Camping Cavite Travel

Camping Experience at Driftwoods Sports Park in Indang

Are you looking for a cold place to go camping together with your family and friends without the hassle of climbing mountains? Camping at Driftwoods Sports Park in Indang is the perfect spot for us city dwellers! Plus, Driftwoods is 15 minutes away from Tagaytay!

It’s January 2, 2021 and before we start hustling again at work, in business, and in life, Ryan and I decided to go on a quick getaway here in the South.

What I love with this getaway is that we actually don’t have an itinerary.

We just went out but made sure we bring our camping necessities for this trip.


  • Camping Tent/s
  • Pillows and kumot
  • Jackets
  • Food
  • Solar panel, lights (Ryan loves this so much!)
  • Extension wires
  • Food

TIP: I suggest you get a bag for camping necessities or in our case a storage box that we just place in our trunk para kung gusto man gumala na walang destination, at least you have these essentials.


It’s been two months since we went driving around Cavite with only ‘Tara, let’s go kahit saaan!!’ in mind. Haha! We brought camping essentials because we wanna camp anywhere instead of checking in an inn or hotel.

We also brought with us our little Tummy (our rescue dog) and we want him to enjoy nature.

After roaming around the highways of Cavite, we went to Pantihan Falls in Maragondon. And after an hour or two basking in this falls, we looked for a place to stay.

And there we saw Driftwoods. We immediately called the place and good thing they are quick to answer our call!

Tent Pitching: P350 per person

Super best spot because the place is animal friendly! Our super Tummy is happy!

We actually didn’t expect much but when we arrived in the area, we were so happy! This is the perfect camping area for families talaga!

What we love about the Driftwoods Indang:

  1. Clean
  2. With clean bathrooms/restrooms
  3. Big grassy area
  4. Well-maintained camping areas
  5. Kind employees

We arrived at around 4PM in the afternoon and there’s one employee who went to us asking if they need our help. Such a sweet gesture. 🙂

Actually, we had some trouble looking for space because we loved the areas a lot! We don’t know where to pitch! Haha!

Good thing before it went dark, we have already pitched our tent. Our little tummy started running around. So happy to see her running around, parang super free sya and super happy!

Here are some of our pictures.

We got up at around 6:30 in the morning and before we packed up, we roamed around the park, and we had so much fun looking at all the greens!

Driftwoods Sports Park Details:

Facebook Page:
Mobile Number: 0917 516 6797
Email Address:

Pia’s Thoughts

This is for me the best part of our two-day getaway! Ryan and I, together with our little Tummy enjoyed our camping so much. Are we going back? Yes, of course! We’ll bring our family and friends too!

Basco Batanes Chasing Wonders Travel Travel Guides

South Batan Tour Travel Guide: 14 TOP Spots in Batanes

Batanes is so much blessed with seemingly endless rolling hills and greens, view of the Pacific Ocean, and kind-hearted and warm people.

There are three usual tours in Batanes:

  1. South Batan Tour
  2. North Batan Tour
  3. Sabtang Tour

However, you can also set a tour on the island of Itbayat, the farthest island in the province of Batanes.

In this blog, we will explore the beauty of South Batan.

  1. San Carlos Borromeo Church
  2. Honesty Coffee Shop
  3. Mahatao Boat Shelter Port
  4. Diura Fishing Village
  5. Racuh a Payaman (Marlboro Country)
  6. Imnajbu Beach
  7. Alapad Pass and Rock Formation
  8. Sitio Songsong Ruins
  9. House of Dakay
  10. Old Spanish Bridge
  11. Homoron Blue Lagoon
  12. White Beach
  13. Chawa View Deck
  14. Tayid Lighthouse

14 Best Spots You will See on your Batanes South Batan Tour

We have already toured Sabtang and North Batan when we discovered the wonders of South Batan.

It is said that South Batan has the m

1. San Carlos Borromeo Church

San Carlos Borromeo Church is situated in Mahatao. Also known as Mahatao Church, this church was declared as one of the Philippine National Cultural Treasures in 2001 because of its beauty and excellent state of preservation.

Historians said that the church was known to be running and active since 1789.

2. Honesty Coffee Shop

Honesty Coffee Shop is situated near the Port of Ivana.

The coffee shop is called such because the owners have a very high trust to the people in Batanes and to the tourists as well leaving it unmanned, with the foundation of trust.
Batanes is known to have a zero crime rate and is well known as well to have a very honest community.

Tourists who visit the place are usually amazed with the place. Honesty Coffee Shop offers coffee, snacks, breads, souvenirs, and pasalubong as well.

3. Mahatao Boat Shelter Port

Because Batanes is prone to big waves and typhoons, the Ivatans made the picturesque Mahatao Boat Shelter Port.

Mahatao Boat Shelter Port is one of the most picturesque spots in the South Batan tour. Once in the area, you will be amazed to see different boasts resting in place and the water is so clear that makes you wanna take a dip.

If photos are taken in the right angle, you will see a resemblance in one of the Mediterranean spots.

4 . Diura Fishing Village

This serene spot in Batanes is like your peaceful photo of a village with palm trees, boats and children running near the shore.

Diura Fishing Village is a small community in the South of Batan in Batanes. Coming from the term Yura, one of the four pre-Hispanic tribes that settled east of Mahatao, Diura Fishing Village traces its roots back to 1720 A.D.

The village, which was then inhabited by only 300 people, is currently home to boat-makers and fishermen, now called the Mataw. This is still evident today as you walk through the small coastal village.

Every home is in the style of Chivuvuhung or Jinjin, which uses cogon for its roof and walls. The walls are hung with fish, mostly dorado (yellowfin tuna) and flying fish, cured with salt and put under the sun to dry, preserving them for the rainy season. – Primer

If you have ample time, you may play take a swim/dip near the shore with the Ivatan kids.

5. Racuh-a-Payaman (Marlboro Country)

Racuh a Payaman is a large pasture land in Mahatao, Basco, Batanes. Other name for the place is Marlboro Country which was tagged by an American Tourist because it resembles the Marlboro Country in the commercial of Phillip Morris Cigarette.

From then on, the land was more known as the Marlboro Country of Batanes.

Marlboro Hills is a feast to every tourist visiting in the area. You wouldn’t even think that this place exists in the Philippines while looking at the peaceful rolling hills and vast, wide, ocean.

6. Imnajbu Beach and Hills

Imnajbu is just of the four barangays in the barangay of Uyugan in Batan, Batanes. It is near the Alapad Pass and rock formation.

7. Alapad Pass and Rock Formation

This iconic spot in Batanes is one of the most picturesque view of the south. The undeniable and articulate rock formation is a sight to behold and should never be missed by tourists visiting the area offering them a view of the Pacific Ocean.

This is the only spot where you can take a picture with the ‘Blow your horn’ sign.
Alapad Hills or Alapad Pass is also where the 1991 hit movie “Hihitayin kita sa langit” of Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta took place. 

Tourists usually copy the scene where Dawn was being lifted by Richard.

8. Sitio Songsong Ruins

Songsong Ruins used to be a village before a tidal wave hit the village in 1950’s. This seaside town of Batanes is now considered ghost town not because there are ghosts in the area but all that remains in Songsong are roofless and abandoned stone houses.

9. House of Dakay

Dakay is the nickname of Jose Villamayor Estrella, the owner of the house, which was there for the last 142 years.

Luckily, one of the relatives of Dakay was there when we arrived. She also mentioned that the grandson of Dakay, Lolo Francisco Estrella, is still living at the House of Dakay.
The roof is changed every 30 years. We were also introduced to the breadfruit situated just beside their house which is used as a plate before.

We also learned that the kitchen and comfort room is separate from the house itself. So the House of Dakay is just the living room and sleeping area of the entire house. We saw the kitchen and comfort room but these two are damaged already.

Surprisingly, there’s also a basement for their food and stocks since Batanes is known to always have a number of storms.

Another basement is the shelter for their goats and other animals whenever there’s a storm.

