Where to eat in Batanes? 5 restaurants you should try in Basco

Batanes is probably the most beautiful province in the Philippines. Popular among local travelers, this province in the Northernmost part of the country is known for its lush green picturesque scenery and unique stone houses. To make your Batanes trip more memorable, selecting a restaurant to fulfill your gastronomic adventures can be a bit challenging. Here are the my 5 recommended restaurants in Basco, Batanes:

1. Hudzan’s Cafe

First on my list is Hudzan’s Cafe right in the center of Basco, Batanes.

Hudzan's Cafe
Hudzan’s Cafe

Located along Abad St., Batanes’ center of trade, Hudzan’s Cafe is just walking distance from various inns and accommodations in Basco proper. Hudzan’s Cafe is a small al fresco restaurant offering the best cuisine in Basco. They offer more affordable food compared to other restaurants in town.

We tried this simple yet promising restaurant during our second night in Batanes. It was a surprise that Hudzan’s Cafe is jam-packed with guests. We ordered pork sisig (150 Php) and our favorite pancit canton (200 Php).  We had to wait for almost an hour before our food were served. It was not an issue for us as it was an indicator that food at Hudzan’s are freshly cooked. And besides, there were too many guests for a small restaurant like Hudzan’s.

Pancit Canton at Hudzan
Pancit Canton at Hudzan

Jen and I loved Hudzan’s Cafe’s pancit canton! No exaggeration but their pancit canton is the best I’ve ever tasted! I couldn’t even compare it to Max’s restaurant’s which is also our favorite.  At 200 Php, the serving is also generous and is good for 3 persons.  Their sizzling sisig also did not disappoint.  At 150 Php, serving is also generous and is actually good for 3 persons.

We were grateful that our tour guide recommended Hudzan’s Cafe as we loved their food! It was worth the wait!

  • Location: Along Abad St., Baranggay Kayhuvokan, Basco, Batanes
  • Contact Numbers: 0929 1582468 / 0939 748 0152 / 0921 7627186

2. Octagon Bed and Dine

Second on my list is Octagon Bed and Dine. This must visit Batanes restaurant is located along National road and is walking distance from Basco center.

Octagon Bed and Dine Restaurant Batanes
Octagon Bed and Dine Restaurant Batanes

We visited Octagon Bed and Dine during our third night in Batanes. This al fresco restaurant offers overlooking of the Pacific ocean. You get to enjoy fresh air and soothing sea breeze while dining here.

Carbonara, Calamarers and Paco Salad
Carbonara, Calamarers and Paco Salad

We ordered carbonara (220 Php), paco salad (200 Php) and calamares (300 Php). We loved their mouthwatering carbonara! The bacon bits were generously drizzled over the cheessy and creamy white sauce. The generous serving made us regret ordering more dishes. Nonetheless, their calamares and paco salad were also good!

  • Location: Disong Brgy. Kaychanarianan Basco,Batanes
  • Contact Number: (078) 986 7643

3. Vunong Dinette at Jessica’s Place

If there is a restaurant to try local Batanes dishes, Vunong Dinette at Jessica’s Place is the best restaurant to visit in Batanes.

Lunch at Vunong
Lunch at Vunong

We visited this restaurant as part of the complimentary lunch courtesy of Bisumi Travel & Tours. Vunong Dinette at Jessica’s Place was the very first restaurant we have tried in Batanes as it was the fist stop of our day 1 tour in the province.

I must admit that I am not a food adventurer and I rarely try new dishes during my travels. Since the lunch is free and is part of the itinerary, I had no choice but to try whatever is served to us. Surprising I enjoyed Ivatan food. The soup was good along with the turmeric rice and main dish wrapped in leaves.  For desert, they served paco salad with a yummy vinegrete-like sauce which Jen really loved.

4. Fundacion Pacita’s Cafe du Tukon

This high-end restaurant in Batanes is located in Baranggay Chanarian, Tukon, Batanes.

You get to see the amazing and relaxing lush green views when dining at Cafe du Tukon. The views are spectacular and surreal. The high-end ambiance and feel inside Cafe du Tukon make it stand out among other restaurants in Batanes.

Cafe du Tukon is Fundacion Pacita’s restaurant. We visited this beautiful food place during our day 1 tour in Batanes. Since it was merienda time, instead of going straight to Fundacion Pacita, we had a quick snack in Cafe du Tukon. We initially ordered the food we wanted but were unavailable.

Grilled Cheese Panini
Grilled Cheese Panini

We ordered Grilled Cheese Panini (285 Php) and Rich Chocolate Cake (175 Php) .  Grilled Cheese Paninini is a home baked pain au lait with cheddar cheese and mozarella cheese served with honey and wakay shoestring fries. I just find the serving a bit less for its price. Nonetheless, it was good.

I will definitely return to Cafe du Tukon to try their pasta. Food on their menu maybe a bit pricey if you are a budget traveller but I tell you, dining in a restaurant with breathtaking views is one of a kind experience!

  • Location: Fundacion Pacita, Brgy. Chanarian, Tukon, Basco, Batanes
  • Contact Numbers: 0939-9016353 / 0917-8559364

5. Amboy’s Hometel

Last on my list is Amboy’s Hometel’s breakfast.  Apart from being one of Batanes’ best accommodations, Amboy’s Hometel has its very own restaurant offering various Filipino dishes.

