My former colleagues were looking for a small venue to celebrate a baby shower. We thought of a place where we can have enough space for the activity. We also considered privacy and the location of the hotel. So needless to say, we decided to book at Y2 Residence Hotel in Makati.Continue reading “First Time in Y2 Residence Hotel Makati”
Masbate has to be the most underrated travel destination in the Philippines. It is nestled at the center of the Philippine Archipelago, surrounded by Burias and Ticao Pass in the North, San Bernardo Strait to the east, Sibuyan Sea to the West and Visayan Sea to the South. Perfect for those who want to be at one with nature! Here’s the rundown of what to do in the islands of Masbate:Continue reading “A Tourist’s Guide to the Masbate Province’s Unspoilt Islands (and a BONUS!)”
Cebu city or also known as the Queen City of the South is one of my favorite places in the country because I have been in the city for many times. The location is close to my heart because of its rich culture and history, delectable food that is available everywhere, and lots of wonderful places to visit.Continue reading “A Day Tour in Cebu City”
SECOND DAY (SABTANG)
After a chill NORTH BATAN trip, now it’s time to explore the nearby island, SABTANG.
Sabtang, is one of the municipalities of Batanes that is comprised of 6 barangays namely Chavayan, Malakdang, Nakanmuan, Savidug, Sinakan, and Sumnanga.
Since the island is only accessible by a boat ride, we took a tricycle going to Ivana Port from the town of Basco in order for us to discover Sabtang island. It’s roughly 30-minute boat ride going to the town proper of Sabtang and it cost Php 100 per person for one way.
REMEMBER: Don’t forget to pay the environmental fee worth Php 200 per person at Sabtang Tourism Office
TIP: Take the earliest boat ride going to the island to avoid strong waves
This is one of the best parts when visiting Batanes– checking out all the traditional Ivatan stone houses. These shelters serve as shields against strong storms and typhoons hitting the island that is usually happening every year.
This place is most likely the first stop when you are in Sabtang.
MORONG BEACH/NAKABUANG BEACH
Morong beach is only one of the few beaches in Batanes where you are allowed to swim. The waves are also calm and meek during a good weather. The fine and white sand of Morong beach is perfectly made for your sensitive feet, thus you’ll really enjoy the place.
Unfortunately, the weather was not that good when we visited the beach. We instead enjoy the view, the mutual relationship of the wind and the wave, and the sprinkle of the rain brought by the monsoon wind. So it’s advisable to visit Sabtang during summer season.
Chavayan is also a village for stone houses and it’s a place for the Sabtang Weavers Association where local women weave traditional headdresses made of dried palm leaves that are used to protect the Ivatans from sunlight or rain.
Chamantad-Tinyan Viewpoint offers the best view spot in Sabtang where you can see wonderful cliffs and the vast Pacific Ocean. On the area, you can purchase some good local delicacies and products.
FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH (Sidetrip)
Since we already have finished a half-day tour in Sabtang, our tour guide took us for a sidetrip in Fountain of Youth or locally known as Rakuh-a-idi Spring in Mahatao. The design of the mini infinity pool is man-made, but the place will assure you that the water is coming from a natural spring.
You can bring your food and enjoy eating in the hut located near the pool. But don’t forget to bring a garbage bag in case you will have trashes after eating.
When you want to visit this serene and peaceful place, you need to take a trek for about 30 minutes. So be ready with your trekking or comfortable shoes and extra strength for this activity.
Beauty and Batanes (3/3)
Part of my Cebu City day tour was visiting the gorgeously built restaurant located inside Cebu City’s I.T. Park, The Pyramid.
This Louvre Pyramid-inspired building is a Filipino restaurant and wine bar that offers delectable set of local cuisines and tasty wines. The Pyramid opened last March 31, 2017 catering guests from breakfast to dinner.
Since the building is unusual to everyone’s eyes, most especially in the Philippine setup, the Pyramid has already been a part of a checklist to some tourists when visiting Cebu.
The place is a perfect spot for your IG posts and selfies. And just outside the building, a number of tourists and locals are taking photos. On the other hand, as to what I expected, there’s a long queue before you’ll get inside the outlet. Good thing, I went to The Pyramid a little bit earlier and got my seat without waiting in the line outside.
The trip will not be completed without tasting the food offerings of The Pyramid. We decided to order, Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings (Php 190), Hawaiian Pizza (Php 315), Grilled Baby Back Ribs (Php 265), and Oreo Milkshake (Php 145).
Among all the cuisines that we’ve ordered, I really love the grilled baby back ribs. The savory meat just falls off the bone and was cooked to perfection (Actually, it doesn’t need the sauce anymore, the rib itself and the seasoning was spot on). The sweet and spicy chicken wings and the Hawaiian pizza is just okay, nothing special about its seasoning and taste. The oreo milkshake on the other hand is also delicious or I just really love oreo smoothies. Since I’m no alcoholic drinker, I didn’t taste even a sip of wine. So with the food and drink that we’ve ordered, I’ll give it a 3.5/5.
We received all our orders in a favorable time, we didn’t wait for 20-30 minutes just to have our food ready because I’m expecting it that way. While the kitchen team was efficient with their respective tasks, the service crew are a bit preoccupied or extremely busy, maybe because of the number of diners. We asked for our bill thrice but it was not delivered on a timely manner. It took us about 20 minutes just to wait for our bill. And to add up, they are a bit not “welcomey” from the time we enter the outlet until we finished our meals and left the restaurant. Maybe a 3/5 for the overall service.
