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Employees and students live for long weekends—that unexpected treat when a holiday falls right before or after a weekend. And to make sure every minute of your break is well spent, here are some ideas that are both fun and budget-friendly.

Bond with family and friends.

No one in the family or barkada has school or work, so it’s the best time to plan your bonding time with them. Go on a food trip in the many food destinations in the metro, including Maginhawa Street in Quezon City, where you can find a variety of restaurants. If you want a fun, indoor activity, try wall climbing in Power Up Centro Atletico near Cubao-X. After which, you can chill in the specialty stores and eateries in the area.

Go out and enjoy nature.

Spending some time with Mother Nature allows you to unwind and clear the mind a bit. Green is a calming color, so let the trees soothe your workaholic self. You can visit free public parks, such as Fort Santiago in Intramuros, as well as the Ayala Triangle Gardens and Salcedo Park in Makati where you can sit under the shade, and quietly read a book.

Sweat it out.

If you have a desk job, chances are you’re not getting enough exercise. Boosting you energy, controlling your weight and improving your mood are only some of the few benefits you can get when you exercise. Take some time to brisk walk or jog around the neighborhood. Check the gym nearest to you, and check out the latest trends in fitness such as anti-gravity yoga, pole dancing and circuit training.

Go on a much-needed staycation.

On weekdays, we often rush to go to the office, not bothering with organizing our rooms. The long weekend serves as the perfect opportunity to get rid of that clutter, making sure that our room gives us a sense of peace and ease. To help you get started, read Marie Kondo’s best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.

Do nothing.

It’s your time to veg out. So go ahead and watch movies or better yet, engage in a guilt-free snoozefest with your favorite pillows for company. Sometimes, it’s best to just rest, allowing yourself to regain energy for another round of the work week.

This National Heroes’ Day long weekend, pamper your inner, workaholic hero. Even heroes need to take a break and slack off once in a while, so they can do their jobs better. Here’s to taking it easy, and enjoying every single moment of your long vacation!

LaBoracay is here! Dubbed as the hottest beach party of the year in Boracay Island, it coincides with the celebration of Labor Day.

But before partying the night away, remember that health and safety always go first. Here are some tips to make your celebration stress and sickness-free.

The Golden Rule: Hydrate!

The warm weather can take its toll on your body so make sure to hydrate yourself at all times. Whether you’re indulging in water sports or simply baking under the sun, always remember to bring water. Eating water-rich fruits and vegetables such as watermelon and grapes will also keep you hydrated.

Get maximum skin protection

Too much sun exposure can damage your skin. Overexposure to ultraviolet light can make your skin red and painful, resulting into sunburn, a very common skin disease during tag-init. Severe sunburn can cause skin swelling, blisters or even fever.

Choose sunscreen lotion with a broad-spectrum coverage and a sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or higher. During prolonged exposure, re-apply it every two to four hours.

Photo from: Laboracay 2015 Facebook page
Photo from: Laboracay 2015 Facebook page

Be vigilant with your belongings.

As soon as you arrive at the beach, always check your belongings. With throngs of revelers partying in every corner, it’s best to be vigilant. Keep your money and gadgets in hidden pockets and purses that stay close to your body.

Learn when to say “No” to strangers.

LaBoracay is a venue for new acquaintances. The more parties or events you join, the more people you meet and interact with. Though it’s good to turn strangers into friends, don’t just give your contact details, or accept a drink from anyone. Sometimes, overfriendliness can bring you closer to those who would like to take advantage.

Keep the beach litter and smoke-free

Boracay is one of the most beautiful islands in the world, which brings not only pride, but also revenue to our country. You can have fun all night long but be sure to dispose of your trash properly. To lessen the consumption of plastic, use reusable bags and your own water bottles.

Pursuant to the No Smoking Ordinance No.272, Series of 2009, smoking in the beachfront is prohibited. Streamers showing this campaign are already posted in different parts of Boracay. Violators will face penalties from their act. View the full details of the Boracay Anti-Smoke and Anti-Litter Ordinance here.

Photo Credit: Tara Yap,
Photo Credit: Tara Yap,

Through the years, Boracay has undergone a massive change. Aside from the mushrooming establishments, the green gunk along its shores has also earned attention from the visitors. Frightened by the occurrence of the green algae or “lumot”, some tourists hesitate to swim in its waters.

In an article written by Atty. Dodo Dulay in Manila Times on March 9, 2015, scientists attest that algae growth in the Boracay beach was fueled by so-called “waste nutrients”.

Boracay is just one of the many beautiful places in the country and with its present state, it obviously deserves a break from massive tourism. This long weekend, you can try to explore other destinations. But unlike Boracay, let’s treat them gently, maintaining the delicate balance of their ecosystems.