(SPOT.ph) The holidays are here, which means two things: some extra cash, and, well, having to spend a big chunk of it shopping for gifts, preparing for Christmas parties, or just splurging on a well-deserved vacation. So it always helps to get a freebie every now and then. Check out a few fun things to do this month that don’t require a single centavo.
Here are 10 things you can do for free this December:
Inspire your inner “plantita”
Got a green thumb, or wish you did? Find out how you can be the best “plantita” you can be through a series of free workshops on making a dish garden, extracting plant-based essential oils, and setting up your own air plant garden. The event is dubbed Reconnect with Nature: Green Christmas in the City, and also features an art exhibit about plants (of course!) and a bazaar with your favorite plant and plant care brands like Thorny Lil Ones and Plantaholic Garden.
Reconnect with Nature: Green Christmas in the City runs from December 6 to 8 at Circulo Verde, Calle Industria, Bagumbayan, Quezon City.
Catch an award-winning documentary
December is also the Month of Overseas Filipinos. In commemoration, the National Museum of the Philippines is hosting a free screening of the award-winning documentary Sunday Beauty Queen. This heartfelt movie about OFWs in Hong Kong won major awards at the 2016 Busan International Film Festival, and took home the Best Picture trophy and Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award at the Metro Manila Film Festival in the same year.
Sunday Beauty Queen is on December 6, 2 p.m. at 2/F Ayala Room, National Museum of Anthropology, Padre Burgos Avenue, Ermita, Manila City.
Listen to your favorite local bands in one big party
Looking for a Christmas party that’s a bit edgier than your upcoming family reunion? JBL is hosting the second edition of SoundFest Manila. The event will feature musical guests like Gloc 9 and IV of Spades. While admission is free, you can win VIP access by joining their raffle promo.
JBL SoundFest Manila 2019 is on December 7, 7:30 p.m. at Arcovia City, 99 E. Rodriguez Avenue, Pasig City.
Find your inner Zen
We could all use a break from the daily grind, plus learn some mindful techniques for when we just to get away from the holiday stress. Treehouse Yoga is known for promoting the "process of self-discovery and exploration" through meditation and yoga, and you can be part of this by signing up for a free meditation session every Saturday. You can also donate any amount to benefit Advancement for Rural Kids when you join the session.
Treehouse Yoga’s free meditation session is every Saturday, from 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 3/F RGM Center, 366 El Grande, BF Homes, Parañaque City.
Enjoy all-original Filipino music while fighting climate change
You can show your love for the planet and enjoy good music at this event, which combines musical performances as well as panel discussions that talk about climate change. Guest performers include Jim Paredes, Bulacan-based band Kulaspiro, Cavite-based reggae group Alvic and Friends, and Marikina pop band My Ex-Girlfriend.
Himig Para sa Kalikasan is on December 8, 12 p.m. at Tiendesitas, Ortigas East, Pasig City.
Squeeze in a free workout
Stay active this season through a session or two of High Intensity Interval Training, which is said to be the most efficient workout out there. You know you’ll have to burn those additional calories eventually! Sweat it out with fellow fitness buffs as you complete the bodyweight routines and do a whole lot of cardio.
HIIT the Park is every Sunday, from December 8 to 22, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Legazpi Active Park, Rada, Legazpi Village, Makati City.
Marathon films on climate justice
Sustainability has become a bit of a buzzword these days. It applies to how we consume our food, how we get rid of our waste, and even how we shop. This December, the embassies of Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden go on a different route in raising awareness on sustainable development: by hosting a film event. Today Is Our Future features six documentaries that highlight the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, from responsible consumption and production to climate action. Films include The Green Lie from Austria, Thinking Like a Mountain from Germany, and Why We Cycle from the Netherlands.
The Sustainable Development Goals Film Festival runs from December 6 to 8 at Gateway Cineplex, Araneta Center, Quezon City.
Start your football career
Okay, that may be too far off from now. But who knows? This might be your chance to improve your football skills, and eventually turn pro out there in the field. Decathlon Philippines is holding a free football clinic facilitated by coaches Marnie Marasigan and Albert Besa. You can also sign up for a free badminton clinic with former UAAP player Doddie Gutierrez. Both events are open to all ages.
The Free Badminton Clinic is on December 7 and 14, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. while the Free Football Clinic is on December 8 and 15, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Decathlon Pasig, Tiendesitas, Ortigas Avenue corner E. Rodriguez Avenue, Pasig City.
Celebrate Christmas like a true Francophone
Did you know that having 13 desserts after a big meatless feast on Christmas eve is just one of the many French holiday traditions? If you want to somehow take part in French Christmas traditions, You can take part in one by joining Alliance Française de Manille’s Christmas party on December 11, and find out why the French kiss under a mistletoe or why they put their shoes in front of the fireplace. More than a night of fun and learning, you might even meet fellow Francophiles like yourself. Admission is free and there’s no need to register.
Christmas Night: The Francophone Way is on December 11, 6:30 p.m. at Bernardo Sim Hall, 4/F Alliance Française de Manille, 209 Nicanor Garcia Street, Makati City.
Marvel at another Juan Arellano masterpiece
If you’re a big fan of the design of the Metropolitan Theater and the newly restored Rizal Coliseum—both by architect Juan Arellano—then you might want to join a free guided tour of the Manila Central Post Office. Another masterpiece by Arellano, it was erected in 1926 with the help of Tomas Mapua in the Neoclassical style. It was heavily damaged during the Second World War, but was immediately rebuilt following its original architecture. This edition of the Royal Postal Heritage Guided Tour also includes games, raffles, and a brief lecture on local postal heritage.
The Postal Heritage Tour is on December 21, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Manila Central Post Office, Liwasang Bonifacio, Magallanes Drive, Intramuros, Manila City.