Christmas Celebrations In The Philippines: 12 Best Holiday Destinations

people at ayala triangle gardens makati

Christmas celebration in the Philippines is really more fun! Besides, where else would you find a three-month-long celebration, two weeks of parties and reunions, and exchange gifts that extend until January? 

From setting up the decorations and playing Yuletide songs as soon as – ber months start, that is September, to the first week of the following year, Christmas celebrations in the Philippines is several months long, and everyone loves it.

We’ve rounded up places in the Philippines where it’s best to spend the holidays and experience Christmas cheer!

Top 12 Destinations for Christmas Celebrations in the Philippines

Looking for a place to spend the holidays with your friends and family? Here are some of the most beautiful places to celebrate Christmas in the Philippines:

  1. Boracay – Christmas at the Best Beach in the World
  2. Palawan – Christmas in the Wonders of Nature
  3. Baguio – A Happy Christmas In The Hills
  4. Tagaytay – A Christmas with a View!
  5. Pampanga – For an old school festive celebration!
  6. Bohol – A Christmas Amidst Nature!
  7. Siargao – An island getaway celebration!
  8. La Union – Sun, surf, and celebrations!
  9. Bacolod – Christmas in the City of Smiles
  10. Cebu – A home away from home Christmas
  11. Vigan – Revisiting history this Christmas
  12. BGC and Makati – Your modern-day Christmas fun!

1. BORACAY – Christmas at the Best Beach in the World

boracay christmas celebrations in the philippines

Make your Christmas extra special by spending it at the world-famous beach! Boracay has been famous for being a top beach destination in the Philippines but the island isn’t just perfect during summer. You can also enjoy the fine white sand and cerulean waters during the holidays and have the most wonderful Christmas celebrations in the Philippines.

Best places to see in Boracay

White Beach

white beach boracay christmas celebrations in the philippines

White Beach is the main beach in Boracay. It is a 4-kilometer stretch of powdery white sand and is divided into 3 sections: Station 1, Station 2, and Station 3. Station 1 is known as the high-end area; Station 2 is where most of the restaurants, bars, and shopping spots are located; and Station 3 is the quieter area because this is away from nightlife.

Ariel’s Point

ariel's point boracay christmas celebrations in the philippines

Boracay is not just about beaches though, because it also offers a whole lot of adventure for its visitors. Try cliff diving at Ariel’s Point. This place is a small rocky island 30 minutes away from Boracay with 5 diving boards, ranging from 3 to 15 meters. When you try this, your Christmas celebrations in the Philippines will definitely be unforgettable!

Puka Beach

Puka Beach boracay

Unlike the White Beach, Puka beach doesn’t have white sand. Perhaps this is the reason, tourists aren’t flocking here. But despite the lack of fine white sand, Puka beach offers something that other beaches don’t⁠— privacy.

Willy’s Rock

willy's rock boracay christmas celebrations in the philippines

This is one of the most iconic spots in Boracay. Willy’s Rock is a castle-like volcanic formation that dominates the seascape along White Beach. You can climb the stairs to see the grotto of the Virgin Mary or just enjoy a good view of the White Beach.

D’Mall

D'Mall boracay

Tourists never miss D’Mall in Boracay as this is one of the must-visit places in the island. This is where you’ll find the best bargains for your pasalubongs or souvenirs. There are also many restaurants and spas in D’Mall.

Best places to eat in Boracay

  1. Sunny Side Cafe
    Cuisine: Filipino-American
    Must-try dishes: Chori Burgers, Bacon and Mango Grilled Cheese sandwiches, and coffees
  2. Jonah’s Fruit Shake and Snackbar
    Cuisine: Filipino
    Must-try drinks: Mango, Avocado, and Pineapple Shakes
  3. Ice Land Cafe
    Cuisine: Korean
    Must-try dishes: Egg Sausage Roll, Yogurt, and Coconut Ice Cream with Mango and Peanuts

Make your holidays more fun in Boracay! Book budget hotels in Boracay here.

2. PALAWAN – Christmas in the Wonders of Nature

palawan

It doesn’t come as a surprise when Palawan was named as the second-best island in the world by Travel+Leisure online Travel Magazine last July 2019. Palawan never fails to mesmerize its visitors with its jaw-dropping lagoons and white beaches.

These are just a few reasons why tourists around the world include Palawan in their bucket list for Christmas celebrations in the Philippines.

