Lakas ng Trip was designed to help Filipinos plan their travels ahead. It encourages people to personally go out and take pride in the wonders of the Philippines. Additionally, it hopes to make a sustainable livelihood to fellow travelers. Josiah, Lakas ng Trip's owner, was greatly influenced by his parents through their work travels when he was young.
A post shared by Lakas ng Trip (@lakasngtrip) on Jan 26, 2018 at 6:30am PST
Here is what happened during our visit to the lighthouse.
11:51 AM We arrived at Basco Lighthouse
6 minutes travel time by van from Vayang Rolling Hills.
It was still drizzling when we arrived at Basco Lighthouse but that did not stop us from visiting. In Batanes where there is a drizzle there is wind and it was fun and challenging, especially when you can’t stabilize your camera when holding it up in the air.
Here is a photo of a sign which tells the history of Basco Lighthouse.
There’s a wide area with benches where you can sit and look at the lighthouse or Batanes Bay.
I tried exploring even the back side of the lighthouse.
As it turns out there was a comfort room being built but still was not finished. I wonder how much a bag of cement is in Batanes since transferring it via sea is already hard due to the big waves.
We then decided to go inside the lighthouse and climb it. We were on of the last people in the group to climb the lighthouse, the reason may have been because we were the only group who climbed the hill in Vayang Rolling Hills.
Some reminders before we go up.
There are about three floors before you reach the top of the lighthouse. Each floor has a window that illuminates the floor and the stairs.
The stairs have a small width so you need to give way to those going down.
When we reached top and decided to go out to the veranda strong winds blew. Not strong enough to carry a human being but strong enough for us to hold on the railings.
Here are the views from the top of Basco Lighthouse.
Basco Town Proper and Cemetery
The road where our van was waiting.
The port of Basco
Then we went down.
And started walking to our van for the next destination.
12:06 PM We were back inside the van and heading to the Church of Basco.
Total time going around Basco Lighthouse and Naidi Hill: 15 minutes.
I wish we had stayed here for a longer time but I shall do it next time. Besides, Basco Lighthouse is only around 1.5 kilometers from the town proper of Basco, still a walking distance.
One of my favorite destinations is Baguio, my main reason is I love cool weather, and aside from this there are a lot of places to visit, food to eat and things to do. With so many things to do in Baguio often times first time travelers and even seasoned travelers gets intimidated, especially when looking for a place to stay in the Summer Capital of the Philippines. That is why you should try the Traveloka App on your next visit to Baguio.
The Manor in Camp John Hay
I have used the Traveloka App a couple of times already during my travels and it was really helpful when booking flights and hotels. But let me focus on why it should be one of your apps to install when visiting Baguio.
1. Filter Options for List of Hotels
I am a traveler who prefers to stay near parks since generally parks are more quiet than shopping areas. For practicality, I also prefer staying near shopping areas, not because I like shopping, but because that’s where convenience stores and restaurants are located most of the time.
To filter your results select Baguio City as your place of destination then set the other needed details such as number of nights, persons and rooms then hit search. Once the resulting list comes up press Filter on the bottom right of the screen and you can filter the results as much as you want.
By the way you can also Sort the results to your preferred option.
For me, I prefer sorting based on Highest Popularity and sometimes based on Highest rating. Then I search from the list on the price and quality that I can afford.
Colors of Stobosa
2. Map Selection
Sometimes, all the filters and sorting just makes me overloaded with information that I just want to just see a map on where the accommodations are located and their prices. Very easy to see.
You can also set filters so that your search for your perfect accommodation in Baguio City would be more refined.
Keychains in Souvenir Shops around Baguio City
3. The Price You See is the Price You Get
One of the reasons I prefer booking with Traveloka is that when I see the price on the list, I do not have to recompute for hidden charges such as 12% Value Added Tax (VAT), 10% Service Charge, etcetera.
Everything is included in the price. The price that you see in the list is the price that you will be paying.
1,421.60 Pesos/night * 3 nights = 4,264.80
How much you will pay is just a simple price multiplied by the number of nights that you want to stay.
Ube Jams and other pasalubongs in Good Shepherd
4. Budget or Luxury Hotel
You can also easily filter the results if you’re more on a backpacking trip in Baguio City or you want to stay in a Luxury Hotel by just pressing the Luxury and Budget button above the list.
It depends on what type of traveler are you. For me, I’m a mix of both, depends on my mood most of the time.
Our room in The Manor
5. Includes TripAdvisor Reviews of the Hotels
More than just list of prices and pictures it really helps when you see reviews of people who have already stayed in the hotels that you want to stay. One of the rich resources of these reviews is TripAdvisor, that is why it was really helpful to see that they included TripAdvisor Reviews inside the Traveloka App.
No need to change to the TripAdvisor App and search for the hotel that you want just to check on the reviews.
We were looking for a staycation in Cagayan de Oro City since we wanted to be somewhere away from the usual routine but do not want to go far away from Iligan City. When we checked Agoda, Red Planet Cagayan de Oro turned out to be an affordable accommodation that was just walking distance from malls. Very convenient for a staycation and we decided to book our stay there.
Book a cheaper stay in Red Planet Cagayan de Oro here.
Red Planet CDO is located at Claro M. Recto Ave. It is right in the heart of Cagayan de Oro City.
Currently it is just walking distance to Ayala Centrio Mall, Gaisano Mall and Lim Ket Kai where a lot of restaurants, shops and stores are located. We frequently visited these malls during our stay.
