The Last Frontier of the North: Places to Visit in Beautiful Batanes

Batanes, the Philippines’ northernmost and smallest province, is a dreamy destination that’s part of almost every Pinoy traveler’s bucket list. Honestly, who can blame them? With its vast verdant hills, clear blue waters crashing into rocky shores, and warm and welcoming locals, Batanes is definitely a pocket of paradise. 

Small as it is (with a total land area of 219 square kilometers), Batanes has plenty of natural and cultural wonders to offer. The three main islands of Batan, Sabtang, and Itbayat are the location of idyllic villages, museums, churches, hills, rivers, and beaches to visit and enjoy. For first timers, it may be wiser to book a Batanes tour package. This way, you can both save money and get to visit all the must-see spots and attractions. Speaking of which, here are just a few of Batanes’ hundreds of breathtaking sights.

Rakuh-a-Payaman

These rolling hills and sprawling meadows (complete with roaming cows!) in Uyugan, South Batan, are more popularly known as Marlboro Country or Marlboro Hills. Indeed, Rakuh-a-Payaman looks so much like the setting of the infamous cigarette advertisement. The lush green fields and hills are complemented with the clear blue skies, wispy white clouds, and the crashing waves of the Pacific. It will leave you awestruck for a few moments, for sure, just taking in the sights and breathing in the fresh air. The pictures truly don’t do it justice; you have to visit Batanes and see just how majestic Rakuh-a-Payaman is for yourself.

Basco Lighthouse

Located in North Batan, the Basco Lighthouse is situated atop the Naidi Hills. It’s another well-known and often-visited tourist spot in Batanes, and it is also Basco’s most famous landmark. The spot used to be where the Americans established telegraph facilities in order to connect Batanes to the central government during that American colonial era. The facility remained there until it got bombed by the Japanese Imperial Army during the Second World War.

Basco Lighthouse or Naidi Hills Lighthouse stands about six stories tall (66 feet), with a viewing deck on the fifth floor. Here, you can enjoy panoramic views of the glorious sky and landscape, as well as sweeping vistas of the West Philippine Sea, Mt. Iraya, Batan Island, and Sabtang and Itbayat Islands.

Mt. Carmel Church

Also located in Basco, Mt. Carmel Church was constructed using traditional Ivatan stone houses as a design inspiration. The church is also called Tukon Chapel, an apt name since “tukon” means “mountain” in Ivatan, and the building sits on top of a hilly area near Mt. Iraya.

The Abads, the most prominent clan in Batanes, spearheaded the project with the help of the local community’s carpenters, craftsmen, and stoneworkers. The church was completed in May 2008 and has since become a popular venue for weddings. Photographers also love capturing the beautiful views of the West Philippine Sea and the Pacific Ocean from the strategic vantage point of the church.

Valugan Boulder Beach

The Philippines is known for its many white-sand beaches, and all of these are quite beautiful in their own right. If you’re looking for something more unique, however, Valugan Boulder Beach might just be the place for you. As its name suggests, Valugan Boulder Beach doesn’t have sand; instead, it has huge boulders and stones, which are the products of past eruptions of Mt. Iraya. Swimming is not recommended here, though, since the strong waves are a bit too much to handle for anyone. However, you can still roam around and hop on the boulders to take photos. The rock balancing art pieces, in particular, are popular subjects, as are the foamy waves crashing on the shore.

Homoron Blue Lagoon

Located in Mahatao, the Homoron Blue Lagoon sits between rocky cliffs along the road connecting Mahatao to Ivana. During the Spanish colonial era, the Spaniards had exclusive access to this area. This earned the lagoon the moniker “Spanish Lagoon.” Unlike most of the waters surrounding Batanes, the waters in Homoron Blue Lagoon are pretty calm and are thus perfect for swimming. The sloping, rocky path to get to the pool is a little obscured, though, so hiring a tour guide would be a good idea.

All the gorgeous tourist spots mentioned here are in Batan, but there are definitely more places to visit in Batanes. Dequey Island, Morong Beach, Chavayan Village, Malakdang Lighthouse, and Sumnanga Village are waiting for you in Sabtang. Moreover, the Agosan Rock, Kumayaskas Underground Stream, Port Mauyen, Mt. Riposet, and Siayan Island are some of the must-visit locations in Itbayat.

