After a few months of cramming, stress-eating and sleepless nights, it’s time for sembreak! But as a lot of us know, this means no baon. Here are a few ideas for you to make the most out of your sembreak within your baon’s worth!
Food is always a good idea. A food fest may seem typical but when you’re given a budget, it forces you to be creative. What about a Maginhawa/Kapitolyo/BF Paranaque food trip but under a budget of 500 pesos (or less) for each person? Sample great food while staying within budget.
Another idea: shell out 200 pesos each, head to the nearest grocery or market, buy whatever you think will work, and experiment! It’s a good time to hone your cooking skills. It’s a great way to have fun with friends!
What better way to make use of your sembreak than getting to know new people? Bring the barkada along and find ways you can help others. Contact Gawad Kalinga, Habitat for Humanity or Red Cross for ways you can volunteer. Hands on Manila also gives you a list of beneficiaries and lists different volunteer programs that you can be a part of.
Learning may be the exact opposite of what you want this sembreak, but it’s actually the perfect time to do so! Since you don’t have any school commitments to worry about, you can try out the things you’ve always wanted to do.
You can ask one of your friends to teach you how to drive (don’t forget to get a student permit first!) or if that’s too much, start with bike lessons. You can always thank them with food. If you’re feeling artistic, ask an artsy friend to teach you how to paint or use Photoshop. For a little fitness, why not grab a soccer ball and learn the basics with your barkada?
Aside from a field trip or two, a lot of us haven’t been able to appreciate our Manila as one of the centers of our country’s history. Take the day to go around Intramuros with your friends, and go to Binondo for a quick food trip.
For those who want a little adventure, head up north to Pampanga and give the Roller Coaster Zipline and Adventure Tower a try at Sandbox! Entrance fee is set at 75 pesos. You can spend 340 to 600 pesos depending on how adventurous you’re feeling (or your budget).
Buses to Pampanga are available 24/7 and take around a couple of hours from Metro Manila. Take a bus to Dau Terminal in Mabalacat, Pampanga. From Dau, take a jeepney to SM Clark. At SM Clark Jeepney terminal, take a jeep bound to Porac and tell the driver to drop you off at Alviera.
If you’re looking for something a bit colder, Tagaytay is the obvious bet. However, Tagaytay can get expensive really fast. So instead of the usual expensive restaurants, why not pack some food and head to Picnic Grove or People’s Park in the Sky? Set up a picnic and enjoy the scenery. Fly some kites, look at the flowers you can purchase (beautiful but still cheap!) and enjoy the open air with your friends.
As one of the beaches closest to Metro Manila, Batangas is everyone’s go to option. If you’re planning to rough it out, head to Burot Beach in Calatagan, Batangas. Don’t forget to bring a tent and your own food. If you want a more relaxed atmosphere, head to Laiya. There’s a lot of resorts around the area, so accommodations and food won’t be problem.
Bring a guitar, sit back, and relax with friends.
This one is a little different. It’s still under 1000 pesos but it’s best to spend more than a day here. Overnight or two nights maybe? Some places go as cheap as 300 pesos a night.
The obvious recommendation would be to surf but don’t be limited by that! If you’re tired from surfing, you can bike (bring your own bike though) or hike around the Liw-Liwa forest trail. You can also play volleyball, football and ultimate Frisbee along the beach! If you’re strapped for cash, visit the local market for cheap and fresh food.
Have other suggestions for this sembreak? Let us know in the Comments Section below!

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