Picture this: you and your barkada of creative souls and inquisitive minds are looking to get some inspiration. Sure there are museums and galleries abound in Manila, but maybe you’re looking to get out of the city too. Is there a place you can go where your creative juices can be stirred without the stresses that come with traveling in the city? The answer is a resounding yes, there are awesome barkada destinations near Manila that artsy groupies like you can venture.
Not only are there quaint galleries and museums to be discovered outside the metro, but there are also places where you can get your hands dirty and let the creative juices freely flow. Bonus points: many of these spots entail a road trip and some good food too!
Ugu Bigyan’s Pottery Garden and Restaurant
Established in 2000, Ugu Bigyan’s Pottery Garden and Restaurant has remained an underrated destination in Tiaong, Quezon. But for aspiring potters, hungry foodies, or just admirers of finer things, this place can’t be missed. Ugu Bigyan is a renowned Filipino pottery artist who decided to open his lovely home and even more delightful garden to the public.
Hurray, Filipinos are now officially visa-free when traveling to Taiwan! As reported by Philippine Star in this article, for the trial period starting on June 1, 2017 to July 31, 2018, Filipinos can stay in Taiwan visa-free for up to 30 days. With such a rich culture, mouth-watering food, and gorgeous landscapes, who wouldn’t be flocking here as soon as possible right? We know most of you are already itching to go, and some of you have probably booked your flights. So check out this Taiwan itinerary perfect for the next long weekend and have the (food)trip of a lifetime.
Get a sweeping view of Taipei on your first day for a real feel of its landscape. Maokong is a town just at the edge of Taipei that is famous for its tea plantations and panoramic city views. Explore the town through winding footpaths that take you around scenic tea fields and quaint streets or just sit back and relax in one of the many teahouses.
Ever dreamed of wandering the time-warped streets of Havana? Or maybe you always wanted to experience authentic reggae and dub poetry in the streets of Kingston? Or, just lounge around on the gorgeous beaches of Grand Bahama? If you’ve been nurturing grand fantasies of the gorgeous Caribbean islands, then you’re in luck. We’ve compiled all you need to know in this ultimate Caribbean visa guide for Filipino travelers just like you!
Antigua and Barbuda
Why visit: Antigua and Barbuda are twin islands sitting right in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. While it’s famous for its reef-lined beaches (ideal for snorkeling and diving) and lush jungles for outdoor explorers, its capital city of St. John also offers a bustling, rustic, quintessential Caribbean charm. After a day of sunbathing or strolling around the colonial streets, you can take your pick from its many resorts, catering to every style and level of traveler.
Who doesn’t associate Puerto Galera with beaches? But while its white shores get filled up by people, there’s more to this favorite destination than meets the eye. Rediscover this tourist town by going deeper into their rich landscape. Check out these fun and exciting alternative Puerto Galera activities you can enjoy apart from beach-bumming and sunbathing.
Looking for a different way to cool off? Take a dip in the freshwater pool of Tamaraw Falls in Barangay Villaflor. Its 423-foot tall cascade is made up of a series of smaller cascades that merge into one grand fall at the base. Around it are also cottages perfect for picnics and chilling. To get here, you can take a tricycle from the beach areas of Puerto Galera to the Calapan Terminal, and then a take a jeep that will pass by the falls. The good news is it’s right on the road, making it Continue reading Rediscover Puerto Galera with These Fun Activities
So you and the gang aren’t quite outdoorsy. The mountains don’t call out to you, and the beach is only fun when you have it all to yourselves. You don’t like malling either and find sifting through the crowds tedious. And those “tugs-tugs” clubs – let’s not even go there. So what do you guys do on a Friday night or a free weekend? Check out this list of Manila spots for geeky barkadas to find your answer!
Table Taft Board Game Café
Normal meals getting too boring for your barkada? Give it a geeky twist at Table Taft Board Game Café. A fave hangout spot for Taft Avenue students, Table Taft, has a wide selection of games you and the gang can enjoy over awesome affordable food. Compliment Cards Against Humanity with their bowls, or joust over Jenga with their ice cream shakes. Whatever mood you guys are in, there’s a board game – meal combo for you. Just make sure you don’t have classes after because you might not Continue reading Go for a Geek-fest in these Manila Spots for Geeky Barkadas
Batangas is one of the go-to easy escapes for Manila dwellers. That’s probably why its beaches, like Matabungkay and Calatagan, are always jam-packed. But just because you want a quick getaway doesn’t mean you have to endure the crowd, especially when there’s still an undiscovered town waiting to be enjoyed. Case in point: Lobo, Batangas.
