White Sand Beach With Mountain Background

Summer Vacation and Holiday Guide 2017

Summer is here. You can practically feel it in the rising temperatures of Metro Manila. Once again, it’s time to strategically start using those vacation leave days to make the most out of them. Since the number of credits given to an employee is limited to at least five per year, proper planning is essential. Plan your holidays around the long weekend calendar and get those extra day or two of leisure. Research is key and don’t forget to have that reliable travel credit card ready. To get you started, here are a few suggestions for Summer 2017.

Magellan's CrossBalance of Reflection and Relaxation on Holy Week at Cebu

Dates: April 13 to 16, 2017 (4 days total; 5 days with 2-day leave, preferably on Holy Wednesday, April 12 and Monday, April 17 to allow you to recuperate from your holiday hangover.)

If you’re seeking for a balance of serenity and inner peace, there’s no better place to spend your Holy Week in 2017 than in Cebu. Famous for its historical sites and gorgeous beaches, Cebu offers its visitors plenty of opportunities for relaxation, thrilling expeditions or self-reflection during the Holy Week.Manila to Cebu map

Best Way to Get There:

  • By air (45 minutes): Fly from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila to Mactan, Cebu at around ₱3600.00 (round trip).


Regarded as the birthplace of Christianity in the Philippines, Cebu offers a rich cultural heritage that spans centuries.

Day 1: Cebu City Tour

  • Magellan’s Cross – This iconic monument marks the spot where the explorer Ferdinand Magellan planted a cross after baptising the first Filipinos Christians.
  • Fort San Pedro – The fort houses the Regional National Museum, which exhibits artefacts from the San Diego ship wreck from Wednesday to Sunday.
  • Taoist Temple – This beautiful temple is approximately 300 meters above sea level and offers amazing views.
  • Basilica Minore del Santo Niño – See the oldest and most celebrated religious icon in the Philippines, the statue of the Santo Niño, which was presented to Queen Juana of Cebu by Magellan after her baptism.
  • Colon Street – Visit the oldest street in Cebu for shopping and entertainment discoveries.

Taoist Temple Cebu

Day 2: Oslob Tour

  • Whale shark watching – Get up close and personal, and even swim alongside them.
  • Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception – 19th century church built by the Spanish.
  • Cuartel and Baluarte – ruins of Spanish barracks and watchtowers.
  • Tumalog Falls – Cool cascade of crystal clear water.

Oslob Whale Shark Watching

Day 3: Bantayan Island – It boasts one of the most elaborate processions in the country.

  • Ogtong Cave – Bath in a subterranean pool.
  • Santa Fe – powdery white sand beach.
  • Obo-ob Mangrove Garden
  • Pantalan – The most beautiful spot in the island.
  • Bantayan Church – The oldest church in Cebu.

Bantayan Island

Day 4: Badian Tour

  • Kawasan Falls – See the cascading waterfalls steeped in lush greenery on the island’s south western coastline, where bamboo rafts, swings and calm pools are also available.
  • Swim in a hidden lagoon in Kawasan river.
  • Taboan Public Market – Be rewarded with a taste of favourite local seafood snacks, such as danggit or dried fish (the market’s specialty) and lechon (roast pig).

Kawasan Falls

  • Day 5: Mactan Island
    • Mactan – Its crystal-clear waters attract snorkelling and diving enthusiasts.


Quest Hotel Cebu

  • Quest Hotel, Archbishop Reyes Avenue
    • Price range: ₱2,671 – ₱4,082*
    • 5 km from Cebu City center
  • Crown Regency Hotel & Towers, Osmena Boulevard, Fuente Towers
    • Price range: ₱2,873 – ₱4,334*
    • 4 km from Cebu City center

* Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room. Hotel selection based on traveler reviews.

