The Best Long Weekend Destinations Near Metro Manila

The Best Long Weekend Destinations Near Metro Manila

It’s that time of the year again when families come together and spend time with their departed loved ones at the cemetery. It’s a once a year tradition that’s almost equally important as our parents’ or grandparents’ birthdays. While it’s only a one-day celebration, it’s going to be a long holiday this year as November 1 and 2 falls on Thursday and Friday.

Since all Souls Day is synonymous to Halloween for Filipinos, and a long weekend is attached to the occasion this year, it presents a travel opportunity for families. Not to mention, it’s the rainy season, so everyone’s enthusiasm for travel and adventure is at rock bottom, so you’ll enjoy destinations with less crowd than peak seasons.

If you’re looking to forward to a quick road trip with the fambam this long weekend (right after that trip to the cemetery, of course) and make the best out of the season, here are our top picks!

Angono Rizal

image from realliving.com.ph

This province of Rizal is a go-to destination for culture, arts, and native cuisines.  Dubbed as the “Art Capital of the Philippines,” this small town east of Manila has come to be known for its Filipino artists. Since its feature is greatly centered around its arts and culture, tourists will find themselves indulging on this town’s arts gallery and museums. In fact, even at homegrown restaurants and cafes at Anggono Rizal, tourists will be greeted with the town’s artistic flair.

For your information

30kms from Manila ( 2 hours drive)

Recommended places
  • Balaw-Balaw Folk Food & Folk Art Specialty Restaurant
  • Blanco family museum
  • Tiamson Art Gallery
  • The Second Gallery
  • Angono Bingangonan Petroglyphs
  • Yab Design, Inc.

Tanay Rizal

Tanay is quickly becoming a go-to destination for a quick weekend getaway as it offers some of the newest adventures with Metro Manila’s proximity.  It mostly offers outdoor activities both for seasoned adventurers and newbies. Despite the wide array of psychically engaging excursion that it boasts, less straining activities are also available for those who just want to wind down and chill.

For your information

60km from Manila (3 hours drive)

Recommended places
  • Mt Daraitan
  • Daranak Falls
  • Batlag Falls
  • Parola Light House
  • Regina Rosarii Institute
  • San Ildefonso Church
  • Masungi Georeserve
  • Tanay Adventure Camp
  • Calinawan Cave

Tagaytay City

While it’s wet season in the Philippines currently, it doesn’t exactly spare everyone from the scorching heat of the Metro Manila climate. Tagaytay is one of the most famous destinations near Metro Manila for that quick reprieve from the heat – summer season or not. It’s basically among the coldest places in the Philippines, boasting fresh clean air and a pleasant atmosphere.

For your information

66kms from Metro Manila (2 hours drive)

Recommended places

  • Sky Ranch
  • People’s Park in the Sky

Laguna

Laguna is a testament that paradise isn’t always made of pearly beaches and white sands. Despite getting partly overlooked because it isn’t your typical Philippine destination (like beaches), much of Laguna’s beauty is about its untouched and densely covered rainforests and waterfalls. Additionally, its towns radiate its glorious past as it retains its historic facade. And as a bonus, Laguna’s cuisine showcases some of the best of the Southern Tagalog region.

For your information

102km from Metro Manila (3 hours drive)

Recommended places
  • Rizal Shrine, Calamba
  • Seven Lakes, San Pablo City.
  • Nuvali, Sta. Rosa
  • Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery.
  • Bunga Falls, Nagcarlan.
  • Majayjay Falls and Cold Springs.
  • Shooting the Rapids to Pagsanjan Falls (aka Cavinti Falls).
  • Cavinti Falls via Pueblo El Salvador Eco-Park.
  • Hulugan Falls.  
  • Paete Town. An artistic town most famous for its sculpting tradition.

Bataan

The province of Bataan is best known for its historical and cultural attractions that will make you feel as if you have stepped back in time. One of the most popular among international and domestic tourists visiting Bataan is Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, an open-air museum and heritage park complex made up of reconstructed ancestral houses from different parts of the country. There are currently 27 heritage houses that recreate the ambiance of a colonial village.

For your information

128km from Manila (4 hours drive)

Recommended places
  • World War II Museum
  • Mount Samat National Shrine
  • Pamulaklakin Forest
  • Bataan National Park
  • Balangan Nature and Wetland Park
  • Dunsuan Falls
  • St Joseph’s Cathedral

Nueva Ecija

Contrary to what most Manila locals think, this town isn’t just about rice fields. Surprisingly, it has some picturesque sights to see, adrenaline pumping excursion for those thrill-seeking junkies, gorgeous limestones, hot springs, and more! Nueva Ecija is comparable to that demure colleague of yours – a bit mysterious and reflective, who would rather be discovered than to flaunt her personality deliberately. She might just sit quietly at the corner, but when you get to know her, you’ll see a free-spirited side of her – that’s Nueva Ecija in a nutshell.

For your information

129km from Manila (4 hours drive)

Recommended places
  • Minalungao National Park
  • PMP Paradise Farm
  • NFA Museum
  • Philrice

Ilocos Sur

Ilocos Sur, a place rich in natural wonders and history, is the last place on this list but certainly not the least. Spending two days in this place is enough for all the must-sees and must-dos in the city, and you can still reserve the last day of the weekend for a quiet staycation. If your idea of a great vacation involves digging into the past, you might want to take a detour in Ilocos Sur, Philippines. You may not find a pyramid or castle ruins, but you will surely see a place that can only be described as a museum of a rich and colorful past.

For your information

365 km from Manila (6 hours drive)

Recommended places
  • Vigan
  • Bantay Belfry
  • Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
  • Tirad Pass
  • Sta Maria Church
  • Northern Luzon Heroes Hill National Park
  • Archbishop’s Palace

If you simply want to have a quick holiday outside Metro Manila this long weekend, there isn’t any shortage of destinations that will give you a good time without flying far and spending your savings! Whether you want a quiet retreat or an exhilarating adventure, these places are just a few hours drive!

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