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Summer 2017: Top Getaway Destinations Near Manila

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“Looking at the beauty in the world, the first step of purifying the mind” -Amit Ray (Meditation: Insights and Inspirations)

As March enters 2017, so does the promise of a scorching summer to come. Gone are the cold and breezy days replaced by humid morning temperatures with equally hot nights. On the months ahead, we will be bidding our sweaters and long-sleeved tops goodbye and saying hello to cropped tops, bikinis, the distinct smell of the beach and our favorite pair of aviators. Indeed, as for March ushers in a new season, everyone will be welcoming in the happiest and sunniest season of the year, summer. This is the season most individuals would love to get away from the perpetual hustle and bustle of the city and experience the calm and quiet of the countryside or the vibrant life at the beach. Unfortunately, if you are operating on a tight schedule, it can be hard to negotiate a vacation in between your work commitments.

Not to fret, however, as there are a lot of destinations near Manila that would not even require an overnight trip. So, if you are planning for a summer excursion, there is no need to look far, here are the weekend getaways near Manila you can visit for a short and brief holiday:

1.) Minalungao National Park (Nueva Ecija)

Take a break from the usual crystal blue waters and enjoy something a little bit different such as the emerald green waters of Penaranda River in Minalungao National Park. As the summertime draws in, it is the perfect time to visit this place. Owing to the less rainfall of the season, the river is calmer and clearer making it safer for rafting, cliff jumping and even swimming. If trekking is more of your thing, the 16-meter limestone walls flanking the river are as equally inviting as the river is. If a quick trip is on your weekend itinerary, Minalungao is easily accessible with only a 3-hour ride from Manila, and it is friendly to your pockets as well.

2.) Taal Heritage Town

If you are looking for the feel and ambiance of Vigan without having to book a plane ticket or driving for seven hours, then all you would need to do is head to Batangas. The beautiful ancestral homes and gorgeous architecture of Tall Heritage Town in Batangas are reminiscent of Vigan and would take you back to a place you can only see in history books and black and white albums. It is easy to get charmed by the place’s hundred-year-old knickknacks and vintage pieces that you would not only get a well-deserved break but a trip back in time as well.

3.) Corregidor

History buff and enthusiasts would enjoy Corregidor as it is the perfect place for a slice of culture and history. This province in Cavite has diverse activities to offer, but its main attraction is definitely the rich and colorful history from World War II. But apart from that, Corregidor has pristine nature trails, its own beach, and wildlife. Lastly, it is not that far from Manila (only an hour away by boat). If you are looking for a bit of history with a little culture in solitude thrown into the mix, this place is perfect for you.

4.) Baler

Though it is not exactly what you would call near (driving to Baler would take you a few extra hours), it would all be a matter of perspective once you arrive and set foot and Baler where a myriad of activities awaits you. To surfers and trekking enthusiasts, this place is paradise, and for someone looking for the perfect synergy of nature, culture, history and adventure, this place is the ultimate escapade. If you are looking for an unlimited array of activities to do in such a short time, Baler should be your top pick.

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Alviera creates the perfect setting for bonding, recreation

The soothing beauty of nature enhanced by the comfort of modernity awaits at this newfound oasis. Aerial perspective of Alveira Country Club A one-of a kind playground that is the 1,100-hectare Alviera in Pampanga is where one can relish the majestic view of the Porac mountain ranges over a morning exercise, or while having chat with closest friends and family, thus serving not only as a grand backdrop, but a natural stress reliever as well. Indeed, the Alviera, which is being developed by real estate giant Ayala Land Inc. in partnership with Leonio Land, accords the weary urbanite a sanctuary where a once barren land is being turned into the primary business, leisure, institutional, residential and recreational destination in Central Luzon. Set to rise at the heart of Alviera would be the Alviera Country Club, which will serve as focal point, a place where people can converge and indulge on the things they most love. The club is designed to be a place where people feel that they can authentically be themselves and be part of it in a real way. Banking on the place’s innate beauty, the whole Alviera Country Club will showcase the best that nature has to offer. It is not a stage set, not something artificial but something where people belong. Photo2

