Holy Week destinations in the Philippines
Do you plan to stay in Metro Manila this Holy Week rather than spend your holiday in far-flung provinces? Make the most out of your holiday by visiting these nearby travel-worthy destinations and enjoying these various activities for the Easter season.
Here are 10 destinations and things to do if you’re in Metro Manila or can’t travel too far from the capital this coming Holy Week:
Inside Metro Manila
Visit the Manila Cathedral
After closing its doors for renovations in 2012, the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception or Manila Cathedral has made a grand re-opening just in time for Holy Week this April. The new, structurally-stronger church will be an impressive destination for those who want to spend Holy Week visiting churches (visita iglesia).
Where: Intramuros, Manila City
Easter egg hunts in Manila hotels
Holidaymakers who are bringing their kids with them can participate in any of the Easter Egg hunting events to be held in many hotels around Metro Manila on Easter Sunday, 20 April. Adults can access their inner child by letting their kids join egg hunts, crafts activities and party games.
- Winter Wonderland Easter. The Peninsula Manila, MakatiCity. Table reservations at +63 2 887 2888 ext 6694.
- Easter Frost. Edsa Shangri-La, MandaluyongCity. Ticket inquiries at (632) 633 8888 ext 9051 or e-mail email@example.com
- Easter Experience. Mandarin Oriental, MakatiCity. Limited slots. For reservations, call 750 8888.
- Super Duper Easter Party. Discovery Suites, PasigCity. Inquiries and reservations must call (02)719-8888 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Easterrific Weekend at Spiral. Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Pasay City. Inquiries at (02) 551 5555. Table reservations to be made here.
Ice Skate in SM Malls
Since the Lenten season falls on the heart of summer, stay cool by having fun at any of the skating rinks in three of Metro Manila’s SM Malls. Learn to skate, meet new friends or simply have fun away from the scorching heat of the sun.
When: Open on Black Saturday (19) and Easter Sunday (20), 10am to 10pm. Rates can be found here.
- SM Mall of Asia, PasayCity. Inquiries at 556 0471.
- SM Megamall Fashion Hall. Inquiries at 631 5670.
- SM Southmall, Las PiñasCity. Inquiries at 800 0426.
Cool down at the Manila Ocean Park
Instead of heading to the beach, why not enjoy watching majestic sea creatures floating all around you? Spend a relaxing visit to the ManilaOceanPark to view corals, colourful fish, sharks and sting rays. There will also be an Easter event called Easter Surprises featuring family activities on 20 April.
When: Open 17–19, 10am to 8pm and Easter Sunday, 9am to 8:30pm.
Where:Luneta Park, ManilaCity. For Easter Surprises, more details at 567 7777 loc 152.
Take a stay-cation in a hotel
Instead of spending your holiday at home, find a place that would offer more services that can pamper you and your significant other. A number of hotels are offering ‘stay-cation’ packages this coming Holy Week to those who aren’t leaving Metro Manila.
Find hotels with gyms, spas and pools that give a holiday feeling at par with going to a beach. Stay-cation packages are often offered in a promo rate and include a visita iglesia option with complimentary shuttle.
- Manila Grand Opera Hotel. Sta Cruz, Manila. For inquiries, call (632) 304 7300 or email email@example.com
- The Pearl Manila. Ermita, Manila. Reservations at 400 0088, 400-0363 to 0375 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Centre. Ortigas Centre, PasigCity. For inquiries and reservations call (632) 719 1160 or email email@example.com
Outside Metro Manila
Alay lakad to Antipolo
Have you already made your panata or Lenten vow? If you’re interested in local culture, spend your Holy Week alongside pilgrims as they walk (alay lakad) from their homes all the way to the sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de la Paz y de Buen Viaje or Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage in Antipolo.
The alay lakad to The Virgin of Antipolo is a tradition done yearly during Lent. The Virgin of Antipolo is a patron among seafarers and is revered by Filipinos who are about to travel.
Where: Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, AntipoloCity, Rizal
Watersports in Pico de Loro, Batangas
If you’re planning to spend your holiday in a beach, don’t visit just anywhere. Choose a beach that will have all the activities and facilities that you and your family will enjoy. One of this is the Pico de Loro Cove in Nasugbu. Its outdoor activities include watersports like jet ski, kayaking, banana boat, windsurfing and paddle boarding. Others include biking, hiking, volleyball and football, horseback riding and more.
Where: Pico de Loro Cove, HamiloCoast, Nasugbu, Batangas.
Good Friday procession in Baliuag, Bulacan
Every year, the people of Baliuag, Bulacan hold a religious procession on Good Friday to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus. During this event, more than 80 carrozas or floats are paraded on the streets of Baliuag showing the different phases of the Passion of Christ, showing the Filipino’s devotion to the faith.
Those interested in spending Lent by witnessing a religious event can attend this sunset procession that also attracts many foreign Catholics around the world.
Where: St AugustineParishChurch of Baliuag, Baliwag, Bulacan
Snorkel at Coral Garden, Puerto Galera
If the summer heat is getting too much painful, then you might like a dive to see the wonderful bounties of the Philippines’ rich waters. The CoralGarden in Puerto Galera offers snorkelling and scuba diving activities for those who are interested in nature. The waters around Puerto Galera hold unique species of corals, fish and other marine life. Strong currents in some areas add a bit of challenge for the adventurous.
Where: Coral Garden Beach Resort, San AntonioIsland, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
Fine dining at Yats, Clark Freeport
Dubbed ‘the best restaurant in Angeles City,’ Yats Restaurant and Wine Bar offers a special Easter Sunday menu. Three unique menu options will be offered for this year’s Easter Good Friday Dinner Menu. One menu will be paired with wines, another will feature healthy options. On 19 April, there will also be a wine tasting event featuring wines from Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and more.
Where: Yats Restaurant and Wine Bar, Clark Freeport, Angeles City, Pampanga. Inquiries and reservations to be made here.
How do you plan to spend your Holy Week this April? Share your holiday thoughts and ideas by commenting below!