10. Ivana Tuhel Bridge (Old Spanish Bridge)

As history says, this old Spanish bridge was built by the engineer-architect is Fr. Nicolas Castano, from October 1802 to March 1810, he was the one who ordered the construction of this bridge and all in Batanes, such as the bridges of San Vicente, Basco and San Felix. – ViganTourism

11. Homoron Blue Lagoon

Homoron Blue Lagoon is located between rock boulders of Brgy. Ivana and Mahatao. Tourists and Ivatans usually go here for a dip.

12. Homoron White Beach

Near the Homoron Blue Lagoon is what they call White Beach of Batanes.
This white sand beach is a bit rocky although you can swim in its shallow waters. The white beach can be reached through motorcycle but there are no beach resorts in the area.

13. Chawa View Deck

Chawa View Deck is situated at the mountainside of Batan and Mahatao. This view deck is a surprise to everyone giving them a 270-degree view of the mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
What’s more interesting here is that Chawa View Deck has stairs going down the deck. Locals say that you can go fishing here as well.

14. Tayid Lighthouse

Tayid Lighthouse is one of the most serene places in the South of Batan. This spot overlooks endless rolling hills, Mt. Iraya, and if lucky, you will see herds of cows with their cowherd and his dog.

If you still have ample time, we suggest you stay a little longer here and take a rest at the back of the lighthouse. It is truly a once in a lifetime experience.

Batanes Travel Guide Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where to Stay in Batanes?
  2. What are the usual tours in Batanes?
  3. What and where to eat in Batanes?
  4. Best Batanes Tour Providers
  5. What to do in Batanes?

Where to Book Sabtang Batanes Tour?

We highly suggest you book your Sabtang tour with a well-organized, hassle-free tour provider. Tried Batanes DIY before — it was adventures, yes but would like to suggest to have a team who’ll help you maximize your Batanes trip.

Got ours from the Amazing Batanes Tours! From the name itself, this tour provider is actually amazing! They’ve got cool tour guides — whom I think knows everything! All our questions where answered and we were brought to many awesome places. Check them out!

Check this blog about them as well at Amazing Batanes Tour Provider Review.

Basco Batanes Chasing Wonders Pia & Ryan Travel Travel Guides

Batanes North Batan Tour + 11 Spots You Need to See

Wondering what are the places that you’ll get to see for your North Batan Tour in Batanes? While we equally love North and South Batan, there are some several spots here in North Batan that we will never forget.

In our last visit to the breathtaking province of Batanes, our first tour was the North Batan as this can be completed half a day only, unlike the Sabtang, which we opted to stay a little longer than usual, and South Batan tour, which requires a day to visit all places.

Although you can finish the tour for just half a day only, we promise that you will not go home wanting for more. And yes, this will be your very first jaw-dropping sunset.

Imagine being on top of a hill with lighthouse waiting for the sunset — while holding your love’s hands whispering sweet-nothings? Charot!

While this second visit of mine is with Ryan already, I experienced waiting for the sunset alone. And it’s magical still. But of course, I prefer my last experience, the one with my baby, of course. Hahahaharot!

Okay, so enough with the kaartehan. Here are the places you can visit on your North Batan Tour in Batanes! Sobrang saya!

Top 11 Places to Visit on your Batanes North Batan tour!

  1. Welcome to Basco Arch
  2. Tukon Church (Mt. Carmel Chapel)
  3. PAGASA Weather Station – Basco
  4. Valugan Boulder Beach
  5. Nakamaya Burial Grounds
  6. Dipnaysupuan Japanese Tunnel
  7. Fundacion Pacita
  8. Vayang Rolling Hills
  9. Chadpidan Boulder Beach
  10. Basco Town Proper
  11. Naidi Hills (Basco Lighthouse)

1. Welcome to Basco Arch

This is the usual first stop on every North Batan Tour. This is situated near Basco along the mountainside. Imagine looking at the vast ocean with your loved ones here?

This one should not be missed when in Batanes! Although… I know you will never miss this because if you do, you will miss half of your Batanes tour! Coz you know, the Batanes Arch. Charot! Seriously though, this is just beside near Basco Town and can be reached when you start to explore Basco with a bicycle.

Hellleeeer! Welcome to Basco, guys!

2. Tukon Church | Mt. Carmel Church

Tukon Church or Mt. Carmel Church is usually the second destination in the North Batan Tour. Medyo pataas ‘to so alalayan mo si Kuya Tricycle Driver lalo na kung medyo heavy tayo.

This church was devastated by a storm before and it has still ongoing repairs. Perched on top of a hill, this church is perfect for weddings — I actually thought for a second, “Magppropose na kaya siya?” Harots! Haha!


One of the attractions on top of a hill that can be found near Tukon Church is the PAGASA RADAR Station.

On my first travel here, we were caught by a typhoon like rain here! And guess what, same happened during my second visit. Isn’t it amazing?

4. Valugan Boulder Beach

This unique beach is not filled with sand, but with boulders instead.

We’re so cute here right? We looked photoshopped in pebbles. Haha! It was a good time when we visited here as it was not too hot. Perfect for photoshoots!

While planning for our Batanes tour Ryan is insisting to hire a photographer for our prenup shoot… Even though he hasn’t proposed yet. LOL!

Para kaming dinikit sa picture! Hahaha!

5. Nakamaya Burial Grounds

We didn’t get the chance to take a picture of the burial grounds but according to the locals, there was a belief that early Ivatans believed that when they die, their final rest would be the sea.

This belief is evident in the boat-shaped markers on their grave, which point towards their destination: the sea.  – Explorra

6. Dipnaysupuan Japanese Tunnel

This 5-door Japanese tunnel is the shelter and hideout of the Japanese soldiers when they arrived in Batanes in 1914.

From 1941 to 1945, the soldiers ordered the Ivatans to dig the tunnel, creating five exit points, chambers, bunkers, and water reservoir. The bunker served as their lookout spot while in battle with the Americans.

The tunnel, meanwhile, is 250-meter long and has a lower deck chamber. – Primer

I told Ryan that I will just wait for them outside as my first visit here was not that pleasant… Goosebumps till now as I remember it. But, baka art ko lang, I still went inside — of course, brisk walking tayo girl. Haha!

7. Fundacion Pacita Batanes

Fundacion Pacita Batanes is one of the grandest hotels in Batanes. If you want a view of the ocean and rolling hills in your room, Fundacion Pacita is for you.

Room rates start with P12,800 but with a room perched on top of a hill, with a scenic oceanview and Mountainview, why not spend if you have the capacity, right?

Don’t forget to visit their arty restaurant and museum too! Yup! Just so we can visit the place, we tried their restaurant with golden rates, but! But never thought that its super duper delicious. I miss this place so much.

8. Vayang Rolling Hills

Vayang Rolling Hills is a sea of rolling hills in the north of Batanes. Definitely our favorite! I don’t know but I can still remember I was so happy because it was so windy and drizzling that time. Imagine being in Tagaytay or Baguio, so cold with all the greens surrounding you. Perfect!

Here you can also get a scenic view of Mt. Iraya, a dormant volcano residing in the island of Batan.

My first sunset! Sana pala nag picture kami ni Ryan ng ganto. Haha!

9. Chadpidan Boulder Beach

If you think there’s only one boulder beach in Batanes, unsurprisingly, it’s not.

The second boulder beach on the island of Batan is the Chadpidan Boulder Beach. Located at the west side of Batan, Chappidan Boulder Beach was formed because of the materials spewed by Mt. Iraya centuries ago.

10. Basco Town Proper

The usual last stop for the North Batan tour is the Basco Town Proper. Tour includes visiting Basco Church and a short trip to town’s park near the municipal hall, and airport road, among others.

This is our favorite past time when we were in Batanes. This spot near Basco park and Basco Municipality Hall is our go-to place as well whenever we feel like going out.

