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Philippine IndepenTENce Day

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Today we celebrate our 117th independence day, and with all the celebrations around, we can’t help but be where all the action is! Gypsetters, you all know about the beauty of freedom, and it is one of our goal to explore the world and roam the cobblestone streets or climb the highest mountains. You can do all of these things right here in the Philippines. Without a doubt our country always has something to offer for your traveling desires.

While you can go to these places any time of the year, it’s more fun to travel on the day we were given our freedom.

1. MUSEUM HOPPING

Having a staycation in Manila while everyone is out means you have the roads to yourself. Instead of going to shopping centers, try going back to your roots by museum hopping. With more than 40 museums and dozens of art galleries in the metro, there’s enough art and history to learn and enjoy.

2. BAMBIKE TOURS

Tour around Intramuros the eco-friendly way! The Bambike (bikes made out of bamboo) tours around the Walled City add a thrilling feel while you race across the tiny streets and find a new story in an old city.

3. VILLAS DE AZUCAR

Bataan is a historical province, and it’s best to get yourself in the heart of heritage. The Villas de Azucar, despite being a resort, is a great way of learning how the bahay na bato was built and, while you’re there, you can feel like Maria Clara meeting your Crisostomo Ibarra in an azotea.

 

Jose Rizal's home is now painted green, but of course back then it had a limestone-creme color.

Jose Rizal’s home is now painted green, but of course back then it had a limestone-creme color.

4. CALAMBA, LAGUNA

Travel to Laguna where our National Hero, Jose Rizal, was born. The Rizal Shrine is at the heart of the city, and for a small fee, you can see how he lived (in old-world luxury) and what inspired him to become who he is to us today.

5. PAMPANGA FOOD TRIP

Food is one of the greatest bastions of culture and history, and Pampanga is alive with culinary history. Visit Chef Claude Tayag and take your taste buds on an experience they’ll never forget.

6. KINABUHAYAN CAFE

Travel further to the south and take a trip to Kinabuhayan Cafe and BnB. Mt. Banahaw’s peak is closed to hikers for religious or spiritual reasons, but you can restore your faith in nature and humanity in this almost-hidden sanctuary in the forest.

 

This is why bees are important in our ecosystem.

This is why bees are important in our ecosystem.

7. ILOG MARIA HONEY BEE FARM

When you’re in the south of Manila, don’t forget to drop by Ilog Maria. It’s not your ordinary eco-friendly farm offers tours and has a truly organic–most of its products, if not all, is made out of honey from bees carefully attended to by its stewards. The name “Ilog Maria” came from a prayer to Mother Mary when the owner’s mother, Lilia, asked for rain during a drought. The prayer was answered, and thus a farm was born.

 

The sound of water cascading, the warmth emanating from underneath the earth... this is paradise!

The sound of water cascading, the warmth emanating from underneath the earth… this is paradise!

8. HIDDEN VALLEY HOT SPRINGS

A favorite among travelers to the south, in the Hidden Valley lies channels of hot springs where you can stretch your legs and feel your worries wash away. Come with your family and be one with nature and bring yourself back to… well, yourself!

 

Most hikers call this one of the best peaks to climb before you try Mt. Apo, the highest point in the Philippines.

Most hikers call this one of the best peaks to climb before you try Mt. Apo, the highest point in the Philippines.

9. MT. PULAG

For the more adventurous, climbing Mt. Pulag in the borders of Benguet is one major accomplishment. Let’s say you’ve conquered the world when you’ve conquered Pulag. The world beneath you disappears and you become one with the sky, feeling absolutely free (perfect for Independence Day).

 

Enjoy a sunset with a cool breeze? Sagada is a destination for destiny.

Enjoy a sunset with a cool breeze? Sagada is a destination for destiny.

10. SAGADA SUNSET

Looking for another trail to hike around the Mountain Province? The perfect way to end your independent vacation up north is a rather romantic trip around Sagada. This is one of the few places where you can have some peace and quiet, a hideaway almost reaching the clouds. Sagada is also one of the best places to see the ever-famous Philippine sunset… on top of the world.

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We are two friends who were former magazine editors. Having moved onto other things, we both realized that the creative flow the publishing world used to offer us was missing from our lives. Armed with a common love of travel to the exotic and familiar, a penchant for the bohemian, an obsession with food and a lust for writing, we decided to collaborate our unique and fashionable journeys through life together in one passion project.

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