Batanes Itinerary And Travel Guide

Batanes still remains one of if not the most dreamed of destination in the country. The northern most province of the Philippines, Batanes’ next door neighbor is already Taiwan. For years Batanes has been far from an average person’s reach, not just beacause of its distance but because of the amount involved just to get there. However, over the past couple of years Batanes has become a bit more affordable. From the usual 16,000 – 20,000 peso airfares before, airlines now offer deals aroudn 3,000 pesos and sometimes even cheaper. Now that we have an opportunity to explore Batanes, let’s go and check out what are the things we can do in this beautiful Island with this simeple Batanes Itinerary

Getting There

There are two airlines that fly from Manila and one Tuguegarao namely, Philippine Airlines, Skyjet and SkyPasada. Fly time is about 1.25 Hrs from Manila.

Batanes Itinerary

Transportation

Getting Around Basco, Sabtang and Itbayat (The three major islands of the province) can be challenging. There are/is a jeep that goes around Basco at certain times mainly to transport people from the town to the pier. Be sure to ask your hotel/inn/homestay staff about the schedule so you wont miss it. I was told during my stay that I should catch it at the town exit at around 6:30 AM but it came around 7nish. Other than that you’d either have to walk, rent a bike or a motorbike to go around. I rented a bicycle to roam around the island on my own instead of joining tours. You’d have to really adventurous though if you want to go that way. The roads are challenging to pedal as most of them are up hill and you be on the road as darkness falls. There rarely are street lights in the outskirts of Basco.

 

Where To Stay

Contrary to common beliefs, accommodation in Batanes is affordable. You can find home stays, inns and hometels in Basco for your home base. I for example stayed in Time Travel Lodge for just about 500 pesos a night (this was back in 2014 – please check with the property for current rates). The property was near the airport, which is good in a way. However, it becomes a challenge if you frequent the town center where most of the activities are. See Basco lies on a slope, with the Airport at the top of the hill and the pier on the other end. See what I mean? But if it hills dosn’t bother you, say your like from SanFo that shouldn’t be an issue. If you can get a room some where near the pier, the better.

Batanes Itinerary

Where To Eat 

There are a few restaurants that we tried a few that we can recommend are Pension Ivatan for their Ivatan Platter so that you can try all Ivatan food that you can! There’s also Shanedel’s serving standard menus like continiental breakfast and tapsis. One must try though in Batanes are its lobsters and Coconut Crabs. Coconut crabs can be a bit on the expensive side because it is hard to find in the forests, but lobsters here are the cheapest that you can find.

Batanes Itinerary

What To Do

Top 2 things to do in Batanes are sight seeing and food trippin’. I think we covered the later earlier so let’s check out what is there to see in Batanes.

Like I mentioned, Batanes is composed of three main islands; Batan, Sabtang and Itbayat. The most convenient way to see everything is by booking a tour with tour companies like BISUMI. Last time I check they are offering a 5,000 peso tour for three days covering both islands inclusive of food and fees!

I on the other hand opted to bring a map and bike! the bike cost me about 200-300 pesos for the entire day and a gazillion calories! That made me soooo happy! hahahaha~!

I don’t have much words to describe Batanes so heeeere’s some scenery porn… ugh… that doesn’t sound right… hahaha

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

Batanes Itinerary

 

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

Honestly I dont think that gave Batanes any justice. You.Just.Have.To.See.It.Yourself.

Itinerary

The Batanes itinerary should be fairly easy.

Day 1: Arrive, rent bike or join tour, Ivatan feast at Pension Ivatan

Day 2 South Batan Tour, Casa Napoli (Dinner)

Day 3 Sabtang Tour, Shanedels (Dinner)

Day 4 Depart Batanes

>>> Download Detailed Itinerary<<<

Note that you can extend your stay in Batanes and that you don’t have to do everything to quick. See Batanes is more than a sight seeing destination. You need to immerse and feel how peaceful and different this place it from the rest of the country. Not just with geography but with its people. You can also go father and break your limits by going to Itbayat, the farthest of all livable islands. It will take you about four to five hours of travel via Falowa through the rough open waters of the Pacific Ocean.

 

Travel Guide: Boracay Island

Hailed as one of the best beaches in the world several times, Boracay continuously lures tourists each year. The island is famous not only for its powder fine sand and exciting activities, but with its awesome nightlife as well.

What To Do In Boracay

I could easily spend a whole day just laying on the sand and enjoy a cup of smoothie or beer while the breeze blows. Aside from that here are a few more that you can do.

