10 Free Things to Do in Manila This February

On a budget?

(SPOT.ph) Going on a date with that special someone, or just taking some quality time for yourself can easily put a dent in your pocket, especially if you’re in Metro Manila. Think about it: there's gas and parking, or a Grab ride to consider, aside from dinner and a movie. But a memorable day doesn’t always have to be expensive.

There are lots of exciting things you can do at no cost this month, from a walking tour to a free film screening. Here are 10 of them.

Bask in a different kind of sound trip


MAM.manufaktur für aktuelle musik, a collective of musicians with an experimental repertoire; and Warped Type, a four-member group that produces live visuals with music in the background, is coming to Manila for a one-of-a-kind multimedia performance. The show, called Pierrot Lumière, is part of FringeMNL's lineup for 2019.

Pierrot Lumière is on February 16, 7 p.m. at Yuchengco Museum, RCBC Plaza, Ayala Avenue, Makati City.

Go on a walking tour around UP Diliman

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In celebration of National Arts Month and the anniversary of the state university's transfer from Manila to Diliman, the University of the Philippines presents the Lakad Gunita Themed Walking Tours in various places in the campus. Tours vary every day, from a bird-watching trip every Monday to a history-inclined activity every Friday.

Lakad Gunita Themed Walking Tours run until March 29 at the University of the Philippines – Diliman, Quezon City.

Be mentored by a world-renowned curator


Listen to curator Agustín Pérez Rubio as he reveals the best practices when it comes to art criticism and curation. Participants have the chance to present their own exhibition critique or curatorial project to the group and get feedback from Rubio himself. Slots are limited so better sign up fast!

BAP Mentorship: Agustín Pérez Rubio is on February 15, 1 p.m. at Bellas Artes Outpost, 2/F The Alley at Karrivin, 2316 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City.

Dive deep into film criticism


Film critic and cultural researcher Roland B. Tolentino holds a public lecture about the effects of American colonialism on Filipino film production in the 1930s. He looks into the movie A Filipino in America by Doroteo Ines and the critical essay “Ang Pelikulang Tagalog” by Teodoro Virrey to map out this discourse.

A Filipino in America: 1930s Filipino Films, American Colonialism, and the Negotiation of Coloniality is on February 28, 9:30 a.m. at Cine Adarna, University of the Philippines - Diliman, Quezon City.

Catch an exhibit on female empowerment


Women and War, which opened at the Ayala Museum on February 2, hopes to put the spotlight on women who were forced into sex slavery by Japanese soldiers during World War II. This tragedy may have happened decades ago, but the struggle continues.

Women and War runs until March 3 at 2/F Ayala Museum, Makati Avenue corner De La Rosa Street, Greenbelt Park, Makati City.

Learn more about the famous Battle of Manila


The month-long Battle of Manila between Philippine and Japanese forces in 1945 was one of the most definitive moments in our history. Not only did it result in over 100,000 casualties, but also in the complete destruction of the Philippines' capital. Celebrated author James M. Scott is set to launch his book Rampage: MacArthur, Yamashita, and the Battle of Manila, a comprehensive novel published in 2018 about this brutal campaign in the Pacific War.

The launch of Rampage by James M. Scott is on February 12 at Ayala Museum, Greenbelt, Makati City.

Enjoy a night of improv theater


Dulambuhay brings improvisation theater to the Ateneo de Manila's massive arts hub this month. Titled All About Art, Love, Power, the show's talented troupe works with whatever they'll get from the audience to complete their performance.

All About Art, Love, Power is on February 24, 5 p.m. at William and Claire Tan Untiong Studio, 2/F George SK Ty Learning Innovation Wing, Arete, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City.

Find out what makes a black car so sleek


Arjhay De Leon, a software engineer, talks about why black is a popular car color, especially for luxury vehicles—including presidential cars, of course. The program also defines how color affects the overall appeal of an image as well as the mood of the person looking at it. The Presidential Car Museum opened in August 2018.

Black: The Art of Color Grading is on February 17, 3 p.m. at the Presidential Car Museum, Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City.

Watch a couple of well-loved Japanese films


This 2019, the Japan Foundation celebrates the Nihongo Fiesta with a speech contest, a quiz bee for high school students, and J-Pop performances at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall on February 23. On top of these, Shangri-La Plaza Cinema 2 is screening Your Name (2016), which is a touching coming-of-age story about 17-year-olds Taki and Mitsuha, a boy and girl who wake up in each other's bodies; and Mumon: The Land of Stealth (2017), which is inspired by the Tensho Iga War in 1579 and 1581.

Screenings of Your Name and Mumon: The Land of Stealth are at 5:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively, on February 23 at Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City.

"Gravity and Grace" (2016) at Toyohashi Arts Theatre in Japan ShinjiOhmakiArtwork / Youtube

Marvel at the sight of a massive vase

But it's more than a vase, of course! During Art Fair Philippines' 10 Days of Art, Japanese sculptor Shinji Ohmaki will showcase a public art piece titled "Gravity and Grace" that was first displayed at the Toyohashi Arts Theatre in Japan in 2016. Made from stainless steel and LED lights, the large vase-like vessel projects intricate designs on the walls around it.

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