Travel Tips:

  • Travelling alone is possible as the province has one of the friendliest locals, but having a travelling buddy is better to share the cost.
  • Although public transportation is somewhat lacking, there are plenty of taxis available.
  • Whale shark watching is only until lunch time. Best to be there very early.
  • Try the famous Lechon
  • The public markets are the best places to buy pasalubong or souvenirs, haggling is key.
  • Mactan should be last part of your itinerary if you’re flying out from the airport to save you time.

Estimated Cost:

Plane Ticket 2-way ₱3,600.00
Accommodations (5 days + 4 nights) ₱13,500.00
Daily expenses including transportation, tours, and food
·        Day 1: Getting a feel of the city ₱1,000.00
·        Day 2: Oslob ₱2,000.00
·        Day 3: Bantayan Island Tour ₱2,500.00
·        Day 4: Kawasan Falls ₱1,000.00
·        Day 5: Mactan Island ₱1,000.00
Total Expense: ₱24,600.00


Laboracay party scene

Photo by Art Oca

Play Hard This Labor Day Weekend at Boracay

Dates: April 29 to May 1, 2017 (3 days total; 4 days with 1 day leave)

Boracay is the obvious destination of choice during this holiday, thanks to its famous Labor Day weekend parties known as Laboracay. But if you’re not after the party scene, don’t worry, Boracay has something for everyone and you won’t run out of things to do.

boracay map philippinesBest Way to Get There:

Boracay Island is located about 315 kilometers south of Manila in the region of Western Visayas. If you’re coming from Manila, flying is the best option. Here are the two airports serving Boracay-bound passengers:

  • Flying from Manila to Kalibo (Approx. 2 hours, 45 minutes) ₱ 1300 to ₱ 2500 (round trip)
  • Flying from Manila to Caticlan (1 hour, 15 minutes) ₱ 7000 to ₱ 10,000 (round trip)

Other fees include ferry fare, environmental fee, terminal fee, and ₱ 200 for Caticlan Jetty Port fees (which covers cooperative, terminal, environmental and admission fees).


Boracay has consistently topped the list of the best beaches in the world. The island is also a favourite for water sports enthusiasts – parasailing, banana boats and jet skiing.

Day 1: White Beach

  • White Beach – Considered to be one of the best beaches in the world, this is where most of the island’s hotels, restaurants and bars are located. D’Mall is located here.
  • Willy’s Rock – Best time to visit is during low tide. Stay until sundown and watch the magnificent sun disappear behind the horizon.
  • LaBoracay – Set to happen from April 30 to May 1, visitors can look forward to the LaBoracay World of Nine Sunkissed Tour—a hyped-up dance party featuring the music of The Moment is Ready, Clean Bandit, Dario G, Yves V, Michael Woods, and others. Foam and booze are expected.

Willy's Rock Boracay

Day 2: Island Hopping

  • Boat Tours – Lunch is included and you can enjoy the sunset directly off the boat.
  • Ariel’s Point – A cliff jumping spot, Ariel’s Point offers stunning view.
  • LaBoracay

Ariel's Point

Day 3: Other Attractions

  • Butterfly Garden – This attractive landscape garden is home to rare species of exotic tropical butterflies as well as rare trees and plants.
  • Mount Luho – The highest point of Boracay. Go on a clear day for best views. There is a small entrance fee and a mini-zoo as you approach the top.
  • Puka Beach – It is an 800 meter stretch of white sand and puka shells, hence its name. It is perfect for kiteboarding and surfing.
  • LaBoracay

Puka Beach Boracay

Day 4: Shopping

  • Buy Pasalubong (Souvenirs) at D’Talipapa or D’Mall.


Jony's Beach Resort

  • Jony’s Beach Resort
    • Price Range: ₱3,981 – ₱8,920*
    • Station 2; 0.2 km from Boracay center
  • Dave’s Straw Hat Inn
    • Price Range: ₱1,865 – ₱2,973*
    • Station 3; 1.4 km from Boracay center

* Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room. Hotel selection based on traveler reviews.

