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Here’s how you should spend the long weekends of 2018 | MyProperty.ph
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Here’s how you should spend the long weekends of 2018

by Jillian CariolaPublished: February 5, 2018Updated: June 14, 2018

This year, you have 11 remaining long weekends to get to know the country’s provinces through their local festivals.

Ever since the Malacañang Palace released the official list of holidays for 2018, members of the nine-to-five crowd (whether regular or graveyard hours) have probably been scrambling to file vacation leaves from work and plot their next adventures. But before you click on that flight to Boracay, you should know that there are various festivals happening all over the country, and many of them will take place during these long weekends.

Just in case you haven’t been up to speed, here is a list of long weekends when you can squeeze in a staycation or a full-on getaway. And to help you out, we’ve also included some suggestions on where your time off will be well spent, whether you want to swim at the beach, trek up the mountains, or just hang with the locals. (It’s worth noting that the date for Eid al-Fitr has not been announced yet, so it may add to the long weekends in June.)

 

New Year's Day (January 1)

Long weekend: December 30-January 1 (Saturday to Monday)

 

Chinese New Year (February 16)

Long weekend: February 16-18 (Friday to Sunday)
Where to go:
For an authentic celebration of this year’s Spring Festival, book a hotel room or Airbnb condo unit in the Binondo area to be as close to the action as you can possibly get. From there, you can have an early start on immersing yourself in Chinese traditions (get yourself a good luck charm) and raid the best Chinese restaurants in town (century egg, anyone?). If you’re up for traveling someplace a bit farther, venture up north to Baguio, where the month-long Panagbenga Festival will be celebrated from February 1 to March 6 through parades, musical performances, and competitions.

How to spend 2018 long weekends MyProperty Philippines Binondo Chinese New Year
Tikoy is one of the Chinese specialties sold in Binondo during Chinese New Year. Photo via Depositphotos

 

Holy Week (March 29 to 31)

Long weekend: March 29-April 1 (Thursday to Sunday)
Where to go:
Aside from the Visita Iglesia, wherein one visits nine churches as a traditional way of celebrating, there are a lot of Holy Week destinations close to Metro Manila that are just as picturesque as they are sacred, and some of them might even be of particular interest to trekkers. If you have the time and resources for a bit of travel, head for Marinduque and join the locals for the Moriones Festival, one of the most colorful albeit solemn fiestas in the Philippines. As an island province, sun worshippers will enjoy visiting the sandy shores of sites like Palad Sandbar, Mongpong Island, and Aroma Beach.

How to spend 2018 long weekends MyProperty Philippines Holy Week Marinduque Moriones Festival
Participants dress as Roman soldiers as part of the lenten celebrations during Moriones Festival. Photo by Emmanuel Sace (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia Commons

 

Araw ng Kagitingan (April 9)

Long weekend: April 7-9 (Saturday to Monday)
Where to go:
Satisfy your craving for relyeno or daing at Pangasinan for the Bangus Festival, celebrated every April. One of the province’s most popular sources of livelihood is the bangus or milkfish, so street parades, culinary competitions, and all other activities during the festival is centered on this silvery fish. In fact, the town of Bayambang nabbed a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2014 for Longest Barbecue when they created a row of 8,000 grills, each being manned by one person cooking—you guessed it—bangus. Don’t forget that Hundred Islands is in Pangasinan, so if you have yet to visit the likes of Governor’s Island and Marcos Island, this would be the perfect time.

How to spend 2018 long weekends MyProperty Philippines Bangus Festival Pangasinan
Bangus is one of the leading sources of livelihood in Pangasinan. Photo via Depositphotos

 

Labor Day (May 1)

Long weekend: April 28-May 1 (Saturday to Tuesday, if you file a leave on April 30)
Where to go:
From April 28 to 30, locals of Aurora in Isabela celebrate Dikit Festival, where the star of the show is glutinous rice—one of the province’s most prominent agricultural products— and its by-products like bibingka, muriecos, tupig, and tinudok. In between stuffing yourself like crazy with these heavenly delicacies, tear yourself away long enough to explore the province’s many attractions, including the three-kilometer white Dicotcotan Beach in Palanan, Sta. Victoria Caves in Ilagan, and Dibulo Falls in Dinapigue.

How to spend 2018 long weekends MyProperty Philippines Dikit Festival Isabela
Kakanin is celebrated during Isabela's Dikit Festival. Photo by Caryl Joan Estrosas (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr Creative Commons

 

Independence Day (June 12)

Long weekend: June 9-12 (Saturday to Tuesday, if you file a leave on June 11)
Where to go:
Leave very early on Saturday (or late Friday night) for a four-day vacation in Palawan during the Baragatan Festival, wherein the two weeks leading up to June 23 are filled with activity in preparation for the foundation day of Puerto Princesa. If you haven’t explored the world-famous Puerto Princesa Underground River yet, what better time than during the city’s festival?

