back to top

18 Totally Free Activities That You Can Do In Metro Manila In 2018

Bored but broke? I gotchu fam.

Posted on

There is no shortage of things to do in Metro Manila. You'll never be bored.

1. Learn parkour.

Facebook: PKPH [Parkour Philippines] / Via Facebook: parkourphilippines

Parkour Philippines (PKPH) is a welcoming community of fitness enthusiasts who practice parkour, a training discipline that lets you navigate obstacles via quick and successive movement like jumping and climbing. Join the group and train for free during their Bansay sessions every Sunday, in places like U.P. Diliman and Intramuros.

Not quite ready? Beginners are welcome, and the group's core enthusiasts are always kind enough to assist. Follow their Facebook page for updates and training schedules.

2. Visit the National Museum.

Mark Angelo Ching

The National Museum is currently open for free to the public while it is under renovation. Visit it at any time to view the country's historical paintings, like the majestic Spoliarium, which greets you at the door.

Bonus: Find the cursed Juan Luna painting and speculate why it's so eerie.


3. Pass by art galleries at the mall.

Mark Angelo Ching

While you're in an artistic mood, why not make it a point to go to the art galleries at the mall? You can find breathtaking art there as well. This gallery at the new Podium mall in Pasig, for example, displays giant paintings that are too beautiful to ignore. It's worth a visit.

4. Read the archives at the National Library.

Sky Harbor / Wikimedia / Via

The National Library is home to the country's largest archives of old newspapers and magazines. Aside from revisiting old news, you can also get lost in time looking at old print advertisements, like the one below.

5. Take a language course.

YouTube: McDo Philippines / Via

Finding it hard to learn a language by yourself? Why not attend the free language courses offered by the government's Technical Education and Skills Development Authority? You can study Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese and more in a classroom environment, and yes, it is F-R-E-E.

Priority is given to OFWs who are pre-selected by employers abroad, but you should still sign up here if you're interested.


6. Walk around Luneta Park.

Instagram: @mvching / Via

You cannot live in Manila and not visit Jose Rizal's monument in Luneta Park at least once. Sure, there's a huge eyesore behind our national hero now, but you should still go there to pay your respects.

7. Exercise in UP Diliman.

Instagram: @slickmastertheblogger / Via

U.P. Diliman is a paradise for Metro Manila's joggers, who troop to the school every Sunday to run around its car-less oval. You should go here weekly if you want to be on a fitness journey this 2018.


8. Watch free foreign movies.

Broke Tourist / Via

There are small movie houses in the Metro that lets you watch foreign movies for free. One of them is Alliance Fran├žaise de Manille, a French language school in Makati that screens French films every Wednesday. It's first-come, first-served so always watch out for the schedule on their Facebook page so you know what movie will be showing.

9. Watch free local films.

Facebook: CinemathequeMNL / Via Facebook: CinemathequeMNL

Prefer local movies instead? You can troop over to small theaters like Cinematheque Centre Manila in Ermita to see award-winning indie films and restored classics. Follow their Facebook page so you know if there are free screenings, or just pay the cheap ticket prices. It's a small way to support the good part of the local movie industry, so your money won't go to waste.

10. Rock out to live bands.

Facebook: Tiendesitas / Via Facebook: tiendesitas

Live music is also free if you know where to look. Pasig City's Tiendesitas, for example, has a live band for their food center every night. There are also times when huge bands like Sandwich and Up Dharma Down are a part of the line-up, so watch their Facebook page for announcements.

11. Listen to live classical music and opera.

Facebook: UP College of Music: Abelardo Hall Concerts / Via Facebook: 157117047664129

Fancy more classical music instead? U.P. Diliman's College of Music regularly holds free concerts and recitals in their Abelardo Hall. Check out their Facebook page for updates so you know when to go.


12. Listen to spoken word performances.

Facebook: The Loudmouth Collective / Via Facebook: video.php

Music got you down? Why not try live poetry and spoken word instead? There are many such organizations that hold free performances around the Metro. One of them is The Loudmouth Collective, which organizes free programs where you can watch talented artists share their stories. There are also some open mic sessions, so you can tell your own story, if you wish.

13. Learn how to play football.

Facebook: Football Manila / Via Facebook: FootballManila

Football may not be a popular sport here, but that does not mean that it's dead because there are active sports clubs that keep its spirit alive. One of them is Football Manila, which occasionally gives free coaching for beginners who want to learn how to kick balls or guard goals.

Football Manila also holds open play sessions in a football field in BGC regularly. Any football enthusiast can join and learn while in the action.

14. Tour the city's best churches.

Instagram: @jack8677 / Via

Metro Manila is home to some of the country's most majestic churches, so why not resolve to attend Mass in all of them? The San Agustin Church inside Intramuros, for example, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so you should visit it. You should also try to go to the Manila Cathedral, Binondo Church and Malate Church. Think of this mission as a form of Visita Iglesia, except you do it every Sunday, instead of just during Holy Week.

15. Get an HIV test, and encourage others to do the same.

Facebook: Love Yourself Anglo / Via Facebook: loveyourselfanglo

The rate of HIV incidence continues to rise among the youth in Manila, so everyone must be pro-active in curbing it. Make sure to get regular HIV tests if you are sexually active, so you always know your status. Testing is free in LoveYourself hubs across the metro, and its attendants can also give expert advice about the disease and other issues about sex, should you need one.

Hesitant? LoveYourself is a judgment free zone, and your health status remains private even after testing, so you shouldn't worry. And why not bring your friends? Every gender is welcome, so you can do it as a group.

You can also volunteer to help if you have the time. It's a worthy cause. For more information, check out their Facebook page.


16. Volunteer for worthy causes.

Gawad Kalinga Australia / Via

Want to do something meaningful? Why not volunteer for humanitarian efforts like Gawad Kalinga, an award-winning organization that aims to provide quality housing and care to the country's impoverished citizens. Learn how to volunteer by visiting their website.

17. Volunteer for animal rescue.

Facebook: Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) / Via Facebook: pawsphilippines

You can also volunteer to help take care of rescued animals in the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) center in Quezon City. Learn when and how to volunteer on their website.