Redefine Wellness With These Spa Retreats in the Philippines

Is the world getting you down? Perhaps you’ve spent far too much time stuck in traffic. Or maybe work is piling on your shoulders faster than you could bear. Or you simply need an escape from the chaos of everyday life. If you think this is you, then you probably need a spa retreat.

Picture this: waking up to fresh air, filling your body with the freshest and healthiest forms of nourishment, and freeing your mind of any stressors. The best part is you can enjoy the luxuries and benefits of these spa resorts in the Philippines. That’s right; you can find your center and live happy right on our own shores. Check these out!

Nurture Wellness Village, Tagaytay

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Rated as one of the top spas in Asia by CNN Go and Asia Spa Magazine, Nurture Wellness Village in Tagaytay caters the whole nine yards of wellness retreats. You can pick from a variety of international massage therapies if you need a quick soothe. You can avail of detox services, on top of holistic weight loss programs if you want to take cleansing and living healthy to the next level. You can even enlist meditation gurus and lifestyle counselors for a complete mental and psychological turnaround. You can experience all these amidst the backdrop of lush organic gardens, unique accommodations, and the cool air of Tagaytay. Continue reading Redefine Wellness With These Spa Retreats in the Philippines

These Underrated Spots in Ilocos Norte will Redefine Your Vacation

by Julia Escaño

Ilocos Norte, the northwestern-most province in the island of Luzon, has become synonymous with windmills and white beaches. Rightly so, we think, with these popular sights truly a breathtaking experience. But while tourists crowd all the usual spots, there are lots more to see in this rich and laid-back province. Check out these underrated spots in Ilocos Norte for a one-of-a-kind trip (and unique selfies!).

Cabo Bojeador Lighthouse, Burgos

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Also known as the Burgos Lighthouse, the Cabo Bojeador Lighthouse was first lit in March 1892 and is still operational up to this day. It marks the northwestern-most tip of the country and serves as a beacon for ships entering our waters from the north. The lighthouse offers commanding views of Cape Bojeador from its hilltop location. It’s perfect for sunset selfies against the structure’s beautifully preserved Spanish colonial architecture. The lighthouse’s volunteer staff also offer short guided tours where guests can learn all about its Continue reading These Underrated Spots in Ilocos Norte will Redefine Your Vacation

These Scenic Drives in Luzon Will Leave You Breathless

The US has the Pacific Coast Highway; Canada has the Columbia Icefields Parkway, and Australia has the Great Ocean Road. But you don’t have to go abroad just to see beautiful drives and breathtaking highway views. The Philippines has its fair share of gorgeous routes, starting with the most scenic drives in Luzon.

With these vistas, the journey truly becomes half the destination (if not more!) So check your tires, gas up, and pack your car chow as these scenic drives around Luzon give a whole new meaning to road trips.

Halsema Highway to Sagada 


When talking about scenic drives in Luzon, Halsema Highway is perhaps the most famous – and for a good reason. Now that Sagada is a tourist hotspot, Halsema Highway is becoming just as busy. This stretch from Benguet to Mt. Province first became famous for its rolling terrain and sharp zigzags, where the mountain falls off on either side of the road and transforms into rice terraces, small fields, or quaint little villages. It’s also famous for its gasp-inducing turns, where you don’t see the road beneath your car when you look out the window. Another attraction on the Halsema Highway are the rickety old buses speeding like rocket ships, which add a whole new layer of excitement to the experience.

Tabuk to Tinglayan, Kalinga

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Officially, the almost 3-hour-long route is called the Mt. Province-Tabuk-Enrile-Cagayan Road – a mouthful. And when driving through its winding mountainous highway, the road is an eyeful as well. Some turns would reveal verdant rice terraces carved on the mountain ranges as far as the eye can see, while some turns would unveil sparkling blue rivers snaking through the thick forest below. This is one of the most common routes to Buscalan, where the now legendary Apo Whang-Od, the mambabatok, lives. It’s also possible to commute this way by taking a Victory Liner bus from Kamuning to Tabuk, then taking a jeep to Tinglayan. When passing through this road, make sure to keep your windows Continue reading These Scenic Drives in Luzon Will Leave You Breathless

Have this Unique Manila Daytrip by Taking the Pasig River Ferry

Think you’ve seen and done it all around the Metro? Think again! The Pasig River Ferry service may have been opened in 2007 (and reopened in 2014), but it remains to be a secondary and oft-forgotten means to get around the city. With this Manila day trip itinerary, however, not only will you evade traffic, but you’ll also get to discover another side to the city itself.

