Just like that, another year is about to end. 2020 has been a roller coaster ride as the coronavirus pandemic took the reins. However challenging the year has been, we remain positive and look forward to what 2021 will bring.
Aside from the vaccine and the long overdue reunion with loved ones, for sure, it’s the relaxing vacations of long weekends you’re excited about. If you want to enjoy that to the fullest, you should know as early as now the holidays of the upcoming year.
Officially, these are 2021’s regular and special non-working holidays, in accordance with Duterte’s Proclamation No. 986 signed last July:
- January 1, Friday – New Year’s Day
- April 1, Maundy Thursday
- April 2, Good Friday
- April 9, Friday – Araw ng Kagitingan
- May 1, Saturday – Labor Day
- June 12, Saturday – Independence Day
- August 30, last Monday of August – National Heroes’ Day
- November 30, Tuesday – Bonifacio Day
- December 25, Saturday – Christmas Day
- December 30, Thursday – Rizal Day
Special non-working days:
- February 12, Friday – Chinese New Year
- February 25, Thursday – EDSA People Power Revolution Anniversary
- April 3 – Black Saturday
- August 21, Saturday – Ninoy Aquino Day
- November 1, Monday – All Saints’ Day
- November 2, Tuesday – All Souls’ Day
- December 8, Wednesday – Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary
- December 24, Friday – Christmas Eve
- December 31, Friday – last day of the year
- Islamic holidays, Eid’l Fitr and Eid’l Adha, to have separate proclamations
How to Make the Most of Long Weekends
Plan your vacation leaves (VL) near holidays to take advantage of longer breaks. For example, before National Heroes’ Day on August 30, which falls on a Monday, file your VL on August 27 (Friday) or August 31 (Tuesday). That instantly gives you four long days of vacation, considering the weekends.
On the holiday season, file a VL on December 27 to 29 (Monday to Wednesday), so you will be free from work from the 24th (the Friday week prior) until January 1, 2022 (Saturday). Those are nine days of precious rest. Here are more ways to make the most of your long weekends:
1. Travel Early or Late
It’s likely that other people will also be going out of town or abroad during these long weekends. If you want to avoid traffic jams on the road or too many crowds in airports, go for an early or late road trip or flight. Starting early or late, you’ll be able to maximize one full day of vacation. Reaching your destination won’t be part of your itinerary. You wouldn’t tire yourself out either on long queues or dizzying crowds.
2. Go to Local Destinations
It’s understandable that you want to go far and travel abroad as we come out from a long period of isolation and lockdown. But the long-haul flights, spent on restless sleeping, take a huge chunk of your vacation time. It sometimes spoils the fun. Consider traveling locally. Visit our country’s destinations even just this coming year. You’ll discover gems you’ve never known before and more importantly, help local tourism recover from the pandemic.
3. Unplug from Tech
There’s so much time you waste during vacations when you’re caught up with your phone. Spending your holiday on social media, you’ll only regret not savoring every moment of witnessing that Boracay sunset or sharing laughs with locals in Puerto Princesa over lunch. Before going on a vacation, make a promise to unplug from the online world. Take pictures, but don’t post them, at least not yet. After the snap, be in the moment.
4. Return Home Early
This may seem counterintuitive when you want to maximize your holiday vacation. But think about the times you returned home, got a quick bath, then went straight to the office. It was tiring and stressful, right? If you don’t want to be groggy attending meetings and making business reports the day after your holiday vacation, give yourself enough time for slowing down from your action-packed trip and getting settled again into the regular routine.
2020 is almost over. As you remember how you’ve overcome the challenges of the past year, be expectant of the good things 2021 will bring. Imagine the reunions with family and friends, and the adventures you’ll have during long vacations. All of us deserve a break, especially in the post-pandemic era.