The overall structure of the building is stunning. My heart is so happy when I saw the exterior of the restaurant, the art side of mine reminds me of how should an object be made perfectly with heart on it. Though it’s a bit of a replica of some well-known tourist spots outside the Philippines, I’m still amazed of the whole look of the restaurant. Interior wise, it’s good too because it has a loft space if you want to dine in an elevated area inside the outlet. I also like the winery spot of the place which makes it more attracting to customers. Seats can cater to couples, friends, or families either inside the pyramid or out. It’s a 4/5 for the look and facilities.
PhP 265 for a grilled baby back ribs is good enough. The restaurant offers just fair prices for their food as I saw it from their menu. I’m expecting higher prices because it seems like the building is selling high-priced cuisines if you will base it on the looks from the exteriors to the interiors, especially when you see the wall of wines. With this, it’s a 3.5/5 then.
I was mesmerized when I first saw The Pyramid from afar. My heart got a sensation of excitement seeing an unusual building in the Philippines (if not mistaken, this is the first pyramid-inspired restaurant in the country). I went in The Pyramid not mainly because of the food, but it’s more on the experience and the feeling of getting close to this beauty of architecture and art overall. The glass walls made me feel that I’m inside the famous Louvre Pyramid in Paris.
So if you want to feel what I felt, The Pyramid is open daily from 10:00 am – 3:00 am at Cebu I.T. Park, Cebu City. The place is good for groups and even to your kids, while walk-ins are highly welcome in the restaurant. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For more info about the outlet, you can check their social media pages, facebook an instagram.
It was November of 2017 when we visited the wonderful province of Batanes. The whole tour was full astonishments and amazements as we discover the place. We barely have 4 days and 3 nights to wander around the province.
Batanes is one of the provinces of the Philippines located at the northernmost part of the country. It is under Cagayan Valley region (Region II) and is the smallest in population and land area.
FIRST DAY (NORTH BATAN TRIP)
When we arrived in Batanes, we didn’t waste our time just to rest. We took advantage of the beautiful weather during that time because in the Philippines, November is a rainy season.
TIP: don’t forget to pay the ecotourism fee worth Php 350 upon arrival at the airport (this will be needed during your trips in Basco)
We immediately went to the lodging house to leave our stuff before starting the trip. My colleague and I stayed at Palangud Inn (Nanay Cita’s Homestay) for Php 350 per night per person.
Tricycle is the main means of transportation in Basco. You can rent a tricycle for the North Batan trip for PhP 1,000 per tricycle that can accommodate 3-4 persons. North Batan trip can possibly be finished in half a day.
TIP: Always bring water and snacks during your trip just in case you’ll get thirsty and hungry along the way
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
Locally known as “Tukon” Chapel or the Mt. Carmel Chapel was opened last May 2008. This chapel is inspired from the traditional stone houses of Ivatans that is made to stand against storms and typhoons as the province is open for such phenomenon.
We didn’t have the opportunity to go inside the church because during that time, the owners are doing some maintenance to enhance the chapel. Nevertheless, the beauty of the outside appearance already speaks of the charming interiors of the church.
Mt. Carmel Chapel is just a walking distance from Basco Pag-Asa Weather Station Complex or known as Tukon Radar Station. This station also served as a lighthouse way back.
A mix of art and homey feel, Fundacion Pacita is a unique boutique hotel located in a hill at Brgy. Chanarian, Tukon, Basco. The hotel offers a breathtaking view of the West Philippine Sea, Pacific Ocean and an astonishing landscape of Batanes.
The place is open to the public and will give you a chance to see the artsy side of the hotel. There are number of artworks inside which vary from different types. Fundacion Pacita also have several projects that give funds to different activities of Ivatan artists and other art events in Batanes.
If you have enough budget for a stay, you can book at Fundacion Pacita to feel more of the place and its distinct style.
IDJANG FORTRESS AND DIPNAYSUPUAN JAPANESE TUNNEL
In Batanes, “Idjang” is a fortress to protect the people from war. This has served as their shield from combat ages ago. There are 4 Idjangs that can be found all throughout Batanes and the most popular is the Savidug Idjang. We saw this triangular-shaped hilltop from afar with lush green grasses and a wonderful view of the sea.
On the other hand, we also visited Dipnaysupuan Japanese Tunnel. This has been a hideout of the Japanese soldiers during the World War II. It is an interconnected tunnel and has five entrances that will lead you to Taytay or Tukon.
TIP: Bring a flashlight if you want to go inside the tunnel
VALUGAN BOULDER BEACH
Scattered stones and pebbles will welcome you when you first step at the Valugan Boulder Beach. This is not the usual beach your are expecting, no fine and white sand as you will compare it to Boracay’s and Palawan’s. You are not allowed to swim because of the strong waves and winds, but the scenery and the sound of the rushing waves are more than enough to leave you astounded.
TIP: Wear comfortable rubber shoes to protect you from stones
VAYANG ROLLING HILLS
Just a few kilometers away from Basco’s poblacion, the Vayang Rolling Hills share one of the most beautiful views of Batanes. It is a perfect chemistry between the green hills and the blue sea horizon that will make you decide to stay in the place for quite a time.
The place has livestocks such as cows and goats that is a part of some Ivatan’s daily living. And more than the view of the place, you will really appreciate how hardworking the locals are.
BASCO LIGHTHOUSE AND NAIDI HILLS
The Basco Lighthouse in one of the 3 lighthouses of the province of Batanes. And the nearest from the main town is the Basco Lighthouse. It is located on top of Naidi Hills and will allow you to see the 360-degree view of the surroundings of the lighthouse. You will more appreciate the place during sunsets because, I must say, the view is more admirable.
And to add an exciting experience while staying in Basco, you can go on biking within the town. You can rent for only Php 25 per hour for bikes with basket and Php 50 per hour for mountain bikes.
TIP: You can rent at Cielo General Merchandise Store just located in the town
Find out more of my Batanes trip on my next blog posts.!
Beauty and Batanes (3/3)