Paddle Boarding

boracay

Ride a Paraw

boracay

Island Hopping

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Best Time To Go To Boracay

Off Peak Season (End of May – November)

If you want to enjoy the beach with less people, you might want to visit during lean season. Off-peak season in the Island starts from late May till November. This season is also the time when the water is the clearest. Caveat though, if you go there during the American Thanks Giving holiday you might encounter a crowd larger than the usual off peak season. This is because this is the best time for people who work for American companies take advantage of some rest and relaxation. I actually like travelling during Thanks giving weekend. Hotels aren’t that expensive as if it was peak season but they offer amenities like buffet in house and some even offer free cocktails at night, that’s why I think that is the best time to go to Boracay.

boracay

 

Super Peak (March  – Early May)

Summer season starts end of February and climaxes between March and April. These are also the months when classes comes to a halt giving families to come together and enjoy a day at the beach. While you may think that the number of people will start dwindling come may, you are wrong! Big time! The biggest event in the island actually happens every May 1, Labor day! In fact people have coined a word for this weekend, LaBoracay weekend (read as Labor -racay) combining the words labor and Boracay. If you plan to join the LaBoracay festivities, better book your hotels and flights several months in advance as they will shoot waaaay up and hotels do become fully booked all over the island.

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Peak Season (December – February) 

Holidays abound during these months so expect more people trying to get to the island. Prices to go up so just like during super peak seasons, book your airfare and accommodation in advance. It can be a bit crowded on these months but nothing like if it is LaBoracay. Also, the water is perfectly clear too on during these times.

 

How To Get To Boracay

Most major airlines in the Philippines fly directly to Caticlan the nearest airport. However, most travelers opt to land at the Kalibo International airport as it is always cheaper. From Kalibo you can take a bus or van directly from the airport to the Caticlan Jetty Port. Boats from the port to the island is available 24 hours. As soon as you arrive ready your pesos to pay for the Environmental Fee (100), Terminal Fee (75)  and Boat Fare (25).

Overnight ferries from Manila are also available. You can check ferry schedules at 2Go.com

Boracay

Where To Stay In Boracay

Hostel Avenue

Get the best value out of your buck at Hostel Avenue. A beach front property, this hostel offers a great view of the sea from its veranda.

boracay

Check Rates  I See Hotel Review

 

Chill Out Hostel

boracay island

Check Rates

Travel Guide: Liw-liwa Zambales Itinerary

Zambales offers a lot of options when it comes to advnture. You can go climb mountains, swim rivers but my favorite of all are its beaches. Yes Zambales does not have those pristine white sands just like in the visayas, but they are as close as three hours from Manila and offers a lot of activities that the family can enjoy.

Liwliwa Zambales

Liw-liwa is small coastal community in Zambales with a vibrant surfing scene. The beach may not be as soft and as white as the others but it offers a huge beach area where you can just enjoy laying out under the sun while watching surfing to their stuff.

As you emerge from the community to the beach you will also be amazed by how raw this area is (I just hope that this would stay the way it is). The beach is lined up not with coconut trees but with pine trees with the towering mountains of Zambales behind them. I couldn’t help my self but just stare at it for minutes!

 

How To Go To Liw-liwa

From EDSA Take a bus going to Iba Zambales (or anything going past Zambales)
Tell the Conductor to unload you at Bobulan Elementary School in San Felipe, Zambales
Incase they aren’t familiar with the school just alight in their stop for San Felipe
Take a tricycle going to Liw-liwa

Liwliwa Zambales

Where To Stay

Since I was with a friend we opted to stay in a private hut in La Zerena Resort but if you are solo or you and your friends would like to meet new people I highly suggest to stay in The Circle Hostel which is just right across La Zerena or a better alternative is the HideOut Hostel.

