You can still make the last days of summer memorable for the next few weekends or so: a day trip or a weekend getaway with the barkada is still one of the best summer memories you’ll ever make. And to make your choice among the best barkada-friendly places, isn’t it wonderful to have the Internet? Nowadays, you can even search for a weekend getaway on your smartphone.
What does a smartphone search of possible barkada summer getaways show us? Well, there are both new and familiar places we can find:
Beaches. For the longest time, Boracay has been THE summer destination for many of us, especially during the 1990s when it was fast-gaining popularity. And with good reason. The fine, powdery white sand, the overall chill-out vibe, the sunsets—they all seemed like a summer dream come true. The only downside for your barkada would be a) The crowds and b) The travel time and preparations.
With Boracay’s popularity—having been rated in international travel magazines—it really is a crowded place. However, if you’ve planned for the trip well and maybe if you’re going there towards the end of the peak summer season, then maybe you won’t experience as much hassle. Boracay already has a lot of loyal “pilgrims” who make it a point to go there each summer—and the trip is really worth it. Of course, if you’ve never been there, then that’s the best reason to go.
Fortunately, the Philippines has a lot of wonderful beaches. If your barkada is looking for beaches that are more easily and conveniently accessible, then there are two areas close to Metro Manila that you might check out: Playa Calatagan and Playa Laiya, both of which are in Batangas. Getting there takes only about 2-3 hours, give or take – depending on the traffic. The beaches at Playa Laiya and Playa Calatagan are quite impressive: while the quality of the sand is not like Boracay’s, the color and texture are more than good enough and the waters are clean and crystal blue. The fact that you can go there on a day trip is a big plus factor.
Other beaches close to Metro Manila are found in Subic, which is about two hours away from the Metro.
Southern charms. Boracay island lies South of the Philippines as part of Aklan province. However, there are other southern islands that can lay claim to being beach paradises. Two of the more popular places in the south when it comes to beaches are Cebu and Bohol. There’s Ibiza Beach Club in Cebu, for example, and then Panglao island in Bohol. An important advantage in choosing Cebu and Bohol is the presence of modern infrastructure and conveniences, especially cellular phone and Internet networks.
Cooler climes. With the sweltering heat in Metro Manila, it makes sense to go somewhere cooler. And the top two destinations would be Baguio City and Tagaytay. Baguio is, hands down, the cooler place because of its high elevation—it’s a city on a mountaintop. The more adventurous can even go farther North, towards Sagada or Banaue.
If you’d rather not go through the eight-hour land trip to Baguio, however, then Tagaytay is the ideal alternative. Just two hours from Metro Manila, Tagaytay is a place for sight-seeing—particularly the awesome Taal Lake and Volcano—and cooling off. It’s also a wellness hub with several spas operating there.
Natural wonders. Nature’s unspoiled beauty take center stage in places like Palawan and Davao. Besides the beaches, there are breath-taking sights of islands, seas, forests, and rivers. If you and your barkada are game for something more adventurous and opt to journey through roads less travelled, then why not go backpacking? The website www.backpackingpilipinas.com provides useful information on how to do just that.
Before your barkada go off for a weekend, however, make sure to bring your smartphones. These are already essential travel items not only for sharing images and comments on the Internet, but more importantly, they provide the means for important communication while traveling—both for the sake of enjoyment and safety.
The importance of smartphones and Internet connection during travel makes it crucial for Allphones stores to be present in all of the Philippines major summer destinations, according to Maureen Gallant of Allphones Philippines, the country’s fastest-growing mobile phone retail chain.
“We have more than 50 stores across the country, from up North in Baguio and down South going to Batangas, Subic, Quezon, Cebu, Bohol Palawan, and Davao. Summer vacationers may easily avail of mobile phones and postpaid plans from our stores there,” says Gallant.
Allphones stores provide the latest, most exciting smartphone models and brands at huge discounts for outright purchase. Customers can even get these smartphones for free via postpaid plans. Postpaid plans at Allphones stores are very affordable and have high value-for-money as they come with customizable combos of features and services like unlimited calls, unlimited texting, and unlimited Internet.
Have your barkada take their picks from these exclusive postpaid deals from Allphones that come with bundled smartphones: a) Plan 499 with a Lenovo A680; b) Plan 599 with a Lenovo A316i; c) Plan 999 with a LG G Pro Lite; d) Plan 1299 with a LG G2 Mini LTE (Availability: Week of May 26); and e) Plan 1799 with a Sony T2 Ultra.
You may also make outright purchases of the following smartphones: the LG G2; the Nokia 1320; the Alcatel Idol X; and the Sony Xperia E1.
Gallant pointed out that bringing along a smartphone with a postpaid plan is ideal for traveling. “A postpaid plan provides you continuous service without having to worry about running out of load and then having to find a reloading station during travel. For ease of travel, peace of mind, and general safety, nothing beats a postpaid plan. With this in mind, Allphones is offering very affordable, features-packed postpaid plans.” To know more about the exclusive and affordable postpaid deals from Allphones, visit the Allphones store nearest you or go to www.allphones.com.ph.
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