              Related Blog Post: Where to Stay in Batanes? Amboy’s Hometel

Buffet Breakfast at Ambioy's Hometel's Restaurant
Buffet Breakfast at Ambioy’s Hometel’s Restaurant

We stayed at Amboy’s Hometel during our 1st night in Batanes.  I am including Amboy’s Hometel’s restaurant as we enjoyed their complimentary breakfast buffet.  We were served rice, arroz caldo, eggplant, longganisa, egg, coffee and fruits.

Here’s a video Amboy’s Hometel’s restaurant.

  • Location: Brgy. Chanarian, Basco, Batanes
  • Contact Number: 09178717361 / 09209103494


How to get to Bantayan Island from Manila or Cebu City + Travel Tips, Bus and Ferry Schedule

Kota Beach, Bantayan Island

Bantayan Island is one among the countless beautiful islands in the Philippines.  This must visit Philippine tourist destination is situated in the Visayan sea and is in the West part of the Northern end of Cebu. Just like Boracay, Bantayan island boasts its fine white sand beaches.

Kota Beach, Bantayan Island
Kota Beach, Bantayan Island

How to get to Bantayan Island From Manila

Here’s a short video on how to get to Bantayan Island:

1. Manila Airport to Cebu Airport

Fly from Manila to Cebu. Take a flight from Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Cebu’s Mactan International Airport. Travel time is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

2. Cebu Airport to Cebu North Bus Terminal

In Mactan International Airport, hail a taxi cab going to Cebu North Bus Terminal. Travel time is approximately 1 hour and fare is approximately 150 Php.

3. Cebu North Bus Terminal to Hagnaya Port

Bantayan direct bus
Bantayan direct bus

In Cebu North Bus Terminal, take a RORO bus direct to Bantayan Island. These buses will bring you to Bantayan Island via Hagnaya Port. Travel time from Cebu North Bus Terminal to Hagnaya Port is approximately 3 hours. Fare is 225 Php.

Bus trip schedule from Cebu North Bus Terminal to Hagnaya Port

Ceres Liner cater Bantayan direct trips. For the bus trip schedule please refer to “Bus trip to Hagnaya Port” section of the table below.

Bus trip to Hagnaya Port Ferry Departure
(Hagnaya Port to Bantayan Island)
1st Trip 11:45 PM 4:00 AM
2nd Trip 12:15 AM 4:00 AM
3rd Trip 3:00 AM 7:30 AM
4th Trip 6:00 AM 10:30 AM
5th Trip 8:00 AM 12:30 PM
6th Trip 10:00 AM 2:30 PM
Last Trip 12:00 PM 4:30 PM

4. Hagnaya Port to Santa Fe Port, Bantayan Island

Super Shuttle Ferry to Bantayan Island
Super Shuttle Ferry to Bantayan Island

In Hagnaya Port, bus passengers are asked to get off the bus, buy ferry ticket and pay for the terminal me. You may leave your luggage or backpack in the bus while buying your ferry ticket and paying for the terminal fee.

The bus will onboard the ferry first. Once the bus has onboarded, passengers are asked to onboard the ferry.

  • Ferry Ticket – 180 Php
  • Terminal Fee – 20 Php

Super Shuttle Ferry Schedule (Departure time in Hagnaya Port)

For the ferry schedule, refer to “Ferry Departure (Hagnaya Port to Bantayan Island)” section of the table below:

Bus trip to Hagnaya Port Ferry Departure
(Hagnaya Port to Bantayan Island)
1st Trip 11:45 PM 4:00 AM
2nd Trip 12:15 AM 4:00 AM
3rd Trip 3:00 AM 7:30 AM
4th Trip 6:00 AM 10:30 AM
5th Trip 8:00 AM 12:30 PM
6th Trip 10:00 AM 2:30 PM
Last Trip 12:00 PM 4:30 PM

Ferry travel time from Hagnaya Port to Santa Fe Port in Bantayan island is approximately 1 hour.

Sante Fe Port Bantayan Island Cebu
Sante Fe Port Bantayan Island Cebu

The ferry will dock to Santa Fe Port. The bus will offboard the ferry first. After the bus has offboarded, passengers are asked to ride the bus.

Just inform the bus driver and fare collector to drop you at Bantayan Tourism office which is few meters away from the port. From there, go inside the tourism office and pay 30 Php for the environmental fee.

Travel Tips:

  • Carefully plan your trip going to Bantayan Island. The total travel time from Cebu’s Mactan International Airport to Hagnaya Port is approximately 4 hours. Last trip from Hagnaya Port to Bantayan Island is at 4:30 PM. Thus, you should be in Mactan International Airport earlier than 12:00 PM to catch the last Ferry trip to Bantayan Island.


  • If you are coming from Manila, the total travel time to Bantayan Island could take up to 8 hours. That includes the waiting time in airport and terminals. If you are not pressed of time, you can spend your first day in Cebu City instead and travel to Bantayan Island the next day.


  • There are two types of taxis in Mactan International Airport. The yellow ones are airport taxis and the white ones are public taxis. Yellow taxis are more expensive.


