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  • 3 Child-Friendly Vacation Spots Outside of Manila

    Consider these destinations for your next family vacation.
    by Jillianne E. Castillo .
  • IMAGE @june.dataya/Instagram and @iizahel/Instagram

    Summer’s almost over but there’s still just enough time for an out-of-town trip with the whole family. Need ideas on where to go? We asked Danie Sedilla-Cruz , a blogger and mom of two, who loves to plan her family trips on a budget, whether here or abroad. Here’s the list she came up with along with a few travel spots the kids would love. 

    1 Davao
    Located in Mindanao, this province is getting a lot of attention lately thanks to newly-appointed President Rodrigo Duterte who has been mayor of Davao City for seven terms, totalling more than 22 years. Davao City is now considered to be one of the safest cities in the country. 

    “We feel safe in this province,” says Danie. “There are also a lot of available places for kids to explore: parks beaches, and gardens. Plus point for Samal Island, which has one of the nicest beaches in the country and is just 10 minutes away from the town proper.”

    Samal Island
    With unspoiled beaches adorned with white sand and clear waters, a thriving marine life and year-round fiestas and celebrations, Samal should definitely be on your family’s travel itinerary. 


    People’s Park
    Let the kids run free in one of the country’s safest and cleanest parks. Spanning four hectares, the park has a children’s playground and a man-made forest. 

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    2 Ilocos
    “Aside from the vintage and scenic feel of Ilocandia, there are a lot of things to see and experience here–windmills, a lighthouse, old churches, sand dunes, a beach with orange sand, and cobblestone streets. Name it, Ilocos has it,” says Danie. 

    “The food is an adventure in itself, too,” she adds. A few must-try dishes in Ilocos include: pakbet, bagnet, longganisa-stuffed empanada and dinengdeng. 

    A trip to Ilocos would not be complete without a stroll down the streets of Vigan, specifically Calle Crisologo. The cobblestone streets and Hispanic houses are almost as good as time travel. 

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    Learn about the art of pottery and see master potters mold lumps of clay into delicate jars. And, get to try your hand at it, too!

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    3 Baguio
    Known for its crisp, cool air, Baguio is a go-to spot for Filipino families who want to cool off from the hot and humid air of Metro Manila. There’s a lot to do in The City of Pines, too, as it’s now highly urbanized.

    “Baguio is a huge playground for our kids who have fun riding horses, picking flowers, and harvesting strawberries. It is also a haven for artsy activities such as visiting a museum and sitting down for on-the-spot painting sessions,” says Danie. 

    BenCab Museum
    Housing the works of Philippine National Artist Benedicto Cabrera, his personal art collections and the works of other master artists, the BenCab Museum is not just a place for basking in art but in nature, too. The farm and garden below the museum has a river, a mini-forest, an eco-trail, various crops and livestock--a must-visit for kids. 


    Burnham Park
    There’s lots to do in Burnham Park. The family could have a picnic, go horseback riding, rent bikes, ride a boat, enjoy the flowers and sample delicacies from the various food stalls. 

    Interview by Kat Castañeda from the April 2015 issue of Smart Parenting magazine.  

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