Sitting between Batangas City and San Juan, this coast town is a quiet gem filled with surprises. If you’re a nature lover and an avid explorer, check out Lobo, Batangas while you can still have it all to yourself.
Dive in untouched reefs
Lobo, Batangas may not share the same fame as Anilao, but it shares the same rich underwater life. Lobo has vast reefs brimming with sea fans and giant bouquets, as well as critters perfect for macro photography. Some of the more exciting dive sites are the Lumbangan Underwater Cave, a 60-foot deep tunnel which gets its only light from a small crack overhead, and the Malagundi Point Coral Wall, which is an 80-foot drop covered in vibrant underwater life. Continue reading This Secret Spot in Batangas is What You Need this Summer
Calling all thrill-seekers, aspiring thrill-seekers, and ambivalent thrill-seekers alike! If you are looking for a rush of adrenaline, without the crazy life-threatening risks involved, you might want to check out this fun activity in Capas, Tarlac. Only a few hours away from Manila, Capas ATV Adventure offers different packages designed to satiate your need for speed while taking you through some breathtaking experiences. Curious? Here’s what to expect when you go for a ride of a lifetime.
Choose your adventure
Capas ATV Adventure has 4 different packages, catering to varying levels of experience (or guts!). The Lahar Short Trail is the cheapest and easiest, ideal for beginner ATV riders or those who have limited time. The Tambo Lake drive, meanwhile, is a good balance between relatively easy riding through lahar planes, streams, and short rivers. It is 2-3 hours long and ends in peaceful Tambo Lake, where you can relax and even opt to go fishing. The third option is to Maruglo Falls, a 10 km long ride lasting 3 hours. And for those with real determination, the Pinatubo Crater ride is 7 hours long and is a more hardcore Continue reading Feel a Different Kind of Thrill with This Capas ATV Adventure
Visita Iglesia is an intrinsic part of Filipino culture during Holy Week. Visiting 7 churches not only appeals to our piety, but to our natural penchants for lakwatcha as well. Thus over the years the traditional Visita Iglesia has evolved into a family or barkada affair that also involves travel and adventure. So this year, try out this Laguna Visita Iglesia itinerary for a prayerful and cultural Holy Week.
One of the largest cities in the province of Laguna is San Pablo. It is most famous for its Seven Lakes, which are a major daytrip destination. For a quick trip, visit the largest of the lakes, Sampaloc Lake, which is just behind the city hall. Take a quick stroll around the lake or have a bite at Café Lago for a sweeping lake view. Continue reading Try this Laguna Visita Iglesia Itinerary for a Memorable Holy Week
Nothing beats a good ol’ road trip with friends and family. A bag full of snacks, fun playlist, and wacky travel companions are all you need for a good time. Fortunately, old roads are being renovated and new expressways are being built making road trips safer and faster.
A good idea for road trips is to travel to the farthest destination first. then visit the interesting attractions and fun activities on your way back. This will ensure you still have energy for sightseeing and not get bored of the travel back home.
Now that you have everything prepared, here are some incredible destinations you should venture when you plan to road trip outside Manila.
The Northwest Road Trip – Ilocos
Probably one of the most popular road trips in Luzon, many undertake this 12-hour drive to the province of Ilocos northwestern part of Luzon. If you love history and relics from the past, this road trip is perfect for you. This trip might take a few days depending on how long you intend to stay at each destination. Three to four days are sufficient for most.
On your first day, head to the edge of Luzon at Pagudpud (12-hours from Manila). Take a break from the long journey by dropping by these interesting points along the way:
– Surf at San Juan, La Union
– Eat Calasiao Puto, Pigar-pigar, and Bangus at Dagupan
– Take a quick dip at Suso Beach, Ilocos Sur
Summer is well on its way, and with it comes the face-melting heat we all know and love (not really). Thankfully, we’re also blessed with a ton of natural resources which provide instant relief from the sun. Apart from beaches and lakes, we also have dozens and dozens of waterfalls – some in one province alone!
Just an hour or two from Manila are a plethora of choices for a relaxing and refreshing summer day trip. Check out these waterfalls near Manila for your next barkada adventure.
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Dahoyhoy Falls is merely 1 of a rumored 20 waterfalls in the town of Mauban. Along with Hagdan-hagdan Falls and Alitap Falls, Dahoyhoy is one of the more popular falls thanks to its accessibility and natural beauty. Getting there is a scenic hike through rice fields and hanging bridges, though it is relatively easy thanks to a cement pathway. There are stone picnic tables and lots of shade right beside the basin, perfect for a relaxing lunch by the waterside. Despite its accessibility, the falls still aren’t overrun by tourists, which means that if you’re Continue reading Awesome Waterfalls Near Manila for Cool Summer Daytrips