11. Basco Lighthouse at Naidi Hills

Naidi Hills is the most popular spot in Batanes because it is where the iconic Basco Lighthouse resides.

This spot is perfect for people who loves watching the sunset. Better view though is at the top of the lighthouse but be there early as the crowd at the top gets thick in the afternoon.

You will also get to have a nice panoramic view of the Basco town while watching the glorious sunset.

You may also visit the place in the morning if you want a lesser crowd. Many people jog to get here and some hail a tricycle or rent a bike.

North Batan and South Batan for me are equally beautiful. Both tours are rich in scenics views, picturesque mountainsides, rolling hills, and beaches.

Batanes Travel Guide Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where to Stay in Batanes?
  2. What are the usual tours in Batanes?
  3. What and where to eat in Batanes?
  4. Best Batanes Tour Providers
  5. What to do in Batanes?

Where to Book North Batan Tour?

We highly suggest you book your North Batan tour with a well-organized, hassle-free tour provider. Tried Batanes DIY before — it was adventures, yes but would like to suggest to have a team who’ll help you maximize your Batanes trip.

Got ours from the Amazing Batanes Tours! From the name itself, this tour provider is actually amazing! They’ve got cool tour guides — whom I think knows everything! All our questions where answered and we were brought to many awesome places. Check them out!

Check this blog about them as well at Amazing Batanes Tour Provider Review.

Basco Batanes Beach Getaways Chasing Wonders Travel Travel Guides

10 Best Things to Do When in Batanes — No. 8 is our Favorite!

If you are on the lookout on what to do in Batanes for your upcoming vacation, we suggest you add the activities listed below to maximize your vacation.

If you are planning for your Batanes trip, we highly suggest you get a registered tour provider from a company that can really take care of you and please, do not DIY Batanes. I tried it last 2018 and I can fully say that I had so much fun on my second Batanes escapade because everything was organized!

You can find one on the island but better if you contact a tour provider before you go to Batanes. Better be prepared than sorry, dear. Might be fully-booked already when you get there.

We actually searched for the best tour provider. Saw a number but Amazing Batanes Tours stood out.

Let me know if you want me to connect you to them. Hassle-free and the tour guides really knew Batanes well.

Amazing Batanes Tours Details:

  • Contact Details: GLOBE: 0927 387 8172 | SMART: 0920 217 9031
  • Email Address:
  • Facebook Page: Amazing Batanes
  • Instagram: Amazing Batanes

10 Best Things to Do When in Batanes

Go ahead and explore the island to the fullest! I hope you have a day or two all to yourselves as some of these are not in the usual itinerary. Oh, writing this makes me wanna go back to Batanes again!

1. Eat Ivatan dishes at Hiro’s Joy Canteen

More than the seemingly endless green rolling hills of Batanes, the province has a lot more to offer especially with their dishes.

And trying dishes is actually a great way to learn more about Batanes traditions and culture! 

Our team tried a number of restaurants in Batanes but one stood out — the Hiro Joy Canteen.

Hiro Joy Canteen or Hiro’s Cafe is located in Abad St. Corner Argonza St. They are offering a number of Ivatan dishes, American, and some traditional Filipino dishes as well. What we love most is that every dish is made with extra love — extra herb, extra sauce, and is carefully cooked with passion and love.

We were talking with our team the other day and if we wanna go back to Batanes, we’ll definitely go back to Hiro Joy Canteen. This was definitely one of the highlights of our trip.

Food to try:

  • Lobster
  • Graham Cake
  • Uved
  • Lunyis – Ivatan’s Pork Adobo
  • Marida or Taveh (Ivatan Escargot)

Check out our separate review of Hiro Joy Canteen here.

2.  Fishing at Basco Port

Free time in Batanes? Go fishing!

Being surrounded by water, one of the Ivatan’s primary works is fishing. If you don’t have a fishing rod with you, you may ask your tour guide where to find/rent one.

For us, fortunately, there’s a family friend living in Basco and luckily, they have fishing rods! 

On our way to Basco port.

We also asked our tour guide, Kuya James, if he has one. Although he was very eager to lend us his fishing rod and accompany us to Basco Port and Chanarian Point, he wasn’t able to because he needed to go diving/fishing as well that afternoon. 

We wanna go but his boat is small.

Anyway, I suggest you go fishing in Batanes. What a memorable way to maximize your Batanes vacation!

3.  Take a dip in the beaches of Batanes

When I imagined tBatanes beaches before, all I can think of was they’re so rocky that you can’t even swim near the shore.

While this is true for some beaches in Batanes, there are also beaches with fine white sand and less rocky.

There are also rocky beaches like the blue lagoon and some lagoons in Sabtang shore near the port.

So yes, add this in your itinerary — swim in Batanes!

Suggested beaches:

  • Beach near Basco port
  • White Beach in Basco
  • Sabtang beach near Sabtang port
  • Blue Lagoon in Basco
  • Sumnanga Fishing Village
Morong Beach in Sabtang, Batanes

Sabtang lagoon near Sabtang Lighthouse

4. Biking (Motorcycle and Bicycle) 

One activity to never miss while in Batanes is biking!

There are a number of bike rentals in Basco and just a couple in Sabtang. Basco also has motorcycles for rent at a gasoline station near Nanay Cita’s Homestay.

No need to worry if you think you are lost already. Just talk to the Ivatans and they will guide you the way. Don’t forget to use google maps as well! 

Suggested biking areas:

  • Around Basco preferably the one near the school and open grounds
  • Outside Basco Airport
  • Way to Boulder Beach
  • Way to lighthouse

Went to Naidi Lighthouse early in the morning. We had so much fun!

5. Sunrise at Chamantad-Tinyan Point in Sabtang

This is not in the usual itinerary when in Batanes but we highly suggest you visit Chamantan-Tinyan point and cove before sunrise.

It is a magical experience waiting for the sun to rise while looking at the vast ocean and endless rolling hills. 

Additional payment is P1,100.

6.   Sunset watching at Natawu Point

Another activity to add to your Batanes bucket list is sunset watching at Natawu Point in Sabtang Island.

Our tour guide said this point is the best spot for sunset viewing in Batanes. 

True enough, it is indeed the best one. Here you can see a 360 view of Sabtang, the rolling hills, and the ocean.

Additional payment: P400

7.   Roam around Basco and make friends with the locals

Any place can be more experienced in being with the locals. Each time you go out, make sure you engage with the Ivatans.

Talk to your tour guides, make friends with them, ask the history of Batanes, where they live, what they do.. 

Sometimes it’s not just about the place but the people that you will meet that will make you really love the place.

And I can say that you will leave Batanes with a heavy heart because of the memories and the Ivatans as well.

8.  Surprise your loved ones with a dinner date at Naidi Lighthouse

Who would have thought that exclusive dinner dates are possible at Naidi Lighthouse?
Naidi Lighthouse is one of the most famous lighthouses in Batanes. But, did you know that you can arrange a dinner date here?

Whether you wanna surprise your loved ones on their birthday, anniversary, or any milestone in life, and you are in Batanes already, I suggest you go and reserve that exclusive date!

We are not sure if there are other operators for activities like this but we reserved our slot with Amazing Batanes Tours.

They will help you arrange everything. From food to balloons, to the set up of the place.. Really glad we booked everything with Amazing Batanes Tours.

Videos soon on our youtube channel!

9. Camping in Sabtang

If you will stay more than one night in Sabtang, try camping by the shore! To make this hassle-free for you, book your stay with Pananayan Homestay. They can help you with the tent pitching and can even prepare a bonfire for you!

10. Try Fundacion Pacita’s Dishes

If you happen to have spare money, we want to suggest having your merienda or lunch at Fundacion Pacita.

Fundacion Pacita, perched at one of the rolling hills in Basco, is one of the most picturesque places I have been to in my entire life. Suggesting that you add this to your itinerary, separate from your tour, and try different dishes.

The food was great for the price that you would want to order another one. We tried their pizza and it was surprisingly good. While waiting, you may also check their arts area below the restaurant.