  • In Cebu North Bus terminal, they charge 10 Pesos for person upon entry in terminal. We assumed that these are terminal fee.


  • The 3-hour bus ride from Cebu North Bus Terminal to Hagnaya port has 2 stopovers where passengers can take quick meals or have a toilet break. If you are a smoker, the stopovers have smoking area.


Where to Stay in Bantayan Island

Budget Beach Resort

Beach Placid
Beach Placid Beach Resort

Midrange to High-End Beach Resort

Anika Island Resort
Anika Island Resort


View from the beachfront villa
Hoyohoy Villas Resort









Philippine Holidays 2018 – Regular, Special Non Working & Additional Special Non Working Holidays

2018 Philippine Holidays

2018 is indeed a Happy New Year due to numerous public holidays and long weekends. There are 10 regular holidays and 5 of which fall on either Monday or Friday. For special non-working and additional non-working holidays, there are 9 and 4 of which fall on Monday and Friday.

2018 Philippine Holidays

Complete list of Philippine Holidays 2018

Regular Holidays

  • January
    • January 1, 2018 (Monday) – New Year’s Day
  • February
    • No regular holiday
  •  March
    • March 29, 2018 (Thursday) – Maundy Thursday
    • March 30, 2018 (Friday) – Good Friday
  • April
    • April 9, 2018 (Monday) – Araw ng Kagitingan
  • May
    • May 1, 2018 (Tuesday) – Labor Day
  • June
    • June 12, 2018 (Tuesday) – Independence Day
  • July
    • No regular holiday
  • August
    • August 27, 2018 (Monday) – National Heroes Day
  • September
    • No regular holiday
  • October
    • No regular holiday
  • November
    • November 30, 2018 (Friday) – Bonifacio Day
  • December
    • December 25, 2018 (Tuesday) – Christmas Day
    • December 30, 2018 (Sunday) – Rizal Day

Special Non-Working Days

  • January
    • No special non-working day
  • February
    • February 16, 2018 (Friday) – Chinese New Year
    • February 25, 2018 (Sunday) – EDSA Revolution Anniversary
  • March
    • March 31, 2018 (Saturday) – Black Saturday
  • April
    • No special non-working day
  • May
    • No special non-working day
  • June
    • No special non-working day
  • July
    • No special non-working day
  • August
    • August 21, 2018 (Tuesday) – Ninoy Aquino Day
  • September
    • No special non-working day
  • October
    • No special non-working day
  • November
    • November 1, 2018 (Thursday) – All Saints’ Day
  • December
    • December 31, 2018 (Monday) – Last day of the year

Additional Special Non-Working Days

  • November 2, 2018 (Friday) – All Souls’ Day
  • December 24, 2018 (Monday) – Christmas Eve

With all these holidays and long weekends, you better plan your travels this early. Buy your plane tickets, book your hotels and cross out items in your 2018 travel bucket list!

Note that above list of 2018 Philippine Holidays is in line with Republic Act (RA) Number 9492 dated July 24, 2007 amended Section 26, Chapter 7, Book I of Executive Order (EO) Number 292, also known as the Administrative Code of 1987. For reference please visit 2018 Philippine Holidays Official Gazette.



How to get to Siquijor from Manila, Dumaguete, Bacolod or Iloilo

Siquijor baywalk boulevard

Being an archipelago, The Philippines is composed of 1707 beautiful islands. One of which is the breathtaking island of Siquijor. If you are planning to travel to Siquijor, note that there are no direct plane flight to the island.  Here are the directions on how to get to to the  island if you are coming from Manila, Dumaguete, Bacolod or Iloilo:

Siquijor baywalk boulevard
Siquijor Boulevard

How to get to Siquijor Island from Manila or Dumaguete 

Manila to Dumaguete

Geographically, the nearest island to Siquijor is Dumaguete. Book a flight from NAIA (Manila Airport) to Dumaguete. Flight duration is approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Dumaguete Airport to Dumaguete Port

From Dumaguete airport, ride a tricycle or a motorbike (habal-habal) going to Dumaguete Port. Note that there are no standard tariff rates for tricycles in Dumaguete. Make sure to ask the driver first how much would be the fare from the airport to the port. In our case, we paid 120 Pesos to the tricycle driver. Travel time from Dumaguete airport to port is approximately 20 minutes.

Dumaguete Port to Siquijor

In Dumaguete port, there are a number of ferries, fast crafts and outriggers going to Siquijor. Travel time is 45 minutes to 2 hours.  Oceanjet fast craft is the fastest ferry from Dumaguete to Siquijor. If you love slow travel, ride large cargo ferries or boats.

Tip: If you have motion sickness, avoid smaller ferries or boats as the sea can be rough.

Dumaguete to Siquijor Ferries

Note that the below ferry schedules and fares are based on what we have gathered in Dumaguete port. In our case, we embarked in GL Express Ferry at 8:30 AM and arrived in Siquijor at 9:00 AM.


