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Manggwan aku jinu? Where do I go? Got a ticket for Batanes, the northernmost province in the Philippines.  It was only a few days before the flight that I was certain that I am traveling solo.  All this time, I was too at ease thinking I could sort out my accommodation and itinerary when I get there – as in go with the flow and be open for an adventure…until it dawned on me that I’m going there on Easter break, i.e. the peak season! Is there no room in the inn? Switch to anxious mode!

I started checking anything and everything about Batanes. Tried emailing, texting and calling recommended contacts.  No reply…until Ate Fe of Marfel’s Lodge took my call.  A number of bloggers mentioned her in their posts.  Recently she has expanded running Marfel’s Extension and Marfel’s Annex.  And would you believe, she is fully booked until July!  True to what bloggers wrote about her, she is very accommodating – a true Ivatan trait, a true Filipino trait.

Ate Fe took care of me. She met me at the airport. She found me a home-stay lodging, a street away from her place.  She introduced me to other solo travelers and so we teamed up together.  She contacted Ryan, a recognized tour coordinator and guide, and enabled me to join a couple of group tours.  Ate Fe, Ryan and Jay Ann, our guide to Sabtang even helped us with logistics, table reservations and planning our Do-It-Yourself trips on our free days.

As it turned out, I did go with the flow and had an amazing adventure! I have to thank the bloggers whose sites I found very useful, namely PinoyAdventurista, SolitaryWanderer, ThePoorTraveler, EscapeManila and the known media sites such as PhilStar and GMAnetwork for their articles featuring Batanes.  I owe it to them that I got enough info about this beautiful travel destination and met the right people.  To pay it forward, I am sharing my experience with you.  Hope the next visitor to Batanes finds this blog helpful.


Accommodation: Fe Fitero +63908-893-1475

Package Tours: Ryan Cardona +63919-279-5963/+63998-988-5898 (Smart) and/or +63915-803-4582 (Globe)

Snorkeling & Diving: Chico Domingo +63939-922-4609/+63916-419-7295

BATODA (Basco Tricycle Operators and Drivers’ Association) Hotline: +63929-703-8404

Places to Eat in Batan Island: (1) Pension Ivatan Restaurant (with reservations); (2) Bunker’s Café (with reservations); (3) Octagon Restaurant; (4) Napoli’s Pizza; (5) Koocharah Express Pizza; or (6) cook a simple meal in your home-stay lodge


8 thoughts on “Batanes

  1. Love love love your pictures Jing!!! I was quite worried for a while knowing you’re alone in Batanes. It’s great to know that you had quite an adventure. It makes me more interested in going too. Thanks for posting contacts. I’ll sure to make use of them when we plan our trip up there.

  2. After seeing your pictures, I want to book our next flight there! The contacts you posted will certainly be useful. You certainly had an adventure 🙂 I can’t wait to hear your stories first hand when we see each other.

  3. Great pictures, jing. Thats a knack I tried to imitate but never duplicated, not even that close. I know these are just the icings on the cake and you have more suprises up your sleeves, Let it go! Thanks for the photos, our treasured memory of batanes.

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