Fundacion Pacita also has several rooms for guests which starts at P12,870.

In summary, these are some of the best things to do while in Batanes! Make the most out of your Batanes trip!

  1. Eat Ivatan dishes at Hiro’s Joy Canteen
  2. Fishing at Basco Port
  3. Swimming 
  4. Biking (Motorcycle and Bicycle)
  5. Sunrise at Chamantad in Sabtang
  6. Sunset at Natawu Point in Sabtang
  7. Roam around Basco, make friends with the locals
  8. Surprise your loved ones with a dinner date at Naidi Lighthouse
  9. Camping at Sabtang
  10. Try Fundacion Pacita’s Dishes

Batanes Travel Guide Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where to Stay in Batanes?
  2. What are the usual tours in Batanes?
  3. What and where to eat in Batanes?
  4. Best Batanes Tour Providers
  5. What to do in Batanes?

Where to Book your Batanes Tours?

We highly suggest you book your Batanes tours with a well-organized, hassle-free tour provider. Tried Batanes DIY before — it was adventures, yes but would like to suggest to have a team who’ll help you maximize your Batanes trip.

Got ours from the Amazing Batanes Tours! From the name itself, this tour provider is actually amazing! They’ve got cool tour guides — whom I think knows everything! All our questions where answered and we were brought to many awesome places. Check them out!

Check this blog about them as well at Amazing Batanes Tour Provider Review.

Batanes Beach Getaways Chasing Wonders Staycations

Where to Stay in Sabtang: Pananayan Pension House and the Camping By the Beach Experience

Looking for the best place to stay on the beautiful island of Sabtang in Batanes? We would definitely like to recommend Pananayan Pension House!

Pananayan Pension House is the best homestay in Sabtang island if you want a perfect view of the ocean, the lighthouse, and if you want to try camping by the shore.

The term ‘Pananayan‘ is an Ivatan term for waiting area. I talked to Ms. Joyce Elesterio, the very welcoming daughter and manager of the homestay and Pananayan canteen, and she mentioned that their business used to be near the port which served to be a waiting area for people going in and out of Sabtang Island.

We actually planned in staying on the island for about three nights but our supposedly first day in Sabtang was canceled because of the typhoon that time. I actually thought we’ll never get to the island because of the storm.

Good thing we just got stranded in Basco for one night! Still a good thing though because we get to experience the Batanes storm together! Haha!

Anyway, I was actually excited to check-in because of happyandbusytravel’s blog about the Pananayan Pension House!

Pananayan Pension House, Sabtang, Batanes

Okay, I want you to be present with me. Imagine staying near Sabtang’s shoreline with the lighthouse near you. At night, you can hear the soothing sound of waves, with the moon above the ocean, and with the stars sparkling so bright at night — together with the love of your life. Isn’t it sweet? Hehe.

It was actually a dream come true.

The Smooth Check-In

It was around 8 o’clock in the morning when we checked in at the Pananayan Pension House in Sabtang Island.

Since there’s no data connection or mobile signal in the area, I was not able to message Pananayan Pension House that we’ll be moving our stay to the next day, if the weather permits.

When we got to the place, they welcomed us with a big smile and helped us through our room on the first floor.

I was actually a bit sad because I talked to them weeks before that we would want the room near the balcony.

But because of the typhoon, they were still cleaning the rooms on the second floor when we arrived.

We stayed on the first floor first and asked again if we can transfer to the second floor after they cleaned the room. So happy they agreed! Our room was near the balcony, overlooking Basco, the ocean lighthouse, and the port of Sabtang.

We were also the only guests at that time. The house was all to ourselves!

I wanna go back. Really.

What’s Inside Pananayan Pension House?

What I love about Pananayan Pension House is that the whole house is generally clean and well-maintained. Really happy we stayed here!

  • Dining Area – Glad that they have a dining area! They also have a water dispenser, kettle, coffee and sugar, and mugs! Really a plus for a coffeeholic like me! Hehe!
  • Kitchen – There was no common kitchen in Pananayan Pension House but they were already constructing one when we were there. No worries about the food though because they also own a canteen near the port which is a 5-minute walk from the homestay
  • Living Room– What I love about Pananayan is that they have a living room at the first and second floors. Since we were the only guests at that time, we had so much fun staying in the living room.
  • TV They have a television in the living room however, there was no signal that time because of the typhoon. Would be better if they have cards or anything that guests can use for bonding time.
  • Rooms – I love their rooms! Pananayan Pension House is somewhat new and I love that the rooms were all fresh and clean. The whole house is well-maintained and you wouldn’t think twice about the cleanliness of the place. Not to mention that comfort rooms are really clean as well!

Pananayan Pension House Sabtang Living Room (1st Floor)

Pananayan Pension House Living Room
Pananayan Pension House Living Room at the second floor
Pananayan Pension House Balcony overlooking the ocean

The Pananayan Pension House Rooms

Here are some of the rooms at the Pananayan Pension House in Sabtang, Batanes.

Pananayan Pension House Room Rates

We got our room for around P400 per pax but they now have new rates. Please see below rates from their Facebook Page.

The Camping Experience

One of the items in our bucketlist is to try camping near Pananayan Pension House. We opted to pitch our tent early in the morning because it was so dark to pitch at night, we chickened out. Haha!

We just knew after our morning camping that if we opt to camp in the evening, they will assist us with our very own bonfire. Huhu!

oh, hello there, Mr. Sunshine!
Lovely morning view from our camping tent.
Can’t believe we pitched a tent! haha!
Camping area by the lighthouse! Beautiful.

We were surprised that they even pitched a tent for us!

At first, we thought there were other guests who want to camp as well. But turns out they thought we didn’t bring a tent! So, they pitched one for us. So sweet.

Camping before swimming!

Swimming Time and Roam Around the Shore

Of course, we will never leave without experiencing Sabtang’s sea! Hehe We went picture taking first before we submerged ourselves to the cold lagoon near the homestay. It was half amazing, half scary because we’ll never know when will the big waves come and what’s inside these rocks. Haha!

It was a total adventure.

Ryan, being his pa-superman self, went to the upper side of the rocks which got me so disturbed. Haha! 

Pia’s Thoughts

Pananayan Pension House is actually the best place to stay during your Sabtang trip. I also urge you to stay two nights to really enjoy Sabtang and have intimate moments with loved ones and self (if you are traveling solo).

I think it would be best if Pananayan Pension House has a common kitchen for guests though. Not sure if the kitchen that they constructing the last time was built now. But still, we are highly recommending this place if you want a home away from home, access to Sabtang’s shore, near the lighthouse and if you want camping by the beach!

Pananayan Pension House Details:

Where to Book Sabtang Batanes Tour?

We highly suggest you book your Sabtang tour with a well-organized, hassle-free tour provider. Tried Batanes DIY before — it was adventures, yes but would like to suggest to have a team who’ll help you maximize your Batanes trip.

Got ours from the Amazing Batanes Tours! From the name itself, this tour provider is actually amazing! They’ve got cool tour guides — whom I think knows everything! All our questions where answered and we were brought to many awesome places. Check them out!

Batanes Travel Guide Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where to Stay in Batanes?
  2. What are the usual tours in Batanes?
  3. What and where to eat in Batanes?
  4. Best Batanes Tour Providers
  5. What to do in Batanes?

Check this blog about them as well at Amazing Batanes Tour Provider Review.

Hotel/Resort Reviews Pasay City Reviews Staycations Travel

Selah Pods Hotel Review: My Favorite Budget-Friendly Hotel in Pasay

Are you looking for a clean and cheap hotel in Metro Manila? I highly suggest Selah Pods Hotel in Pasay!

I have always been a fan of staycations here in Metro Manila. Already tried some luxury hotels, to mid-range, budget, and even some super epic hotel stays that I end up going home after a couple of hours after checking in. *face palm*

With the traffic of the metro, one will really want to just take a breath of fresh air in another home away from home.

