Art By Lia Dimalanta
Art By Lia Dimalanta.

Recs with Context: Discover the best events Manila has to offer this year

Looking to spice up your 2024? Let your wanderlust take you through a series of exciting events that are sure to be highlights of the year you wouldn’t want to miss!

By Maxine Cheung, and Kara Co | Wednesday, 7 February 2024

A lot can happen in a year. While 2023 brought plenty of difficult and heavy global events, that doesn’t mean 2024 should be the same. From electrifying music festivals to legendary extravaganzas, the new year promises a plethora of experiences that will captivate enthusiasts and adventurers alike. As the first month of 2024 comes to a close, let’s delve into the world of music, art, and more with this edition of Recs with Context.


Ready for your greatest adventures? Take a peek at the events you can look forward to this year!


Layout By Juliana Polancos


Monet & Friends Alive  

Have you ever watched Night at the Museum? Don’t worry, the art won’t actually be coming to life, but you can expect an unforgettable multi-sensory experience celebrating Claude Monet and the artists of the impressionist era. The Monet & Friends Alive exhibit promises an immersive adventure into French impressionism with breathtaking paintings brought to life through an incredible application of light and sound.


Brace yourself to become a part of their world as you indulge your senses with the sights and sounds of 19th-century Europe, featuring the masterpieces of many famous Impressionist painters such as Monet,  Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Paul Cézanne as well as a beautiful musical score including Claude Debussy, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Maurice Ravel, and Jacques Offenbach.

Currently on display in Perth, Bangkok, and Shanghai, Grande Experiences’ exhibit will only be coming to the Philippines for a limited time from Jan. 31 to March 20. Make sure to grab your tickets from Ticketworld and catch the show at the BGC Arts Center.


Layout By Kamille Castillo


Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

Light up your year with a weekend filled with lights, colors, and all things bright with this annual aviation festival, which is finally making a comeback after a three-year break due to the pandemic!


Known as the longest-running sports aviation event in Asia, and the only airshow experience in the Philippines, the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta promises all attendees a spectacular weekend of everything from drone competitions and kite flying to helicopter and jet demos. 


From Feb. 16 to 18, this year’s event is elevating the experience with new performances including the aerobatic pyro show, the illuminated drone show, and jet paramotors.

If you’re also an adrenaline junkie, don’t miss out on these once-in-a-lifetime rides where you can experience what it’s like to be above the clouds on a hot air balloon or freefall through the sky in tandem skydiving. Prefer something a little less extreme? Grab a friend and run off the slopes paragliding or hop on a helicopter to see the skyline of New Clark City.


Scared of heights? Don’t panic cause the show is just as magical from the ground! While touring the festival grounds, you can witness exciting air show performances and visit the various food booths, fly markets, and aviation career lectures to ensure you’ll never have a dull moment.


Interested attendees can purchase General Admission tickets for ₱1,500 or VIP tickets for ₱10,000. There is also an option for attendees to purchase a general admission entrance ticket inclusive of an aviation career seminar for ₱5,000. Note that ride tickets for hot air balloons, helicopters, paragliding, and skydiving are not included in the admission price. 

Don’t miss this groundbreaking event! Tickets and more details are available on their official website.


Layout By Alia Medina


Bobapalooza Music and Arts Festival

Still listening to your 2023 playlist? That’s so last year. Vamp up your playlist and vibe to the best live music in Bobapalooza 2024. Bobapalooza is a two-day local music festival from Feb. 24 to 25 in Filinvest City Event Grounds featuring an impressive lineup of local and international artists ready to take the stage with beloved classics and new hits of the local and international scene. 


Pushing the boundaries of a traditional music festival, Bobapalooza transforms the venue and lives up to merry expectations with the inclusion of an Art Market where attendees can browse and buy souvenirs to remember the day, and Arcadia, the perfect place to kill time between artists and the signature set for festival photos, among other attractions.

The booths complement the event as festival goers discover new music from an array of genres ranging from experimental Japanese pop to nostalgic indie rock and household OPM tunes. Pale Waves, Bad Suns, and Rico Blanco headline Day 1, followed by Atarashii Gakko, The Band Camino, and a much-anticipated surprise Filipino headliner the next day. The full lineup for each day can be found at Bobalooza’s website where you can also purchase your tickets for a legendary experience.


Layout By Reina Cruz


Miss Saigon Musical

Dress to impress at Miss Saigon’s Manila leg as the award-winning Broadway makes its way to the Philippines this March 23 to May 5. From the creators of Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon transports viewers to the tragic story of a South Vietnamese girl’s doomed romance with a United States Marine. Ready your tissues and your heart as the play takes you on an emotional ride that will leave you in pieces for days but will enrich your soul in ways only a live musical can. 


While Hamilton and the founding of the United States of America took center stage last year, Miss Saigon takes audiences’ attention back to the war stories of Asia reminding viewers of the horrors of conflict and bloodshed. With a stomach-churning romance at its focal point, the story explores the deep troughs of humanity entangled in the lines of love and survival. 


The highly acclaimed Broadway film gained recognition in the Philippines as household name Lea Salonga played the lead role back in 1989. Taking on the mantle of bringing the highly acclaimed musical to life, the 2024 performance is lined with a star-studded cast including Filipino-Australian actress Abigail Adriano at its forefront.  

Have your best dress and suit ready and catch the show at The Theatre at Solaire while tickets are on sale now at Ticket World.


Layout By Maia Martin


Manila Coffee Festival

Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur or a complete beginner to the flavors of caffeine, the Manila Coffee Festival is the perfect event of the year to get your heart racing, literally. The festival is a celebration of homegrown Filipino coffee, its culture, and its community featuring a wide range of locally sourced coffee and new varieties of coffee products including alcoholic coffee, coffee-flavored chocolate, coffee ice creams, and more!


Being the annual pioneer coffee lifestyle event, the Manila Coffee Festival is back again to treat coffee enthusiasts to a vibrant mingling of coffee, food, art, music, and local tourism. While mainly focused on coffee, the event packs much more than meets the eye with coffee brewing and latte art experiences, coffee-based painting exhibitions as well as a quick history lesson on the impacts of coffee on Filipino art and culture.

The three-day festival is a testament to how coffee has inspired the lives of many Filipinos and highlights the significant contribution of coffee farmers to the country's development. While the official dates for the event have yet to be announced, build up the excitement and stay tuned by following the Manila Coffee Festival’s Facebook page!


Layout By Kervine Tan


Aliwan Fiesta

Organized by the Manila Broadcasting Company, the Aliwan Festival lives up to its name as a bright and boisterous encapsulation of the Filipino spirit that is always full of incandescent joy. To celebrate the core of every Filipino’s life from hardships ridden with resilience and abundance marked by thankfulness, the festival exceeds imagination with creativity from all over the country pooling into this annual jubilee.


The festival brims with Filipino pride reminding attendees of the love and light of being a Filipino—a feeling that may have waned over the past few years. The fiesta is a culmination of year-long efforts to create costumes, prepare performances, and design sets; its exuberant displays are a perfect representation of the maximalism and color of the local culture. With its program full of pageants, parades, live music, and its venue overflowing with delicacies from around the country, the Aliwan Festival is not one to be missed. 


Fitting right into summer, this passion-centered festival will be held in April or May. Interested attendees can follow their dedicated Facebook page for more updates and visit their website for more information. 


Ready for it?


Whether you plan on working on yourself or exploring different interests this year, there is an event for everyone! Embrace your curiosity and pump up the adrenaline and you might just stumble upon an extraordinary moment or an unforgettable memory. 


Start planning and start saving for your event of the year!