20 Things To Do To Officially Kick-Start 2020

We are now at the beginning of another decade and it is only the first week of January, yet most of us are already looking forward to what’s in for 2020 in terms of travel, fashion, style, technology, health, and other trends that will line up for this year. Aside from those, we are also on the lookout for new activities or hobbies to engage in. Here are 20 things you should enjoy and appreciate more in 2020 for a fresh and productive beginning:

Photo by: Rholiza Sy

1. Explore the hidden gems of the Philippines and support local businesses 

Looking for better ways to help the country progress? Aside from helping to maintain its beauty, start contributing to local communities and businesses—like Nawa PH and Zero Basics—by patronizing their products. Boracay, Palawan, Siargao are not the only attractions in the Philippines you must visit and be proud of—there are still hidden gems in the country that are worth exploring.

2. Go on transformative travel

Travel not only for the sake of discovering tourist spots and attractions. This year, travel to stretch, learn, and grow into new ways of engaging with the world. Transformative travel is all about the personal growth travel inspires and cultivates. It takes experiential travel—authentic, local, culture-centric, off-the-beaten-path experiences—to another level by incorporating lessons, activities, coaching, and other tools for self-development during and after the journey.

3. Take a stroll inside a park 

Communing with nature may enhance existing treatments for clinical depression and stress. Spending 20 to 30 minutes walking in a park can make a person feel connected to nature, which can lessen stress hormones, uplift mood, and improve well-being. Take a break and escape the stress brought by urban cities by taking a stroll in Arroceros Forest Park located at Antonio Villegas Street in Ermita, Manila. This 2.2-hectare urban forest consists of 61 different tree varieties and 8,000 ornamental plants, providing a habitat for 10 different bird species. It is known as “Manila’s last lung” because despite its small size, it is the only nature park that exists in the city. Advocates are still fighting for the preservation of Arroceros Forest Park. Let’s continue to demand more parks than malls! 

4. Travel with your furry companion

What’s better than traveling with your fur baby? For pet owners, traveling with your pet/s—mostly dogs—is a fun experience. It not only makes your relationship stronger, but having your pet exposed to outdoor activities will also improve their physical and mental health. There are lots of pet-friendly travel destinations in the country, you just have to make sure that your pet is safe to travel and don’t forget to bring their stuff, such as their leash, harness, favorite treat, and the selfie stick to capture cute moments!

5. Be spontaneous

Imagine going on an adventure not knowing your destination—sounds exciting? Spontaneous travels result in taking risks and conquering your fears. Try to travel alone and visit unfamiliar places; this will be the chance to indulge yourself fully, learn new perspectives, and have an unforgettable experience. In case you missed out, there are travel agencies like Experience Philippines that will test your spontaneity by letting you travel to a surprise or unknown destination.  

6. Choose functional fashion 

Functional clothing is specifically designed to ensure predefined performance for users which includes protection under harsh environmental conditions and extreme hazards during travel or sporting activities like hiking. Make outdoor adventures more enthralling and showcase your fashion sense while traveling with functional fashion.

Photo credit: Vegetarian Kitchen

7. Make healthier choices 

Do something active like starting a new exercise program, skin care regime, or switching to a healthy diet. Making healthier decisions will benefit your own health. You may also consider going vegan for a more nutritious and balanced diet. Check out The Vegetarian Kitchen for delicious and affordable vegetarian dishes such as kaldereta, lengua, tocino, and danggit. 

8. Always say yes to sustainability 

Sustainable travel focuses on valuing our natural resources. It also means finding ways how tourism can be maintained long-term without harming the environment. There are now plenty of simple ways towards sustainable travel without overhauling your trip. Choose a destination that values sustainability, book eco-conscious accommodations, support local economies, and opt for sustainable activities. The easiest way is responsible consumption, as much as you can try to reduce plastic waste.

9. Watch the sunset from Bayleaf’s skydeck 

Little things like watching the sunset is one of the relaxing moments we should appreciate. The perfect place to catch its stunning view is at Bayleaf’s Sky Deck bar in Muralla, Intramuros. Grab a halo-halo or any drink you prefer while admiring the beauty of sunset and the 360-degree view of Manila.

Photo credit: Greenpeace Philippines

10. Volunteer or donate

Put your expenses and savings to good use by donating or volunteering in organizations or foundations that uphold and value children, the environment, wildlife, and animals. Attend fundraising events like fun runs or gigs for a cause. You may also donate your change to specific organizations such as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Greenpeace Philippines, and more.

