Posted in Batanes, Journeys, Travel

5 Things to Do in Batanes!

For most Filipino travelers, Batanes is definitely part of the bucket list. So, I am listing 5 things to Do in Batanes for you. The place is definitely breathtaking, but it seems like an impossible dream for many since most people think that it is costly to go there. Truth be told, the only barrier between you and your Batanes escapade is the cost of transportation which is around 8,000 – 15,000 pesos, but the cost of stay there is as cheap as 7,500 including tours for 3D/2N!

What’s in store for you in Batanes, you may ask? Well, I’ve been there for two times already in 2017 mainly for medical and surgical missions, so for me it was a travel with a definite purpose. We had limited time to see the different areas, and we were just invited by our partners for a quick tour, hat’s why we obliged. ๐Ÿ™‚ Even if it is just a half day fast-paced tour, Batanes was still breathtaking for me. So here’s the 5 things you can do in Batanes!!

  1. Appreciate the AIRPORT

I have been to quite a number of airports in the Philippines, and a few international ones, but for me Basco Airport stands out! It’s interior reflects the culture of the island. ๐Ÿ™‚ Then, there’s a small lagoon in the center.Most flights are in the morning, so you have the chance to capture the morning sun!
The people in the airport are warm and accommodating. Since we went there for a med mission, we were not charged for the fees (environmental/tourists fees), but if you’re there just for tour, you might need to prep the payment upon arrival.

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2. Enjoy the FOOD!

Surprisingly, food is very affordable in Batanes! We ate mostly in Pension Ivatan which is a hotel near the airport. The coordinator there, Mr. Jayson, is very kind to us. He accommodated our whole team last November.ย  Here’s a glimpse of what Batanes has to offer in terms of culinary indulgence.ย If you are lucky enough, you will be able to try their famous coconut crab! yum!

Platter meal from Pension Ivatan

Basco also has numerous areas where you can dine including a place with Halo-Halo (though I was not able to go). There are also local vendors who sells snacks in areas like Sabtang. ๐Ÿ™‚


The Doggo is not the vendor! Haha. ๐Ÿ™‚


3. Visit the LIGHT HOUSES!

Another activity to include in your things to do in Batanes is visit the light houses! There are many light houses to choose from, but I’ve only been in one – the one in Basco. It’s majestic and itย  can give you a scenic view when you reach the top. My dream lighthouse is in Sabtang, but I was only able to catch a glimpse of it on our way to the medical mission venue. Sad, but work comes first before leisure! ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are some shots of the lighthouse in Basco. So instagrammable!

Here’s the abot-tanaw light house of Sabtang!

4. Tour around Basco

Basco in itself has so much to offer, and just by walking along its streets, you will be able to appreciate its beauty through the traditional houses and the people. The people of Batanes are one of the warmest people I have known, and they are very friendly too! Here are some of the things you can do in Basco.

The Rolling Hills

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The Boulder Beach

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Have Fun with the Animals

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Shopping for Souvenirs
For Souvenirs, you can visit Tawsen’s Souvenir Shop or the souvenir shop area near the plaza. I find Tawsen’s products cheaper though!


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Viewing Deck

We went down the viewing deck, but we later found out that 2 people died there while taking a selfie, so better be not as adventurous like us!

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5. Visit Sabtang
One of the nearest island from Basco is Sabtang. Definitely, visiting this island is in my 5 things to do in Batanes list!!! To be able to go there, you need to go to Ivana Port which is at the bottom-most portion of Batan island. Here, you will be able to see the honesty store where there are no vendors, you just have to pay honestly on your own. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Then, you have to ride a boat going to Sabtang. The waves can be a bit scary so you might want to take Bonamine. ๐Ÿ™‚ The view is absolutely amazing specially in the morning!

En Route Basco from Sabtang, Early in the morning

When in Sabtang, you can go to Chavayan where the old houses are located! It is where you can wear or even buy their native Vakul. I find this barangay really beautiful!


There is also a drop off point which you will pass before arriving at Chavayan. The view there is breathtaking!

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Going to Batanes might not be as easy, but you can always save up for it or wait for seat sales! Skyjet, PAL and Ceb Pac flies there daily. If you are planning to go, it is better to plan a summer trip because flights in the latter part of the year might be cancelled due to the weather. ๐Ÿ™‚ You might need to bring extra clothes and cash as well if ever your trip back to Manila gets cancelled (due to rain/wind). However, if you are willing to take the risk, going there during the off-peak seasons are cheaper in terms of the airfare and hotels (Pension Ivatan is at 50% off).

For hotels, you can opt for a hotel or hometel, there are various establishments there. We stayed at Tawsen’s Place which is a relatively new hotel with good interior. Also, I recently found out that Tawsen just renovated a traditional home and their opening it so people can rent! It’s gorgeous. To know more about this. You can visit them at Facebook. Ms. Daphne, their manager, is very accommodating, approachable and helpful!

So, there you go. That’s my 5 things to do in Batanes! Definitely worth visiting again, for leisure this time – God willing!

Hence, as they say in Batanes…

until my next post!

Posted in Journeys, Travel, Uncategorized

5 things to do in Taipei: For First Time Travelers

Legend says that you can hear the rooster’s crow in Taiwan even when you are in the Philippines. Well, they say that it’s possible when in you’re in the upper most islands of the country – Batanes. Taiwan is not so different if you happen to be a Meteor Garden fan like me, and since they have made travel, visa free, until July 2018, you still have time to explore the beauty Taiwan has to offer.

Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

My travel was limited to Taipei since Iย  went there for another purpose.
Given this, I willย  share with you 5 Things To Do in Taipeiย when you’re in a tight schedule. ๐Ÿ™‚

Taipei has a number of night markets you can go to, and these are the best sites for food trips! ๐Ÿ™‚ For me, the best seller is the pork buns in Raohe Night Market. Raohe is a relatively smaller night market compared to others like Shilin, but the finds there are absolutely amazing. The Pork Buns are located at the entrance of the night market near the temple. You can easily find it since there is usually a line for those buying.

The Raohe pork buns are a bit spicy, so you should bring water just in case. They make the buns on the spot, so you can actually see how they prepare it. What’s unique about it is that they bake it using a special/traditional oven. ๐Ÿ™‚

There are other things you can try out, here are some of the photos:

When In Raohe

Another highlight from Raohe, aside from the pork buns is the one-of-a-kind ice cream where smoke can be blown from your nose. ๐Ÿ™‚ The vendor is so friendly, he even made it a point to speak a little Filipino. He will even take your photo/video. He really makes sure that you will enjoy the experience. ๐Ÿ™‚ Keep in mind that you need to follow his orientation first before eating your smoking ice cream! ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s a few shots of my ice cream experience! ๐Ÿ™‚

When in Shilin
Probably the most famous night market in Taipei is Shilin Night Market. For an introvert like me, there’s just so much people!!! I felt really exhausted after the stay. We agot lost there, but it’s just a small area, so we easily found our way back. ๐Ÿ™‚ It is near 2 train stations so it’s very accessible.

Other Food Trip Opportunities

If you are fond of coffee, tea and milk tea, Taipei is one of the best places to go.ย Actually, my first meal there was in a cafe which offers coffee and meals. There are also various restaurants both Japanese and Korean inspired, and of course authentic Taiwanese. For first time budget travelers, Mcdonald’s can also be a good place to eat. :p



Taiwan boasts of a rich history and there are many historicalย  areas in the island. One of these is the Chang Kai Shek memorial hall where one of the nation’s leaders was immortalized through a structure/statue.

Gate / Court of the Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall at Night
The Garden and Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
Flag Retreat at the Memorial Hall
Grandiose Ceiling at the Statue of Chang Kai Shek
Chang Kai Shek’s Monument

Aside from this, there are numerous historical areas in Taipei including their national museum and the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, among others. Appreciating a country’s history should definitely be part of one’s top five things to do, since it will give you a glimpse of how the country has become what it is now, even if you are just staying for a few days.


Aside from its rich historical preservation, Taipei also has a rich culture and there are many ways to be familiar with this. For me, a trip to Maokong (the TEA capital of Taipei), is a must! Maokong is very near the Taipei Zoo so you might want to drop by also, you just need to go there early so you can enjoy both places.

To reach Maokong, just ride the train going to Taipei Zoo Station. You can ride a taxi or -the more fun – cable car from there. ๐Ÿ™‚

The cable car is locatedย  in the top most floor, so you might need to be ready for that climb. Upon reaching the area, you just need to line up. There are 2 lines – one is for the regular cable cars and the other for the glass bottom cable car. If you have the heart for it, ride the glass bottom so you can see a more full view going to Maokong.

Upon reaching Maokong, you can visit different tea shops and food establishments. There is also a nice view there because it is located on top of a mountain. We did not have much time, but you can also try to find shops that have a better view which you might hike. ๐Ÿ™‚



There are many things to buy and many places to shop in Taipei. Both Raohe and Shilin have many shopping areas aside from food.

Raohe and Shilin Shopping Stalls


Lao Mian Cheng Lantern Shop

Lao Mian Cheng Lantern Shop located atย No. 298, Section 1, Dihua St, Datong District offers a wide range of Lanterns that you can bring home as a souvenir. There are elegant hand-painted lanterns which costs around 1,000 – 2,000 pesos each, but there are also cheap items such as fans and scarves. The shop is located in an alley, so it might be difficult to find. I suggest that you go there in the morning / afternoon since the location is a bit scary at night.



Eslite 24-hour bookstore


As a bookworm, I was looking forward to a trip to a 24-hour bookstore. However, since I had limited budget for this trip, I was not able to fully enjoy the stay here since the items sold are quite pricey. Aside from that, my feet were aching from all the walking in Shilin Night Market, and the bookstore was quite far from the train station. However, if you have the budget, this store offers not only books but stationeries and different cute items like the pop-up Harry Potter book above. They also have a place for you to eat sort of like a food court (not 24 hours though). There’s also Starbucks there, but it’s not 24 hours as well.


Local markets offer different items at affordable prices. Going around a local market near Taipei 101 and near our hotel (Charming City Hotel) we were able to find a school / office / stationery supplies store! It has everything in it! PENS! ALL COLORS! Post its! Cute Notebooks! Hooray!



There are many great areas to visit in Taipei. One of them is Taipei 101. Taipei streets at night are also a sight to behold because of all the lights. ๐Ÿ™‚ Here are some of my shots.


Aside from these things, there are many more areas to explore not only in Taipei, but also in nearby places. For me, Taipei is one of the best cities I have been to because people are warmer and friendlier to tourists than in other Asian countries, the place is relatively safe, and there are many areas to explore!
MANILA – TAIPEI – MANILA can be as cheap as 5,000 – 7,000 round trip when there are promos. You can try to scout around or follow local travel agencies like from friends at Metro Wanderer Services (

So, there’s my #ThankfulTaipeiTrip last November 2017. Hope you can visit and enjoy the place as I did! God bless! ๐Ÿ™‚