Best places to see in Palawan

Small and Big Lagoons

Small and Big Lagoons palawan

The Small Lagoon in Bacuit Bay is a breathtaking place one should not miss in El Nido. The lagoon is surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and is accessible by kayak or by swimming through a hole. You’d also fall in love with its turquoise-green waters. The Big Lagoon also has clear turquoise waters, limestone cliffs, and lush green vegetation that will also captivate you.

Nacpan Beach

nacpan beach palawan christmas in the philippines

There’s nothing much to do here but to laze around but you’ll love it exactly for that. Nacpan Beach is a 4-kilometer stretch of golden sand beach. You can relax under the lined coconut palm trees while enjoying the view of its crystal clear blue waters. This spot is one of the must-visit destinations in El Nido.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

puerto princesa underground river

When in Puerto Princesa, don’t ever miss the Underground River. You’ll be amazed at how beautiful the limestones and stalactites are. No wonder it has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. A paddleboat ride takes you to a section of the underground river, where you can enjoy views of massive stalagmite and stalactite formations and cave chambers.

Honda Bay Islands

Honda Bay Islands palawan christmas in the philippines

If you’re planning to go on an island-hopping activity for your Christmas celebrations in the Philippines, the best place to visit is Honda Bay. Here, you can find beautiful islets, reefs, white sand beaches, and inviting waters perfect for swimming. Some beaches that are included in the tour are Cowrie Island, Luli Island, and Starfish Island.

Baker’s Hill

Baker’s Hill palawan

Tourists come to Baker’s Hill because of its delicious freshly-baked local delicacies. Most of the tourists buy their pasalubong or gifts here. If you’re done shopping for the pastries and delicacies, you can also enjoy a mini-theme park-like in the garden that is Instagrammagle!

Best places to eat in Palawan

  1. La Plage Sunset Bar & Restaurant
    Cuisine: French
    Must-try dishes: Pistou Pasta, Seafood Pasta, and Mango Crumble
  2. El Nido Boutique & Artcafé
    Cuisine: Filipino
    Must-try dishes: Pizza, Pasta, and Pineapple upside-down cake
  3. Kalui Restaurant
    Cuisine: Filipino
    Must-try dishes: Pan-Broiled Blue Marlin and Grilled Tuna

Book budget hotels in Palawan here.

3. BAGUIO – A Happy Christmas In The Hills

burnham park baguio

Although it doesn’t snow in the Philippines, you can still feel the chilly weather and wear your winter outfits while in a tropical country. Where else could that be but up north?

Baguio City is a go-to place of most Filipino families for Christmas celebrations in the Philippines. The cool breeze of the air, the tall pine trees, and the lively night market are the reasons why people would travel for more than 6 hours. 

Best places to see in Baguio

Mines View Park

tourists at minesview park christmas celebrations in the philippines

The main attractions here are the commercial activities such as the souvenir and silverworks stores by the park, and the astounding view of nature from above. Tourists also have a chance to get dressed in the traditional clothing in Cordillera— bahag, shield, and spear for the men, tapis for the ladies, vests, and headdresses for both. Tourists can also ride a horse for picture taking.

Location: Mines View Observation Deck, Mines View, Baguio City

Burnham Park

burnham park baguio christmas in the philippines

This spot is famous for tourists and locals alike as there are many things to do here. From boating, riding a bicycle, playing sports, or just chilling, Burnham Park becomes a go-to for everyone. No wonder it’s a favorite spot for Christmas celebrations in the Philippines.

Location: Jose Abad Santos Drive, Baguio City

BenCab Museum

bencab museum baguio staycation
Photo credits to BenCab Museum

The museum serves as a home for works of many local artists and noted Filipino masters including the collection of Philippine National Artist Benedicto Cabrera. The museum also houses the indigenous arts and crafts of the Cordilleras. This is also where BenCab lives. If you’re celebrating Christmas in the Philippines, make sure to drop by at this place.

Location: Km. 6 Asin Road, Tadiangan, Tuba, Benguet

Botanical Garden

Botanical garden baguio christmas celebrations in the philippines

As the name suggests, expect many trees, plants, and flowers that surround the place. Botanical garden is a perfect spot for those who want to get away from the loud and busy city. There are also Igorots that are willing to pose for photos for around P10-P20.

