10 Free Things to Do in Manila This March

Who says you can't have fun on a budget?

(SPOT.ph) It’s true when they say that the Metro is packed with exciting opportunities and events. Even better, some of them are things you can for free! Whether you're up for looking for inspiration at an art market or going for more fitness points with a group workout, check out these 10 exciting things that you can do for free this month!

Soak up some creative inspiration from local artists

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If you’re into cute stickers, prints, and other, more casual forms of art, remember to mark your calendars for the BGC Art Mart. You'll get to meet the awesome artists you’ve been following on Instagram, who'll be there selling some of their best work. While you’re there, be sure to catch performances from Puppet Theater Manila and mentalist Justin Pinon.

BGC Art Mart runs from March 15 to 16 at Alveo Central Plaza, BGC Arts Center, 26th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City.

Listen to dramatic readings of plays written by women

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To celebrate women’s month, the Cultural Center of the Philippines is holding a Readathon where plays written by women will be showcased by aspiring theater actors and actresses. Catch monologues performed by the playwrights themselves on the first day, along with a performance from The Thespians of Truth and Possibilities. You can also check out the “Gawa ng Ina Mo! A Mama Markers Market” fair at the Silangan Hall.

For the second day, the Performance Laboratory Inc. will be performing five-minute scripts written by different women playwrights. Plus, Gantala Press will also open the “Gandang Ganda Sa Sariling Gawa” zine fair at the Silangan Hall. Both days will feature book discussions led by the Pinoy Kids Read Pinoy Books Book Club.

Readathon runs from March 15 to 16, 9 a.m. at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City.

Stroll through an art-filled park

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Art may be intimidating to many, but it doesn’t have to be. Art in the Park is bringing you affordable art from over 56 exhibitors at the Jaime Velasquez Park in Makati. Shop for prints, paintings, and sculptures—which are all priced at P50,000 and below—or you can simply take a stroll and check out the special installations set up at the park. You won't be needing a ticket to see what the park has to offer.

Art in the Park is on March 17, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Jaime Velasquez Park, Salcedo Village, Makati City.

Meet the award-winning author of Bone Talk

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U.K.-based Filipino author Candy Gourlay has won numerous awards over the years. On March 19, you get the chance to meet her as she formally launches her third novel at the National Book Store branch in Glorietta 1. Bone Talk is a coming-of-age story set within the mountains of the Philippines during the Philippine-American War.

Bone Talk Book Launch is on March 19, 6 p.m. at National Book Store, Glorietta 1, Ayala Center, Glorietta Complex, Makati City.

Catch award-winning Southeast Asian films about women

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Women have always been subject to great challenges and circumstances. To see more about the woes of women across different cultures, catch the screening of award-winning films that tell the stories of women in present-day Southeast Asia: Bagahe (2017), set in the Philippines; 27 Steps of May (2018), set in Indonesia; and Bangkok Nites (2016) set in Thailand (and a bit of Laos, Japan, and France).

Woemen: Women of Southeast Asia runs from March 21 to 22 at the UPFI Film Center, University of the Philippines - Diliman, Diliman, Quezon City.

Stay active for that beach-ready body

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We know it's hard to motivate yourself to exercise if you're doing it alone—and you don't have to! The Addlibb Dance Studio will be hosting free Zumba and LesMills BODYATTACK sessions every Friday this month, so grab your fitness buddies and make the most of the remaining sessions. 

Empowered Women Empower Women: Fitness Fridays is on March 22 and 29, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 2F New Frontier Theater Arcade, Araneta Center, General Malvar Avenue, Cubao, Quezon City.

Unleash your inner child and sing along to Disney songs

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If you’re one of the people who can’t help but sing along with your favorite Disney characters, then you wouldn’t want to miss CatScratch Club’s Disney Sing-Along night. You can drop by to chill with the crowd or you can sign up to lead some of the songs yourself! Grab a drink (so you feel a little more like an adult) as you belt out your childhood tunes along with your fellow Disney fans. You can even come in costume to really get the most of the experience.

Disney Sing-Along is on March 23, 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. at Catch 272, 41-B T. Gener Street, Kamuning, Quezon City.

Get your fix of local indie films

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Going out with the family? Pan de Salawal (2018) and Ang Bagong Pamilya ni Ponching (2016), both of which are guaranteed to make everyone in the family laugh (and cry a little), will be screening for free at the Cultural Center of the Philippines on March 28. At 2 p.m., catch Pan de Salawal, a heartwarming story about a street child named Aguy (Miel Espinosa) who has miraculous healing powers and Sal (Bodjie Pascual), an ailing man with whom she forms an unlikely bond with. If you have time for another film, Ang Bagong Pamilya ni Ponching is showing at 5 p.m. It follows the story of Ponching (Janus del Prado), who starts a text scam that accidentally leads the recipient to believe he’s the illegitimate son of a recently deceased rich relative.

Pan de Salawal and Ang Bagong Pamilya ni Ponching will be screening on March 28 at the CCP Tanghalang Manuel Conde, Cultural Center of the Philippines, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City.

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Get a glimpse of Japan and its summer festivals

Experience a traditional natsu matsuri (summer festival) at Ateneo de Manila University’s Bellarmine Field on March 29. Japan is known for continuing to carry out many of its traditions, but if you don’t have time to fly all the way there, drop by Hinomoto’s Natsu Matsuri. There will be Japanese festival games, various food options, and performances to enjoy throughout the night. Admission is free for everyoneincluding non-Ateneans.

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Natsu Matsuri is on March 29, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Bellarmine Field, Ateneo de Manila University, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City.

Catch a uniquely Filipino fashion show

What happens when you combine history, culture, and fashion? Find out at the Great Women Fashion Show happening on March 30 at Makati Shangri-La. A collection of contemporary urbanwear made from textiles handwoven by local communities from around the Philippines will be showcased for everyone to see. You can also look through the lifestyle shops set up at the hotel to celebrate International Women’s Month, featuring products forwarded by women producers.

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Great Women Fashion Show is on March 30, 3 p.m. at Makati Shangri-La, Makati Avenue corner Ayala Avenue, Makati City.

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