Tips: Tipid pasyalan attractions this Christmas

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Christmas is meant for quality time with family and friends and celebrating in its festive spirit. But, this does not mean that you have to shell out a lot of cash for your family and friends to enjoy. From Rizza Sta. Ana’s article Christmas Crawl: 12 Holiday Attractions In Metro Manila You Need To Visit in Zipmatch, you can enjoy your Christmas pasyalan even on a budget.

The Office of the President revealed that there are five more holidays remaining in the Philippine calendar. Most of these holidays fall between December 24 to December 31, which provides perhaps one of the longest Christmas breaks in the country’s history.

By then, you’re probably done buying and wrapping gifts and sprucing up the house with Christmas decor. What else should you do but visit holiday-themed places in the metro with your loved ones?
Take our challenge called ZipMatch Christmas Crawl, which features 12 of the most visited places in Metro Manila during the holiday season. There’s no prize, but we can guarantee that you’ll have an awesome time visiting these places with your family and friends. Advance Happy Holidays!

1.  Stop: Ayala Triangle Gardens
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See: Enchanting Lights and Sounds Show
Schedule: Every 30 minutes from 6PM to 9PM
Admission: Free
Dare: Take a photo of you and your family or friends during the show and upload them to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Tip: You can take advantage of Ayala Triangle Garden’s free WiFi powered by Globe or at one of the nearby cafes in the area.

2. Stop: Policarpio St, Mandaluyong
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See: Epic Nativity Scenes, lights, and Santas in all shapes and sizes
Schedule: 6:30 – 10:00PM
Admission: Free
Dare: Spot any life-size Santa Claus and take a photo of you copying his pose. You can also encourage your group to sing a Christmas carol aloud.
Tip: Since 2012, homeowners have started selling refreshments and Christmas food, such as puto bumbong and bibingka outside their homes to visitors. PVL Restaurant owner Norma Lim, who is believed to have inspired other homeowners in Policarpio to decorate their homes with Christmas decor, might consider adding jumbo siopao to her menu this year.

3.  Stop: Pyromusical Display at SM Mall of Asia
See: Breathtaking fireworks displays courtesy of award-winning pyrotechnicians
Schedule: 7PM
Admission: Free
Dare: Invite your friends to do a jump shot using the fireworks display as your background.
Tip: You may want to plan your dinner schedule here. Fiesta Bahia offers a wide array of international and local cuisine brought to you by the people behind Taguig’s Mercato Centrale and Levante in Eastwood City.

4.  Stop: Disney on Ice at the Araneta Coliseum

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See: Mickey Mouse and the Disney gang, Princesses Rapunzel, Tiana, Cinderella, Jasmine, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, Belle and Snow White
Schedule: December 25January 4 at 1:30PM, 5:00PM and 6:00PM (selected dates)
Admission: P150 for general admission
Dare: Don a paper Mickey Mouse hat during the show.
Tip: Book your tickets in advance using your locally-issued VISA credit card to get a 12% early-bird discount. Booking Regular Box tickets are a steal at P950 (P836 if discounted) as seats are situated at both sides near the main stage. If you are bringing disabled members of the family or friends, inform TicketNet at (632) 911-5555 ahead to be seated before the rest of the show goers.

5.  Stop: Snow World at Star City
See: Ice sculptures, snow-covered pine trees and an “ice town” decked in Christmas fixtures
Schedule: 4PM onwards Mondays to Thursdays; 2PM onwards Fridays to Sundays
Admission: Pay P65 for admission and P150 for unlimited, same-day entrance. You can also avail the Ride-All-You-Can package for P420 and add P100 for Snow World.
Dare: Take the ice slide with your eyes closed.
Tip: Make sure that you are dressed in jeans and shoes if you plan to go inside Snow World. The sudden change in temperature can make even the grown-ups tremble from the cold.

6.  Stop: Manila Ocean Park’s Trails To Antartica
See: Kaya and Araw, the two captive penguins and their cold world
Schedule: 11:00AM to 9:00PM on weekdays, 10AM to 9:00PM on weekends and holidays.
Admission: P600 (Package includes the full Trails to Antartica experience, Oceanarium, and Symphony Evening Show
Dare: Have your photo taken while feeding a penguin.
Tip: It is best to schedule this trip for a day. If you plan to go later in the evening, make sure you make the last entry for the day, which is at 8:15PM. suggested bringing your own snow gear as you can expect drastic shifts of temperature from the Penguin Exhibit to Snow Village.

7.  Stop: University of Santo Tomas’ Paskuhan
See: A entertaining array of lights, lanterns, and music. A grand fireworks display caps the affair.
Schedule: December 19 and 20
Admission: Free, but you need to be accompanied by a Thomasian
Dare: Invite three of your friends to spell the words “UST” using your bodies.
Tip: Last year, over 60,000 people attended the Paskuhan. Because of the volume of people expected to attend the festivities, Kevin Rob Isidro of suggested to:
Go together as a group or meeting at a specific place at a particular time;
Attend the festivities with full stomachs; and
Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.

8.  Stop: UP Lantern Parade at Diliman Campus
See: A parade of floats, effigies, lanterns and people in costumes
Schedule: December 15
Admission: Free
Dare: Find UP Diliman’s Kuya Zorro and take a picture with him.
Tip: Go to the Academic Oval before 4PM to get the prime spots for photo-taking.

9.  Stop: Greenhills Shopping Center’s Christmas On Display (COD)
See: “The First Christmas” is the theme for this year.
Schedule: Every 30 minutes from 6:30PM – 11:30PM
Admission: Free
Dare: Go on a Bangketa Fair shopping spree for 5 of your closest friends with only a total budget of P100. Share your shopping finds using the hashtags #DiscoverGreenhills.
Tip: You may want to bring foldable chairs if you plan to bring children or grandparents.

10.  Stop: Casa Santa Antipolo, Rizal
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See: Over 3,000 Santa figurines from around the world
Schedule: By appointment; 2PM – 4PM
Admission: P180 for a minimum of 5 people. 3 years old and below get in for free. There’s a 20% discount for senior citizens.
Dare: Find Winnie the Pooh Santa and take a photo with him.
Tip: Look forward to a picnic with your family or friends for an hour for free at Jardin de Miramar’s galera. You need to confirm with reception ahead of your schedule to check whether a wedding reception will be held at the galera on that date.

11.  Stop: Dapitan Arcade, Quezon City
See: Home and theme decor finds for a fraction of mall prices
Schedule: Opens at 8:30AM, Mondays through Fridays.
Admission: Free
Dare: Find and buy a dancing Santa under P250.
Tip: Come in early to get the best spot at the concrete parking space right outside of the arcade. Go around the arcade first before deciding to buy anything.

12.  Stop: Giant Christmas Tree at the Araneta Center, Cubao
See: Araneta Center’s giant Christmas tree
Schedule: Anytime
Admission: Free
Dare: Take a photo of you and your family or friends for your mobile holiday card.
Tip: Photos of the tree are best taken late at night.

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