Location: 37 Leonard Wood Rd, Baguio City

The Valley of Colors

valley of colors baguio christmas celebrations in the philippines

This place is a new tourist attraction in Baguio. It’s a village full of vibrant and colorful houses, perfect for a colorful Christmas in the Philippines.

Location: La Trinidad, Bontoc Rd, Baguio

Best places to eat in Baguio

  1. Cafe by the Ruins
    Cuisine: Filipino
    Must-try dishes: Pinikpikan (a chicken soup used in rituals by natives), the Baguio Bagnet, and Ruins Leche Flan.
  2. Farmer’s Daughter Restaurant 
    Cuisine: Authentic Cordilleran Food
    Must-try dishes: Kindot (Grilled Pork), Pinuneg (Blood sausage), and Dabong Salad.
  3. Hill Station
    Cuisine: A fusion of European, American, and Asian
    Must-try dishes: Cambodian Coriander and Garlic Chicken, Prawns Peri Peri, and Apple Streusel.

Baguio is surely one of the most exciting places for Christmas celebrations in the Philippines. Book budget hotels in Baguio here.

4. TAGAYTAY –  A Christmas with a View!

People’s Park in the Sky tagaytay christmas celebrations in the philippines

 

If you don’t have much time to go to Baguio or not just a fan of long haul drives, then Tagaytay is your best choice among the destinations for Christmas celebrations in the Philippines.

In just about 2 to 3 hours from Manila, you will already reach Tagaytay. Just like Baguio, it’s also cold there. You can visit museums, enjoy the breathtaking view of Taal Volcano, or just eat the best bulalo in town.

Best places to see in Tagaytay

Taal Volcano

taal volcano tagaytay christmas celebrations in the philippines

There are restaurants in Tagaytay that have a good view of Taal Volcano but if you’re feeling adventurous and want to see it up close, the trek could take around 30 minutes to one hour. Its occasionally steep terrain can be tiring, particularly for first-timers, so those who would prefer not to trek can go on horseback. Trekking to Taal Volcano will definitely make your CHhristmas celebrations in the Philippines thrilling and more fun.

Location: Talisay, Batangas

Sky Ranch

sky ranch tagaytay pasyalan
Photo credits to Sky Ranch Philippines

Want to experience a different Christmas in the Philippines? Then head to Sky Ranch Tagaytay where the kid in you will jump for joy. This amusement park is perfect for everyone, especially for families. Enjoy the majestic view of the Taal Volcano while on a ferris wheel or a roller coaster.

Location: Km. 60 Tagaytay – Nasugbu Hwy, Kaybagal South, Tagaytay, Cavite

Picnic Grove

picnic grove pasyalan sa tagaytay
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

With its built-in cottages and greenish, hilly surroundings, this spot is just perfect for picnic lovers as well as family gatherings and for bonding with friends on Philippine Christmas.

Location: Tagaytay Picnic Grove Complex, Barangay, End, Tagaytay, Cavite

Museo Orlina

museo orlina paslayan sa tagaytay
Photo credits to Museo Orlina

This museum houses the masterpieces, mostly glass sculptures, of internationally acclaimed artist Ramon Orlina, the pioneer and foremost practitioner of glass sculpture in the country. 

Location: Hollywood Subdivision Road Brgy. Tolentino East, Subd, Tagaytay, Cavite

People’s Park In The Sky

People’s Park in the Sky tagaytay

If you want to see the city from above, go to People’s Park in the Sky. This park is also the highest point in Tagaytay City.

Location: Tagaytay – Calamba Rd, Tagaytay, Cavite

Best places to eat in Tagaytay

  1. Balay Dako
    Cuisine: Filipino
    Must-try dishes: Kansi, Salt and Pepper Spareribs, and Kare Kare Klasik.
  2. El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo
    Cuisine: Spanish
    Must-try dishes: The El Cocinero Paella, Solomillo de Ternera, and Churroz con Chocolate.
  3. Antonio’s Restaurant
    Cuisine: A fusion of international cuisine
    Must-try dishes: Antonio’s House Salad, Pommery Rubbed Roasted Rack of Lamb, Roasted Duck Breast in a Mixed Berry Red Wine Jus and Lechon de Leche.

Book budget hotels in Tagaytay here.

5. PAMPANGA – For an old school festive celebration!

PAMPANGA

This province isn’t called the Christmas Capital of the Philippines for nothing. Because when the Christmas season comes, Pampanga shines with lanterns that are made by the locals. One thing you should look forward to when visiting the province is the Giant Lantern Festival in San Fernando, Pampanga. Expect a parade of huge colorful lanterns and lively street dance.

