10 Amazing Destinations in the Philippines during Christmas Season
San Fernando, Pampanga – The Christmas Capital
Where else would you celebrate Christmas other than the Christmas Capital of the Philippines? Parols or star lanterns line the streets of San Fernando for that extra Christmas vibe. Though it is prominent throughout the country during this season, what sets the city apart is its Giant Lantern Festival which is sure to amaze you with the intricate designs, colorful light combinations, and of course its enormous size. Aside from this, the city also hosts the Paskuhan Village in Barangay San Jose where you can explore the area and eat Filipino Christmas food such as Puto bumbong and Bibingka. Truly, the city is not called the Christmas Capital for nothing.
2. Tagaytay – The Classic Crowd Favorite
Make your Christmas special without breaking the bank! Accessible from the metro through the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), Tagaytay offers its cool climate and warming lights for families who want to make their Christmas more enjoyable. From a simple dinner to an extravagant staycation experience, the place accommodates people from all walks of life. Spots such as Crosswinds Tagaytay display their Christmas spirit by putting up their exuberant lights and decorations which are sure to entice the crowd for a good walk. Numerous restaurants and cafes are also present within the area to give you the energy you need to take those instagrammable pictures as you explore later on.
3. Boracay – For the Beach Indulgers
There are only two types of people, the beach goer and the non-beach goer. It is never a bad choice to escape into the scenery of a good beach, to enjoy the sand sifting through your feet, and to splash some of that salty water on your skin. But be warned, waters at this time of the month are colder than what you’d expect from the normal tropical climate of the country. Still, beaches are still a go-to place especially in Boracay which is known for its beautiful white sand and peppy nightlife that is sure to fulfill your Christmas bucket list.
4. Palawan – Reconnecting with Nature
When it comes to choosing your favorite nature getaway, there is only one sure answer – Palawan. Explore the underground caves, watch the fireflies, or go island hopping! There is so much to do in this blessed part of the archipelagic country. For that extra Christmas spirit, you can even visit Puerto Princesa as they erect the giant christmas tree that is truly a sight to behold. Other municipalities such as El Nido and Coron are sure to give you that sense of liberation as you connect with nature after months of hard work for a well-deserved vacation. Palawan would never betray your expectations.
5. Bonifacio Global City – Modern and Glitzy City Lights
Most people think they need to go far to make Christmas extra special, when In fact BGC is just right around the corner! Situated in Taguig, Metro Manila, this lifestyle center boasts its lively city lights for that modern and idyllic setting. Take a quick stroll or go on a shopping spree! Buy that bag that you so adamantly chose since you know you deserve it for surviving the year. Grab a quick meal from the quality restaurants situated within the area and view the floating Christmas tree at the Venice Grand Canal Mall. There are a myriad of activities that you can do. Moreover, all of these are sure to satisfy your wants.
6. Baguio City – Chilling on the Mountain
Baguio will never fail your expectations. From the travel itself, the long roads and great landscapes are sure to take your breath away. By car or by bus, the 6-hour trip will always be worth it.
This enticing tourist spot will always be in the heart of your inner traveler. Being surrounded by tall pine trees along with the chilly weather, it’s like you’re already out of the country as you flourish that winter coat and scarf. Walk through cultural villages, museums, and parks or take a quick shopping break at Session Road. Souvenirs are also commercially marketed in the places that you visit to commemorate your welcomed stay.
One of the most underrated places to visit during Christmas. Bataan is rarely on the list of places to visit during Christmas. However, it is just as beautiful and sometimes even more compared to mainstream places. In Balanga, Bataan, decorative swans and intricate lighting highlight the town’s plaza during Christmas. Truly an eye candy as you stare at the contrasting lights elevated by the plaza’s intricate Spanish colonial architecture. For more of these beautiful architectural styles, you can book your stay at the Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar situated in the municipality of Bagac in Bataan as well. Experience the Spanish-Filipino culture integration through the place’s theme.
8. Vigan City – A Filipino Heritage
The only way to be more mesmerized by the catholic annual festival is to experience its rich culture, history, and religion through a Filipino heritage city. Vigan offers this immersive experience as you walk through the 16th century of Spanish colonial period. Cobblestone streets and waterfront esplanades make sure you have that Maria Clara vibe as you indulge in the comfort of the 21st century simultaneously. Enjoy great food such as the Vigan Longganisa and make sure you see the 37-foot giant Christmas tree erected by the city. Ride a horse-drawn carriage and take pictures of the place to fill up your gallery with aesthetic photos.
9. Cebu – A Mix of The Old and The New
Cebu will never cease to amaze you. As the main center of christianity, religious activities are given the utmost importance. Christmas celebration within the city offers you an array of activities to solidify your faith in the spirit of the occasion. Make a wish at the Simala Castle church or pray at the Basilica Del Santo Niño. If you are feeling quite adventurous, you could always visit the alluring beaches in Malapascua or Bantayan Island. At the end of the Christmas season, you can always watch the Sinulog festival which portrays the culture and religion of the city. This festival is held annually every 15th of January.
10. Don Salvador Benedicto – Summer Capital of Negros
Coined the “Little Baguio”, Don Salvador Benedicto radiates peace to the people. The panoramic view of the mountains, fresh breeze of air, and the lush greeneries that surround the place are surely worth it. Though there are no fireworks or Christmas lights, this place is perfect for people who just want to stay away from the stress of urban life. Sometimes, Christmas does not have to be a display of streaking lights or loud noises. Happiness can also be felt from a silent wake as your cheeks are kissed by the cold air. Still, as the place starts from Bacolod City, you still have the liberty of exploring those night lights and loud cheers.