Philippines

Batanes [7days / 7 nights]

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I was sorting my files today and saw notes from our trip to Batanes so I decided to write something to reminisce and at the same time to be able to help others in planning for their trip. It was sort of DIY tour, thanks to other’s blog post where I got all the ideas and places that we planned to visit.

I’ve been wanting to go back since we came back from our vacation in Batanes 1 year and 10 months ago – yes, that long ago. ūüôā

We went there January 2015, but we booked our flight as early as April of 2014! I bought my round trip ticket ¬†for PhP 8,253.00 – thanks to PAL’s ‘seat sale’.

In our 7 days/7 nights in the northernmost part of the Philippines, we stayed in five different places. Why? Because we wanted our itinerary to be flexible enough to accommodate last minute changes in our plans given the unpredictable weather, plus we wanted to try the homestay. Turned out it was not a bad idea after all.

We booked our first two nights (Dive Batanes) ahead of time because we know for sure that we want to roam around Batan. For the¬†third night, we did not book a hotel because it will depend whether we are going to Sabtang or Itbayat. Initially we were planning to go Sabtang first¬†because of their festival. However, when we were inquiring for the trip to Itbayat,¬†the locals were suggesting to go there instead while the weather is still good.¬†And it was a right decision to follow them since they are the ones who knows when is the best time to cross the sea to go to Itbayat. So, we spent overnight in Itbayat (Nanay Cano’s Lodge) after a nerve wrecking 3-hour boat ride trip to the island. There we hired a tour guide and tricycle. We went back to Dive Batanes on our fourth night.The following day (fifth) we had half day tour in Sabtang guided by the tricycle driver that we met in Batan. We hired a tricycle to help us go around the island while Kuya Romy described each of the places that we visited. After our tour, we then stayed in the humble home of the Pajudpud family. After we settle in our room, we just went out for a stroll and dinner and ended the night early to rest. The next morning (sixth), we were supposed to have our South Batan tour, however because of the heavy rain, we decided to just cancel it. So we just tried to head to¬†our home for that night – Rapitan Di Vasay. It is like an ancestral house that was well maintained and turned into a bed and breakfast. We came a little bit too early, i think. We had to wait for the caretaker to arrive so that we could get in and settle. Good thing there was a store and a barbeque stand nearby so we just had snack while waiting.

On our seventh day, we got up early and Kuya Romy fetched us to go to the airport. We got our bags inspected, checked-in, then waited for boarding. (Un)fortunately, the wind was strong that morning so they had to delay the flight for a bit, until one of the staffs announced that the flight is still on however, they have cut down the number of passengers. It immediately popped into my head that what if we just volunteer to stay for another day, but I also immediately changed my mind and told myself and my husband that we’ll just wait and see. So, several minutes passed by, and a lot of people were having conversation on the next steps until another announcement came in. Apparently there were people who requested if they could take the flight because of important commitments. We even had Fr. Orbos on the same flight. The staff then asked if there were people who are willing to be bumped off so others may take the flight.It took us a few minutes until they said they needed two more to volunteer, and so we raised our hands and said with all smiles that we’ll stay without knowing yet what would be deal.

We were lucky that when we volunteered to stay, our hotel accommodation (Shanedel’s Inn), our lunch, dinner, and breakfast, and airport shuttle we’re all care of PAL. All these PLUS a round trip ticket to any local destination. ūüôā

I think the stars aligned so that we can get one more day in Batanes and have a chance to tour South Batan! We called Kuya Romy right away and told him where we’re staying so he can pick us up and start the tour.

And that’s it! That’s our week-long adventure in the beautiful islands of Batanes!

Batan Island

 

Sabtang

Itbayat

Where we stayed in Batan:

  • Dive Batanes: ~2000/night (booked via agoda)
  • Pajudpud Homestay: 350.00/person/night (we learned this¬†with the help from Kuya Romy)
  • Rapitan Di Vasay: ~2500/night (booked via e-mail)
  • Shanedel’s Inn and Caf√© (FREE! – accommodation c/o PAL)
  • Octagon Bed and Dine – We did not technically stayed here, but this was our go to place for dinner or lunch on the days that we did not have a tour. They have a good internet connection compared to the other places.