Just a reminder, many tourists come here to watch the festivals so be sure to book your hotel at ZEN Rooms to avoid the stress of last-minute hotel-searching.

Best places to see in Pampanga

Sandbox Pampanga

Go for a thrilling Christmas at Sandbox where Asia’s first roller coaster zipline and the tallest giant swing in the Philippines are located. Other fun outdoor activities here include archery, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or utility task vehicle (UTV) driving.

sandbox pampanga
Photo credits to SandBox at Alviera

Location: Alviera Subdivision, Sapang UWAK Rd, Porac, Pampanga

Puning Hot Springs

If you’re looking for a place to relax, this is the best place to unwind. Treat yourself to a new level of spa services that combines the use of volcanic ash, sand, and water which can provide health benefits.

Location: Sitio Target, Barangay, Angeles, Pampanga

Dinosaurs Island

Bring your kids to an educational tour this holiday and make their Christmas celebrations in the Philippines more fun. Let them experience the dinosaur era, with life-size animatronic dinosaurs at Dinosaurs Island.

Location: Clark Picnic Grounds, Gil Puyat Ave, Mabalacat, Pampanga

Nayong Pilipino

Know more about the Filipino culture and heritage by visiting Nayong Pilipino in Pampanga. The place will take you to a unique experience to learn the culture, heritage, natural wonders, and history of the Philippines.

Location: Centennial Rd, Clark Field, Mabalacat, Pampanga

San Guillermo Parish Church

This church has its spot at Philippine history. It used to be 39-ft. but is now standing half of its size after being buried by lahar from the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption.

Location: Bacolor, Pampanga

Best places to eat in Pampanga

  1. 25 Seeds
    Cuisine: Asian Fusion
    Must-try dishes: Pork baby back ribs, Melt-in-your-mouth Pata Tim, and Mango Sticky Rice with Coconut milk.
  2. ESTOS Kitchen + Cafe
    Cuisine: American, Italian and Asian Fusion
    Must-try dishes: Tenderloin with chimichurri sauce, Pizzas, the 15 hours red wine braised short rib and Taho Ice Cream.
  3. Piccolo Padre
    Cuisine: Italian
    Must-try dishes: Gnocchi, Osso bucco, and Saffron risotto.

Where to stay in Pampanga

ZEN Rooms Garden View Pampanga

This property gives a cozy ambiance to its guests. Restaurants and other establishments are also close here.

Location: 9 Valdes Street Corner San Angelo, Angeles

You can book this property here.

6. BOHOL – A Christmas Amidst Nature!

panglao bohol christmas celebrations in the philippines

If you’re too tired of the city parties, why not go on a beach trip this Christmas? Panglao, Bohol is a great destination to have a relaxed and serene holiday to keep you away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Best places to see in Bohol

Chocolate Hills

chocolate hills bohol christmas celebrations in the philippines

These hills aren’t dubbed as Chocolate Hills because they’re made of such but because the green hills turn brown similar to chocolates during the dry season. Chocolate Hills is a famous attraction in Bohol.

Location: Carmen, Bohol

Man-made Forest

man-made forest bohol christmas celebrations in the philippines

This is a 2-kilometer stretch that consists of 60 hectares of mahogany trees. Planting these trees was a response to the government’s call for nationwide reforestation under, then president, Diosdado Macapagal.

Location: Loay Interior Road, Bilar, Bohol

Tarsier Conservation Area

tarsier bohol christmas celebrations in the philippines

Bohol is known for two things: Chocolate Hills and the tarsiers. Be sure to check out this place if you want to see tarsiers.

Location: Loboc, Bohol

Hinagdanan Cave

bohol christmas celebrations in the philippines

The cave was believed to be accidentally discovered by a farmer; while clearing his land, he found two holes. He dropped a stone and heard a splash. He built a ladder “hagdan” and was able to access the cave and find its hidden beauty, thus the origin of the name Hinagdanan. Inside the cave are stalactites and stalagmites dimly lit by fluorescent lamps along a strip ushering visitors to a reservoir of crystal seawater.

Location: Bingag, Dauis, Bohol

Beaches in Panglao, Bohol

panglao bohol beach christmas celebrations in the philippines

The province has one of the most beautiful beaches in the country that’s why many locals and tourists go here. Panglao has fine white sand and clear blue waters that will surely make everyone relaxed.

