Exploring Batanes

You know that feeling you get when you get too excited about something and you feel vomiting? That's what I felt when I was the airport waiting for my flight to Batanes. This place has been on top of my "places to visit in the Philippines" list. I can't believe that I can finally cross that out. 

I slept through the whole flight. Luckily (and thankfully) I got startled when the captain announced that we were preparing for landing. Obviously, the first thing I did was look out my plane window. The only thing running through my mind was "Holy crap I'm here!" Batanes looked amazing from above which got me even more excited to explore this place.

This is going to be a very long post (probably my longest post yet!) so I hope you guys like the photos!

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Mt. Carmel Chapel

Mt. Carmel Chapel

This chapel is beautiful. It's just sad that during our visit, it was being renovated. 

This chapel is beautiful. It's just sad that during our visit, it was being renovated. 

Usual sights when driving around Batanes

Usual sights when driving around Batanes

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A device used to measure how hot sunlight is!

A device used to measure how hot sunlight is!

This is one of many tunnels built by the Japanese during the war. First time to actually go inside a cave. It's amazing how deep these tunnels go.

This is one of many tunnels built by the Japanese during the war. First time to actually go inside a cave. It's amazing how deep these tunnels go.

Waves from Boulder Beach

Waves from Boulder Beach

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Of course, this was my favorite part of my first day! Spaghetti (Filipino style) and Halo-halo!

Of course, this was my favorite part of my first day! Spaghetti (Filipino style) and Halo-halo!

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Vayang Rolling Hills. One of the many beautiful sights in Batanes

Vayang Rolling Hills. One of the many beautiful sights in Batanes

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Lighthouse at night

Lighthouse at night

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Woke up early on our second day to ride the ferry to Sabtang Island. The boat usually leaves at 7 in the morning and goes back around 12-1 PM. (If you plan on visiting Sabtang, make sure not to miss the ferry going back because the next one will be on the next day)

Believe it or not, the arch you see there was naturally formed! Amazing right?

Believe it or not, the arch you see there was naturally formed! Amazing right?

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The houses in Batanes are usually made of stone because typhoons would normally pass this island so they had to build something sturdy to withstand the typhoons

Oldest Bahay na Bato in Batanes -- Almost 100 years I think!

Oldest Bahay na Bato in Batanes -- Almost 100 years I think!

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Above: We passed by a house that was open so we took a peek inside. This is the kitchen area of the Bahay na Bato. Trivia: The Bahay na Bato houses usually are big because the living area (where the bed, living room are) is separated from the kitchen. The story behind it is so that when something catches fire, the whole house won't burn down and it will be easy to contain the fire. And also, for hygienic purposes, the toilet is very far from the house.

Below: If by chance you get left behind by the ferry in Sabtang island or you just want to experience what's it like to sleep in a Bahay na Bato, there are a few places in the area like this one that you can rent for a night.

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So nice to see that in the middle of their small town is a mini library where children can borrow and read books.

Our boat driver uses his foot to steer the boat. Pro.

Our boat driver uses his foot to steer the boat. Pro.

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Flights to Batanes are usually only in the morning because of their erratic weather. I was told that it was easier to determine the weather in the morning than in the afternoon. So usually the airport is already closed in the afternoon and the runway is open to the people if ever they want to bike around of jog. It might not look it but the runway of the airport is actually uphill.

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One of the many lighthouses in Batanes

One of the many lighthouses in Batanes

We got to meet a shaman of one of the fishing villages in Batanes. 

We got to meet a shaman of one of the fishing villages in Batanes. 

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This is the church where they held the first catholic mass in Batanes

This is the church where they held the first catholic mass in Batanes

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We saw this man from afar fishing. What he does is every time a wave comes in, he would throw his net to catch fish that ride the wave. We were lucky that we ran into him on the road after taking these photos. He showed us what he got and told us that he was planning to make Kilawin.