Where we stayed in Itbayat: 

  • Lodging: Cano‚Äôs Lodge – 250/person/night
DAY AREA PLACES NOTES
Day 1-2 North Batan Basco Town Proper Lodging:
    Tukon Church (Mt. Carmel Chapel) Dive Batanes: ~2000/night (via agoda)
    Fundaction Pacita Pajudpud Homestay: 350.00/person/night |
Contact #: 09072828642 , 09151521553
    PAGASA Weather Station ‚Äď Basco Rapitan Di Vasay: ~2500/night (breakfast not included)
e-mail:info@rapitandivasay.com
    Santo Domingo Cathedral (Basco) Shanedel’s Inn and Caf√© (accommodation c/o PAL)
    Batanes Provincial Capitol  
    Batanes Municipal Hall Tricycle Driver: Romy Merida |
Contact #: 09381592721, 09175254030
    Naidi Hills (Basco Lighthouse + Bunker Cafe) Tricycle Fare: ~50.00
    Vayang Rolling Hills Bike Rental: 25.00/hour or 100.00/day
    Chadpidan Boulder Beach Guide map
       
Day 3-4 Itbayat Chinapoliran Port Lodging: Cano’s Lodge Р250/person/night
    Mt. Karoboban View Deck Tour Guide: Kuya Toto | Contact #: 09198983146
    Town Proper Tour Guide Fee (1000) + Tryk (2000)
    Paganaman Port Lunch: 200/person (arranged by Tour Guide)
    Torongan Cave Dinner: 200/person (arranged by Tour Guide)
    Torongan Hills Boat Fare: M/B Veronica – 450.00/person (2-3hours)
    Lake Kavaywan  
    Rapang Cliffs  
    Nahili Votox ¬†http://www.traveling-up.com/travel-guide-itbayat-batanes/¬†
       
 
Day 4 North Batan walk/bike around the town proper time to relax and rest from the tour
       
Day 5 Sabtang (Day Tour) Tour Guide: Romy Merida
    Savidug Village Tour Guide Fee: (1000)¬† + Tryk Service (800)
    St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel Sabtang Tourism Fee: 200/person
    Savidug Idjang Boat Fare: 75.00/person (~30mins)
    Tinyang Viewing of Pacific Ocean Lunch: 300/person (arranged by tour guide)
    Chavayan Village  
    Morong Beach and Mayahaw Arch  
       
Day 6 North Batan walk/bike around the town proper first attempt to tour South Batan got canceled due to non-stop raining
       
Day 7 South Batan Tour Chawa View Deck Tour Guide: Romy Merida
    Mahatao Boat Shelter Port Tour Guide Fee (including tryk): 1500
    San Carlos Borromeo Church  
    Tayid Lighthouse  
    Racuh A Payaman  
    Uyugan Town  
    Old Naval Base and Alapad Hill  
    Uyugan Town‚Äôs Song-song Ruins  
    House of Dakay in Ivana  
    Old Spanish Bridge  
    Honesty Coffee Shop  
    Ivana Church (San Jose de Obrero Church)  
    Port of Ivana  
       
Day 8 Back to Manila    
       
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See you soon, Batanes! :)

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Yes! We’re booked! And we’re going to Batanes (not so) soon!

Time to do some research for our itinerary! ūüôā

Thunderbird Resort, Poro Point, San Fernando, La Union

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The first stop in our northern Luzon trip was Thunderbird Resort in Poro Point, San Fernando La Union. It was probably a 5-hour trip from Cubao going to the resort. (4 hour bus ride via Partas Bus – deluxe to San Fernando, and then just a short tricycle ride going to the resort )

We got their Day Tour package only ūüôā
Rate: Adults (13 years old and above) –¬†1,000¬†(PhP) per head – Inclusive of**¬†Use of swimming pool facilities;¬†PhP 750 consumable food and drinks.¬†The food are a bit pricey though.

We stayed just until lunch time because of our ‘hectic’ schedule if you see our itinerary. But given the chance I’d love to stay there the whole day.

It wasn’t as great as I expected it to be (the way it was promoted in tv shows and movie), but fair enough everything is awesome except for the snack we ordered that was brought to us after about 40mins. (it was so late that we ended up taking shower first).

