by Julia Escaño
Last week’s confirmation that Coldplay is coming to Manila resulted in mass euphoria. Then it was quickly followed by outrage and disappointment upon seeing soaring ticket prices, especially compared to their rates overseas. Local VIP tickets cost Php22,500, while the same costs only Php10,385.50 in Singapore and just under Php6,500 in South Korea based on exchange rates as of this writing.
If you’re torn whether to shell out that much dough for one night or to just use it for a bigger adventure, check out this list of alternatives. Here are all the things you can see and do for the price of watching Coldplay in Manila.
Watch them live in Singapore
Make like a jetsetter and check out the band in Singapore. A roundtrip Jetstar flight leaving on March 31 and returning on April 2 costs only Php8,323.60 gross with no check-in baggage allowance. With over Php3000 left over from airfare and ticket price, you can still afford two nights on a cozy dorm worth under a thousand pesos. You’ll also have enough for some authentic hawker fare at the original Makansutra, plus epic photo ops to boot!
Total amount: Php22,500, with change to spare
Concert date: April 1, 2017
Watch them live in South Korea
For as low as Php13,681, you can get a roundtrip ticket via Jeju Air flying in on April 14, arriving morning of the 15th, and flying out on April 18 – the cheapest flights that week. Accommodations in the Jamsil area, where the concert will be held, start at Php844 for dorm rooms. While the total for a 3-night stay is over the Philippine VIP ticket price, the difference is not that big and you will have been able to see Seoul in the process. The city has a plethora of free museums, parks, night markets, and awesome street food perfect for budget travelers.
Total amount: Php22,500 + a little extra
Concert date: April 15, 2017
Watch them live in Taiwan
Compared to Coldplay in Manila, ticket prices in Taiwan cost NT $7,800. At the time of writing, it converts to Php12,087. If you can get your hands on roundtrip Cebu Pacific flights from April 11-April 13, you only need Php8,080.99 gross. (You can also opt to stay longer since flights that whole week are in the same range anyway.) That gives you just enough for dormitory-style beds, which can cost at least Php1,200 per night. For a quickie 2-night stay, not only do you get to see Coldplay live, but also get to experience the country’s vibrant art scene and world-renowned food haunts. Plus, have we mentioned that Taiwan in April is a great destination for cherry blossoms too?
Total amount: Php22,500 + a little extra
Concert date: April 12, 2017
Forget the concert and meditate in Bali instead
If you’re looking for some peace and good vibes, you might want to visit Bali. Between surfing in Kuta, partying in Seminyak, beach bumming in Nusa Dua, meditating in Ubud, and chillaxing in Amed, it’s a great place for restoring your energy and spirit. It may be a far cry from a rock concert, but it’s money well spent. Roundtrip Cebu Pacific flights cost an average Php15,000 gross in April. With an average dorm rate of Php800 per night, and full hotel room rate of Php1,500 per night, you’ll have lots to spare for food tripping, sightseeing, shopping for unique Balinese crafts, and of course, saltwater and sunshine to soothe you soul.
Total cost: Php19,500 for airfare and lodgings
Go on an epic Southeast Asian adventure
Got time to spare and the moolah for VIP tickets? Why not have Southeast Asian adventures instead? You can fly roundtrip to Bangkok for Php14,503 gross via Philippine Airlines. Spend a day or two in the city exploring the ornate temples, giant buddhas, and exciting city streets teeming with backpackers. Then take the bus to Siem Reap for Php1,300 and spend another day or two getting cultured in Angkor Thom. Lodgings in these countries are famously cheap, dropping to as low as Php250 per night per head on shared rooms. For Php22,500 you can explore 2 countries, learn about 2 cultures, and possibly have cash to spare!
Total cost: dirt cheap!
Splurge on our very own islands
Have you been to Puerto Princesa? If you haven’t but you’re thinking about it, consider this as your sign from the universe. If you have, maybe it’s time to try it with some more luxury. For the price of Coldplay in Manila VIP tickets, you can fly (Php3,867 gross via PAL Express) to and from this gorgeous Palawan city, stay for 3 nights at a 4 star hotel (Best Western Plus). Then you can go explore the famous Undergound River, the firefly colonies living in ancient mangroves, the white sand beaches, amazing coral reefs, and possibly even have money to spare for a spa sesh and massages. The same rate goes for most of our other local destinations like Bohol, Cebu, and Davao. If you’re hesitant about shelling out a whack of cash for one night, there’s nothing to hesitate about for three nights of stunning sights and memorable adventures right in your own backyard.
Total cost: Php10,667 for airfare and lodgings