Holy Week is upon us, and planning ahead is key to avoiding traffic and all sorts of bad vibes that can ruin the holidays, but what exactly do you plan? There are some plans that aren’t as apparent, while there are others that you won’t expect to be fun but could be.
For thrillseekers with 4x4 SUVs and pickup trucks, going off-road is probably more exciting than mall-crawling any day of the week (more on that later). Letting loose on gravel, sand, mud or even rocks can really get the adrenaline pumping in your system, and the right vehicles for the job are a must along with the proper suspension and tire mods. Other than that, it’s totally possible to take a stock car off the beaten path, though you may run into a bit of difficulty.
A quick Google search and a bunch of our off-road adventures tell us that you don’t need a road to have fun, and you don’t need to go fast to have a blast. Places like Porac, Pampanga, have trails, and even heading to Mt. Pinatubo’s trail is quite a ride. You can also visit Tanay, Rizal, and gun for Jungle Base for a sick adventure. One of our more far-flung adventures brought us to Vietnam on the sand dunes of Mui Ne, but unless you’re willing to take a flight and have loads of time and a vehicle waiting for you on the other side of the looking glass, local trails will do nicely.
Speaking of mall-crawling, if you don’t have a 4x4 vehicle to bring you off the beaten path, then consider shopping at your local mall, or shake it up a bit by heading to flea markets to give you the most bang for your buck. Any car can do this, but given the roads of the Philippines, it’ll be best to have a nice compact vehicle that can navigate streets with ease and park with confidence.
Perhaps a more posh setting is more to your liking, or a shopping adventure is in the books? Try your luck at places like Divisoria, SM Taytay, or even Greenhills. You don’t have to go far, at all to get the best deals, but be ready with your negotiating caps. Or perhaps you’d like a stroll in the mall to spend time with family and friends. Either way, it’s not uncommon to go to malls on the holidays, and neither is it too cliche—okay, maybe a little bit.
Shopping, but not in a mall?
There are other places to shop besides malls. If you’re willing to put in the miles, there are plenty of other places that you can go to that can offer you something you won’t normally find in the city. Of course, it’ll be a bit of a drive to get to these more novel destinations, but the drive should be worth it.
One time, we were tasked to go outside of the city with a Ford Territory in order to secure plants—yes, plants. One such location that we visited during our adventure was Elma’s Garden and Restaurant, a nice and quaint place that has food and plants for the discerning plantito or plantita. You shouldn’t be limited to this location alone, however. There are many more out there that you can consider, and it’ll likely be just a Google search away.
Head to Tagaytay
Right, so this is probably the most overly-visited vacation spot for the holidays, but why the heck not? Tagaytay is a great place to visit with friends or family. Whether in a car or a bike, you will typically find people there even on the normal weekends dining at restaurants and having coffee. The roads going up Tagaytay can get quite traffic, so unless you’re on two wheels that can head to the highway, make sure you plan ahead and leave earlier to skip the long lines at the toll booth and in traffic!
One of our adventures led us to Napa at Crosswinds, a charming cafe that had stunning views and equally good food. It’s the perfect place to have brunch with friends or family. Either that or you can visit one of our favorite destinations near Tagaytay, Gourmet Farms. The guys at G-Farms know how to whip up a nice and refreshing organic breakfast that’s as delicious as it is healthy. Good for the soul and with free-flowing coffee, it’s a destination that we return to over and over again. Other than that, you can try other more popular places like Leslie’s or even Breakfast at Antonio's. If you’re willing to wait in line, we’re sure that you’ll be fully satisfied.
While not yet published on our site, the last recommendation that we can give you to beat the heat is to go wakeboarding. Don’t settle for run-of-the-mill swimming when you can skim the top of the water while getting pulled by ropes. Challenge yourself to get better in Decawake’s beginner lake or be bold and head straight to the main lake for some real wakeboarding action.
Don’t fret if it is your first time too, we took a trip to Decawake Clark, and we did not know anything about how to balance on a wakeboard. In fact, this activity is surprisingly affordable and equally hilarious when your friends do unwittingly fall and faceplant into the water. Remember to take videos, and make sure to bring towels, otherwise, pray that your leather seats will hold up to the water. Luckily for us, they did.
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