Travel Tips:

  • The prices for food varies greatly for travellers of every kind. Cheap eats are plenty for the budget-conscious beach bum, you just need to look beyond D’Mall.
  • Boracay is divided into three portions: Station 1, Station 2, and Station 3. The posh and expensive hotels are mostly located at Station 1, while the budget accommodations are mostly at Station 3. Station 2 is known as the center of nightlife in the island.
  • The island is only 8km long with the main tourist areas stretching just 5km of that. The best way to get around is to walk, but if you’re short on time or it’s too hot, take a trike. Inquire at the front desk of your hotel for up to date fares.

Estimated Cost:

Plane Ticket 2-way ₱7,000.00
Accommodations (4 days + 3 nights) ₱8,000.00
Daily expenses including transportation, tours, and food
·        Day 1: Getting around White Beach ₱1,000.00
·        Day 2: Boat Tour, Ariel’s Point ₱2,500.00
·        Day 3: Butterfly, Mt. Luho, Puka Beach ₱1,500.00
·        Day 4: Pasalubong (Souvenirs) ₱1,500.00
Total Expense: ₱21,500.00

Loboc River CruiseBreak Free to Nature’s Retreat This Independence Day Weekend at Bohol

Dates: June 10 to 12, 2017 (3 days total; 4 days with 1 day leave preferably on Tuesday, June 13

This year’s Independence Day will luckily fall on a regular working day, meaning employees will have an extra day to relax.
Retrace the history of the Philippines with a visit to Bohol.Manila to Bohol Map

Best Way to Get There

  • By air (1 hour and 15 minutes): Cebu Pacific Air, Philippine Airlines (PAL), and AirAsia Zest operate multiple flights from Manila to Tagbilaran City. ₱5,000 (round trip)


Day 1: Tagbilaran Tour

  • Baclayon Church & Museum – It is the second oldest stone church in the Philippines, exquisitely made from coral stones and was cemented using albumen (egg whites) from millions of eggs.
  • Sandugo Site – Site of the treaty of friendship between Spaniards and Filipinos. Behind the monument is a magnificent view of Bohol Sea.
  • Chocolate Hills – The famed Chocolate Hills of Bohol consists of more than 1,268 cone-shaped hills – a very strange geological formation that has baffled a lot of geologists.
  • Loboc River Cruise – The Loboc River Dinner Cruise starts by the Loay Bridge and you can choose from a variety of river cruising vessels. It usually runs for an hour or so.

Chocolate hills bohol

Day 2: Island Hopping

  • Alona white sand beach
  • Balicasag Island – You can swim and/or snorkel or just explore.
  • Virgin Island – Enjoy the beautiful white powdery sand bar exposed during low tide.

Virgin Island Bohol

Day 3:

  • Danao Adventure Park – It offers a wide array of activities including suislide, river trekking, kayaking, root climbing, and rappelling.

Danao Adventure park

Day 4:

  • Hinagdanan Cave – A naturally lit limestone cavern in Panglao Island.

Hinagdanan Cave


Amarela Resort

  • Amarela Resort, Barangay Libaong, Panglao Island
    • Price Range: ₱5,827 – ₱12,959
    • 92 km from Bohol Island center
  • Peacock Garden, Upper Laya, Baclayon
    • Price Range: ₱6,955 – ₱11,592*
    • 7 km from Bohol Island center

* Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room. Hotel selection based on traveler reviews.

Travel Tips:

  • The majority of travellers to Bohol stay on Panglao Island. You can get around by tricycle/habal-habal (motorcycle taxi) or by renting your own motorbike.
  • Any time after Easter weekend until July would be a good time to go if you want to avoid the crowd.

Estimated Cost:

Plane Ticket 2-way ₱5,000.00
Accommodations (4 days + 3 nights) ₱24,000.00
Daily expenses including transportation, tours, and food
·        Day 1: Baclayon, etc. ₱1,000.00
·        Day 2: Island Hopping ₱2,500.00
·        Day 3: Danao Adventure Park ₱1,500.00
·        Day 4: Hinagdanan Cave ₱1,500.00
Total Expense: ₱35,500.00


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