Oceanjet Dumaguete Siquijor

A video posted by Ed Puno (@onearmedwanderer) on


Travel time 45 minutes

Oceanjet Schedule (Departure from Dumaguete)

  • 12:30 PM
  • 8:30 PM

Oceanject Fare

  • OpenAir/Tourist Class 210 Php
  • Business Class 360 Php

Montenegro Lines (Large Cargo Ferry)

Montenegro Lines Dumaguete - Siquijor trip
Montenegro Lines Dumaguete – Siquijor trip

Travel time 1 hr 30 mins

Montenegro Lines Schedule (Departure from Dumaguete)

  • 7:00 AM
  • 10:30 AM
  • 2:00 PM

Montenegro Lines Fare (Dumaguete to Siquijor, Siquijor)

  • Regular fare 130 Php
  • Student fare 111 Php
  • Senior Citizen fare 93 Php

Montenegro Lines Fare (Dumaguete to Larena, Siquijor)

  • Regular fare 170 php
  • Student fare 145 php
  • Senior citizen fate 121 Php

Aleson Shipping Lines  (Large Cargo Ferry)

Travel time 1 hour and 30 mins

Aleson Schedule (Departure from Dumaguete)

  • 8:30am
  • 10:30am
  • 3:30pm
  • 6:00pm

Aleson Shipping Lines Fare

  • Regular 120 Php
  • Student 120 Php
  • Seniot citizen 120 Php
  • Minor 60 Php

GL Express Ferry

Travel time 1 hr

GL Express Ferry Schedule (Departure from Dumaguete)

  • 8:00 AM
  • 4:00 PM

GL Express 2 Fast Ferry

Travel time 50 mins

GL Express Fast Ferry Schedule (Departure from Dumaguete)

  • 10:00 AM
  • 4:00 PM

Jay Lann (Open Air)

Travel time 1 hour and 15 mins.

Jay Lann Schedule (Departure from Dumaguete)

  • 5:45 AM
  • 12:00 PM

Jay Lann Boat

Trave time 1 hour and 45 mins.

Jay Lann Boat Schedule (Departure from Dumaguete)

  • 1:45 PM

 Jaziel (Outrigger)

Jaziel Schedule (Departure from Dumaguete)

  • 10:00 AM
  • 2:15 PM

How to get to Siguijor Island from Iloilo or Bacolod

If you are coming from Iloilo, you will have to pass Bacolod and Dumaguete to reach Siquijor.

Iloilo City to Iloilo port

Weesam Express Iloilo Bacolod route
Weesam Express Iloilo Bacolod route

From Iloilo City, take a taxi to Iloilo river wharf. From there, ride a ferry going to Bacolod. For ferry lines, schedules and fares from Iloilo to Bacolod, read How to get to Bacolod from Iloilo.

Bacolod port to Ceres Bus Terminal

In Bacolod port, ride a jeepney bound to Silay City. Just inform the driver to drop you off the Ceres Bus terminal. Note that there ate two Ceres terminals in Bacolod, Ceres North and South. The former is nearer to the Bacolod port.

From Ceres bus terminal, take a bus bound to Dumaguete. Travel time is 6 to 7 hours. Take the air-conditioned buses as these are faster compared to the ordinary ones.  

Once you reach Dumaguete City,  take a tricycle or habal-habal to Dumaguete port. Please see Dumaguete Port to Siquijor section in the first part of this article for the completed directions.

Related: Cheapest Siquijor tour package

Book an affordable Siquijor resort/accommodation HERE.

3 myths about solo travelers and solo traveling

Do you know someone who travels solo?  Now is the time to debunk the three most common myths about solo travelers and solo traveling:

1. Solo travelers travel for soul searching

I am placing this on top of my list as people think that solo travelers are lost souls that need to find themselves by traveling alone. This may be true for first time solo travelers, but not for people who have traveled alone a couple times. In fact, solo travelers have already found their passion – to travel and explore.

If you know someone who often travel solo, please stop asking them if they will go on a soul searching on their next trip. 🙂

Bongao Peak, Tawi-Tawi
Bongao Peak, Tawi-Tawi

2. Solo travelers are rich and solo traveling is expensive

People often think that traveling is a luxury that only those who are financially blessed can afford. Perhaps, this is due to us being exposed to the media promoting luxury travels.  Unfortunately, budget travel destinations are not featured in TV adverts, magazines and billboards. This leave people clueless about the idea “budget travelling”.

People usually think that solo travelers are rich. Traveling solo is expensive is definitely a myth! Traveling definitely require money but solo travelers know how to budget and save as much as they can before and during traveling.

People always ask me where I get the money for travel.  Except for the financially free, like you, I also work for money. I have a 9 to 5 file and rank job and is only free during weekends. Since I started solo traveling in 2015, I learned to be more frugal. I rarely buy clothes and promised myself not to buy expensive perfumes and gadgets (these were my guilty pleasures way back).  I was able to change my mindset and little by little get used to a simpler and frugal lifestyle. Every time I feel discomfort, I always think of my next solo trip as my motivation. Compared to material possessions, the new travel experiences and their memories last anyways.

If you can’t afford staying in a 5 star beach resort, there will always be an alternative. During my Davao trip, since an overnight stay at Pearl Farm beach resort is way out of my budget. I chose to visit Gumasa in Sarangani instead. It was a long travel from Davao but visiting Gumasa which is dubbed as the little Boracay of Mindanao was worth it!