How to spend 2018 long weekends MyProperty Philippines Palawan Puerto Princesa Underground River
Have you explored the Puerto Princesa Underground River yet? Photo via Depositphotos

 

Ninoy Aquino Day (August 21)

Long weekend: August 18-21 (Saturday to Tuesday, if you file a leave on August 20)
Where to go:
The official dates have not been released yet, but if you’re lucky, this long weekend will likely touch upon Davao City’s effervescent Kadayawan Festival, which happens every third week of August. A way of giving thanks for a bountiful harvest, wealth of culture, and nature’s gifts, Kadayawan usually features float parades, food fests, and music festivals. Davao City is already home to many tour-worthy sites like Eden Nature Park and Mount Apo, but you can also use it as a jump-off point to the paradise-like Island Garden City of Samal in Davao Del Norte.

How to spend 2018 long weekends MyProperty Philippines Davao City Kadayawan Festival
Kadayawan Festival is one of the most colorful festivals of the country. Photo by Constantine Agustin (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr Creative Commons

 

National Heroes' Day (August 27)

Long weekend: August 25-27 (Saturday to Monday)
Where to go:
August 25 is Iloilo City Charter Day, a commemoration of the moment when the city was chartered in 1937, and locals celebrate it through a month-long festival filled with parades and musical performances that start on July 17. After catching the tail-end of the festivities, ride a boat to Gigantes Island and get a tan on one of its many white sand beaches.

How to spend 2018 long weekends MyProperty Philippines Gigantes Island Iloilo
From Iloilo City, the paradise-like Gigantes Island is about five hours away. Photo by 2il org (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr Creative Commons

 

All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2)

Long weekend: November 1-4 (Thursday to Sunday)
Where to go:
The town of Anilao in Iloilo basks in its own glow every November 1 as locals celebrate Banaag Festival (banaag means “glimmer”). From the parades to the dance-drama competitions, everything is alive with torches and electric lights as well as music as Ilonggos honor their rich history. If you’ve already had your fun at the aforementioned Gigantes Island, why not visit some of the province’s many historic structures? There’s the Romanesque revival Jaro Cathedral, the 19th-century neo-Gothic Molo Church, and the ancestral house Rosendo Mejica Museum.

How to spend 2018 long weekends MyProperty Philippines Iloilo City Jaro Cathedral
Jaro Cathedral was formally declared the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Candles (Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria) in February 2012 by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines. Photo by Franz Miko G. Verzon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia Commons

 

Bonifacio Day (November 30)

Long weekend: November 30-December 2 (Friday to Sunday)
Where to go:
December 1 is the beginning of the month-long Kamundagan Festival in Naga City, Camarines Sur. During the celebration, attendees can witness agro-industrial fairs, food fairs, and various contests, as well as the Christmas lights and decorations locals have started putting up in time for the holidays. If it’s a leisurely trip you’re looking for, travel to Caramoan for the “Survivor”-like experience of conquering the great outdoors. For adrenaline junkies, the Camsur Watersports Complex offers daring activities like water-skiing and wakeboarding.

How to spend 2018 long weekends MyProperty Philippines Caramoan Camarines Sur
Caramoan's Matukad Island is home to a legendary enchanted lake. Photo by Fabio Achilli (CC BY 2.0) Via Flickr Creative Commons

 

Christmas Eve (December 24) and Christmas Day (December 25)

Long weekend: December 22-25 (Saturday to Tuesday)
Where to go:
Looking for a reason to feast on Cebu lechon (which famed food critic Anthony Bourdain declared “best pig ever”)? The Hotel, Resort, and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC) holds the annual Christmas Food Street Festival on December 22 in Cebu City. In the past years since its conception, the festival has offered guests not just delicious dishes but also Christmas concerts, midnight markets, film showings, and lantern competitions. If you have the time, head down south to Moalboal to witness the sardine run, orr travel up north to swim with thresher sharks in Malapascua Island.

How to spend 2018 long weekends MyProperty Philippines Cebu lechon
Is Cebu lechon the best of its kind? Renowned food critic Anthony Bourdain thinks so. Photo by dbgg1979 (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr Creative Commons

 

Rizal Day (December 30) and New Year’s Eve (December 31)

Long weekend: December 29-31 (Saturday to Monday)
Where to go:
The people of Saint Nicolas, Ilocos Norte celebrate the Damili Festival every December to honor their namesake patron saint, and to promote the province’s pottery making industry. When you get there, you’ll be there just in time to catch the main event: the dance pageant featuring participants paying tribute to the traditional occupation of pottery using damili or terra-cotta. After the events, among the things you can pass the time with are taking on the Paoay sand dunes on 4x4s, updating your Instagram with a photo of the Bangui Windmills, and taking a dip in Tanap Avis Falls.

How to spend 2018 long weekends MyProperty Philippines Ilocos Norte Bangui Windmills
Bangui Wind Farm has a total of 20 windmills, each capable of producing 1.65 mw of electicity. Photo via Depositphotos

 

Want to turn your temporary vacation into permanent residency? Visit myproperty.ph and find a forever home in any of these destinations.

 

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