It’s time to book that flight you’ve been planning to take to Batanes. You owe it to yourself to see this breathtaking Philippine province in person, so you can fully appreciate its natural beauty and well-preserved culture.

How to Still look Good while on the Trip?

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.

A lot of you folks may ask on how others maintained their look while on the long haul flight?. Well, there’s no secret at all on how you can pull a celebrity looking be like while you’re on the trip all you have to do is to know on what are these essentials to have while you are on board.

First, this might be so basic and might doesn’t pay much attention to it, which is drinking water. Yes! hydrating yourself while on the trip is a must. Because body tend to need more water than usual as you are into high altitude hence treating yourself a bountiful of water is really a must do. So, please don’t skip in drinking nor to drink only carbonated drinks like what in-flight drinks as to offer.

Secondly, you should pack some light snacks. Because snack can really play a big role to your total look as they can give you a sudden energy that can boost your stamina while in flight thus your skin may became neutral and the level of PH might be get in leveled. Also, beside to snacks you can even pack your own skincare products that are of course can be on the hand-carry. And I personally packed some face masks with me while on my travel and I make sure that my moisturizer is in with me whole time along with my toner and cleaner that is of course in to travel size containers.

And for the hair tip for girls. I think you should consider in having lace wigs that you can only buy at this cool shop called www.divatress.com where all the lovely and human hair wigs were houses and selling for a very reasonable price. You can check it yourself to know additional details about them. But I really recommend their wigs as you really wanted your hair to be on fleek for the entire flight you had.

Lastly, try to get a lot of sleeps hence you can regained your energy and make your cell rejuvenate while you waiting to be arrived on your destination.

Airlines Review: Asiana Airlines

Since I was fond in flying with those budget airlines than these flag carrier airlines. It was too static when I was able to fly with one of the leading airline today which the Asiana airlines. The airlines is operated and locally based in Seoul South Korea. I actually heard a lot of good reviews to them and even a family members of mine really attests that hence I am too excited to fly with them for my Clark to London flight.

At first, I was hesitated, really, to book with them because of the pricing range in comparison to the other airlines. But good thing they have this BDO promotional going on which I considered and made me decide to try them out.

My experience was too good to not to write them up here, all staff and screw were indeed friendly and accommodating though I was the only Filipino on the entire flight, as I noticed though. Food was good too and you can ask for drinks, water, juices and wine indefinitely which I really like as am always hydrating myself as much as I can. And for the checking, ground staff are too friendly as well and they can even considered my request by having me placed at the aisle that other people pays just to be on that place.

The plane I rode is pretty equipped. They did have a front screen that you can able to see the airshow in somewhat made me really relaxed as am seeing the route we are taking at the moment. And for those who wants to have a spacious leg room, economy seats are pretty fine if you have a medium built body and every seat has a working USB ports too that might most of you will enjoy about like I do as I can charge up all of my devices before the arrival.

So far, my experience to this airline is fine good and I really recommend you to fly with them for the long haul flights.

How to Score Cheap Flights?


Travelling in a budget is one of the most talked about topic today, in teens especially. Because teens these days considered travelling as their hobby or perhaps their way of finding themselves, what they wanted in life and for course to even mingle and makes new friends. Yes! that’s how active and confident the teens are now today. Hence, I came up to this idea in giving out tips on how you can score a great airfare to save you up some bucks to travel.

Subscribed To Airlines

First thing you’ll have to do is to subscribe to any airlines you wanted to fly for, by this means you can update yourself in their sale seats firsthand and you can always take advantage on their subscribers sales that happens merely each month, depending on the airlines though. And airlines usually have this point scheme where you can exchange your airline points to any flight as you reached the corresponding amount points ,maybe, for a free flight. Learn about this by checking your favourite airline to fly for because airlines has differ reward system so I cant detail it out further.

Check Comparison Airlines Websites

it’s not gonna hurt you in checking comparison flights sites. Because these websites has all the access in all the airline’s sale which can make your job easier as you’ll just have to put in your supposedly flight details then the website itself generates and finds all the best deals you could ever have. I actually recommend this as this works in me so many times and one of my fave comparison website that I constantly checking was this skyscanner.com where I always gets an below 50 USD flight deals.