I know you also wanna go a bit far from the city from time to time, but if you just wanna chill, watch Netflix, or just work in a nice place, a staycation in Metro Manila will be the best option.

In this blog, we will talk more about Selah Pods Hotel situated on the long road of FB Harrisson in Pasay City.

I can say that this is one of my favorite hotels in the metro because of its affordable and clean and cute rooms. Mama, my nephew, and my now husband loves every area in this hotel.

Selah Pods Hotel

Under the management of Zen Rooms, Selah Pods Hotel is one of the newest hotels that lies in the heart of the busy Buendia in Pasay. Located near Makati business center, Selah Pods is a good place to stay for every traveler, may it be for staycations, business, or leisure.

Selah Pods Hotel Details

  • Address: 2004-224 David St. cor PH, San Hose, F.B. Harrison St, Pasay, 1305
  • Contact Number: (02) 775 5038

Room Rates and Room Tour

Selah Pods, a low-cost hotel, is perfect for everyone who wants to stay in a budget-friendly hotel.

This room for two is equipped with one double bed, towels, toothbrush, shampoo and conditioner. I love that the bed is not so hard and the pillows are so fluffy.

I got the room for around P900 from Agoda!

Selah Pods’ Employees and Services

As previously mentioned, Selah Pods Hotel is in partnership with Zenrooms that’s why the employees are trained well by the company.

From the front office to guards, to utility, it’s very evident that Zenrooms really prioritize training and growth for its employees.

Things to Do at Selah Pods Hotel Pasay

1Dip into Selah’s rooftop swimming pool
One of the best parts of our staycation is Selah Pods’ picturesque swimming pool. It’s super beautiful in daylight but it’s much more beautiful and elegant at night because of its changing colors matching Makati’s city lights.|

2Treat your sweetheart to a romantic rooftop date night
Aside from the swimming pool, Selah Pods has a rooftop restaurant as well.

Imagine this: sweet music at the background, with the sound of waters gently splashing, under the stars and the view of Makati’s city lights… One of the most relaxing and romantic moments to remember. Go and plan your date night with your loved one!

3Bonding over Selah Pods Lounge
Isn’t it amazing when you have the time to just sit down and talk about anything under the sun? When in Selah Pods, you can stay at their environment-friendly lounge where almost everything is made of recycled materials.

4Take advantage of Selah Pods strong internet wifi connection
What I love most in a staycation is its wifi connection. While some are saying that its time for relaxation, well sure it is, but personally, I am more into online stuff like reading online blogs that’s why I am really happy if the internet is strong.

And that’s what you’ll find here at Selah Pods! Take advantage of the fast internet and go watch your favorite movies, play mobile legends or PUBG with your loved ones!

Pia’s Thoughts

Selah Pods has been one of my favorites ever since it was introduced to me. Its proximity to city centers, services, amenities, room cleanliness, and style, plus the very affordable room rate, are just some things that you will love about Selah Pods.

Whether you are celebrating life’s occasions, or maybe wanting to be alone, Selah Pods is one of the best budget hotels in Pasay for you.

Will I go back? Of course!

Batangas Beach Getaways Calatagan Chasing Wonders Featured Weekend Guides

Ivory Beach Resort Calatagan: Relaxing Beach Escapade [UPDATED 2019]

Ivory Beach Resort in Calatagan is one of the serene places to go to in Batangas. You may not always catch the high tide but still, this beach resort is good for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy city.

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Can you wake me up when September ends?

Can’t believe it’s already the end of September. As cliche as this may seem, time really passes by so fast and we really have to make the most out of it.

That’s why I pushed with my Calatagan getaway! Fortunately, my best friend is from this peaceful and beach blessed town.

Lately, the sea and the mountains are calling me.

I have been longing for quiet times where I would just write my thoughts and places in the past months and glad I took a leap of faith in this area. I conquered two mountains already, Mt. Maynoba and Mt. Ulap.

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And now, I am conquering beaches!

Not the populated ones though, but the peaceful and laid back beaches like Ivory Beach Resort in Calatagan, Batangas. 

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Along Calatagan beach resorts (Manuel Uy Resort, Stilts Calatagan Resort, Burot Beach, and Playa, Calatagan) lies Ivory Beach Resort in Calatagan, Batangas.

This peaceful and Talisay-blessed resort is perfect for those who want to spend the rest of the night in a tent or just to stay hours to enjoy the serenity of the vast beach space.

If you really want to have that peaceful stay with a few other beachgoers, we suggest that you try Ivory Beach Coast Calatagan.


How to Get to Ivory Beach Resort from Calatagan Bayan

From Calatagan Bayan, it will approximately take you less than 30 minutes to this hidden beach resort via tricycle.

Tricycle Fare to Ivory Resort: PHP 100/pax

Bus Fare to Calatagan: PHP 160/pax

Van Fare to Calatagan: PHP 180/pax

It’s a bit far from Calatagan Bayan so please, wag na nating baratin sila Kuya driver. 🙂


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The Ivory Beach Calatagan Resort

Angelic (my best friend) and I arrived at the beach at 1:00 in the afternoon already as we prepared some food and also went to the grocery to grab some snacks and drinks.

Being a beach lover, what I appreciate more about the place is its exclusivity. 

I can actually compare this beach to the virgin beaches in my hometown, Masbate.

Also, although there are a number of pitched tents in the area, still, the feeling of peace and stillness of the place is there.

Or maybe because I was just too focused on how lovely the ocean is. Even if low tide siya. Hehe.

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Ang peaceful. Ang ganda. Gusto ko din ‘tong time na ‘to na parang uulan sya.


The water was not high when we arrived. Sad because we weren’t able to fully enjoy the beach.

But, we enjoyed cooking/roasting or should I say ‘toasting’ hotdogs. Haha! We had a very lovely chef by the way. Love how she made our hotdogs so yummy!

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Going back to the beach, I also love that this resort is blessed with trees that bring shade to the beachgoers. It also has tables and some areas have hammocks as well. Not sure though if it was brought by the guests as well.

Ivory Beach Resort Entrance Fee: PHP 100

Tent Pitch: 500


Read Also: Animasola Island Rock Formation | Island Hopping in Burias, Masbate

Who doesn’t love pictures?

Angelic and I are fond of taking each other’s photos (even if sometimes we get pissed at each other. Haha.)

Because the heavy rain is about to start (sad part because we had to leave), we quickly went to the beach and took photos although the water is really low.

After a couple of shots, the rain already started to pour. 

Looking for Calatagan beach resorts? Check this list.


Although we stayed for just two hours because it started to rain, my heart was still filled with so much happiness.

It has actually been my greatest joy ever since to be in the beach while raining.

All the more when I am already swimming! Huhu! That’s why it was hard for me to leave earlier. I wish I could still see the rain over this vast beach as it gives me the feeling of peace and joy each time I see the calm waters and the pouring rain combined.

I wish I can stay but I can’t.

But still, I left the beach with a happy heart, thanking God for another prayer fulfilled – to be with nature again and to experience the rain at the beach.

Special thanks to Concepcion Family!

Read Also:

Cavite Chasing Wonders Corregidor Heritage

Corregidor Island | Historical Spots, Accommodation, Tour Rates, Getting Around

Corregidor Island is a tadpole-shaped island situated at the entrance of Manila Bay in the Philippines. It is known for its historical contribution to the defense of Manila because of its strategic location.

Corregidor may be a small island but this 48-kilometer long island stands as a memorial for the courage and heroism of our Filipino forefathers and American defenders who fought the Japanese during World War II.

Where is Corregidor located?

Majority of the people I meet, if asked where is Corregidor located, they would insist it’s part of the Bataan peninsula. Years before, I would personally insist on this as well but after researching (and this trip as a proof), Corregidor Island is part ofCavite.

I think Corregidor Island is mostly known to be part of Bataan because it is linked to the Death March that happened in Bataan. But, yes! Corregidor is actually part of Cavite City, Cavite.