Expenses

Caloocan (Victory Liner) – San Felipe – Caloocan         564.00 (282/way)
Accommodation                                                                   600.00 (1200 good for two)
Surf Board Rental (Half Day)                                              400.00
Tricycle Service to Falls                                                      250.00
Falls Entrance                                                                         50.00

Total                                                                                  1,614.00

Food

The most convenient place to get almost everything that you need is at Fely’s Store and Canteen. They have a meal menu mostly Tapsis starting around 75.00, Fruit shakes at about 50.oo and other things that you may need including personal necessities.

liwliwa zambales

Itinerary

Day 1

04:00 ETD Victory Liner Caloocan
09:00 ETA Sitio Liw-liwa, San Felipe, Zambales
09:30 Breakfast
10:00 ETD going to Lubong-Nangoloan Falls
11:30 ETD Back to Sitio Liw-liwa
12:00 Lunch / Free Time
13:30 Beach Bumming/ Surfing
17:30 – 18:00 Sunset
19:00 Dinner
20:00 Onwards Socials/Bonfire

Day 2

07:00 Wakeup Call
07:30 Breakfast
08:30 Beach
10:30 Prep for checkout
11:00 Checkout
11:30 Lunch
12:30 ETD to Caloocan
18:00 ETA Caloocan

liwliwa zambales

Notes:

You can bring your own tent, the beach is huge you can just pitch your tent for free.
There are toilets that you can pay to use.
Bring a garbage bag and bring your trash with you, locals are very particular about cleanliness of the beach
If you opt to stay in a room, call ahead of time and reserve. They get fully booked easily on weekends.
Fruitshakes are aweosme
If you plan to go to the falls ask for the husband of the massage therapist at the resort on La Zerena’s right.

How To Go To Obando Fiesta

Obando,  a town north of Metro Manila in the province of Bulacan. The town s popular for its Fertility Festival, celebrating the Feasts of St. Claire, St. Paschal and Nuestra Señora de Salambao. The Obando Fertility Festival‘s ancient name was Kasilonawan Festival how ever this teerm has not been used for a while now and people now just refer to the event simply as the Obando Fiesta or the more popular Obando Fertility Festival.

The Obando fiesta will be celebrated this year from May 17 – 19, 2017.

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The whole experience will give you goose bumps as the procession culminates with dancing inside he Obando Church.

So how do you get to to Obando?

How To Go To Obando

Via Public Transport 

  • (Option 1) From Monumento take a jeep going to Paco or Obando this will pass through Obando.
  • (Option 2) From Monumento or EDSA take a jeep or bus to Malanday. From Malanday you ride a jeep to Obando.

Notes: It is highly possible that jeeps going to Obando may be highly limited, in this case you may take a jeep to Polo then to Obando. Also Jeeps may cut their trips nearing the town because of traffic so you might need to walk a few hundred meters to the town center.

Tips

  • be sure to come early to avoid the influx of people, there’s also a high chance of the public transport to get through up to the town.
  • The procession usually starts by 9 AM
  • The feast of St. Clare is the when most people come to dance asking for a child.

Obando Town Fiesta

Obando Town Fiesta

Still Got Questions? Leave them on the comment box and we’ll try to answer them the best we can ^_^

Pagudpud Travel Guide: Itinerary and Expenses

The north of Luzon offers a diverse option on how to spend your holidays and one of the best way to lazy around is just bum around the beach, and Saud Beach in Ilocos is the perfect place to do such. However, why not maximize your stay at the northern region of Luzon and explore it’s unique tourist attractions.

Here’s a sample itinerary for you in exploring the Ilocos region in one go.

itininerary ilocos

Download The Ilocos Backpacking Itinerary

Easy Sagada Travel Guide

Sagada, a scenic town nestled up in the mountains of the Cordilleras are dreamed of a lot of people with the only thing holding them back are reasons such as it’s to far, too expensive, they don’t know how to get there, can’t join group tours because of time or simply because they don’t want to be stuck up moving with a bunch of people.

That is why we’ve came up with this Easy Sagada Travel Guide so you can plan your trip fitting your budget and time.

How To Get To Sagada

Step 1: Call Coda Bus Lines (0925-559-2197/ 0929-521-3229)

Coda buses will take you from Quezon City and unload you in Sagada, yes it’s that easy Sagada is just one ride away from Manila.

Call their Quezon City office and reserve your seats, no need to pay just tell them how many you need then reserve it under a name. Just be at the terminal at least an hour to make sure that they won’t give your seats away to chance passengers.

Oh, and on your way home, the bus will most likely to make a stop at the Banaue Rice Terreces view point where you can take photos!

Uhmmm…. yes there is no step 2 😉

Where to Stay in Sagada

If you are a bit adventurous, you can just walk around Sagada and find your room. If you are traveling on a weekday and off peak season you wouldn’t have to worry about not getting a room, you can even find rooms for as low as 250 pesos that are decent. The advantage here is that most of these dirt cheap rooms aren’t mostly found online.

