Ah, it's the most wonderful time of the year again where Christmas trees are lined up as early as September (and every -ber month) and where old and new Christmas traditions collide. Where Christmas films like National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, which starred John Hughes, Ellen Hamilton Latzen, and Clark Griswold. Where people who celebrate Christmas have the hustle and bustle to prepare gifts for everyone to give, wishes for Santa Claus to give for kids, cooking and sharing food on noche buena and media noche, and mostly commemorating how Jesus Christ was born by our Virgin Mary. That's how any Christmas, especially how a typical Filipino Christmas set up would look like, considering how the Philippines has the longest Christmas season.
But we know that spreading Christmas cheer is different for everyone, whether you want to be adventurous and have lots of stories to tell about your Christmas vacation from having your usual noche buena dinner on an island to spending your entire Christmas season in another country or you just want to bookmark places for your next Christmas vacation with your family! But we also know that this holiday season is the merriest and busiest time of the year because of the gift shopping to check off everyone's wish lists and preparing for a Christmas Eve feast (and another one before New Year's) plus beating the holiday traffic is one way to beat down the holiday's spirit (which by the way, sucks).
So if you want to to spend Christmas doing unusual and fun outdoor activities around the Philippines just like in the Christmas classic National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation without feeling guilty of leaving your Christmas tree and other beautiful decorations behind, then grab your tickets and cars (or your Chevy Chase), pack your bags, and bookmark these destinations if you wish to spend your Christmas vacation in these places in the Philippines this December!
Since Philippines is a tropical country without snow most especially this pandemic season, going on a beach trip while having Christmas festivities without the cold like Boracay is best suited for you! With white sandy beaches for you and your families to relax and swim in the beach or go island hopping and see beautiful starfish, fishes, and other sea creatures that are widely admired by a lot of people! You can also have fun with a bunch of water sports and activities that you and your family can not only enjoy, but also have a stronger bond with each other! After all, Christmas on the beach may be different, but also refreshing when you go back to the city after the Christmas and New Year break!
One of the places that you should check out when you're island hopping in El Nido is the Nacpan Beach. Take a break from the city life and enjoy its golden sand and glide through its crystal clear waters while relaxing within its coconut trees along its 4 - kilometer stretch! This quick Christmas vacation can be the perfect Christmas getaway gift for families like yours as everyone is dying to go to the beach after almost two years!
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If you want to make something with strawberries this noche buena or media noche and you don't want what the supermarkets have to offer you, then picking the freshest strawberries in one of their Strawberry Farms in Baguio sounds like a perfect idea! Also known as the Summer Capital of the Philippines during the hot season and the Christmas Capital of the Philippines during the cold season with its chilly weather, it's no wonder that Baguio's famous strawberries are being brought home as one the famous pasalubongs all the way from Baguio next to other things such as brooms and jams. All you've got do is to get a box (or bring your own basket), pick those strawberries, and enjoy them fresh or make them into your favorite Strawberry Shortcake for Christmas!
After picking up some strawberries, explore the wonders of Camp John Hay (and around Baguio City, which has been one of the most famous places since World War II) as Filipino families and most people enjoy the crowd's annual favorite, which is the Christmas Village. Because what is Christmas without enjoying their hot chocolate, ensaymada or bibingka with kesong puti or queso de bola, and its chilly air while enjoying what it has to offer to you?
What's a beach trip without surfing through Siargao's waves? Cloud 9 is a rocky beach in Siargao that is famous for being one of the most awaited surfing sites anyone can enjoy! You can also relax in one of their cottages while watching surfers catching some waves and enjoying food that is fresh from the sea! You can also enjoy cruising through the sea with their boats loaded up for you to go island hopping, Siargao style! After all, it's Vitamin Sea for a reason!