Best places to eat in Bohol

  1. Tarsier Paprika
    Cuisine: American and Italian Fusion
    Must-try dishes: Grilled Tomahawk Steak, Smoked Kingfish Carpaccio, and Italian Traditional Fritto Misto.
  2. Gerarda’s
    Cuisine: Filipino
    Must-try dishes: Ubi-kinampay, Seafood Kare-Kare, Dinakdakan, and Crispy Tadyan.
  3. Oriental Garden
    Cuisine: Filipino-Chinese
    Must-try dishes: Hakaw, Chicken Feet, and Siomai.

Book budget hotels in Bohol here.

7. SIARGAO – An island getaway celebration!

sugba lagoon siargao christmas celebrations in the philippines

Aside from being one of the best surfing places in the world, Siargao is also home to many beautiful islands, rock pools, and interesting food spots making it a great place to celebrate Christmas in the Philippines.

So if you’re looking for a thrilling holiday, why not spend it in the Surfing Capital of the Philippines?

Best places to see in Siargao

Magpupungko Rock Pool

clear turquoise waters of magpupungko rock pools siargao

It is a tidal pool that is shielded from the Pacific Ocean by a reef barrier. The pool is calm and clear. It is one of the most visited natural attractions on the island. Magpupungko rock pool is best visited during the low-tide,

Location: Pilar, Surigao del Norte

Three-Island Tour (Naked Island, Guyam Island, and Daku Island)

aerial view of guyam island siargao

When in Siargao, the three-island tour is always on the itinerary. Naked island, as the name suggests, has nothing but white sand and azure waters surrounding it, no sheds and cottages. 

While Guyam island offers a lush clump of vegetation for tourists. It is secluded and uninhabited, except by the island’s caretakers, with a sandy beach on one side and a rocky beach on the other. 

Daku Island is mostly the place where tourists eat lunch. You can indulge yourself in a sumptuous meal that includes the freshest seafood and refreshing buko juice.

Cloud 9

cloud 9 siargao

This place is one of the most famous spots in Siargao as it has the best view of the sunrise and sunset. The waves here are also perfect for surfing so don’t get too surprised if this place gets a bit crowded. 

Location: General Luna, Siargao

Sugba Lagoon

sugba lagoon magagandantang tanawin sa pilipinas

It is located in the town of Del Carmen. Sugba Lagoon is about a two-hour drive from General Luna. You can explore the lagoon by renting canoes, bamboo rafts, and paddleboards and by snorkeling.

Maasin River

maasin river siargao

You shouldn’t also miss the bent coconut tree in Maasin River. The most interesting part here is that you can swing back and forth from the rope attached to the tree and let yourself plunge in about 6ft. deep water.

Best places to eat in Siargao

  1. Bake Siargao
    Cuisine: Filipino-American
    Must-try dishes: Rachel’s favorite, Chicken Sandwich, Big Breakfast, and Brownies.
  2. Kermit
    Cuisine: Italian
    Must-try dishes: Pan-Seared Tuna, Kermit Pizza, Chocolate Lava Cake, and Mango Daquiri.
  3. Harana 
    Cuisine: Filipino
    Must-try dishes: Halo-Halo with Watermelon, Adobo Bibimbap, and Salabat.

Book budget hotels in Siargao here.

8. LA UNION – Sun, surf, and celebrations!

la union surfing

Because of its proximity (4-6 hours away from Manila), La Union has been a favorite long-weekend destination. Most people come here to surf, while others enjoy LU’s best food spots. This place will surely make Christmas Celebrations in the Philippines more fun!

Best places to see in La Union

Tangadan Falls

After surfing at the beach, why not try visiting LU’s famous Tangadan Falls? It’s a two-tier cascade along Baroro River. This is perfect for those who are adventure-seekers as this trip includes a little hiking.

Location: San Gabriel, La Union

Luna Beach

This is not the usual beach there. Gray, black, beige and colorful pebbles make up Luna beach. 

Location: Luna, La Union

Baluarte Watchtower

baluarte watch tower

This is located at the Luna beach. Baluarte watchtower was declared a national treasure in 2014. It is a 400-year-old restored Spanish-era fortress used as a watchpoint for potential pirate attacks and other dangers from the sea.