3. Solo travelers and Solo traveling is sad and boring

People think that solo travelers are sad people and solo traveling is boring. Traveling with your family or friends is fun but there are always restrictions when you go on a trip with a group. Solo travelers enjoy the freedom of decision making. When traveling alone, you are your own guide, you travel at your own pace and you decide on your itinerary. These things make traveling more fun and exciting!

Nothing beats the excitement and adventure of traveling solo in an unfamiliar place where no one knows you. You get to discover the place you are visiting, learn their culture and more importantly you get to know the locals and gain new friends. There is one common thing in all places I’ve traveled solo, locals usually get surprised and upon realizing that I was traveling alone. Being a solo traveler, people get curious at you and you end up having a good conversation with a stranger and a possible lifelong friend.

During my Vigan trip, I was walking alone in the famous Calle Crisologo when a stranger suddenly approached me. He along with his friends invited me for a lunch. While inside the van to Lake Sebu in South Cotabato, I befriended locals right before setting my foot in Lake Sebu. While on the bus to Ifugao, I befriended a Spanish solo traveler and became my Ifugao travel buddy. When I travelled to Tawi-Tawi, I gained friends from the military which also served as our security escort while touring the province.

Spent the entire day hiking and exploring #banaue with this beautiful and very nice lady from Spain.

A photo posted by Ed Puno (@onearmedwanderer) on

To conclude, solo traveling is not for everyone but I would highly recommend it. The next time you see a solo traveler, be happy for that person as he is for sure enjoying and having a time of his life.

2GO Travel Experience, Batangas Port to Caticlan Jetty Port Boracay

2go to boracay

Since I wanted to experience traveling on a vessel, I considered taking 2GO Travel instead of a plane to my 5-day Western Visayas adventure.  As usual, I didn’t had any concrete plans on my adventure. All I wanted was to visit and explore Iloilo City, Roxas City and Boracay.  Perhaps, also visit Antique and Aklan if I’ll have extra time.  I checked the travel 2GO Travel website and the fastest way to go to Western Visayas is via Batangas Port to Caticlan Port in Aklan. This route is popular to tourists visiting Boracay.

Tip: Book your discounted Boracay hotel or accommodation HERE.

2GO Travel Time

Manila Port to Iloilo City –  20 hours
Batangas Port to Roxas City – 12 hours
Batangas Port to Caticlan, Aklan  (Boracay) – 10 hours

Related Blog Posts:

Henann Prime Beach Resort at Station 1 Boracay – Premier Room Review

7 Reasons why Hennan Prime Beach Resort is a perfect hotel for your Boracay Trip

2GO Travel website has an online booking facility which makes booking easier and faster. Since I wanted to avail a PWD discount, I opted to buy my ticket on a 2GO outlet.

2GO kiosk at Robinson’s Forum, Mandaluyong City. At a discounted price, I paid 1,074 Php for a tourist class accommodation of Batangas to Caticlan trip. The regular rate of Batangas Port to Caticlan is at 1,200+ Php.

The trip was supposedly at 9 PM the same day I bought the ticket. An hour after my ticket purchase, I received an SMS from 2GO that the trip is cancelled. I had to return to the kiosk and had my trip rescheduled at 10 AM the next day.

Since I was very excited, I arrived at Batangas Terminal II way too early than the vessels’ scheduled departure.

batangas pier terminal 2
Didn’t know that there are also other shipping lines in the port. I met a group of tourists taking a vessel heading to Sibuyan Island.

batangas port terminal fee
After strolling outside the terminal. I decided to come inside the waiting area. Well, the terminal fee of  30 Php is much cheaper than NAIA’s. There are various food stalls inside the 2-storey  air conditioned terminal. Overall, the area is well maintained.

batangas port terminal waiting area
My backpack is my travel buddy.

2GO Vessel SAP5 Voy 242
At 8:30 AM – an hour and a half before the departure, someone from 2GO announced that travelers can now board in the vessel. Before boarding, 2GO security officials will ask passengers to fall in line, drop their baggage and stay away for at least a meter from the baggages.  It felt weird until I saw sniffing dogs checking each and every baggage.

As we enter the vessel, we were greeted by the very accommodating and friendly 2GO staff. I should say that 2GO knows what customer service is. I was even accompanied by a 2GO staff to my assigned area.

2GO Travel Accommodations – Batangas to Caticlan (Boracay) Trip

For this vessel (SAP5 Voy 242), there are only 2 types of accommodations, the Tourist Class and the Value Class.

Tourist Class Accommodation 
The area is fully air conditioned. In fact, it is very cold in the area. Beds do not have linens, there is a linen station in the area where you can claim your linens. Bunk beds in tourist class accommodation also offer a bit more privacy than that of Value Class.

2go tourist class accommodation to boracay
Luckily, I was assigned on the lower deck. I bet it would be very uncomfortable if you travel alone and will take the upper deck.