On the other hand, if you are going there during peak season or you just want to be assured that you got a room to stay when you get there,  you might want to reserve your room ahead of time. You can also book here for the best prices

Sagada Hotel

Where to Eat in Sagada

Not many know that aside from being a scenic town, Sagada is aslo considred as a gastronomic destination. Translation? Food Trip baby! Notable establishments are Youghurt House, Lemon House and Sagada Brew. Plan your meals around a 300 peso figure and you’d be comfortable, but if food is not your priority then you’ll save some more! (Note: food in the public market/carinderia is about 60 pesos per serving of one viand w/o rice)

Sagada Food Trip

What to Do In Sagada

The best thing about tourism in Sagada is that it is well organized.

You will get off from the bus within the grounds near St. Mary’s church and from there find your way straight to the tourism office. You’ll need to register and pay the fees for your visit, remember to keep the receipt with you all the time as this will be asked to be presented from time to time whenever you go to spots.

Sagada Tourist Information Center

After settling in your room, find your way to the Sagada Genuine Guides Association (SaGGAss) office where you can book your adventures with a well trained guide.

For tours around Saggada, you can just hire a van for about 500 pesos that can take you around those spots that does not need guides (Lake Danum sunset, Sagada Pottery, Sagada Weaving etc) just make sure to map out your route first. Kiltepan peak can be done by foot (and you’ll find a lot just actually walk from the town center to Kiltepan peak ) or you can just take a jeep near the municipal hall.

Sagada Cave Connection

 

sagada tour

 

Safe Budget

For a solo traveler a rough estimate of about 5,000 pesos would suffice.

Ex.
RT Fare                                     1400
Cave Connection                      600
Hanging Coffins                      200
2 Nights Accomodation         600
Kiltepan Peak                           Free
Sagada Tour                              500
Food                                          1800
Total                                         5100

For A group of 4
RT Fare                                   1400
Cave Connection                    150
Hanging Coffins                      50
2 Nights Accomodation      300
Kiltepan Peak                       Free
Sagada Tour                          125
Food                                    1800
Total                                   3825

 

You may want to note that the price for food did not change (Php 300 x 6 meals). This is because Sagada like I mentioned earlier offers really good food that even foreigners rave about, and you wouldn’t not want to miss how awesome the food is in Sagada!

Again this is just a rough estimate, price may increase or drop depending on the activities that you are wanting to do. For solo seasoned solo travelers, surely you’ll find a way to keep those activity prices down by being friendly right?

There you go, I’m pretty sure that with this guide you’ll find your way soon to Sagada, a place where nature co-exists with man in harmony.

P.S. Will update this post soon with an itinerary

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Got questions? Put them on the comment section, I’ll try my best answer them.

 

 

 

Where To Stay In Pagudpud

One of the main things us backpackers are concerned about is where to stay in places that are too touristy, translation: Too expensive. In our search for a cheap room near Saud beach we were lucky enough to get a good deal not in a fancy hotel but in nice and decent home stay. So while in the area I decided to take photos of the homestay signages that you can contact. I know we are backpackers but just a word of advise, please be considerate when haggling for prices, they are families that are willing to let you in to their homes’ extra room for their livelihood and not some big business just trying to get your money. These homestays are found along the Pagudpud road and are just right across the property near the beach, these are not beach front properties. where to stay in pagudpud   where to stay in pagudpud   where to stay in pagudpud

where to stay in pagudpud   where to stay in pagudpud   where to stay in pagudpud   where to stay in pagudpud   where to stay in pagudpud   where to stay in pagudpud

 

where to stay in pagudpud

 

where to stay in pagudpud

How To Go To Pagudpud

I’m writing this guide just right after dinner upon our arrival here in Pagudpud. I wanted to write this right away because I wanted to share the information as fresh as it can be from our experience

To get to Pagudpud you must bring your self first to Ilocos Norte, The northern most province of the Luzon Island.

  • From Cubao take a bus bound to Loag, Ilocos Norte. Fare is around 700 pesos
  • Upon arriving in Loag navigate going to Lazaro street where most of the Buses and Vans going to Pagudpud are. Lazaro street is in near Jollibee and PLDT.
  • Take a bus to Pagudpud, get off at the crossing and take a tricycle to your resort, cost is around 60 pesos.

Remember to take the buses that has Pagudpud in their signages. If you need to take buses that are Cagayan bound or those who does not have Pagudpud signage make sure to tell the conductor that you are going to Pagudpud and to drop you off at the crossing. From there you can take a tricycle going to your home stay, fare is about 100.