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The people in Batanes usually ride bikes or motorcycles to get around the place. You would rarely see cars here.

The people in Batanes usually ride bikes or motorcycles to get around the place. You would rarely see cars here.

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A visit to Batanes wouldn't be complete without visiting the Honesty Store. This store has no shop keepers. What you do is if you want something, you get it and drop your payment in the bin. You would also have to log your purchases on the notebooks on the table.

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Looking back at the photos, I still can't believe that I finally got to visit the place and see everything with my own eyes. I don't think my photos did justice to the place. Everything about this place is amazing. The food, the sights and the people were all amazing and I'm so glad that I finally got to visit this place.

 

To whoever reached the end of this post, I highly recommend that you plan a trip to this beautiful place ASAP. (also thank you for your patience in reading the whole post!)

You can check out tour prices here just in case you want to know the cost for your trip to Batanes: http://www.batanestravelandtours.com

Mövenpick Hotel in Cebu

I've always wanted to visit Cebu. Last April, I finally got the chance to visit. It was my first time in Cebu so naturally, I checked where to stay online. I stumbled upon my friend's post about Mövenpick Hotel in Mactan Island Cebu and decided to look it up. I asked around and heard good things about this place (and their ice cream too!). Let me give you a mini virtual tour of the place:

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There's this game area where you can play pool or table tennis if you're all beached out.

There's this game area where you can play pool or table tennis if you're all beached out.

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View of the pool area from above (aka dangling my camera 10 stories high)

View of the pool area from above (aka dangling my camera 10 stories high)

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We also tried out Ibiza Beach Club's Balearic-inspired signature 15 course grill. Didn't get to take photos though since it was really dark. You'll just have to try it if ever you find yourself in Movenpick. 

We also tried out Ibiza Beach Club's Balearic-inspired signature 15 course grill. Didn't get to take photos though since it was really dark. You'll just have to try it if ever you find yourself in Movenpick. 

Mornings by the beach

Mornings by the beach

Lounging at Ibiza Beach Club

Lounging at Ibiza Beach Club

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A weekend in Nagsasa Cove

A few hours away (around 4-5) from Manila, is this gem in Zambales. I never heard of the place until recently when a friend told me they were going to Nagsasa Cove. The first thing I did was to look up where the place was and what it looked like. Fast forward a month later, I find myself in a van at 3 in the morning with my closest friends on the way to Nagsasa Cove.

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Our van dropped us off in Pundaquit, Zambales. From here, we hopped on a bangka to reach Nagsasa Cove.

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We stopped by Capones Island before heading to Nagsasa Cove.

Andi and Cess

Andi and Cess

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Vince

Vince

Patrick

Patrick

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After setting up our tents and eating lunch, we rushed to the beach to swim! 

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In a nearby hill, you can hike up to see a better view of Nagsasa Cove.

View from one of the stops during the hike

View from one of the stops during the hike

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Traveling with the ASUS T300 Chi

I never really considered how heavy or thin a device is until recently. Ever since I started traveling with my friends, bringing my old heavy laptop was starting to become a burden until I finally decided to just not bring it with me anymore. I just opted to bring multiple SD cards with me and transfer them to my computer when I get home. One problem I experienced with doing this is the risk of losing the card without having a back up.

A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing through a couple of computers and found out about a new trend in portable computers which is the 2-in-1 laptop. I got really curious and researched a bit more and I finally ended up getting the new ASUS T300 Chi. I'm glad I found a new computer that I can always bring with me when I go out of town. No more worrying about losing my photos. Hooray!

Easy to pack and bring with me everywhere! It's around 1.58 pounds / 720g

Easy to pack and bring with me everywhere! It's around 1.58 pounds / 720g

12.5" HD screen -- perfect for people like me who enjoy watching movies.

12.5" HD screen -- perfect for people like me who enjoy watching movies.