Location: Luna, La Union

Kamay na Bato Art Gallery

This art gallery is owned by a Korean artist married to a Filipina. Here, you’ll find different artworks, especially faces, painted or carved on stones. This place is just a few minutes drive from the Baluarte watchtower.

Location: Luna, La Union

Grape Farm

Craving for a different trip, say a fruity kind of adventure? Then head to the grape farms in LU! Experience the haciendero life for a day or pick your own grapes at the vineyard.

Location: Bauang, La Union

Best places to eat in La Union

  1. Gefseis Greek Grill
    Cuisine: Greek
    Must-try dishes: Baklava, Kontosouvli Lamb, and Cheese Croquettes.
  2. Halo Halo De Iloko Balay
    Cuisine: Ilokano
    Must-try dishes: Fiesta Halo-Halo, Sinampalukang Kambing, and Fried Bagnet.
  3. Makai Bowls La Union
    Cuisine: Brazilian
    Must-try dishes: Acai smoothie, Amianan Smoothie Bowl, Carille Smoothie Bowl, and Granola yogurt pop.

    Book budget hotels in La Union here.

9. BACOLOD – Christmas in the City of Smiles

the ruins bacolod

Trade that holiday ham to Bacolod’s famous chicken inasal this Christmas! Bacolod is Negros Occidental’s capital. Here you will find some unspoiled islands and islets that will definitely take your city stress away.

Best places to see in Bacolod

The Ruins

This is a must-visit when in Bacolod. The Ruins was built by Bacolod’s sugar baron Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson in honor of his beloved wife. When World War II broke out, Don Mariano and his unmarried children left the mansion leaving everything. The Ruins was burned, thus resulting in what it is today.

Location: Talisay City, Negros Occidental

Lakawon Island

This place is perfect for those who are looking for a short trip away from the city. Lakawon is a 13-hectare banana-shaped island where Asia’s biggest floating bar is situated. The island is famous for its pristine white beach and clear blue water.

Location: Lakawon, Cadiz Viejo, Negros Occidental

Balay Negrense

This is an antique museum in Silay City that showcases the lifestyle of a late 19th-century Negrense sugar baron. You’ll see a lot of artifacts in Balay Negrense.

Location: Barangay III, Cinco De Noviembre Street, Silay, Negros Occidental

Negros Museum

If you want to learn more about the province, this is the best place to go to. The museum is filled with antique ancient artifacts and recent contemporary works of local artists that represented the stories describing Negros Islands and the events that occurred during their times.

Location: Gatuslao St, Bacolod, Negros Occidental

Mambukal Mountain Resort

This government-owned resort will immediately take you to a paradise as this gives you nothing but the beauty of nature. There are also a lot of activities that family or friends can enjoy.

Location: Northwing, Old Capitol Bldg., N Capitol Rd, Bacolod

Best places to eat in Bacolod

  1. Manokan Country
    Cuisine: Filipino
    Must-try dishes: Chicken Inasal, Kansi, and Oyster.
  2. Roli’s Diner
    Cuisine: Filipino
    Must-try dishes: Chicken Inasal, Palabok, and Napoleones.
  3. Negros Museum Cafe
    Cuisine: Filipino-French
    Must-try dishes: Bacolod Pork Jowl Serveza Negra, Smoked Tanigue and Alimusan Fish with Piccalilli sauce, and Sambag Ice Cream.

Book budget hotels in Bacolod here.

10. CEBU – A home away from home Christmas

oslob cebu

If you’re game for a short but sweet getaway, perhaps Cebu should be on your list. The province offers a mix of modern city living, old traditions, and abundant natural resources.

Things you can do in Cebu are city tours, food crawl, island hopping and so much more!

Best places to see in Cebu

Ayala Terraces

When in Cebu during the holidays, watch the Christmas Light Show in Ayala Terraces. 

Location: Biliran Rd, Cebu City, Cebu

Temple of Leah

This is one of the most visited spots in Cebu. Temple of Leah was built as a symbol of love of the grandparents of actress Ellen Adarna. The structure was inspired by ancient Roman architecture.

Location: Cebu Transcentral Highway, Cebu City, Cebu

Oslob, Cebu

This is a world-famous tourist spot. In Oslob, people can see up close and even swim with the whale sharks. 

Bantayan Island

If you’re looking for a calm and breathtaking place at the same time, go to Bantayan island. Once off the boat, the fine white sand, clear turquoise waters and fresh air will welcome you. This is also where the movie Camp Sawi was filmed.

