About this same time in 2013, I wrote a column titled “Why moms love staycations” for The T-Zone. It was inspired by my then five- and two-year old sons, who drove me up the wall when non-stop monsoon rains kept them home from the village playground and football practices.
As they turned the furniture into monkey bars and decided that their iPads can double as flat soccer balls out of boredom, I started punching some numbers in a mad panic, and realized that a nearby staycation—a fairly new concept at the time—was less expensive than repairing broken fixtures and gadgets.
While the ever trusty Wikipedia defines a “staycation” as “a period in which an individual or family stays home and participates in leisure activities within driving distance, [and]sleeping in their own beds at night,” Filipinos, as usual, have re-defined the activity to mean “staying at a beautiful hotel where leisure activities are within walking-to-driving distance.”
Why so? Because the Americans, who first authored the term and the concept, went on staycations because of the financial crisis of 2010 to 2011. Filipinos, on the other hand, go on staycations in hotels for any one of the following reasons: 1) When bad weather gets in the way of out-of-town plans; 2) For a quick and convenient break from monotony within the city; and 3) To enjoy a particular area without having to deal with horrendous traffic.
hus, in the last couple of years, hotels that are directly connected or just across popular shopping malls have made it to the unofficial list of top staycation destinations in Metro Manila—with my top choices right beside our subdivision in Ortigas.
This year though, as the boys’ sem break approaches (slowly sending shivers down my spine), I’ve decided to go a little further south and—to use the latest buzz verb—“staycate” in Makati.
The inspiration of my wise decision this time is the launch of the second “Priceless Makati Stay-cation” this month. Running all the way through July 2015, the geniuses behind the promotion have thought to offer patrons bigger discounts (even during peak seasons such as this) with attractive perks to boot.
“In 2012, Makati launched the first ever Priceless Makati Stay-cation offer to promote a different kind of vacation and attract more people to stay in the city. With the warm acceptance of the general public Makati brings back the exclusive promo to give more families and friends an opportunity to create memorable experiences in the city that makes it all happen,” says Mel Ignacio, assistant vice president of Ayala Land, which co-presents Priceless Makati Staycation with MasterCard.
The promotion is available from four of Makati’s most iconic global hotel brands namely Raffles Makati, Fairmont Makati, Inter-Continental Manila, and Holiday Inn & Suites Makati.
“It is as easy as using a debit, credit, or prepaid MasterCard to avail of the special hotel packages and perks from establishments around the city starting this October, all the way to July 31, 2015,” the executive adds.
What makes the second install-ment of the promotion hard to resist is that packages were further discounted so that more families and group of friends can afford to spend weekends, holidays and even ordinary weekdays in the leisure paradise that is Makati.
Going over the staycation details, Ignacio explains, “For a minimum two nights stay, those who will avail of the promo will enjoy privileges such as breakfast buffet for two, high speed internet access, discounts on the hotels’ spa treatments, one free diner for every group of four diners in the hotel buffet restaurants as well as special welcome amenities.
“On top of the exclusive hotel rates and packages for MasterCard card holders, participants are also entitled to other perks all year round such as 40 percent discount on entrance tickets to Ayala Museum for two, two passes in Circuit Makati’s Mountain Dew Skate Park, and buy one take one on City Kart Racing tickets.”
For moms like me, the fact that to “staycate” in Makati will expose my children to museum visits and new forms of activities other than malling and video game arcades is a huge plus.
She ups the ante even more as she reveals plans for special events to go with the promo come Christmas, Valentine’s, graduation and summer, such as free tickets to yuletide bazaars, the annual Art Fair Philippines in February, and the much awaited Wanderland 2015 Concert at the Globe Circuit Events Ground.
Best of all (for moms especially) the first-rate Ayala Malls of Glorietta and Greenbelt are just a sprint away from all directions, so that kiddie naps will certainly be put to good use any time of the year.
Now this is why staycations are here to stay.