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When was the last time you looked up into a clear sky full of stars? If you live in the metro, chances are your view is obstructed by high rise buildings and smog. Why not do something different this weekend and plan an out of town trip with stargazing on the agenda? Go solo, bring your friends, or take your significant other. It’s time to see the stars!
by Sher Bautista, 14 June 2017
by Sher Bautista, 14 June 2017
Let’s be honest, there are countless places to go stargazing in this wonderful archipelago. Just make your way a couple of kilometers out of the smog-infused cities and the skies open and clear up. We would, however, like to recommend these five places where you can appreciate the vastness of the firmament with or without a telescope.
For those of you who enjoy hiking and camping, an overnight stay at Mt. Pulag is the perfect getaway. Get in a good day’s climb and later on, stargaze. The altitude and chilly climate give you an excuse to get all bundled up and cozy with your SO. Settle down in front of your tent for an evening of constellation naming. Don’t forget to watch for shooting stars!
Pitch your tent in an area of Iloilo that has fondly been dubbed as ‘little Baguio’ by the locals. Spend an evening or two at the Bucari Pine Forest and Campsite. Here you have an unobstructed view of the clear night sky. Fireflies come out at dusk and add to the magic of the forest. If camping isn’t your thing, rent a room at the Pineridge Bucari Mountain Resort and partake of the organic meals served in their restaurant.
You’ve got the sun and sea during the day and a vast expanse of the celestial sphere at night. Watch the sunset from the legendary and world-famous Cloud 9 surf spot, and then move to one of the nearby resorts and bars for happy hour. If you’re having drinks at Harana Surf Resort, the beach is only steps away. Leave the noise behind and lay on the sand for a better view of the night sky.
If you don’t fancy venturing too far away from Metro Manila, why not drive out to Tagaytay? This elevated town doesn’t require a flight but is still at a distance that’ll ensure clearer skies and (partially) unobstructed views. Try to book a room at a hotel facing the lake. If you don’t plan to stay overnight, have dinner at one of the restaurants that circle Taal Lake. Or stop by Starbucks along Emilio Aguinaldo Highway, which has a pretty impressive view. It has an outdoor seating area from where you can sip your coffee and watch the stars come out.
Big Handy’s grounds in Tanay must be mentioned here, if only because the Philippine Astronomical Society (PAS) has hosted quite a few public stargazing events there in the past. Walk through the Jamboree and pitch your tent on the grassy plateau along with your fellow stargazers. Big Handy’s is an easy two-hour drive from Manila. It should be noted that it is a private farm and only admits campers during events hosted by the PAS. Check out the society’s Facebook page for more information on upcoming events.