You don’t need to head far to feel like you’re away from the city’s hustle and bustle. Whether you’ve used up all your vacation leaves or you’re swamped with way too many deadlines this month, there are ways you can hit pause and unwind, even when you’re stuck in the metro. Start with these activities below:

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1. Unwind at a rooftop bar in Poblacion  

If you've got a full-time job, you spend most of the days of your life in your office cubicle, so grabbing some fresh air from time to time is always a healthy habit to keep. Instead of dining inside a mall after work, why not dine al fresco for a refreshing change of scenery?

For a chill and cozy ambience, make your way to Z Hostel's intimate roofdeck bar in Poblacion, where their cocktails and Filipino rice meals, including the overlooking view of the Metro Manila skyline, won't fail to ease the tension off your shoulders.

P.S. Antipolo is also another popular place to unwind in, even on a weekday as it's only an hour's drive away from the city. With their open-air restaurants and scenic views of the mountains and the city, you'll literally and figuratively feel like you're away from your problems. 

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2. Stay in a boutique hotel

A one or two-night staycation in a hotel in the city is always relaxing, but if you want to make your accommodation feel a little more exciting, Manila is peppered with charming boutique hotels that you can book for a change. 

"Boutique hotels usually have the same amenities of a five-star hotel," notes Spot.ph, but they cater to fewer guests. Most notably, boutique hotels are known for having interesting interiors that often make the staycation feel fun and refreshing.

If you want to get away from the city noise, the Henry Manila tucked away in Pasay City is a must-visit; the decades-old home-turned-hotel offers a serene and nostalgic stay, as the property kept its vintage design. You'll feel like you're taking a quick, summer break in your ancestral home.

Catch up on sleep, get lost in a good book, or order in! 

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3. Chill out with bottomless wine 

Sipping on a glass of wine after a long day is always a great way to take your mind off your worries. Local restaurant En Tirage that's nestled in Mandaluyong City offers unlimited wine, beer, and even whisky all day, with prices that start at P499 and goes up to P799, depending on the type of wine. Drink up! 

4. Hike the Masungi Georeserve 

You don’t need to travel far to go on a thrilling hiking trip. Only about a two-hour drive away from Manila, Masungi Georeserve is a conservation area and a popular hiking spot in Baras, Rizal, which is known for their heart-racing trails of hanging bridges and steep rope courses. If your definition of “de-stressing” is experiencing an adrenaline rush, you’ll enjoy this one for sure!

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5. Indulge in an Onsen spa

Onsens are Japenese hot springs, where one would strip off, and soak in hot, milky water. The mineralized bath is believed to come with "beautifying" benefits like softening the skin and dissolving excess sebum. The great thing is you don’t need to fly off all the way to Japan to experience it. Busy, career women who are looking to pamper themselves can find one in the busy streets of Makati. The spa is located at I’M Hotel, where a package that includes a massage, body exfoliation, and an onsen bath starts at P3,200 (this also comes with a free buffet!).

You can check out the I'M Hotel's spa treatments and packages here

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