2go accommodation tv
My bed is also perfectly situated in the corner. It is near the TV too!

life vests 2go safe travel
While waiting for the 10:00 AM departure, a very informative video clip about safety precautions and what to do during emergencies are shown in the TV. I was surprised that there are actually 3 kinds of life vests provided in each bed in the vessel!

backpacker bed 2go

Value Class Accommodation
This is an open air area where travelers can enjoy the wind and smell of the sea. I do not recommend staying in Value class if you are travelling on a daytime as it may get hot in this place when there’s no wind during noon. However, this is a perfect accommodation if you are after the fresh sea air.

cheap 2go accommodation to boracay
Bunk beds are less private. Unlike with Tourist class’, beds do not have partition.

value class accommodation 2go vessel

There is an air conditioned lobby where travelers can relax during the trip. Also located in the lobby is a mini store and a concierge.
lobby 2go vessel boracay

I had my lunch and snack at Horizon Cafe and Restaurant. Too bad that I was not able to take photos of the cafe. My lunch costed 190 Php (3pcs. Pork Barbecue, mixed veggies, rice and Mango shake) and 70 Php for snacks (malagkit with sago and soda in can).
2go horizon cafe and restaurant

Island Fiesta Grill is my favorite spot in the vessel. It has a viewing deck where travelers can enjoy the beauty of sea while the ship is cruising. There is a mini bar for those who love to drink and socialize with other travels. Also, this is the only spot where smoking is allowed.
viewing deck 2go travel

Beautiful view of the sea
view from 2go viewing deck

Island Fiesta transforms into a party place when the sun sets.
pary deck 2go ship

The not so party people travelers (that includes me! lol) watching the party people dance and enjoy. It felt like I’m in Boracay already as everyone in the viewing deck was partying.
island fiesta pary 2go travel

The vessel anchored for a stopover at Odiongan, Romblon at around 6:00 PM and left for Caticlan after 45 minutes. We were suppose to arrive at Caticlan Jetty port at around 8:00 PM, exactly 10 hours of travel from Batangas port.  However, there was a delay as there was a vessel congestion in Caticlan jetty port. We arrived at 9:30 PM instead.

If you are going to Boracay or anywhere in Western Visayas, and you want adventure, I highly recommend taking 2GO Travel. It is definitely cheaper and a good alternative to flying. The travel is obviously longer than taking a plane but cruising in the sea, meeting new friends and experiencing 2GO’s superb customer service is definitely worth the 10-hour extraordinary journey.

Christmas Attraction: Policarpio Street In Mandaluyong City

policarpio street

It was Friday evening at work and I was really looking forward for the weekend. As I checked MMDA traffic app, it was no surprise that there was a heavy traffic along EDSA.  Since I did not want to get stuck in traffic on my way home, I decided to kill time and thought of a nearby place where I could wander . Since I work in Mandaluyong area and I’ve read about the festival of Christmas lights in Policarpio street, I hurriedly googled where exactly the place is. I asked a friend/office mate if he wants to see Policarpio street, he said yes and we immediately left to visit the place.

Policarpio Street, Mandaluyong City Location Map

How to get to Policarpio Street
Since it was our first time to visit Policarpio street, we Google map where exactly the place is. We took a Kalentong bound jeepney ride from MRT Boni southbound station. Luckily, the jeepney dropped us in the Policarpio corner Primo Cruz.

pasko sa policarpio, mandaluyong city
Policarpio street in Barangay Zuniga, Mandaluyong City is known for its houses’ yearly display of Christmas lights and decorations. It’s truly “Pasko Pasko Sa Policarpio!”

home with christmas lights in policarpio
This home is also known as the “House of Santa Claus” for its wide array of Santa decors.

Christmas themed home at policarpio st., mandaluyong city
Everyone wants to have their photo taken in this  home.

christmas santa claus display
Closer look at the Santas in this beautiful home.

commercial establishment in policarpio street
Didn’t know that there is a commercial establishment in Policarpio Street.

futuristic home policarpio street
This modern house offers sightseers a futuristic feel.

home covered with christmas lights
This home has the most impressive display of Christmas lights.

belen christmas policarpio
A house with huge Belen.

Food Trip at Policarpio Street
If you want to eat something while seeing the grand display of Christmas lights and decors, there are numerous food stalls in Policarpio street. Most of which offer Pinoy street foods.

friend policarpio street
A good friend/officemate Ariel and the food stalls in Policarpio

food stall policarpio in mandaluyong
More food stalls in Policarpio Street

isaw and hotdog
Hotdogs and Isaw.

I must admit that I’m not really a fan of Christmas lights but seeing Policarpio street’s festival of lights was amazing. I was not surprised why this street has become one of Mandaluyong’s tourist attraction every Christmas season. Thanks to the homeowners of Policarpio for opening their street to the public and showcasing grand display of Christmas lights and decors.

Pasig River Ferry Ride

Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reopened the Pasig River Ferry service last April 11, 2014. Considering one of the Philippine government’s major problems-heavy traffic in Metro Manila, reopening of this once abandoned and forgotten ferry service aims to provide commuters an alternative means of transportation.

pasig river ferry

MMDA Pasig River Ferry Personnel

Riding the Pasig River Ferry and seeing the Pasig River on a different perspective is one item on my bucket list for 2015. It feels great that that finally I’ll be experiencing what it’s like traveling the city on a boat!