Attend in any fairs or events

Usually, airlines are fond in partaking in any tourism fairs or events that held casually in the malls, I think they doing it once or two times a year, where they exclusively giving out some discounted flights or even a 80% off in your keen flights as the part of their agreement to the department of tourism wherein this way they can encourage people to go out and have some fun times by visiting these beautiful scenery that they are currently campaigning for.

Choose the right Airlines

Usually, each country has this budget airline where they selling seats inexpensively than to the flag carrier airlines hence you should check them out first before booking your flights. You might gonna score the cheapest fare ever!

Acquiring UK VISA: Appointment Day!

As I’ve said, If you done completing your online application, have it printed out and already got your appointment date for the submission of your application package and for collecting Biometric and next step was to present yourself at the VFS ECO Plaza Makati Manila. Be sure that you’re 15 minutes early upon your appointment time as they’re allowing applicant to enter the building 15 minutes early.

VFS Manila ADDRESS:

VFS Manila Visa Application Centre
Mezzanine Floor, Unit M01 Ecoplaza Building
2305 Chino Roces Ave. Extension
Makati City 1231
Manila

United Kingdom Visa center was located at the second floor and as you goes up you may see a guard there asking for your appointment letter to present hence dont forget to printed out your appointment letter or less they cant allow you at all to enter the building.

Tips:

Don’t bring bag inside, actually you can but you’ll have to deposit it over to the locker beside to the guard area and it has a fee ( 75 PHP) which is not reasonable at all because you’ll probably staying at the building for like 10 minutes, in my case, so paying for the locker is not really a good idea. Better to have a companion who will wait you outside who can carry your belongings for awhile.

Also, make sure that you have your checklist ready as well that you can download beforehand over this link: https://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/philippines/Document-checklist.html. Because the representative will ask it over but if you forgot to brings yours, dont fret! as they have a spare checklist to give out for you to fill it up. 🙂

VFS Fees?

This is only optional though: if you opt to have your passport delivered at your home address there was a corresponding fee for that and it’s : PHP 525.00 and if you want an SMS update you can also get that by paying PHP158 which I dont recommend at all. Why? because they just texted me once stating that my application was being forwarded to the UK Embassy and after than I haven’t received any from the Text. haha! But they do email you as well regarding on the updates and status hence you’ll be not needing the SMS for that matter.

What to wear inside VFS?

Please dont overdress! VFS is not a embassy they’re just collecting our applications hence you can wear sort of “casual” wearing while lodging your application. Actually me, am just wore my obey sweat shorts and a basic plain tees when the time I lodged my application and still I can able to enter haha just dont wear tank top/sando and slipper, I guess.

 

 

Apply Your New Zealand Visit Visa Online

New Zealand is one of the best country to hang or to visit if you are really into nature and quite places, like myself. Hence, a lot of people are considering visiting the country now as it’s offer a great ambience and the scenic views of mountains and blued seas and rivers are really majestic to see that I know you dont wanna missed to see for your lifetime. So, start applying your a visa today for you to visit the country anytime soon..

By the way, this post is meant for these nationals who’re need to apply for a visa to come to New Zealand and you can check immigration.govt.nz for the list of countries that hasn’t need a visa to entry the country , New Zealand. But if you are residing in the Philippines, like myself, for example or in the same third world countries most probably you needed a visa to come to New Zealand.

New Zealand government are pretty considerable by making their visa application easy and not so time consuming like the old schooled way in applying for a visa as they’ve launched their online visa application whereat we can easily apply for a visa anytime we wanted and all you have to do is to upload documents in the pdf forms over your Realme account that you can start making here: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa. It is just simple to follow and as you have all the documents needed, most probably you can get your visa secured.

Mine actually got approved within 3 business days and I haven’t received any calls from them, to NZ Embassy Manila, just to verify things out or just to confirm on what is my intention visiting their country like most other embassies doing. And other good thing in applying for a visit visa is, for us Filipinos we really dont need to pay the visa fee, its totally free you all, as there was an agreement made by the both governments, NZ & PH, that lifted out the payment levy thingy as we’re applying for the visa. which is good, right? because we dont need to pay a hefty fees for us to acquired the visa.

For the New Zealand visit visa requirements and how to process it please do check my other post here: http://www.inexpensivejourneys.com/2017/03/13/new-zealand-visit-visa-requirements/