Related Post: Bataan Travel Guide: What To Do, Where to Eat, Where to Stay & Itinerary

Photo by Wikipedia

How to get to Corregidor Island?

The most popular way to get to Corregidor Island is through the only accredited agency, Sun Cruises. 

Sun Cruises provides one internationally-classed vessel/fast ferry to cater the round trip transfers to and from Corregidor Island.

Sun Cruiser II can accommodate a maximum of 280 passengers per ride which totals to 560 passengers in a day.

Sea Side Terminal | Sun Cruises

You may book through their website at or their partner agency,

But if you are one of those who have their own vessels, (yes, ikaw na! Pa-experience, please!) you may coordinate directly with Sun Cruises for the tour packages and special arrangements.

Inside Sun Cruises vessel going to Corregidor Island.
Lovely morning <3

Sun Cruises
Seaside Boulevard, SM MOA Complex

What to see in Corregidor Island?

Before we start, I just wanna say that I had so much admiration to the government bodies, third-party organizations, partners, and especially to the Corregidor Foundation, which has been in the works for several years already to protect the island, promote full restoration, and conserve the history and its contribution to the Philippines.

Upon arrival in Corregidor’s port, we were immediately welcomed by some refreshing drinks and this pretty tram!

Below are just some of the remnants of the past that can still be seen in Corregidor. I urge each and every one of you reading this to visit and explore Corregidor.

1. Malinta Tunnel

Where did the name ‘Malinta’ come from? ‘Malinta’ is derived from the word ‘leech’ because during the old times, Malinta Hills, is full of leeches or ‘linta’ in tagalog, hence, Ma-linta.

Related: Malinta Tunnel Expedition

The Malinta Tunnel was built by the American soldiers for storage and bunker but was later equipped with 1000 hospital beds.

During the war, it was said that there were 2,000 Japanese soldiers who committed suicide when the US began bombing the tunnel resulting in the blockage of the entrance in 1945.

Back in the days, I have heard and read stories about the Malinta Tunnel so I know the place has a very tragic past. That’s why I was so nervous while entering the tunnel’s doors.

I can still remember the loud pound of my heart. Haha! This is during our day tour, by the way. Wait for our night lateral tour!

2. Corregidor Hospital Ruins

It was a creepy visit, honestly. The area was so quiet and I can only just imagine what had happened in the past – the bombings, the shouts and cries of the wounded soldiers, the doctors and nurses running..

Corregidor’s Hospital was shaped like a cross for the reason that in the event of a conflict, it will be spared. But apparently, the Japanese didn’t mind this cross-shaped hospital and was bombed all out.

On to this day, there are a number of creepy drawings and writings in the walls of the hospital. I really thought we were going to visit the hospital in the evening — good thing we didn’t. We were there from 5PM to 6PM, I guess.

After the hospital was totally devastated, they transferred to some of the laterals of the Malinta Tunnel, hence, the 1,000 hospital bed.

3. Middleside Barracks 

Middle Side Barracks was built by the Americans in 1915 and was used as quarters of the 60th Coast Artillery anti-aircraft regiment, United States Regular Army, and the Philippines Scouts.

The Middle Side Barracks was bombed by the Japanese in the year 1941.

During my research about the middle side barracks, I found something interesting that was not mentioned in our tour. Check it here.

3. Filipino Hero Memorial (FHM)

One of the newest installations, this memorial is for the Filipino people who helped in the battle of Corregidor.

Located at the tail-end of the island, this site honors every soldier, leader, doctors, nurses who fought and died to protect the island of Corregidor during World War II.

4. Crater of a Dead Volcano

Unknown to many, Corregidor has a dead volcano. It was said that the four islands near Corregidor were formed due to the eruption of the volcano years ago.

5. The Filipino Woman Park

Near the Filipino Hero Memorial park is The Filipino Woman Park. This is a site symbolizing courage and bravery during the war.

6. Mile Long Barracks

7. Japanese Garden of Peace

As mentioned by our tour guide, in 1986, a group of Japanese gathered around 40 socks of bones in the area out of 4,000 Japanese soldiers who died in Corregidor.

The site was built to honor all soldier, may it be Americans, Filipinos, or Japanese, who died and fought in the island.

7. Pacific War Memorial and Museum

8. Battery Grubbs

Glad we ended our day here at the Battery Grubbs just so ready with the sunset.

9. Eternal Flame

We went here to experience the sun rise.

10. Battery Way

11. Japanese Tunnel

12. San Jose Chapel

Sample Corregidor 2-Day Tour Itinerary

  • Check-in at the terminal – 6:30AM
  • Boarding – 7:00AM
  • Estimated Time of Departure (Manila) – 7:30AM
  • Estimated Time of Arrival (Corregidor) – 9:00AM
  • Guided Tour – 9:10AM
  • Night lateral tour – 5:00PM
  • Morning tour – 6:00AM
  • Estimated Time of Departure (Corregidor) – 2:30PM
  • Estimated Time of Arrival (Manila) – 4:00PM

Tour Rates and Packages

Corregidor Historical Tram Tour

AdultChild Rate (3-11y/o)
Weekday RateP3,358P1,944
Weekend RateP3,629P1,944

Roundtrip ferry transfers (Manila-Corregidor-Manila)
– Guided island tour
– Shrine and Island entrance fees
– Buffet lunch with drinks
– Day tour kit

Corregidor Overnight Rate Package

Room Rate – SingleP5,250
Room Rate – Twin/DoubleP7,500
Extra BedP3,500
Family Room (5 pax)P15,000

Complimentary Roundtrip ferry transfers (Manila-Corregidor-Manila)
– Overnight Accommodation at Corregidor Inn
– Shrine and Island entrance fees
– Full board meals
– Day tour kit

Corregidor Adventure Game (The Rock Challenge)

Rate per pax

Note: Minimum 15 pax

Roundtrip ferry transfers (Manila-Corregidor-Manila)
– Corregidor adventure game
– Shrine and Island entrance fees
– Buffet lunch with drinks
– Complimentary historical tour
– Day tour kit

Corregidor Historical Walking Tour

Rate per pax

Note: Minimum 5 pax

Roundtrip ferry transfers (Manila-Corregidor-Manila)
– Walking Tour
– Shrine and Island entrance fees
– Buffet lunch with drinks
– Complimentary historical tour
– Day tour kit


Joining Tour – P650 per pax
Outdoor Activities – P550 per pax
(sunset and sunrise viewing, hospital tour, easy hike)
Kayak – P500 per hour

Where to stay in Corregidor?

Corregidor Island has only one accommodation in the area – Corregidor Inn. This newly-renovated inn has 31 rooms good for couples, families, and barkada.

Complimentary Roundtrip ferry transfers (Manila-Corregidor-Manila)
– Overnight Accommodation at Corregidor Inn
– Shrine and Island entrance fees
– Full board meals
– Day tour kit

We stayed in their twin room!

Corregidor Overnight Rate PackagRate
Room Rate – SingleP5,250
Room Rate – Twin/DoubleP7,500
Extra BedP3,500
Family Room (5 pax)P15,000

Where to eat in Corregidor?

Days before our scheduled trip to Corregidor, I browsed about the place and read that previous guests where not that happy with the food.

So, when we arrived at the place, I was surprised that their food tasted great! As in, promise. One of my highlights here were the food.