Going back to town proper/Partas bus terminal, we availed their shuttle service (Avanza) for P300.00

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La Union – Ilocos Norte – Ilocos Sur 3-Day Trip Itinerary

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Sharing our super tight itinerary for our northern Luzon adventure. ūüôā

Day

Activity Time Amount
Day 1 Cubao (Partas Terminal РDeluxe Type Bus) to San Fernando, La Union 10:30pm Р2:30am 475.00/pax
¬† Stayed at Plaza Hotel¬†just to sleep¬†(2 single beds/room with fan; common toilet and bath (1 for male, 1 for¬†female))¬†I won’t really recommend this hotel. 2:45am – 8:00am 500.00/room
¬† Tricycle from plaza to¬†Thunderbird Resorts¬†Driver made us decide how much we’ll pay. 8:00am – 8:20am 100.00/4pax
  Day Trip at Thunderbird Resorts, Poro Point (1000.00/pax ; 750.00 consumable; we availed buffet breakfast 680.00) 8:30am Р1:00pm 1000.00/pax
  Thunderbird Resorts to Partas Terminal (few blocks away from town plaza) via Thunderbird Resorts shuttle (Avanza) 1:00pm Р1:20pm 300.00/trip
  Bus (Partas) ride from San Fernando, La Union to Laoag town proper 2:45pm Р8:45pm 356.00/pax
  Bus (GMW) ride from Laoag to Gaoa 9:30pm Р11:30pm 132.00/pax
  Tricycle ride from Gaoa Hi-way to Kapuluan Vista Resort, Pagudpud (Called Kapuluan Vista Resort upon leaving Laoag to contact a tricycle driver to fetch us) 11:30pm Р11:45pm 100.00/trip
  Check-in at Kapuluan Vista Resort (Dorm-type room : 2 single beds + fan; common toilet and bath (1 for male, 1 for female); inclusive of breakfast)  11:45pm 1300.00/room
Day 2 Breakfast (included in the room rate) 7:45am – 8:30am —-
¬† Blue Lagoon (15 minute walk from Kapuluan Vista Resort) 9:00am-10:00am —-
  Pagudpud Tour 1(Avanza)

  • -Bantay Abot Cave
  • -Patapat Bridge
  • -Paraiso ni Anton
  • -Kabigan Falls (entrance fee: 20.00 + tour guide fee: 100.00)
  • -Saud Beach (we had lunch at Emohruo resort : 780.00)

We were supposed to go Pagudpud town¬†proper, but we opted not to because it’s getting late

10:45am-3:30pm 2000.00/trip
  Check-out from Kapuluan Vista Resort: Availed Laoag Drop-off (Avanza) to Partas bus terminal with tour

  • -Bangui Windmill
  • -Cape Bojeador (Burgos) Lighthouse
4:30pm – 7:00pm 2500.00/trip
  Bus (Partas) ride from Laoag to Vigan 7:30pm Р9:35pm  
¬† Tricycle ride from Partas terminal to¬†Grandpa’s Inn 9:30pm – 9:45pm 50.00/trip
¬† Check-in at Grandpa’s¬†Inn (Calesa Room: 2 single and 1 double beds with private toilet and bath,¬†air-con, ref, cabled LCD TV and inclusive of breakfast) ¬†9:45pm 650.00/pax
¬† Dinner at Caf√©¬†Uno/Kusina Felecitas in Grandpa’s Inn 10:00pm – 11:00pm ¬†
¬† Walked around Calle¬†Crisologo 11:00pm – 12:00am —-
Day 3 Breakfast at Grandpa’s¬†Inn (included in room rate) 7:30am – 8:30am —-
  Vigan KalesaTour: (150.00/hour)

  • -Padre Burgos House (National Museum)
  • -Syquia Mansion
  • -Crisologo Museum
  • -Bell Tower and San Agustine Church
  • -Hidden Garden
  • -Burnayan Factory
  • -Baluarte
8:40am – 11:40am 450.00
¬† Merienda + Pasalubong time 12:00pm – 1:40pm —-
¬† Check-out from Grandpa’s Inn (we had to¬†pay an extra charge because of exceeding¬†chek-out time) 2:00pm 150.00/hour
¬† Tricycle ride from Grandpa’s Inn to¬†Partas Terminal 2:00pm – 2:15om 50.00/trip
¬† Bus (Partas – regular) ride¬†from Vigan to Partas Pasay Terminal (yes! it’s 10 hours!) 2:30pm – 12:45am 661.00/pax
       

Isdaan, Gerona, Tarlac

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Virgin Island, Cebu

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Summer of 2010. Perfect shades of blue and green.

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Nagsasa Cove, Zambales

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Just wonderful… ūüôā

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