Sirao Flower Farm

This place is dubbed as the “Mini Amsterdam” of Cebu. the farm is filled with different colorful flowers, mostly celosia flowers. Sirao flower farm is really an instagram-worthy place!

Best places to eat in Cebu

  1. House of Lechon
    Cuisine: Filipino
    Must-try dishes: Carcar Lechon, Cheesy Baked Scallops, and Kinilaw na Tanigue.
  2. The Pyramid
    Cuisine: Filipino-Italian
    Must-try dishes: Pizza, Adobong Kangkong, and Bagnet.
  3. The Oriental Spice Gourmet
    Cuisine: Asian
    Must-try dishes: Pad Thai, Hainanese Chicken, and Laksa.

Book budget hotels in Cebu here.

11. VIGAN – Revisiting history this Christmas

vigan

Because of its cultural beauty and well-preserved Spanish era streets, Vigan has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

If you want to go back in time this Christmas, Vigan is a perfect place to go to. Enjoy the old world charm of Vigan streets while munching on their famous empanada.

Best places to see in Vigan

Calle Crisologo

horse carriage at calle crisologo in vigan

Go back in time and be mesmerized by the beauty of the preserved old streets of Calle Crisologo. You can ride a kalesa to tour the cobblestone streets. There are also many souvenir shops here that you can check out.

Location: Vigan, Ilocos Sur

Bantay Church Bell Tower

This structure has witnessed so much of Ilocos’ history. Bantay Church Bell Tower was built in 1591 as a watchtower to guard against potential trouble. You can climb the winding staircase up to the top of the tower where the enormous main bell, which dates back to World War II, hangs. 

Location: Bantay, Ilocos Sur

Baluarte

It is a zoo owned by Narvacan, Ilocos Sur Mayor Chavit Singson. Anyone, especially the kids, can enjoy close interaction with the animals, even the mayor’s tiger! It is just 10 minutes away from Calle Crisologo.

Location: Quirino Boulevard, Tamag, Vigan

Syquia Mansion

This is a century-old mansion, the residence of Philippines’ sixth President Elpidio Quirino and his wife, Doña Alicia Syquia. The stone house, decked with capiz windows, has Filipino wooden furniture with European accents, and spacious rooms designed with reproductions of Juan Luna’s paintings by his understudy Pedro Respell.

Location: Quirino Boulevard, Vigan

‘Bahay na Bato’ Father Burgos House

This was the house of one of the three martyr priests (GomBurZa), Padre Jose Burgos. The GomBurZa were sentenced to death for a false charge of rebellion against Spanish colonizers. Their death would later inspire national hero Jose Rizal who dedicated his novel “El Filibusterismo” to their memory. It is now the National Museum of Vigan that houses an excellent collection of local artifacts and furniture.

Location: Burgos St, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur

Best places to eat in Vigan

  1. Cafe Leona
    Cuisine: Filipino-Italian
    Must-try dishes: Bagnet Maki, Dinengdeng, and Pinakbet Pizza.
  2. Lilong and Lilang Restaurant
    Cuisine: Filipino
    Must-try dishes: Bagnet, Lomo-Lomo, Longganisa, Poqui-Poqui, and Sinaglao.
  3. Kusina Felicitas
    Cuisine: Filipino
    Must-try dishes: Bagnet, Longganisa, Pinakbet, and Bunog.

Book budget hotels in Vigan here.

12. BGC and MAKATI – Your modern-day Christmas fun!

ayala triangle garden makati christmas celebrations in the philippines

If you’re too busy to get out of the city, you can just spend Christmas and have a staycation in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig or in Makati. Aside from having a staycation, there’s a lot of things to do at the central business district of Metro Manila.

Enjoy a night out at some of the best pubs and clubs in Poblacion or have a chill dinner at some of the best restaurants in the city.

Best places to see in BGC and Makati

Serendra

serendra bgc christmas celebrations in the philippines

If you want to relax and take a stroll in BGC, then walk around Serendra. It’s a 12-hectare community that was designed with European and Filipino motifs and Serendra is one of the most pedestrian-friendly places in Metro Manila. Be sure to take pictures because this place is very Instagrammable!