Corregidor Tour Packages

  1. Chill
  2. Thrill
  3. Learn
  4. Cheers

Chill Package

  • Corregidor Inn (Boutique Hotel)
  • Glamping
  • Swimming
  • Spa and massage
  • Sunset and Sunrise viewing
  • Movie by the beach with bonfire

The Rock Challenge (Adventure Race)

  • Exciting team building challenge of mental and physical tasks in exchange for clues hidden in several historical landmarks on Corregidor Island
  • Discover the more interesteing and mysterious side of Corregidor
  • Runs for about 2 to 3 hours depending on speed of play
  • Minimim of 10 players
  • Includes buffet or packed lunch

Thrill Package

  • The Rock Challenge (Adventure Race)
  • Island Pike XP (Picnic + Hike Experience)
  • Bike Corregidor
  • Nature Hike
  • Night Lateral Tunnel Tour
  • Army Post Hospital Tour
  • Camp Adventure
  • Rock Balancing
  • Kayaking


  • Historical Walking Tour
  • Historical Tram Tour
  • Photographer’s Package
  • Educational Trips
  • Hotel and Vessel Familiarization
  • Yoga Class


  • Wedding Package
  • Pre-Nuptial Package
  • Birthday Package
  • Corporate events

Other Corregior Island Photos

Pia’s Thoughts

After this trip, every time friends and family ask me where should they travel next, I always tell them to never skip Corregidor. I don’t know if it’s only me but I left Corregidor with a heavy heart. I felt like I have had a deeper connection to the island.

Knowing its infamous history, being with the very buildings that were used before, being and knowing the people who are running Corregidor and making sure Corregidor won’t be forgotten made me love the place instantly.

My highlights for this trip, aside from the food (haha!), were the night lateral tour at the Manila Tunnel, fun night with the bloggers and Sun Cruise General Manager (learned so much from her!), and the hospital tour.

I highly suggest you guys explore Corregidor!

Corregidor Travel Series

Related Posts:

Batangas Chasing Wonders Heritage Lipa

Casa De Segunda: Exploring The Home of Rizal’s First Love

Casa De Segunda, situated in the busy streets of Lipa, Batangas, is now a 136-year old ancestral house. This is not the typical ancestral house as this is where Jose Rizal’s first love, Segunda Solis Katigbak, lived.

Note: This is our second stop for our two-day CALABARZON culinary tour after a hearty breakfast at Asiong’s of Cavite in Silang, Cavite.

After an hour drive from my newly claimed happy place, Asiongs in Silang, Cavite, this quaint ancestral house greeted us.

  • Address: 198 Rizal Street, Lipa City, Batangas
  • Casa De Segunda Entrance Fee: P60 ($1.2)

I was all the more fascinated when I learned that before going inside, guests should ring the old bell to enter the casa! Being a city girl who is not used to seeing something like this in the metro, I felt I was transported to the 1880s era.

Hello, Casa De Segunda!

We entered an old gate and a number of Balete trees welcomed us. It was not that creepy for me as old houses always fascinate me – minus the infamous things that happened there, of course. This has been home to some Japanese as well when they forced Filipino to surrender their homes to them. Thinking about it, ilan na kaya ang namatay sa bahay na ‘to?

Stairway going to the second floor of the building

The old fountain at the center of the front yard caught my attention first. Its design made me think of how creative the people were before. And mind you, it’s still intact and working.

After a while, I saw an old woman now present and mingling with the team. Found out that she is the granddaughter of Segunda Katigbak.

The History of Casa De Segunda

Casa De Segunda is named after Jose Rizal’s first love, Segunda Solis Katigbak. The house is built in 1860s by Don Norberto Calao Katigbak, a gobernadorcillo, from 1862 to 1863, and was given to his daughter, Doña Segunda Solis Katigbak, Dr. Jose Rizal’s first love.

The house has been repaired in the year 1956 by Paz-Luz Dimayuga and eventually declared as one of the national heritage houses in the Philippines by the National Historic Institute.

Now, Casa De Segunda has been opened to the public as a museum for 20 years already.

A Tour Inside Casa De Segunda

Lola Lilet Malabanan, the granddaughter of Segunda Katigbak (she calls her Lola Unday), has been the tour guide of the casa for over 20 years already.

She started to tour us around the first floor of the house. As she was looking back, she noted about how the Katigbak Family were so prominent before, how the Japanese invaded the big houses of Lipa, and how Lipa has been one of the richest towns before because it was once the sole coffee maker/exporter worldwide.

The first floor now looks like a receiving area with a big painting of Segunda Katigbak, old sala set, and some old pots and ornaments.

_Upon entrance, you will see this big portrait of Segunda Katigbak like her way of welcoming you to her house.

After checking out the living room, we went straight to their dining area. Plates and glasses used by the Katigbak’s were still there and intact together with the cooking wares.

While Lola Milet was talking about their dining area, I was actually thinking I hope our family also tried to keep some of the old things and bauls of our great-great grandparents. What we only have now is the aparador of our Lola. Hope our Lolo’s baul is still in our ancestral house in Masbate.

Anyway, going back, after touring around the first floor, we were guided to the second floor of Casa De Segunda. I was amazed by how grand the casa is. Naisip ko, anu-ano kaya ang mga nangyari dito noon?

And then a strong wind blew us while Lola’s still touring us around. Medyo creepy. I can feel something heavy. Hehe.

Living Room at the second floor

They went to the rooms while I was still enjoying the fresh air of Lipa.

I love how well-ventilated the place is. Every where I look, I see windows. Nakakatuwa.

We went to the bedrooms of the house as well and it’s a bit creepy for me. Hehe.

Casa De Segunda Balcony
Casa De Segunda Balcony
Casa De Segunda Balcony

Pia’s Thoughts

I don’t know but the makabayan in me is proud that there’s a house that was spared in wars because this tells so much about the past.

Ever since I went to Corregidor and Bataan, I’m glad that my trips are all connected with history. I am not really interested before with history even in my highschool and college years, but everything has changed after my trip to Corregidor. Its like really going back to your roots and knowing what really happened then.

First floor living room

If you are around Lipa and would like to have a sidetrip at Casa De Segunda, please see below details.

This is the second stop of our two-day CALABARZON Culinary Tour. Warmest thanks to the Department of Tourism Region IV-A and to QuePATTA (Quezon Province Association of Travel and Tour Agencies).

Check out our CALABARZON Culinary Tour Travel Series:

  1. CALABARZON Culinary Tour: 2-Day Food Crawl in the South
  2. Asiong’s of Cavite | A Taste of Authentic Caviteño Dishes
  3. Casa De Segunda: Exploring The Home of Rizal’s First Love

Read Also:

Benguet Chasing Wonders Itogon Mountains Travel Weekend Guides

Mt. Ulap, Itogon, Benguet (Ultimate Dayhike & Budget Guide) – [UPDATED 2019]

Mt. Ulap Dayhike | Detailed itinerary

If you are a close friend of mine, I guess you would know how much I love Mt. Ulap in Itogon Benguet that whenever someone is asking me what’s the best mountain to climb, the answer is an instant ‘MT. ULAP’ with a big smile on my face, reminiscing my magical, foggy, and cold hikes.

I have been to this mountain twice already (see blog here) and it still feels like my first time! Maybe because of the cold weather, New Zealand feels, the pine trees, or maybe because she heard my prayers during my first hike. Haha!

Weird but I feel like I have a deeper ‘connection’ to this mountain that I can’t explain and understand. Yes, you can call me a weirdo! Haha.

Really glad that I went out of my comfort zone and decided to climb mountains (because I wanna try something new because, hello heartbreak! LOL!) last May 2017 in Mt. Maynoba! My bucket list is rejoicing!

Anyway, if you are looking for a chill hike, cold weather, beautiful green mountain ranges, and rolling hills, YOU.NEED.TO.SEE. Mt. Ulap


If you are up to a challenge, definitely Mt. Ulap dayhike is for you. Here are some details of Mt. Ulap together with the itinerary and things to expect so you can prepare for your climb.

    Itogon, Benguet
    Entry point:
     Brgy. Ampucao, Itogon
    Exit point: Brgy. Sta. Fe, Itogon
    LLA: 16.2904 N, 120.6312 E, 1846 MASL (Mt. Ulap)
    Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day / 2-3 hours
    Specs: Difficulty 3/9, Trail class 1-3,
    Features: Grassland and pine ridges, scenic views of the Cordilleras, burial caves
    Source: Pinoy Mountaineer

Mt. Ulap Summit

My mountaineer friend organized a Mt. Ulap dayhike since he also wants his friends to witness the beauty of this mountain. Fortunately, I got slots for me and my friend, Arlyn!

