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march 31
 
Easterlies still dominate the eastern section of Luzon, bringing good weather condition all over the country including Metro Manila. However, there are still chances of isolated rain showers and/or thunderstorms in the afternoon or in the evening.

 

Make the most out of the good weather today with these 5 top outdoor activities you can do in the Philippines.
 

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 For Christians across the globe, the Lenten Season is a solemn time for reflection and building a deeper relationship with God. Likewise, this season also signals a brief vacation, the perfect time to travel.
 
But if the Lenten Season is all about evaluating our spirituality, it makes sense to keep Mother Nature in mind as we explore her many wonders. Here are some tips on how you can be an earth-friendly traveler:
 
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Look for eco-friendly accommodations.

 Look for a hotel devoted to reducing carbon emissions and waste reduction, and has recycling policies. Find out if your hotel promotes environmental awareness to its employees and patrons.
 
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Limit energy use.

 Lessen the use of air-conditioner and hot water. Don’t forget to turn off lights, television and the air-onditioner when you leave your hotel rooms.
 
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Choose conservation-conscious tour operators.

 
 
If you opt to go on tour with a professional tour guide, research his or her company’s protocols and practices. The way they manage waste or treat local wildlife can impact the local ecosystem.
 
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Choose earth-friendly transportation.

  
Once you reach your destination, go ahead and try their local public transport. Renting bicycles and walking are few of the most basic ways to reduce carbon emissions, too.
 
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Leave no traces behind.

 
Do not litter. Don’t write your names on walls, trees and anywhere you can think of. As the mountaineers say, take nothing but pictures and memories.
 
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Protect the marine environment.

 If you dive or snorkel, don’t touch reefs or marine animals. Also, don’t collect shells, corals or other natural items.
 
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Respect the off-limits areas.

 
 Whether you’re on a mountain, on an island, at the beach or simply hopping from one church to another for your Visita Iglesia, it is your responsibility to keep the sanctity of the area.
 
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If you’re still wondering what these tips have to do with Holy Week, try reflecting on Acts 4:24 in the Bible which says: “Sovereign Lord, you made the Heavens and Earth and the sea and everything in them.”
 
As stewards of this creation, it is our responsibility to take care of all our surroundings.
 
Have a meaningful Holy Week, everyone!
 


 
 

With research from:

www.tripstodiscover.com and wwf.panda.org

Photo Credit: http://www.lookandremember.com
Photo Credit: http://www.lookandremember.com



As more schools shift their academic calendars from the traditional June-March to August-May, more students will have classes during the blistering summer heat–which means their vacation will now coincide with the monsoon rains. With this, plans for a sunshine-filled break just won’t cut it anymore. But students, take heart! Even if it’s pouring outside, you can still make your rainy vacation worthwhile.


Marathon movies
Now, there’s no better excuse to bum around at home with a good movie and a bowl of freshly made popcorn. Curl up in your bed and watch movies you missed in theaters, or catch up on your favorite TV shows.


Pamper yourself
Soothe your aching body with a trip to the spa. Relax beneath the expert hands of a masseuse, and sweat out your stress in the sauna. Go all out and get your nails and hair done.


Experiment in the kitchen
Since rainy days are almost synonymous to staying home, why don’t you try and improve your culinary expertise by whipping up something you’ve never cooked before? You can also look for a new recipe or reinvent an old dish. Here are some dishes we love to eat this rainy season.


Arrange trips to the museum
Enjoy a blast from the past and plan a trip to the museum. Feast your eyes on visually filling masterpieces and educate yourself on various cultures.


Make time for reading
Whether you’re conquering the Iron Throne in Westeros or leading the rebellion in Panem—whatever your book of choice is, now is the time to let your imagination run wild with the written word. If you don’t have a dusty pile of unread books, take a trip to the nearest library and get lost in the authors’ awesome worlds and words.


Sweat out by doing some indoor exercises
Staying home doesn’t mean being an unhealthy couch potato. Achieve your fitness goals by doing some indoor exercise like Pilates or yoga. You may also follow an instructional disc of Zumba or search Youtube for a sample workout video to burn off those vacation calories.


Ride the waves
You may still go to the beach even when it’s raining as the season promises more waves to ride for surfers. Be extra cautious though as there might be threats of storm surges. It’s best to err on the side of caution; cancel your surfing expedition when the waves look too big or rowdy for you to conquer. Make sure to listen to weather advisories, and choose an able companion when planning your trip.


Get your game on
Scream along with your buddies while playing a video game, and enjoy the thrill that comes with finishing each level. If you prefer being old school, you may also take out your board games or a deck of cards. Don’t forget your supply of snacks to make the day complete.