Photo credit: Youth Strike 4 Climate Philippines

11. Join a movement or attend meaningful talks 

There is no harm in participating in gatherings or movement and seminars regarding the issues you care about and fight for. Are you a human rights advocate? Care about the climate and environment? Show your love and be bold to stand up for what is good for the country. 

Photo credit: Youth Strike 4 Climate Philippines

12. Be informed and get involved 

It doesn’t matter which generation you came from. With the birth of woke culture, getting involved with social and political issues that revolve around the country is actually a good thing to educate yourself and others. This 2020, stop normalizing and enabling the issues that must be taken seriously such as mental health, disabilities, rape culture or jokes, sexual identity, and more.

13. Start using cruelty-free and eco-friendly products 

Organic, eco-friendly, and cruelty-free products are one of the best travel companions. It may be hard to find beauty and family care products that contain everything, but there are several brands that value sustainability. Human Heart Nature is a good example—all their products are natural and locally-made. Be kinder to nature and animals by practicing this habit! 

Photo by: Jisa Atrero

14. Attend a festival or event you’ve never experienced 

Never been to a concert or music festival? How about an event you’ve been seeing on your feed for the past few years? Maybe it’s time to say g to experience a new kind of environment and socialize with different groups of people. You’ll never know what you’re missing! 

15. Rediscover Intramuros

Also called the Walled City, Intramuros has been the most historic area within Metro Manila. The construction of the walls of Intramuros was started by the Spanish imperial government and served as the defense against the attacks of foreign invasions. Wander again through historical streets and rediscover some renovated and new establishments along Intramuros. Pay a visit to Batala Bar where you can enjoy coffee, ice cream, local craft beer, and discover handmade products in the Philippines. Batala came from the word Bathala, which means “creator.” It is located at Plaza San Luis Complex, General Luna Street. 

16. Consider adopting a pet 

Planning to get a pet this year? Consider adopting from animal shelters instead of buying from pet shops or breeders. With the continuous population growth of strays in the country, thousands of aspins (asong pinoy) and puspins (pusang pinoy) are not given proper animal treatment. Most of them experience neglect and abuse. Thanks to the existence of animal shelters such as the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Compassion and Responsibility for Animals (CARA Welfare), Pawssion Project, and more, they were given a second chance in life and a safe haven while waiting for their forever home and family. Adopt, don’t shop! 

Photo by: Rholiza Sy

17. Get connected with the universe

Thinking of an unusual adventure trip with your friends or maybe a date with your significant other? Why don’t you sleep under the stars and watch the galaxy as you get connected to the enchanting beauty of the universe? Set aside the common travel destinations and clear your mind for a while with the light given by the stars and the moon. Spend a starry night with the Philippine Astronomical Society (PAS) to learn more about astronomy! It is not just typical stargazing, they also offer free seminars and workshops on celestial navigation and telescope instrumentation. Interesting, right?

18. Declutter your wardrobe 

Can you still recall when was the last time you cleaned your wardrobe? If not, then it’s a sign to declutter your old clothes. You wouldn’t know, your favorite dress when you were seven years old is still stuck under the pile of your new crop tops and pants. Once you’re done, try to donate it or use it as a rag. 

Photo credit: Burrow Cafe / Denise Cabuang

19. Have brunch in a hidden cafe in Antipolo

A nature-inspired haven called Burrow Cafe in Antipolo Beehouse is located in Beverly Hills Subdivision. Since brunch is a thing now, different restaurants and cafes began including brunch meals in their menus. In Burrow Cafe anyone can devour organic and fresh meals available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are also hammocks to lounge in and the birds that surround the cafe will keep you company. 

20. Prepare for your future 

Become a more responsible individual this 2020, regardless of your age or status. Start building a stable future by applying for life insurance, focusing on your savings, and having yourself checked—yes, an HIV test is a must. You never know what might happen, so it would be better if you’re prepared when life gets tough.

This decade just got started and for some, January is just their trial month. But still, let’s claim 2020 as our year towards success! Less breakdown, breakout, and break up, please? So, what are your plans this year? 


Kayla Ramos

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Our journey began with an idea to discover what it means to travel the Philippines, beyond the alluring images of sparkling blue waters and powder white sand. We seek to share travel stories to inspire the wide-eyed traveler, moving them deeper into the destination with stunning images and narratives about its sights, tastes, textures, smells, and local life.

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