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Join YPT for our Easter Trip to the Philippines for the Cutud Lenten Rites and Marcos Mausoleum tour. Reenactments of The Passion of the Christ are a well-known phenomenon in The Philippines, but the Cutud Lenten Rites Festival takes things to a whole new level with the penitents not only flagellating themselves, but finishing off with a full on crucifixion. This is the most sought after and popular event in the whole of The Philippines during Easter, and an extremely memorable experience.

Following this we head to the site of not only the most inaccessible mausoleum in the world, but also the worlds only private one that hosts the former leader of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos in Batac the self-styled city of great leaders. Marcos’s body has recently been buried back in Manila, but we will check out the site with the museum and waxworks, whilst also checking out historical towns and adventuring in one of the most beautiful parts of rural Philippines.

For more info on Ferdinand Marcos see My Quest for Marcos


Thursday 13th April

  • Group arrive at their own leisure and transfer to Swagman Hotel in the Ermita area of Manila which is easily accessible to both the airport and by bus to many parts of the Philippines
  • After all the group arrives we head out for introductory dinner and drinks, and overnight at the Hotel.

Friday 14th April

  • At 5 am we join our private air-conditioned vehicle for the rest of our journey, a 2-hour drive to the San Fernando Area of Pampanga, stopping for breakfast on the way.
  • On arrival we head straight out for the Cutud Lenten Rites festival, one of the biggest and most spectacular festivals in the Phlippines. We follow all the action as the participants have  crosses nailed to them and head up the hill in their full glory until their 3 pm Crucifixion.
  • Picnic lunch
  • Following the end of proceedings we head into San Fernando for a city tour before returning to Angeles City to check into our hotel.
  • Angeles City is renowned as the party and culinary capital of the Philippines, so we head out for dinner and drinks on Fields Avenue.
  • Overnight in Hotel.

Saturday 15th April

  • Breakfast in the hotel before we embark on another early start in our private mini-bus. This morning we'll take the monster 7-hour drive to the historical city of Vigan.
  • There is breathtaking scenery during this journey and we take plenty of opportunities for both rest stops, picture stops, and lunch.
  • Late afternoon arrival in Vigan and check into our hotel.
  • We take a walking city tour around the colonial city of Vigan, with there being plenty of chances to take photos of the unique architecture
  • In the evening we'll visit St. Pauls Cathedral which was built in 1790, for those so included it will be possible to attend a Palm Sunday service.
  • We while away the evening drinking San Miguel in some street bars, and perhaps listening to some bad Videoke. Vigan is not a party place, but still provides a very pleasant evening out.
  • Overnight in Vigan.

Sunday 16th April

  • Breakfast in town before we start the two journey to our next port of call: Laoag in Ilocos Norte province
  • Afternoon arrival where we check into our hotel
  • In the afternoon we head out to what is the only desert in the Philippines. As an optional activity, it is possible to rent either 4x4's or Quad bikes, or alternatively to simply walk around the dunes enjoying the amazing scenery.
  • In the evening we head out for a seaside dinner and drinks in town.
  • Overnight in Laoag.
Monday 17th April
  • Trip highlight time! We pack up our bags and head off for the second major part of our trip- our journey to Batac the former site of the mausoleum of Mr Ferdinand Marcos. Batac styles itself as the “home of great leaders” and there is lots of Marcos-related things to do here.
  • Lunch in town
  • Our main stop is the Marcos museum and Mausoleum which should take us a few hours to walk around and take photos in, even though the body of the former leader has been moved back to the cemetery in Manila.
  • In the afternoon we check out the Marcos University and the current home village of the surviving Marcos clan (his wife and son are still politicians).
  • We have an early dinner in Batac before heading off to our nest destination-
  • A two-hour drive to the quiet beach town of Currimao, frankly it is not a proper trip to the Philippines unless you take some time relaxing on some pristine private beach!
  • Check into our beach huts and take a relaxed night.
Tuesday 18th April
  • Free day to relax on the beach and get involved with local activities, there is also a resort next door with an outdoor swimming pool.
  • Lunch at a beachside restaurant.
  • In the afternoon we can optionally rent a boat for a boat trip around the bay.
  • In the early evening we have a beach barbecue and party to celebrate our last night of the trip.
  • Overnight in beach huts.
Wednesday 19th April
  • We end the trip as it started- with a journey through the pristine countryside with us offering end points of Clark International Airport, Manila Airport, or downtown Manila.