Luxury destination

Rising at the most prime location at the Alviera Estate, the six-hectare Alviera Country Club proves no less to be the “pièce de résistance” as it encapsulates the kind of modern, sophisticated lifestyle that awaits residents. “The Country Club’s lush grounds, set against the breathtaking views of Alviera, tie the estate together and offer a perfect setting for its members to gather together and commune with nature,” Alviera General Manager John Estacio noted. The Alviera Country Club, which is the first facility of this scale and kind in the province, is envisioned to become the main luxury destination in the region, offering a complete line of facilities for sports, games, relaxation, meetings and events, and thus revolutionizing the way people see and understand the true concept of indulging in club facilities of this scale and proportion. Designed by the renowned Leandro V. Locsin & Partners, the structure is rooted in convergence, with every space designed to allow people to connect with themselves and with others. “The goal was to create a place where people feel that they can authentically be themselves and be part of it in a real way, it doesn’t feel contrived or artificial-it’s somewhere people feel they belong,” said design consultant Leandro “Andy” Y. Locsin Jr. Built not just in nature but with nature, the club is designed to complement its natural surroundings, thus making it the perfect setting for individuals and families to recharge and reconnect with each other and with nature. “At the Alviera Country Club, it is recreation done in perfect harmony with nature. The seamless connection between today’s modern technology and the healing power of nature is what makes this club a cut above the rest and truly special,” Estacio noted. The entire property, which is surrounded by nature’s natural beauty, serves as a perfect setting for a unique, one-of-a-kind country club experience. Since the property is highly accessible via the North Luzon Expressway, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway, and other local major road networks, the Alviera Country Club is a relatively easy drive from Metro Manila and from other areas in the Central Luzon region. And with Clark International Airport and Subic Bay International Freeport being near, access from overseas is possible as well.

Exclusive amenities

But what is expected to make the Alviera Country Club unparalleled once fully operational, are its exclusive, well-thought out amenities and first-rate facilities that are sure to provide club members the rare opportunity to unwind and recover from life’s daily grind. The club will have specialty restaurants, a kids zone, pools, sports, wellness and entertainment facilities and even an events pavilion, all of which are guaranteed to help provide the weary urbanite the much needed break. Kids will find a trip to the club a treat as it is bursting with amenities that are designed to give them a grand time such as a kiddie pool, a water park complete with water jets, fountains, a slide and splash pods, indoor and outdoor play areas.  Artist's rendition of Alveira Country Club Splash Park Artist's rendition of Alveira Country Club Indoor Play Area Serving as the centerpiece of all the club’s amenities is the pool which features a network of various cooling pods including a 6-lane lap pool, a lounge pool, a kiddie pool, among others. Those who choose a more active lifestyle meanwhile would have the liberty to choose from the wide selection of sports facilities that include an indoor and outdoor tennis courts, badminton courts, multi-sport court for basketball, futsal and volleyball, and an open turf mound for frisbee and other outdoor events. The Alviera Country Club will also come with a complete gym, dance studio, wellness spa, Jacuzzi and steam bath facilities. There’s never a dull moment at the club as apart from the great adventures and good food that members can look forward to, ALI has also provided an assortment of entertainment facilities such as a billiard hall, KTV rooms, theater rooms and even a game and arcade room. A number of pavilions is also made available for members to use whether for corporate or social gatherings. The club has a spacious boardroom, meeting rooms, a multi-purpose hall, an al-fresco café, and one grand hall that can be divided into two ballrooms and can fit 500-600 guests with a pre-function area overlooking the central courtyard. Artist's rendition of Alveira Country Club Cafe Currently, Alviera has already started selling shares for the club. Indeed, the Alviera Country Club offers an all exclusive respite where one can rekindle his love affair with nature without having to give up the modern conveniences—a sanctuary where one gets to appreciate nature anew, a place where one can have the luxury to enjoy quality time with their family or to simply de-stress and rejuvenate from life’s uncertainties. ADVT Source: