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It’s cool to draw envy from others when you say that you’ve been to popular tourist destinations like Boracay, but why not switch it up a little and try for a more unique or laid back experience in the Philippines?

So, we have chosen these five local destinations in the Philippines that have been trending – check them out before they become mainstream!

1.  Sandbox Alviera Pampanga

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Sandbox is called a sandbox because it’s literally a giant box filled with sand. It’s a sports and outdoors enthusiast’s heaven – Sandbox boasts the country’s tallest swing that swings up to three guests at a time, above 10 metres above the ground. (I don’t know about you, but I think that’s the closest we can get to experience flying in person!)

There are also activities like the Adventure Tower that you can climb 15 metres up, and Avatar One, Philippines’ first roller coaster zipline. Need I say more? Check out Expedia’s (<8.0% cashback) affordable domestic flights in the Philippines here.

2.  Costa Pacifica Baler

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It’s not just a resort. It’s a resort where surfing aficionados ride 9-foot waves at Sabang Beach, tourists take a dip in spectacular Diteki waterfalls of San Luis, or even just chill out in Costa Pacifica Baler’s refreshingly decorated rooms.

Oh, pet owners can now bring their cats or dogs along on a holiday with them too! The resort will take care of your pet for you. Get Groupon’s (<4.0% cashback) 2D1N stay for only ₱2488 at Baler.

3.  City of Dreams Manila

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This grand casino-resort combines award-winning hotels such as Crown Towers and Hyatt, world-class entertainment, nightlife, and luxurious casinos. Since I don’t visit casinos, I’d rather go on a shopping spree at The Shops at The Boulevard – a shopper’s paradise! ‘Nuff said, reward yourself – a room on average is ₱9000 (a discounted deal available on Hotels.com).

4.  B-Side Makati

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This is somewhere progressive and alternative music lovers should go. B-Side is famous for hosting local and international musicians, local band showcases, album launch parties, hip-hop nights and their most notable Iris Sunday nights. Groove to the beat in B-Side’s cosy interior, or rave on one of Manila’s biggest dance floors!

5.  Halloween Haunts Scream Park Manila

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Due to reopen in October this year, Halloween Haunts Scream Park is the first horror-themed park in Asia. Think: Left For Dead. Last year, we were given a hair-raising and gripping experience as we went on haunted mazes, houses, and watched terrifying street performances by zombies themselves. Weak-hearted people like me definitely won’t be able to give it a go though.

For those who don’t live in the capital, Manila is just a cheap flight away on Expedia (<6.0% cashback)!

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