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Photo by Noel Perlas | CC BY

Operating from Mondays to Saturdays from 6:00AM to 4:15PM, the Pasig River Ferry includes the stations of Plaza Mexico, Escolta, PUP, and Sta. Ana in Manila; Guadalupe in Makati; and San Joaquin and Pinagbuhatan in Pasig. For rates and Continue reading Have this Unique Manila Daytrip by Taking the Pasig River Ferry

Awesome Adventures in Tarlac Perfect for Every Kind of Outdoorsman

by Julia Escaño

Sometimes, the best adventures are found right outside your door – or at least kind of close to it. Take Tarlac, for instance. It is only 2.5 hours from Manila and is a downright mecca of exciting activities. Sure, there is the famous Pinatubo trek, which tourists flock to, year in and year out. But not many are aware that there is so much more to see. Rappelling? Canoeing? Whitewater rafting? There is no shortage of outdoor pursuits in this province north of Manila. If Mother Nature calls out to you on a weekly basis, check out these fun activities in Tarlac that will surely quench your thirst for thrills.

From Above

Fly high on a helicopter ride

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Few things truly capture the phrase “experience of a lifetime,” but a private helicopter ride over the lahar canyons of Tarlac and the turquoise crater of Mt. Pinatubo is one of them. PhilJets, a renowned aeronautics company, offers private charters over the famous volcano. Guests can experience views few have seen, and appreciate one of the country’s most iconic destinations from a breathtaking perspective. PhilJets offers tours ranging from 1 hour and 25 minutes to up to 3 Continue reading Awesome Adventures in Tarlac Perfect for Every Kind of Outdoorsman

This Bulacan Itinerary is Perfect for Every Weekend Warrior

Bulacan is one of the most historical provinces in the Philippines. From the Malolos Constitution to the Battle of Quingua, many momentous events in our country’s story took place here. It’s also rich in culinary tradition and natural resources, making it a great destination for short vacations.

So for you weekend warriors out there, we created a list of the must-visit tourist spots in Bulacan! Choose between natural wonders, cultural landmarks, and delicious food for a fun weekend with the gang.

Tour Angat Rainforest Eco-Park, Norzagaray

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Photo by Albert Lozada | CC BY

The Angat Watershed isn’t only responsible for the potable drinking water or the electricity within Manila and its surrounding towns and provinces. It’s also home to a diverse species of flora and fauna native to the Philippines. A tour at the Angat Rainforest Eco-Park, which is part of the Angat Dam Continue reading This Bulacan Itinerary is Perfect for Every Weekend Warrior

This Heritage Town in Laguna is a Living Museum Worth Visiting

by Julia Escaño

If the constant stream of tourists in places like Vigan and Taal say anything, it’s that there’s still space in the Filipino’s heart for culture and history. After all, there’s no better way to get a feel for the olden days than to visit a town that’s pretty much a time machine. One such place is the Pila Heritage Town in Laguna.

Pila’s historic town center is located in Barangay Sta. Clara Norte. In 2000, The National Historical Comission (NHC) declared it as a National Historical Landmark, but didn’t gain traction as a mainstream tourist spot until a few years ago. If you’re looking for a cultural weekend experience and a quick break from the city, check out Pila Heritage Town for a good dose of history.

It’s only 1 of 4 such towns in the country

Over the centuries, one war or another obliterated most of our rich heritage. After 300 years of Spanish colonization and the subsequent American reign, we were left with only 4 towns recognized as national historic landmarks. These are the city of Vigan, the town of Taal in Batangas, Silay in Negros, and Pila, Laguna.

