch foreign films for free! Head to the theaters for the second run of the Danish Film Festival. The Embassy of Denmark in the Philippines is bringing in 11 Danish movies to mark the 70 years of friendship between our two countries: Rosita; Idealist (Idealisten); Antboy: Revenge of the Red Fury; Silent Heart (Stille Hjerte); The Keeper of the Lost Causes (Kvinden i buret); Sex, Drugs & Taxation (Spies og Glistrup); The Hour of the Lynx (I lossens time); With Your Permission (Til døden os skiller); Fear Me Not (Den du frygter); The Candidate (Kandidaten)and,  Karla’s World (Karlas Kabale).

September 29 – October 2, 2016 | 1:00PM – 7:30PM
Shang Cineplex, Shangri-la Mall, Mandaluyong
Tickets: Free Admission
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