Already having cabin fever after over a year of working from home? Head to these five best places in the Philippines where you can work and have a vacation at the same time.
It’s been more than a year since the COVID-19 pandemic struck the country and forced most companies and businesses to adopt a work-from-home set-up. For many companies, allowing their employees to work from home is the most viable compromise in order to protect the health and welfare of the workforce against the dreaded disease, without causing major disruption to their everyday business cycle.
Working from home, however, doesn’t mean that employees like us need to be all cooped-up in our own houses, stay glued 24/7 to digital conference calls, and wait until we get cabin fever.
But imagine this: a virtual call under the shade of towering coconut trees with sparkling cerulean water and dazzling white sand as your real background. If you’re an artist or architect and the beach isn’t your cup of tea, perhaps you can do your design plates in one of Cordillera’s artsy coffee shops and take a sip of the locals’ warm cup of batirol.
Taking the IATF travel guidelines into consideration, here’s our list of best places in the Philippines to work from anywhere:
Nestled in the mountains of Northern Luzon, Baguio City has been a haven for artists because of its rich cultural heritage, laid-back lifestyle, and natural environment that inspires creativity.
In need of inspiration for an upcoming project? Perhaps you could forest-bathe along the 2-km yellow trail in Camp John Hay or the new Bamboo Eco Park to soothe your mind and senses. Exploring Baguio City on foot after work rather than taking a cab isn’t such a bad idea as well.
What makes Baguio City one of the attractive places to work remotely from is its affordability, location and accessibility. With the completion of the 88.85 KM Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX), Baguio City is just less than 5 hours away from Manila. As far as accommodation is concerned, rent prices of transient houses have also gone down as the pandemic continues to batter their tourism industry.
San Juan, La Union
If setting-up a temporary office on the lush green mountains doesn’t appeal to you, then perhaps the enigmatic surf breaks of La Union may soothe your senses amid the pandemic. Like Baguio City, La Union is just several hours away from Manila, making it a very popular “workation” destination.
Most remote workers choose the Municipality of San Juan as their go to place for “workation” due to its proximity to the beach, availability of affordable accommodation and low-cost living. Imagine yourself learning how to ride the towering West Philippine Sea waves in between your virtual meetings, or going on a food trip in the community.
If you are looking for a work place that has the right balance between old and new, then Iloilo City is the best place for you. Iloilo City is like a small version of Cebu City and Davao City. While the city has become more progressive, it has managed to retain its historic charm, providing a window to its past and present identity.
Even before the pandemic, Iloilo City has been one of the best places for digital nomads simply because of the availability of high-speed Internet and coworking spaces. During your free time, you can embark on an adventure and explore the city’s historical and cultural heritage, such as the Belfry Tower, Molo Church, Museo Iloilo, Jaro Cathedral, among others. On weekends, you could go and plan on a side trip in other must-see places in Iloilo, such as the Islas de Gigantes, Tangke Saltwater Lagoon, and Pawikan Cave.
For those employees with deeper pockets, working in Boracay for two weeks is not actually a bad idea. Postcard-perfect clear blue waters and white powdery sand beach, the calming sound of waves crashing on the sand, overflowing cocktail drinks – the entire place is a perfect work spot. Boracay is truly a paradise for workers who want to achieve that work/life balance.
Aside from the array of places where one can set up work, what attracts many freelancers and digital nomads to Boracay is the reliable Internet connection. Imagine, after spending hours in your virtual call, you can de-stress by walking along the stretch of Boracay’s famous white sand and watch the sun set. Talk about taking care of your mental health. Boracay also has many island activities that you’re sure to enjoy.
If you are living on a tight budget and yet you long for the island life experience, then Siargao is definitely the best place for you. Compared to five years ago, this sleepy remote surfing capital of the Philippines has attracted foreign and local digital nomads and remote workers who want to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the city. However, the rustic life that this island has to offer is not for everyone, so it is best to really think about it before deciding to setup your temporary work headquarters there.
While this tear-drop shaped island on the Philippine Sea is known for its world-class surf breaks such as the Cloud 9 and Jacking Horse, there are lots of areas worth exploring in Siargao island, especially during your days off and free time, such as the Magpungko Rock Pools and Tayangban Cave Pools and the Sugba Lagoon.
About the Writer
Leonard James Postrado
Leonard James Postrado is WSP Inc. Senior Manager for media relations. He is also a former Manila Bulletin reporter who covered the Police, Local Government Units, Government Agencies, and the Justice beats for nine years. He also contributed stories to several news agencies such as Agence France Presse, Xinhua, Rappler, and GMA News. He joined the PR industry as a Communications Officer of Senator Win Gatchalian in 2018.
Searching for stories isn’t always easy.
We are here to help. You can utilize these stories on your platforms.