Hooray, you only need 3 leaves to enjoy 12 long weekends in 2018!
Plan your vacation days early with this handy guide, where we recommend the best Philippine destinations to visit for each long weekend in 2018. From enjoying the chilly weather in Batanes in mid-February to celebrating Davao's Kadayawan Festival in August - travel junkies, this guide is for you!
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Dec 31-Jan 1: BAGUIO
For the first long weekend of 2018 (and the last of this year), go up to Baguio, the City of Pines for the full sweater weather experience. The cold weather is perfect for staying in and snuggling up in front of the fire with loved ones or exploring Baguio's cafes in search of the best coffee or hot chocolate.
Feb 16-18: BATANES
For Chinese New Year, head to the northernmost part of the Philippines - Batanes. Famous for its close proximity to Taiwan, cold weather, and beautiful rolling landscapes, Batanes is unlike anywhere else in the Philippines.
Batanes' dry season lasts from December to May, making this the best time to go. The weather during this time, especially from December to February, is pleasant - cold but sunny - perfect for exploring the island. It is also unlike the rainy season, which sees tourists getting stranded or flights being suspended/cancelled due to bad weather.
MAR 29-APR 1: CEBU
For Holy Week, head down south to Cebu. The city itself may be a ghost town because locals are vacationing elsewhere, but you can use it as a jump-off point for visiting the nearby islands. Visit Bantayan Island if you want to party the nights away, Bohol for sightseeing and relaxing with the family, or Camotes Island if you're looking for some much-needed R&R.
APR 7-9: BATAAN
Formerly known as Bataan Day, April 9 is now the annual commemoration of the Day of Valor or Araw ng Kagitingan. During this long weekend, it's only fitting to visit Bataan to remember all the fallen soldiers during World War II. Walk to the top of the famous Mt. Samat Shrine to see the Shrine of Valor (Dambana ng Kagitingan) or visit the 0km and 00km markers, which are the starting points of the infamous World War II Death March.
RELATED: Quick Weekend Getaways Near Manila
MAY 28-JUN 1: LA UNION
For Labor Day, if you want to avoid the big crowds at LaBoracay (aka. Boracay during Labor Day) but are looking for the same vibe and environment, you can check out the bustling food and night scene at La Union. During the day, you can go sightseeing and trek to the nearby waterfalls as well.
The summer months of March to May are the perfect time to visit La Union's Urbiztondo Beach. This is also when grapes are in season and tourists can harvest grapes at La Union's grape farms.
JUN 9-12: SIARGAO
For Independence Day, explore the paradise of Siargao. June is just in between the summer months (March to May) when hotels are full with tourists and peak surfing time (August to November) when the island is filled with surfers. According to Viento del Mar's website - this is the best time to go if you're interested in kayaking, as the winds aren't too strong, and scuba diving, as the waters are clearer. Visiting early in June also means less chances of rain - perfect for exploring the island and island hopping!
AUG 18-21: DAVAO
If you enjoy the fun and vibrant atmosphere of Philippines festivals, book a trip to Davao for Ninoy Aquino Day - right in time for the Kadayawan Festival. The festival, which is celebrated every 3rd week of August, is a week-long celebration of a good and bountiful harvest.
Tip: This is the most popular time to visit Davao, so - be warned - prices may be steep and accommodations will fill quickly. Book your flight and hotel months in advance.
AUG 25-27: BOHOL
For National Heroes Day, head to Bohol, where it's sunny all year-round. The non-peak period of July to October is said to be the best time to visit as the low season means less people on the beach. Bohol doesn't experience frequent typhoons too, so the chances of rain during your trip would be pretty low, compared to a trip to Manila or other islands on the typhoon belt.
NOV 1-4: PALAWAN
For All Saints Day, visit the icy blue waters and tropical paradise that is Palawan. Locals and expert travellers say that, not only is it less crowded than in the summer time, Palawan during the rainy season is still a good time to visit because the islands are not in the usual path of typhoons. But, if you still want to play it safe while avoiding the hoards of crowds - you can visit in November, when the rains are less frequent and the weather starts to cool.
Tip: Four days is definitely not enough time to explore Palawan. If you have kids or if your job follows the school calendar, going during the semestral break is ideal so you can extend your stay.
NOV 30-DEC 2: BALER
Just 5 hours away from Manila, you can drive to Baler during Bonifacio Day. The months from October to February have good weather and waves - perfect for sightseeing, exploring new beaches, or surfing!
DEC 22-25: PAMPANGA
For the Christmas weekend, visit nearby Pampanga for its Giant Lantern Festival - the biggest and brightest Christmas celebration in the country.
Dubbed the Christmas Capital of the Philippines, Pampanga is famous for its handmade Christmas lanterns or 'parols' made of capiz shells that line the streets of Pampanga in the weeks leading up to December. Watch them in action and marvel at their innovative designs during the festival's contest, where the different barangays parade their parols in front of the audience to win the title of best giant lantern in the region.
DEC 29-31: BORACAY
To cap off the year, head to the famous white sand beaches of Boracay for the Rizal Day and New Years' Eve weekend. Boracay's vibrant night scene comes even more alive during this time of celebration and beginnings. To add to the festivities, many resorts make special preparations for New Years' Eve, including countdown parties, themed events, and fireworks displays!