Location: 11th Avenue and McKinley Parkway, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

Venice Grand Canal Mall

venice grand canal mall christmas celebrations in the philippines

No need to fly out of the country and spend thousands of bucks just to see and feel Venice because, in BGC, there is Venice Grand Canal Mall. Feast your eyes with the colorful architecture similar to Venice’s while riding a gondola.

Location: Garden Villas, 1630 Upper McKinley Road McKinley Hill, Cluster B, Taguig

Ayala Triangle Gardens

ayala triangle garden makati christmas celebrations in the philippines

This park is a must-visit, especially during the Christmas season. Each year, there’s a Christmas Light Show with different themes.

Location: Paseo De Roxas St Cor Makati Ave, Cor Ayala Ave, Makati

Ayala Museum

The museum features four floors of amazing works of art on Filipino culture, art, and history. Ayala Museum is just adjacent to Greenbelt.

Poblacion

This district is the “it” place for going out for food and drinks. So if you’re thinking of having a good night out, Poblacion is the place to be.

Best places to eat in BGC and Makati

  1. Early Bird Breakfast Club
    Cuisine: Filipino, American and French Fusion
    Must-try dishes: Adobo Sunrise, Yin & Yang Champorado, and Ultimate Grilled Cheese with Roasted Tomato Soup.
  2. Nikkei 
    Cuisine: Japanese-Peruvian
    Must-try dishes: Fresh Oysters, Green Ceviche, and House-Made Ice Cream Combination. 
  3. Sunnies Cafe
    Cuisine: American
    Must-try dishes: Crispy Tacos, Stove Top Pork Chop, and Sunnies Funfetti

Book budget hotels in BGC and Makati here.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Christmas Celebrations in the Philippines

Q: What makes Christmas in the Philippines unique?
A: Christmas in the Philippines is like no other because Filipinos celebrate it as early as September and people are always exchanging gifts and eating together to spread the holiday cheer.

Q: How long is Christmas in Philippines?
A: Philippines is known as the country who celebrates the longest Christmas because as early as September, the holiday season finally begins.

Q: Where should I go for Christmas in Philippines?
A: There are many beautiful places where you could celebrate Christmas in the Philippines. These are:

  1. Boracay
  2. Palawan
  3. Baguio
  4. Tagaytay
  5. Pampanga
  6. Bohol
  7. Siargao
  8. La Union
  9. Bacolod
  10. Cebu
  11. Vigan
  12. BGC and Makati

Q: What are the best Christmas foods in the Philippines?
A: Preparing food especially for noche buena is an essential part of the Christmas culture in the Philippines. Whether you’re bringing food to your Christmas eve celebration or attending Christmas culture in the Philippines, here are some of the most popular and delicious sweet Christmas dishes to try in the Philippines:

  1. Bibingka
  2. Puto Bumbong
  3. Suman
  4. Hamon
  5. Queso de Bola
  6. Leche Flan
  7. Spaghetti
  8. Fruit Salad

Q: What are the Filipino Christmas traditions?
A: Christmas season in the Philippines starts as early as September that’s why it’s pretty popular across the globe. In fact, many international travelers are curious about the Christmas celebration Philippines that they even visit to experience it. Among the notable Filipino Christmas traditions are:

  1. Simbang gabi Philippines
  2. Noche Buena or the Christmas Eve dinner
  3. Taking Christmas vacation Philippines
  4. Exchanging gifts
  5. Christmas parties
  6. Traveling to the best places to spend Christmas in Philippines

Q: Is there a Christmas pasyalan 2021 we can visit now?
A: Yes there are so many Christmas pasyalan 2021 you can visit across the Philippines. If you want to spend your Christmas vacation Philippines at the beach, the most beautiful islands to visit are Boracay, Siargao, Palawan, and Cebu. If you want to experience Filipino Christmas in the city, we recommend Makati, Manila, BGC, and Rizal Province.

Q: What is the Christmas Capital of the Philippines?
A: The Christmas Capital of the Philippines is Pampanga. San Fernando is a tourist attraction in Pampanga during the Christmas season where many gigantic parols (lanterns) parade and are exhibited.

Q: Where to spend Christmas 2021 Philippines?
A: While the best place to celebrate Christmas is anywhere with your loved ones, there are places that can make Filipino Christmas more meaningful. Here are the best places to spend Christmas in Philippines:

  1. Makati
  2. Manila
  3. Boracay
  4. Cebu
  5. Palawan
  6. Siargao
  7. Pampanga
  8. Baguio

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