Monday, January 26, 2015

8 Summer Destinations Near Manila You Can Drive to

Next to a house, a car is one of the biggest and most useful purchases you will make in your adult life. Given the costs of the vehicle itself along with fuel, maintenance, and car insurance in the Philippines, you’ll naturally want to make the most of your investment.

A car isn't just for commuting to and from the office; you can also use it to take spur-of-the-moment outings alone or with your loved ones. And with summer fast approaching, now’s the perfect time to start planning your next road trip. Here we have a small selection of places you can drive to for the weekend.

1. Antipolo
By far the shortest journey on this list, Antipolo shows that you can find lots of fun places to visit right in Metro Manila’s backyard. Take a tour of the city’s old churches and religious sites like Via Dolorosa and Mystical Cave. You can also check out one of the city’s best-kept secrets: Hinulugang Taktak, a protected national park and waterfall.

2. Bulacan
Located just outside Metro Manila, Bulacan offers plenty of choices for those with an avid interest in history. Visit places you’ve read about in textbooks, such as Barasoain Church in Malolos. The province is also home to natural wonders such as Biak-na-Bato National Park, Verdivia Falls, and Pulilan Butterfly Haven.

3. Pampanga
In addition to serving as a gateway to nearby provinces like Bataan and Zambales, Pampanga boasts fun activities you can try with your family. Make time in February for the annual Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta at Clark Freeport Zone, where you can also visit parks like Paradise Ranch, Deca Wake Park, and the relocated Nayong Pilipino. You can also try your hand at exploring Mount Arayat, or unwind at Abe’s Farm in Magalang.

4. Tarlac
Tarlac is fast making a name for itself in both history and eco-tourism. Head on down to Capas to see the Capas National Shrine or to embark on a trek to Mount Pinatubo. You can also visit the municipalities of Bamban, Mayantoc and San Jose for nature hiking, or dine at the whimsical Isdaan Restaurant in Gerona.

5. Tagaytay
Tagaytay is a popular road trip destination for ManileƱos, especially during peak season and Holy Week. Enjoy the city’s iconic view of Taal Lake, take your kids to local hotspots like the Picnic Grove and Sky Ranch, or get in touch with your inner nature spirit at Sonya’s Garden. Don’t forget to sample the area’s fresh fruits and buko pie while food-tripping along Aguinaldo Highway.

6. Laguna
While Laguna is home to the world-class theme park Enchanted Kingdom, there is so much more to the province in terms of native attractions and handicrafts. Drive down to Calamba and see the childhood home of Jose Rizal, watch expert woodcarvers at work in Paete, tempt fate with the local legends of Mount Makiling, or take home a pair of native slippers from Liliw. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can also attempt paying a visit to all of the Seven Lakes of San Pablo.

7. Cavite
You may be surprised to hear that Corregidor Island, the island fortress that played a key role in World War II, is technically considered part of Cavite. The province is located just south of the Greater Manila Area, and is home to historic sites like the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit and the Andres Bonifacio House in General Trias. Along the Cavite side of Manila Bay you can also find beach resorts like Puerto Azul, Caylabne Bay, and Pico de Loro Country Club.

8. Batangas
Drive a little further past Tagaytay and you will reach Batangas, where you can get a taste of the province’s native chocolate and authentic kapeng barako. Charter a boat to Taal Lake in Talisay and explore Volcano Island on foot, or drive as far south as Mabini to the coast’s many beaches and dive spots. The province also has its share of old churches and ancestral homes for those who want a glimpse into the country’s past.

Before embarking on any road trip, you must always have all the necessary precautions in place to prepare for your long drive out of town. If you’re travelling with a group, you can take turns driving or plan your route (rest stops and all) beforehand. Don’t forget to invest in a good car insurance plan and carry emergency supplies in case of road accidents. And above all, drive safely and have fun!

Is your car protected yet? Visit MoneyMax.ph and check out the Car Insurance portal to compare the most affordable rates in the Philippines. For more budget and finance tips, don’t forget to give the MoneyMax blog a quick peek.

Note: This article is a guest post contributed by Kyle Kam. Additionally, the attached photo was submitted for reference. Please check below information about the author.

AUTHOR BIO:
Kyle Kam is an online marketing specialist for Moneymax, the Philippines’ leading financial comparison website. Whenever he’s not working, he’s busy at home watching MMA videos the whole day. You may follow him on Twitter @undisputedkyle

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