I never thought that I'd actually want the detachable feature until I tried it. It's connected via magnet so it's easy to pull out when you want to lie down and watch a movie.

I never thought that I'd actually want the detachable feature until I tried it. It's connected via magnet so it's easy to pull out when you want to lie down and watch a movie.

Really thin at 0.28 inches! It comes with an Intel HD5300 so playing games with this one is possible! (So far, I've tried running DOTA 2 on it and it runs smoothly!)

Really thin at 0.28 inches! It comes with an Intel HD5300 so playing games with this one is possible! (So far, I've tried running DOTA 2 on it and it runs smoothly!)

It comes with 128GB SSD (another feature I didn't think would matter) but SSD really makes a difference when opening apps/transferring files.

It comes with 128GB SSD (another feature I didn't think would matter) but SSD really makes a difference when opening apps/transferring files.

I think this is the most favorite thing about the ASUS T300 Chi. It came with a free stylus. It's now easier (and more fun) for me to clean up photos on Photoshop!

I think this is the most favorite thing about the ASUS T300 Chi. It came with a free stylus. It's now easier (and more fun) for me to clean up photos on Photoshop!

Battery lasts me 4-7 hours depending on what I'm doing.

Battery lasts me 4-7 hours depending on what I'm doing.

You guys can check the ASUS T300 Chi here: https://www.asus.com/ph/2-in-1-PCs/ASUS_Transformer_Book_T300_Chi/

Exploring Hong Kong III

So happy I was able to visit Hong Kong again last November. I love that every time I visit Hong Kong, I get to see and explore new places. 

Always love it when I get the window seat. I never get tired of looking out the window.

Always love it when I get the window seat. I never get tired of looking out the window.

Our first day in Hong Kong was definitely packed! Arrived in Hong Kong around 9 in the morning, got to our place by 12 and had to rush because we were having lunch with friends at 1. After that we headed to Plover Cove which was about 1-2 hours away from where we were. --It also involved a ton of walking. 

Sights on our way to Plover Cove

Sights on our way to Plover Cove

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Jenna (@vintagedaughter)

Jenna (@vintagedaughter)

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Can't believe we walked this! Plus points if you spot the giant statue!

Can't believe we walked this! Plus points if you spot the giant statue!

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Day 2! Naturally, we had to stop and take pictures because the light was A+ Hah!

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Going around Sheung Wan

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Jerome (@jeromcan)

Jerome (@jeromcan)

Kara (kara.chung)

Kara (kara.chung)

Fay (@floatfish)

Fay (@floatfish)

Eloa, Catarina, Nuno and Varun

Eloa, Catarina, Nuno and Varun

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A collection of people jay walking... and Edward!

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Candy (@flosslai)

Candy (@flosslai)

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Gorgeous sunset from the Instagram Pier 

Gorgeous sunset from the Instagram Pier 

Thankful to have met this bunch

Thankful to have met this bunch

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All set for day 3!

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Probably the most colorful part of my Hong Kong trip. Taken around Choi Hung Estate

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Finally got to visit Ping Shek!

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Day 4. Slow morning in Kennedy Town. Went early so I get nice seats only to find out that the stores (including most coffee shops) open at 12! So I decided to order coffee in a nearby hole in the wall coffee shop and sat by the harbour (secretly felt like I was in a movie for a while)

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Flamingos! I never knew there were Flamingos in  Hong Kong. Wish I visited on a better time though.

Flamingos! I never knew there were Flamingos in  Hong Kong. Wish I visited on a better time though.

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Day 5 started with a trip to Royal Pacific Hotel! 

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Last stop before heading to the airport. Totally forgot the name of the place but it was just a bus ride from Kennedy Town.

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It was really nice to be back in Hong Kong.

Big thanks to the Hong Kong Instagram community for making our trip an enjoyable one!

I've got my fingers crossed to be back again next year! I don't think I'll ever get tired of this place. So see you again soon, Hong Kong!