We are 15 in the group and since we divided the expenses, we only paid P860 each. 

Mt. Ulap Dayhike Expenses and Rates

Below are the inclusions for our 860 pesos DIY hike to Mt. Ulap.

Inclusions for P860 
– Rented Van Service 18 seater (Roundtrip)
– Environmental Fee
– Trail Head Registration Fee
– Local Guide Fee

Here’s also a breakdown of Mt. Ulap rates from our Tour Guide, Edu Losnong, if you are planning to do Mt. Ulap dayhike

Registration Fee
– 18-59 yrs old: P100
– 13-17 yrs old: P20
– Student with vaild ID: P50
– 12 yrs old and below: FREE
– Senior Citizen: FREE

Guide Fee
– Mt. Ulap Dayhike: P600
– Camping: P1000
*1 guide to 7 pax

Camping Fee
– P800 (Good for 10 pax)

Porter Fee
– One way: P500
– Two way: P800

Parking fee
– Mt. Ulap Dayhike: P50
– Mt. Ulap Camping: P70

You can also message Kuya Edu directly if you have questions. Please let him know that he’s highly recommended. 😉

Things to Bring

  • Head lamp/flash light
  • Trail water (2-3L)
  • Trail food
  • Packed lunch
  • Extra set of clothes
  • First aid kit
  • Toiletries
  • Sun/rain protection
  • Jacket
  • Plastic bag for your garbage 🙂
Read Also: 10 Tips To Save Money For Your Dream Vacation

Mt. Ulap DIY Itinerary


09:00PM – McDonald’s Greenfields District / Edsa Central (Beside Teleperformance) 

Since this is a Friday (Dec 23, 2017), Arlyn and I met at around 7PM at Greenfields. We ate dinner, talked and laughed about so many things, and bought snacks.

10:00PM – Departure from McDonald’s going to Ampucao, Itogon Benguet via rented van 

We waited until 10PM until we were complete. Since the other participants are from Zambales, they agreed to be picked up in Tarlac.

02:00AM – Arrival Sison, Pangasinan breakfast at Leeza’s restaurant, secure and buy food. 

I really don’t wanna go down and eat because I am so sleepy. I think I was not able to sleep in the van. Haha! But then, since Arlyn wanted to go and check the place, I accompanied her and ate breakfast. Leeza’s Restaurant is big but some employees were masungit na. Maybe because they’re tired and sleepy already.

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03:30AM – Arrival at Brgy. Ampucao | Registration | Secure Guides

And then, we finally arrived at Brgy. Ampucao! 🙂

It’s so cold! I know though that we will be having clear skies because there’s no fog in this area because comparing to my first hike, the place is full of fog, like 50% visibility only. I also love the vibe then! But this is a totally different experience.

We registered, bought tungkod (which I left somewhere afterwards), prepared our bags, and food. Don’t forget to use the comfort room! You don’t want to pee along the way, right? Hehe. I think they are getting 5 pesos per wiwi.

After some reminders from Drew and Kuya Edu, we said a little prayer and started our journey!

04:00AM – Start Trek (witness sunrise along the trail) 

The trek started with a long walk to the first ascend. Even though it’s cemented, the slope is still high and we were breathing heavily already. Haha!

For me, this spot is the very start of the hike. The wind was already starting to blow really hard and cold. Love it!

We had a couple of rests and photos. I also love how the sun starts to say hello to us.

This is my favorite trail — the trail to Amabanao Paoay! You will get to experience the rolling hills, how the sun kisses the mountains and all the pine trees. I love how the wind kisses my face as well..

Everything is really perfect that I just want to go back.

Super ganda nito sa personal. Can I just go back? Huhu.

Mr. Sunshine’s peaking already!

Dito ko narealize na matchy matchy ang cap ko at jacket ba ‘to. Haha.

Medyo nakakatakot ‘to. Konting push pa ng hangin, sa baba na ako pupulutin. Haha!

Wag na wag kakalimutang mag picture dito. Nakakatanggap, promise! Haha!

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07:00AM – Arrival Ambanao Paoay Peak 1

Contrary to the itinerary, I think we arrived at Ambanao Paoay Peak a little later then 5:30AM. I think Arlyn and I arrived at the peak at around 7AM since we are at the tail of the group, savoring every peaceful scene.

Love all the trees and trail along our way to Ambanao! One of my faves!

On our way to the 2nd peak, we got lots of New Zealand feels. Good thing we’re really at the tail of the group because the sweeper (Kuya Edu) is with us! Arlyn and I got lots of photos together as well because of Kuya Edu!

Yey! We’re here!

With our Kuya Edu.. Edu-Wow!

Wild berries!

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08:00AM – Arrival Gungal Rock Peak 2 | Rest | Photo ops

Because of the picturesque views and spots along the way, and we really love taking photos, we arrived at the Gungal Rock at around 8:00AM.

Mt. Ulap Gungal Rock

Mt. Ulap, Itogon, Benguet

09:30AM Arrival Mt. Ulap Summit Peak 3 | Full Rest

Mt. Ulap 3rd Peak

After around 9:30AM, we reached Mt. Ulap’s 3rd peak and got a really great view!

Mt. Ulap

Mt. Ulap

09:58AM | Start Descent to Brgy. Sta Fe

If there’s one thing I learned from my Mt. Ulap climb, it is we are sometimes too focused on the trail that we often forgot to stop, look around and appreciate the beauty of the trees, the cold wind, the flowers and the mountain. We always rant how tired we are already that we just want the climb to end.

Just like in life, oftentimes, we are too focused on the difficulties, of how hard our every day life is, of how we struggle so much with our work and with our relationships that we forgot how blessed we are still.

Anyway, it’s getting emotional already! Haha! Going back to the descent, there was one time when we stopped for over 15 minutes because we were waiting for some in the group. We sat on a big rock and just talked about life and how God made such wonderful trees, beautiful flowers, and perfectly made mountains.

Definitely God loves us so much that He created all these for us to enjoy and of course, to take care of.

12:30PM | Arrival at Sta. Fe Jump off, wash up, tidy up then travel to Baguio

At around 12:30PM, we already arrived at Sta. Fe. Arlyn and I together with Ate guide were the very first to arrive at the place! We quickly looked for our van to get our things, rested for a while and took a very cold bath afterward. Grabe, parang may yelo ang tubig nila! Haha! Very cold but very refreshing.

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1:30PM | Arrival Baguio City lunch at Goodtaste, City Tour, Buy pasalubong

After everyone’s ready already, off we wento Baguio for our sidetrip! Yey!

Of course, just like our first Mt. Ulap, we also ate at the Good Taste. If you’ll be going to Baguio never leave without eating out at Good Taste! Mabubusog kayo ng sobra without really spending much!

After lunch, we dropped by at the Burnham Park. While everyone’s busy buying pasalubongs and all, Arlyn and I opted to stroll around the park, bought strawberry taho and seated on the grass of their grandstand.

Burnham Park

05:30PM | Departure from Baguio, travel back to Manila

I love how this climb went and ended. Taho in my hand, green grass everywhere, a friend who is ready to listen with how cruel I am.. Haha! Love you, Arlyn!

Honestly one of the best climbs to date!

Burnham Park | Baguio after Mt. Ulpa day hike

11:00PM | Arrival back to Manila

This may be my second climb to Mt. Ulap but still, this mountain never fails to fascinate me.

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If you are looking for cheap hotels, inns, or lodges in Baguio, please refer to this blog list as we listed the cheapest hotel stays in Baguio City.

But see below some list of Baguio hotels:


Mt. Ulap will always be my forever love! I will never get tired of going back to this mountain. I promise myself that the 3rd time I’ll be going back here, I will bring a tent and stay overnight under the sky full of stars, cook Sinigang na Baboy (yes, I will!), and witness the sunrise.

Excited to go back! Will you come with me? Tara!

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