If going away for the holidays isn't for you because of the traffic and you want to be within the city without being too guilty for being too far to spend Christmas somewhere, then having a staycation in Mella Hotel in Las Piñas is the one for you! Located next to Villar C5 Sipag, you would have the chance to enjoy their annual giant lantern festival and their famous Bamboo Organ Church during Christmas time! They also have their annual food festival that happens before Christmas, so you won't have an excuse to have an empty belly with great food lined up for your tummies to fill! So what are you waiting for? Let your dining table and eyes feast on all of the Christmas food, lanterns, and decorations to your hearts' and cameras' content!
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If you want to spend Christmas somewhere that isn't too far away from the city with great food and drinks to spend the holidays and at the same time enjoy the chilly air and views from your window without breaking a budget or you just want to simply take a break from Baguio City for a while, then Crosswinds in Tagaytay is the one for you! Famous for its smallest volcano in the Philippines (which is the Taal Volcano), Tagaytay has got you covered with cold air for you to be in your blankets enjoying your favorite book with a cup of coffee and lots of food places and cafes for you to check out (and to tick off your Christmas vacation bucket list) as most families prefer to be near to the city so that they can come back to reality easily. Here are some of the places that you and your family can enjoy:
When families normally think of the countryside, they think of the green grass and rustic vintage houses and cottages with nice gardens filled with fresh flowers. Well, Napa has that aesthetic for you to achieve that cottage core vibe with its Napa Valley vintage - inspired house that will automatically transport you to Napa Valley in America (specifically in California) while enjoying their al - fresco dining with a view that will surely take your breath away! If you think it's already good during the day, wait 'til it gets dusk or at a good night as they turn on their fairy lights for a romantic feel, perfect for your next date night or for just chilling with your friends. So head on down to this vintage gem, and enjoy your next cup of coffee while appreciating its picturesque views only at Napa!
When Hidden Switzerland meets California, Windmill Lausanne happens! Its interior will greet you with its rustic and home Swiss feel and a hint of the American barn appearance with an easy - to - spot windmill that will give you that whimsical Swiss - American atmosphere while being transported to America and Switzerland at the same time! Perfect for big groups of families and friends (and pets because it's pet - friendly, Windmill Lausanne will not only give you IG - worthy signs and aesthetics, but also good food, pastries, and coffee to satisfy your chilly night cravings! But here's the thing: You need to catch a motorcycle or car to get there, so spot that windmill, and have fun with your family or with a bunch of friends while relaxing with chilly fresh air all around the café!
Here us out: Coffee Project, but make it more IG - worthy! Dubbed as the "perfectly imperfect" café, it's supposed to be Coffee Project's 50th branch, but the pandemic happened, and even if it's unfinished, they've decided to push through as The Ruined Project with its aesthetics that will make your inner plantita/plantito self happy and contented with their plant and coffee scheme this place went for! Plus, you get to enjoy their food and drinks with fresh air that's all around you while sitting down, getting things done or having a conversation with the people you love or to simply chill and enjoy!
As schools officially end the first half for students and kids to enjoy their Christmas vacation and to be with their families during the holidays, let's not forget the true meaning of Christmas, which is about spending the holiday fun and cheer with your family and friends and to also remember that Jesus Christ was born on this special day. With the holiday rush happening around the world especially in the Philippines, people tend to forget that celebrating Christmas also means that we should celebrate unity, reconciliation, love, gratitude, and hope that families and friends give despite the world being bad at times.
As we end the year and start the next on January, let's not forget everything we've been through not only as small groups of families and friends, but also as a community and a country that has faced trials during these tough times and that also shares the joys and smiles that we have shared with you.
From the bottom of our hearts, we'd like to say Merry Christmas and have a Happy Holiday to you, your families, and your friends from your Vista Land International Family, and we'd like to also thank you in sharing your journey with us all year long. Have a great Christmas holiday and we hope that you have a blessed and fruitful New Year to come!
PS. Never stop believing in Santa Claus, Jesus Christ, and in the Christmas spirit and holiday cheer!
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