It’s like going back in time

A visit to Pila Heritage Town is an excellent way to get a real feel of the Philippines in that era. Its rareness and the stellar condition is a unique peek at the way the country once was. It’s also an opportunity for some great photos, with blocks and blocks Continue reading This Heritage Town in Laguna is a Living Museum Worth Visiting

8 Artsy Activities to Enjoy in Manila

Sure, Manila gets a bad rap for its horrendous traffic and pollution. And while many people (locals and foreigners alike) love to hate this frequently misunderstood city, the country’s capital is teeming with fun things to do and cool places to see—particularly for the artsy and creative. If you’re happiness revolves around arts, crafts, and music, do check out these 8 creative activities in Manila.

1. Visit museums

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Visiting museums is not just all about appreciating or interpreting art. It is also one of the quickest ways to better understand a city. So needless to say, whether you’re into arts or not, a trip to the museum should be on your things to do in Manila list. Admire artworks, sculptures and artifacts at these museums*:

The National Museum
Artists of all levels and skills should pay the National Museum a visit, as it holds some of the most significant artworks and archeological pieces about the Filipino culture. Many of these national treasures date as far back as the 18th century, such as the 3,000-year-old Manunggul Burial Jar. Of course, our very own version of Mona Lisa, Juan Luna’s Spoliarium, will surely give you heart-wrenching feels and chills. Artworks by Hidalgo, Botong Francisco, Luz, and Manansala, are also a must-see. Continue reading 8 Artsy Activities to Enjoy in Manila

Volunteer Diving Expeditions in the Philippines with Marine Conservationists

by Julia Escaño

A few months ago, in October 2016, nature conservation groups World Wildlife Fund and Fondation Segré added over a million hectares of offshore and coastal waters to the Philippines’ Marine Protected Areas. These are found within 2 barangays in Palawan: Cagayancillo and Aborlan. They flank the Tubbataha Reefs in the Coral Triangle and are meant to bolster fish stocks.

The residents of Cagayancillo welcomed this news, after clamoring to be declared a Marine Protected Area for years. They claim that the conservation efforts being done in the Coral Triangle result in a better livelihood. Though it’s still a long way before all of the Philippines’ 1557 MPA’s become as successful as Cagayancillo, it’s still a step in the right direction.

If you are passionate about our oceans, and the riches beneath them, you can be a part of these efforts, too. By volunteering in marine conservation projects in the Philippines, you can take part in protecting the seas with these group of conservationists:

Marine Conservation Philippines

If you’re an avid scuba diver and you want to give back to the habitat you so enjoy, check out Marine Conservation Philippines. This non-profit organization works to preserve, protect, and enrich the country’s underwater resources. Marine Conservation Philippines’ has a range of projects with different durations. Some projects such as the creation of artificial reefs are one-offs. Meanwhile, others are continuous, such as research and documentation.

Website | Facebook

Coral Cay Conservation

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Coral Cay Conservation or CCC is an international NGO that’s been running since 1986. They entered the Philippine marine conservation scene in 1996, and until Continue reading Volunteer Diving Expeditions in the Philippines with Marine Conservationists

Where to Travel this Year of the Rooster Based on Your Zodiac Sign

The Year of the Fire Rooster is fast approaching. From January 28 to February 18, 2018, the Fire Rooster will be ruling the astrological skies. And with it comes many predicted changes. According to Chinese astrologers online, the interaction of the 5 elements brought by the Fire Rooster will bring about many new things. After a dramatic 2016, many are apprehensive about what the coming year will bring.

But that’s no excuse to stop living every day to the fullest! Just take heed about what the year is set to bring you to make the most of your 2017. Here is our list of where to travel in 2017 based on your zodiac sign’s forecast. If you don’t subscribe to Chinese astrology, then consider this a 2017 to-do list.

Good luck!

Year of the Rat

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Born: 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1084, 1996, 2008 

Forecast

It’s going to be a stellar year career-wise for female Rats, thanks to due recognition and praise. While male rats are predicted to have a steady, uneventful year, it’s also the time to build good connections and create new work relationships. Just make sure to avoid quarrels, which might lead to loss of assets.

Travel

Give yourself a pat on the back with all your career achievements this year. As a reward, an escape from the city and the daily grind may be just what you need. Go for a quick getaway in Manila or bask in some luxury in Boracay with the special Continue reading Where to Travel this Year of the Rooster Based on Your Zodiac Sign