Pasig River Ferry Stations

Pinagbuhatan, Pasig

San Joaquin, Pasig

Guadalupe, Makati

Hulo, Mandaluyong

Valenzuela, Makati

Lambingan, Manila

Sta.Ana, Manila

P.U.P., Manila

Lawton, Ermita, Manila

Escolta, Manila

Plaza Mexico, Intramuros, Manila

Being the nearest station from EDSA, I started my Pasig River ferry experience in Guadalupe station.

guadalupe ferry station in makati

Facade of  Guadalupe ferry station

Trip Schedule

I arrived at station at around 12:00 PM and the clerk informed me that the next trip going to Intramuros, Manila is at 12:30 PM. Unfortunately, there is no information on the exact time ferries arrive in the stations. I assume that there is an interval of at least an hour to an hour and a half  between trips. First trip starts at 6:00 AM and the last trip is at 4:15 PM.


Fares range from 30 Php to 95 Php. Unless you take a jeepney, riding a ferry is definitely cheaper (and faster!) than taxis, Uber and Grabcar.

fare matrix guadalupe bus ferry station

Pasig River Ferry Fare Matrix at Guadalupe ferry Station

Guadalupe to Plaza Miranda in Intramuros Manila costs 50 Php

Guadalupe Ferry Station

The station itself is decent but can only accommodate a small number of waiting passengers. There is a TV and electric fans in the station.

While waiting for the ferry, I was expecting that there would be a number of passengers arriving in the station. I felt a bit saddened that only few people patronize the Pasig River Ferry service.

Inside Guadalupe ferry station

mmda ferry boat ride

There are only seven of us in this 20-sitter ferry.

The trip started at exactly 12:30 PM. I felt like a kid again for being too excited on this ferry ride.

guadalupe pasig river billboards

MMDA ferry approaching Guadalupe station. I just realized that MMDA’s ferries are not identical. I was riding in a smaller white ferry. 
guadalupe bridge view from ferry
Guadalupe bridge and the billboards
There is indeed no heavy traffic in Pasig River. Well, except for water lilies that sometimes blocks the way. 
our lady of the abandoned parish mandaluyong
Our Lady of the Abandond Parish
hulo pasig river ferry station
Hulo Ferry Station

Factory along Hulo

Simply shows how progressive Manila is and…

pasig river kids swimming
shows that there are still many struggling for a better life. Kids do not deserve this.
lambingan pasig ferry station
Lambingan Ferry Station

pasig ferry sta.ana station
Sta. Ana Ferry Station
It’s such a relief to see that there are still green areas along Pasig River and..
factory in pasig river
at the same time saddening to see countless factories along the river.

 pup ferry station mmda

PUP Ferry Station

coastguard malacanang palace

Few minutes after leaving the PUP ferry station, PSGs and coastguards escorted the ferry. This is to ensure the safety of the Malacanang Palace. When we are approaching the palace, the ferry slows down to give respect to the home of the highest ranking government official of the country.

I was really amazed by the beauty of Malacanang. Unfortunately, due to security reasons, passengers are prohibited from taking photos and videos of the beautiful palace.

Quezon Bridge

Another factory

escolta old building pasig river

Escolta, Manila
post office philippines pasig river
Manila post office

MMDA personnel both in the station and the ferry are very kind and welcoming. They are well trained and they know what customer service is.
After 40 minutes, the ferry arrived at Plaza Mexico, the last station of the Pasig River Ferry service.
plaza mexico station in intramuros

Plaza Mexico, Intramuros

I enjoyed the ferry ride. I was actually expecting to see tons of garbage and not to mention experience a foul-smelling river. Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission’s (PRRC) continuous effort in rehabilitating the river definitely contributed to the waste reduction of the river. Also, I was surprised that the smell of the river is tolerable.

I’m no environmentalist, but experiencing the Pasig River Ferry ride and seeing the river and its surroundings was an eye opener. The ferry ride is not just about being an alternative mode of transportation, it is also a wake up call that we are all responsible in taking good care of the environment.

Banaue Tour Guide and One Day Tour Itinerary

All I wanted was to see the famous Banaue Rice terraces and the beautiful Batad Rice Terraces. I packed my backpack and headed to Ohayami Bus station in Manila without any concrete plans on my Banaue adventure.

I was lucky enough that I was seated next to a beautiful backpacker from Spain. Like me, she did not have any lodge/hotel bookings yet and do not have any contacts in Banaue. We then agreed to travel Banaue together.

When we arrived in Banaue, everyone in the bus had tour services waiting from them in the bus station. Since Jana and I didn’t have any reservations, we just decided to walk to the town proper.  We were grateful that Martin, a local tricycle driver/tour guide approached us and offered to tour us around Banaue.

One Day Banaue Tour Itinerary 
Price: 800 Pesos
Tricycle Service and tour guide to the following destinations:
Batad Rice Terraces
Tappiya Falls
Bangaan Rice Terraces Viewing Area
Banaue View Deck
Native Village

6:50 AM – We left Banaue Proper
7:00 AM – Martin showed us a mini rice terraces

mini rice terraces

7:40 AM – We arrived at Batad Junction and started trekking to Batad Saddle and Batad Rice Terraces view deck
8:10 AM – We arrived at Batad Rice Terraces view deck

A short video of Batad Rice Terraces


The amphitheater-like terraces

8:30 AM – We started trekking from the view deck to Tappiya Falls




trekkers in batad
Trekkers exploring the beauty of Batad


Simply beautiful


10:00 AM – We arrived at Tappiya Falls which is literally hiding behind the mountain of Batad Rice Terraces. Couldn’t believe that I was able to survive trekking entire stretch of the Batad Rice Terraces.

