A bored-with-your-life bucket list guide for 2015
Many of us consider the new year as a chance for new beginnings. Come January, expect bucket lists to be shared all over your social media feeds. If you’re stumped for ideas, we’ve got you covered. What follows is a list of 15 fun things you should try out in 2015.
1| Watch at least 10 Filipino films.
Disappointed with the MMFF line up this year? Don’t lose hope in Philippine cinema just yet. Make it a point to see local films next year. For every big shot Hollywood director, there’s a talented up-and-coming Pinoy filmmaker. Attend the Cinemalaya Film Festival at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and stay tuned for film showings at the UP Film Center. Familiarize yourself with classic Filipino movies. Pinoy Rebyu made an interesting list of “the greatest Pinoy films of all time.” Some titles included are “Bona,” “Kisapmata,” and “Scorpio Nights.”
2| Fall in love with Manila.
Rediscover our country’s heritage with tours of Manila’s historic sites. Visit Escolta, Manila’s “Queen of Streets,” with a tour by the Heritage Conservation Society. While a number of buildings in Binondo are still very much under threat, you’ll find gems like this restored landmark. For a more unique experience, you can also try a bike tour of Intramuros, or Carlos Celdran’s performance/stand-up comedy mashup of history with his “If these walls could talk” tour.
3| Join a speed dating event.
For the single among us, Tinder and online dating are probably not yielding any results. You can waste hours swiping left and right but you still have zero dates lined up. Perhaps meeting people organically is more suitable for you. Why don’t you sign up for a speed dating event? It’s just like Tinder, minus the Marilyn Monroe quotes and the tiger pics. Hopefully you won’t be celebrating Valentine’s alone (again) next year. Telu Events is holding a speed dating event intriguingly called “50 Shades of Love” on Valentine’s Day 2015.
4| Support local performance groups.
Movies are great — they have superb cinematography, wonderful soundtracks, and mind-blowing special effects — but when was the last time you went to see an actual live performance? For a change of pace, watch a performance art, and feel the rawness and immersion of seeing actors or comedians strut their skills in real-time, without the benefit of re-takes or editing. We highly recommend these acts.
5| For those who wish to travel, travel.
Stop making excuses and just do it. Don’t have enough money? Make travel a priority and save up for your trips. Travel doesn’t need to be fancy or expensive. List down the names of the places you want to go to, research, plan, go, and have fun. You can start small with local trips that are easy to organize. There are plenty of beaches and mountains that are only a few hours away from Manila. Feed your wanderlust. Make memories. Just go.
6| Visit at least five museums and/or galleries.
Ditch the mall on weekends. It’s easy to be lured into malls because they’re everywhere. However, there are a handful of museums and galleries in our cities, too. Here’s an idea to get you started: Visit the Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo, Rizal. They’re open from Tuesday to Sunday, 9am to 6pm. Regular tickets cost only PHP 150. But why stop there? Go to at least four more museums! Rest your wallet and go on a cultural trip: It might do you more good than “retail therapy.”
The city might be the last place one will have to visit to stargaze, but thanks to observatories such as the PAGASA Observatory in UP Diliman, people don’t need to go any further outside Metro Manila to satisfy their astronomic curiosity. Aside from the PAGASA Observatory, the Manila Observatory which is a stone’s throw away (just in nearby Ateneo) also holds occasional stargazing events in partnership with the Philippine Astronomical Society.
8| Jog at night in UP Diliman.
Not much of a morning dweller? Night jogging might suit your fancy and lose all that flab you gained during the holidays. Grab your sneakers, don your best fitness attire and troop to UP Diliman where more than 200 acacia trees tower over you and keep the area a tad cooler. If you come a bit early, the sunset at the Sunken Garden is also a sight to behold.
9| Be one with nature in La Mesa Ecopark.
For as low as PHP 50 (PHP 40 if you live in Quezon City), you can enjoy the benefits of being in a tropical rainforest while still inside the city. Although the trip to Far-view might be tasking for some, it it’s worth the trip because of the lush greens and plentiful attractions inside the Ecopark.
10| Brew your own beer.
Gone are the days when the drinking scene in Manila is dominated by the unofficial national beer of the Philippines, San Miguel beer. Local and international craft beers are also making a dent on chuggers’ maps, but if you have lots of time to spare, why don’t you make your own beer at home? The folks from Manila Home Brew sell make-your-own-beer kits and offer classes so that you can make your own pale pilsen in your kitchen.
11| Go around the Quezon City Circle.
The QC Circle is one of those places where people of all ages can enjoy. For a bit of history on the city, the museum inside the premises provides tales about the biggest Metro Manila city and showcases some of the things owned by Pres. Manuel Quezon. Explore the tiangges and small business areas to score great food and fashion finds. The Circle of Fun also provides many attractions for families and friends alike.
12| Hangout with your parents.
How many of us can proudly say that they know their parents like a best friend? It’s time to get to know them as friends, not just as your parents. Have drinks with your dad and ask him how he met your mother (seriously). Take him to Sip & Gogh, the only “paint and sip” studio in the Philippines. And even if it means doing a “Tita activity,” such as getting foot spas together, talk to your mom like her favorite amiga.
13| Take part in lesser-known festivals.
Although the sights, colors, sounds, and the party scene at Sinulog, Masskara, and #laboracay are something to rave about, get off the beaten track and discover less-mainstream festivals across the country. This holy week, pack your bags and go south to Marinduque for the Moriones Festival. Or you can feast your eyes on the towering higantes in the arts district of Angono, Rizal. If Valentines’ Day has failed you, you might also want to go all the way up to Obando, Bulacan and join the pilgrims for their annual fertility dance honoring the town’s three patron saints. Take note that single men and women (who don’t want to try speed dating) might have more luck finding The One if they join the fertility dance in Obando.
14| Adopt a pet.
Everyone has a wild side, so why don’t you try mellowing it down by taking care of cute, gentle critters? Instead of buying at the local pet store or going all the way to Cartimar, give these cats and dogs a lovely home. Your local city/municipal vet office might supply information on adopting pets, like the one in Makati, or you may try to contact the Philippine Animal Welfare Society and Cats of Manila.
15| Learn self-defense.
Congratulations! You’ve survived yet another year in the Philippines! Kidding aside, it never hurts to learn new things, and what better skill to learn than self-defense, especially in big, bad Metro Manila. For a less practical, but just as fun skill, channel your inner Katniss Everdeen and learn some basic archery. Also fun: paintball in many sites across the city.