As couples celebrate with romantic dinners or plan their weddings, it seems like you can’t escape the question of when you will settle down or find someone. That doesn’t have to be your priority, however. You’re allowed to celebrate yourself instead of diving into a relationship you’re not ready for.
While some would be content with the idea of a staycation, taking a long, warm bath or starting a new television series to celebrate self-love, you can discover yourself in a new place, trying new experiences. February to March is the best time to do it too, as the weather is starting to favor outdoor activities.
With that, here are some of the best places to go for some alone time:
Perfect for: easy-going foodies
Let’s start with a destination closest to the metro: Tagaytay. This place is dotted with restaurants, from the fancy kind to the budget type down to the most picture-worthy. If you want to indulge yourself in a nice food crawl as a form of self-love, Tagaytay is for you. Even better, if you have the option to work remotely, consider looking for a coworking space near your Tagaytay hotel or bed and breakfast. This way, you’re not losing precious vacation leaves, but you get the freedom to explore a new environment, which also fosters creativity!
For an around-the-world food trip, visit Aozora for Japanese, Neul Bolm for Korean, Lu Fong for Chinese, and Pamana or Balay Dako for Filipino. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for the best pasta in town, try Buon Giorno Caffe and Bistro, Sonya’s Secret Garden, and El Cocinero. For a contest of the juiciest burgers, drop by the classic Mushroomburger, Clash of Burgers, and The Red Bus Mobile Diner. Eat to your heart’s content while looking over the beautiful Taal. Before heading back to Manila, spend a day or two at your hotel, seizing the relaxing staycation.
Perfect for: arts and culture enthusiasts
The summer capital of the country isn’t only popular for its cool climate and affordable vacation rentals, but also for its rich heritage and creativity. It’s not included in UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network for no reason. With that, if you want your celebration to be full of enriching artistic experiences, add Baguio on your bucket list.
Start off on the right foot by visiting BenCab Museum. From paintings and sculptures to installations, you’ll find National Artist Ben Cabrera’s masterpieces here. You may even chance upon him walking around. Strike up a conversation about his inspirations for his pieces. From the museum, go to the Valley of Colors, a row of painted houses in Barangay Balili. Revel in its simple artistry and don’t forget to snap a photo of it as a souvenir.
Baguio is home to more than just visual arts. Go to Session Road restaurants and catch live musical performances from local artists. Meet novelists and poets at Mt. Cloud Bookshop. Fill your heart with art at Baguio, while reflecting on the deepest things about yourself.
Perfect for: nature lovers
Palawan is known to house the most breathtaking natural wonders. El Nido, for one, is filled with sites that allow you to witness and experience the raw, unfiltered beauty of the earth. If going to alluring sceneries would help you be in touch with yourself again, book the next flight to El Nido now.
Go kayaking at the Bacuit Bay and drop by the Miniloc Island to explore more sights. Hike towards Nagkalit-kalit Falls. The mini sweat session would be worth it when you come face to face with the relaxing oasis. Make sure to catch the clear blue-green waters of the twin beaches Nacpan and Calitang Beach as well. As the day comes to a close, lay down your mat along the shore to see the mellow glow of the sunset while musing freely about life and love.
Cagayan de Oro
Perfect for: risk-taking adventurers
If your kind of self-love is not merely exploring nature but experiencing it with an adrenaline rush, the adventure capital of the Philippines, Cagayan De Oro, is the destination to be. Go to Macahambus Adventure Park, where you would have to either walk through the hanging bridge perched 120 feet high or ride the zipline. Try paragliding, too. It will give you a nice, bird’s eye view of the entire city and island. The serenity up in the air will give you time to search your heart and meditate on its longings and struggles.
Of course, a CDO trip won’t be complete without the classic whitewater rafting along the CDO river. There are beginner to extreme courses, depending on your skills. Whatever you choose, get ready for a wild ride.
No matter the time of year, make sure to care for yourself. Whether it be spending a day or two of staycation or going out of town, allow yourself some time to unwind.