I was really amazed by the clear waters of Tappiya falls

10:30 AM – We left Tappiya falls and tekked back to Batad Rice Terraces Viewing Deck

 One of the resting place from a very challenging uphill trek from Tappiya falls


A tourist with her lovely puppy on their way to Tappiya falls


Our tour guide Martin, me and Janna.. We were all exhausted!

1:00 PM  -After 2 and a half hour trek, we finally arrived at the Batad Rice Terraces view deck

A video of Jana and I resting after a tirig trek from Tappiya Falls

1:30 PM – We left Batad Rice Terraces view deck and trekked back to Batad Saddle and Junction
2:30 PM – We arrived at Batad Junction
3:00 PM – Martin brought us to Bangaan Rice Terraces

Bangaan Rice Terraces

3:15 PM – We left Bangaan Rice Terraces and headed back to Banaue Proper
4:00 PM – We arrived at Banaue Proper, BanaueView Deck

Banaue Rice Terraces View Deck

old ifugao people waiting for tourists
Photo opportunity with the locals

A short video of me and Jana in the viewing deck

The postcard perfect view of the Banaue Rice Terraces
viewing deck in banaue
beautiful rice terraces of banaue
another view of the terraces

4:20 PM – We left the Banaue Rice Terraces View deck
4:40 PM – Arrived at the Native Village

Native Village is a mini park showcasing Ifugao culture. Few meters away from the village is Native Village Inn. A one of a kid accommodation where guests get to experience sleeping in a Nipa Hut. I would definitely check-in here when I visit Banaue again.

   View of Banaue Rice Terraces from Native Village Inn
There are Nipa Huts in the village showcasing the traditional Ifugao home and furnitures
 Martin shows Jana how this native Filipino instrument is played
learning ifugao culture
Martin Explains Ifugao culture
nipa hut
    Accommodation at Native Village Inn


beautiful flower in native village
Lovely flowers are everywhere in the village
banaue orchid


backpacking in banaue
    Me and my Banaue travel buddy – Jana


carvings in nipa hut
  Carving beside the door of a Nipa Hut



native village banaue
Janna heading back to the tricycle
5:30 PM – We returned to the lodge/hotel
Martin is not Banaue tourism office accredited service/guide but we opted to avail his offer as it is cheaper and more convenient compared to joining a package tour. We were very lucky that Martin is very accommodating, honest and kind.

Batad Rice Terraces in Banaue, Ifugao, Philippines

Batad Rice Terraces is one among the five terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras inscribed in the UNESCO World heritage. Built around 2,000 years ago, this breathtaking site is a must see when you are travelling to the Philippines.

Located 18 km. (mi) from Banaue, Batad, home of the breathtaking Batad Rice Terraces is 1 hour and 30 minute tricycle ride to Batad junction.

Captured this wonderful moment of a group of friends while I was on a tricycle back ride to Batad Saddle

Alternatively, you can take jeepneys from Banaue to Batad junction. Note that the Batad junction is the farthest place motorized vehicles can reach. From junction, one must trek 3 km downhill to reach the place they call as Batad Saddle.

The trek from the Batad saddle to the viewing deck is quite challenging for first time trekkers and to those who are unfit (I’m guilty of this.lol). The trek includes countless downhill steps and steep paths. Needless to say, the uphill trek going back to the Saddle from the terraces is more challenging. It took us an hour to reach Batad town proper from the Batad Junction.

Jana and our tour guide Martin on a very steep downhill path to Batad Saddle

There are parts of the trail with cemented pathways

Downhill path to Batad proper

Unfortunately, I was unable to take photos of the challenging trails from the saddle to the Batad town proper. I was very grateful during the trek as my Banaue travel buddy – Jana and our tour guide Martin were very supportive.

Upon reaching the Batad town proper, tourists must register and pay 50 pesos environmental fee.

The majestic amphitheater-like Batad Rice Terraces

Short video of the Batad Rice Terraces from viewing deck

Selfie with the beautiful Batad Rice Terraces

Viewing deck

Despite the grueling trek, seeing the postcard perfect view of the Batad Rice Terraces is such a relief. There is a viewing area where tourists can simply relax and take photos of the breathtaking rice terraces.

Getting Around Batad
There are no vehicles in Batad. Getting around means trekking and walking around in this beautiful town.

Martin, our tour guide and Jana

Some tourits exploring Batad Rice Terraces

Green is relaxing

Rice Terraces is also known as “Hagdan hagdang Palayan” in Filipino

There are lodges in the area if you want to spend the night in this magnificent place. Most of the lodges are situated where guests can enjoy the perfect view of Batad Rice Terraces. Since there are no cellular signal in Batad, this is the perfect place to those who would like disconnect and reflect.

After enjoying the breathtaking views of Batad Rice Terraces, we trekked from the viewing deck to Tappiya falls.