Organize tea parties with your besties
This activity can be fun for both girls and guys. Enjoy a traditional tea party by crushing your own leaves and preparing tea the traditional way, as opposed to just dipping a teabag into hot water. Let the tea calm your nerves as well as warm your insides while the rain pours outside.


Practice your writing skills
With nothing on your mind, you can finally squeeze out your creative juice. Who knows? You might just be the next J.K. Rowling. If you’re not aiming to be published, you may also write a journal to record memorable events of the day, which you can read years from now.


No need to whine about the calendar shift! Learn how to adapt with the season and make the most out of your rainy break by being creative with your time.

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, http://www.mb.com.ph/
Photo Credit: Tara Yap, http://www.mb.com.ph/

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.

Here’s something you don’t hear about everyday: a TV host claiming that her wedding reservation at a private island resort in Quezon was bumped off in favor of another high-profile couple’s wedding date.

While these two concerned parties and the resort owner sort things out, most of us wonder why beach weddings are all the rage, not only among celebrities, but also among us common folk.

To this, we ask this question: why not? With our country’s numerous beautiful and pristine beaches, it only seems natural to hold one of life’s most momentous occasions in such gorgeous landscapes. Just think of it—the sun, sea and sand all working together to make your special moment memorable for you and your guests.

Convinced? If you’re planning your own wedding, then it’s time to check out our list of top beach wedding destinations.

Misibis Bay (Cagraray Island in Bacacay, Albay)

Photo from Facebook Page of Misibis Bay
Photo from Facebook Page of Misibis Bay

If private luxury is your thing, head on to this 5-hectare island getaway that offers loads of amenities. Its stretch of white sand is picture-perfect, along with its well-manicured gardens and tastefully designed villas. Aside from being only less than an hour’s flight away from Manila, this resort is equipped with an evacuation plan in case of a tsunami. The resort also offers an aerial view of the famous Mayon Volcano, our country’s most popular active volcano.

Celebrity Couple that Got Married Here: Real Estate Scion Victor Consunji and Beauty Queen/Actress Maggie Wilson

Nasugbu, Batangas

Photo from Facebook page of Club Punta Fuego, Nasugbu, Batangas
Photo from Facebook page of Club Punta Fuego, Nasugbu, Batangas

 

Via land, Batangas is only a few hours away from Manila, making it an ideal wedding spot, especially if the couple and guests are coming from the metro. In 2007, it was declared by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as a special tourism zone, in an effort to boost the promotion and development of its white-sand beaches.

Celebrity Couples that Got Married Here: Pastor Joseph Bonifacio and Actress Rica Peralejo; Singers Ogie Alcasid and Regine Velasquez

La Union, Ilocos

Photo from https://www.flickr.com/photos/flaircandy/3737780998
Photo from https://www.flickr.com/photos/flaircandy/3737780998

Dubbed as the surfing capital of the Northern Luzon, La Union is easily accessible via land and air from Manila. Its beaches are famous sites for water sports, particularly snorkeling and surfing.

Celebrity Couple that Got Married Here: Actor John Estrada and Brazilian Beauty Queen Priscilla Meirelles

Boracay Island, Aklan

 

Photo from https://www.flickr.com/photos/chewychua/543465383
Photo from https://www.flickr.com/photos/chewychua/543465383

When it’s beach wedding season, all roads seem to lead to the most popular destination of all, especially among celebrities—Boracay! Aside from its picturesque waters and shoreline, this island is chock-full of gimik spots that assure guests of unlimited party time after the ceremony.

Celebrity Couples that Got Married Here: Actor Jericho Rosales and Model/Host Kim Jones, Actor Oyo Boy Sotto and Actress Kristine Hermosa

 

Planning to get married on the beach? Here are some tips to make sure that it doesn’t rain on your wedding day:

Choose your wedding month well. According to PAGASA Weather Forecaster Chris Perez, it’s best to schedule your wedding between the months of November and February, which are usually characterized by cold and dry weather conditions associated with the “amihan” or Northeast Monsoon. He adds that at this time, “There will be a slim chance of afternoon or evening rain showers or thunderstorms, except for the month of November, where tropical cyclones are at a minimum—at least one or sometimes none at all under normal climate conditions.”

Opt for late afternoon weddings. This way, you and your guests don’t have to endure the harsh heat of the sun. If you want, you can even schedule the ceremony just so it ends while the sun sets, providing a picturesque background for those romantic photos.

Constantly monitor weather updates. Even if you scheduled your wedding during the summer months, it’s best to check on the weather. Anya Santos-Uy scheduled her beach wedding in March because of its  “better chance of weather. Yet it drizzled about an hour before the ceremony!” Monitoring updates allows you to prepare back-up plans just in case a weather disturbance comes unexpectedly.