During our stay SM Mall was being built right beside Red Planet. Once SM is built this would really be a perfect staycation place since you do not have to walk far to get to a mall.
When we arrived at the bus terminal from Iligan City we just rode a taxi going to Red Planet. Travel time was approximately 20 minutes with medium traffic, fare was around 125 Pesos.
Since the lodge is located at Claro M. Recto Ave, which is one of the main roads of Cagayan de Oro, there are a lot of jeepney and taxis that pass by. In fact there were taxis waiting in front of Red Planet during our stay there.
If you’re heading to Laguindingan Airport you can ask the front desk to book you for a ride with shuttles. The shuttle will pick you up at your hotel and take you to Laguindingan Airport. You can check out the schedule below.
From Laguindingan Airport you can also ask your shuttle van to drop you off at Red Planet.
You can also head to the bus terminals of Cagayan de Oro where you can ride transportation going to Iligan City, Bukidnon and Davao City to name a few.
From the hotel you can also visit or do activties like the White River Rafting, Xavier Museum, Macahambus Gorge and many more.
Tip: There is a really delicious restaurant right at the entrance of the hotel named Circa 1850.
Reservation & Check-in Process
We booked our reservations with Agoda since it was much cheaper than other booking sites that we tried.
There was an option to book the rooms with breakfast but we decided against it. Unfortunately, we should have had book the rooms with breakfast since it was cheaper when we had all our breakfast at Circa 1850.
Note: The breakfast of Red Planet CDO is at Circa1850.
During check-in we approached the front desk and they were very pleasant. I gave my ID, they verified my reservation, I made a request for rooms at high floors, I was given the key cards for the rooms with the WiFi password and the front desk called a staff to guide us and help bring our stuff to our rooms. It was all done in less than 5 minutes.
The room was clean and the bed was really comfortable.
Airconditioning was working well and sometimes I would turn off the aircon because it got too cold. I think the insulation of the hotel was well built since when the aircon was turned off it was still cool inside the room. There was also a ceiling fan just in case you are not a fan of aircons.
The room had a cable TV, electronic safe, hair dryer, small tables on the side of the bed and a foldable table for work.
Hair dryer. I was not able to use this because semi-kalbo.
Electronic safe. Note to self: Must learn how to use this.
Foldable table. Note: I’m okay with foldable tables, I’m just not okay with the bed being my chair. I love chairs!
The room also had a private bathroom but I will get thru that later.
Red Planet Cagayan de Oro also provided hangers and a place to hang some clothes.
What the hotel lacks though are open cabinets like the ones in Sea Cocoon Hotel in El Nido. Most of the time my clothes were in the bed or at the table and my used clothes were at the floor.
In terms of spaciousness the rooms were somewhat small since there was limited space to move inside but it was okay for a budget hotel. If you want to do yoga inside you can do at the part of the room in front of the door and the bathroom.
All in all I was very happy with the quality of the rooms.
Note 1: The aircon remote control is located at where the keycards are inserted for electricity.
Note 2: They clean the rooms daily even if you did not request it. You can place the door signs if ever you do not want your room to be cleaned or you do not want to be disturbed.
The bathroom was clean and my right as a human being was satisfied since they had a bidet with strong water pressure.
Not that spacious but it would do as long as it is clean and comfortable.
Shower towels are included and also a rag.
The wash bin had a working hot and cold water, a mirror and a liquid soap dispenser on the side.
The toilet was clean and comfortable with more than enough space for my legs. Had a tissue and bidet with good water pressure on the side.
The shower room was separated by a glass wall, though it did not cover the whole wall so the water during the shower goes out of the shower room. But that can be solved by adjusting the shower head and wiping the floor.
There was a 3 in 1 Shower Gel, Shampoo and Conditioner Dispenser on the shower room. But since I prefer a bar of soap I am happy to tell you that they placed a small layover for it.
The hot water was working on the shower.
Internet, Electric Sockets and Mobile Signal
WiFi Internet was available at Red Planet Cagayan de Oro and the username and password were given during our check-in. Their internet was fast enough for me to work online and watch videos. Unfortunately, you can only connect up to 3 gadgets per room in their WiFi network.
If you have more than 3 gadgets that you need to connect to the internet I am happy to tell you that the Globe Mobile Internet Signal in the area was fast. Enough for me to work and stream videos. For Smart and Sun subscribers, sorry I do not have their mobile network so I was not able to test them *ahem* sponsorship *ahem*.
All networks, Globe, Smart and Sun Cellular, had a good GSM Signal even inside the hotel.
In terms of Electrical Sockets there were only about 3 that I saw. One is beside the foldable table, one is on the other side of the bed, the other one is on the hair dryer.
Beside the foldable table
Since breakfast was not included in our reservation we had to look for our very own breakfast. Since this was a staycation we were not in the mood for cup noodles as breakfast and we wanted something with rice and viands and I am happy to tell you that Circa 1850 was just right below Red Planet Cagayan de Oro.
They served really hearty and delicious breakfast but it was not cheap. Each breakfast costs around 269 Pesos but it was really good.
The hotel was all around clean and spacious. The staff was also very helpful.
If you are in dire need of internet and do not have a laptop there are computers that you can use to browse at the lobby.
Store and Restaurant Accessibility
On our second night we forgot to buy drinking waters and since we watched a movie it was already late at night and we could not locate any store nearby that sells drinking water. Luckily the front desk actually sells drinking water for 25 Pesos per 500mL water. They also sells some snacks and toiletries too.
Note: The front desk is manned 24 hours. Therefore you have a 24/7 store inside Red Planet CDO.
If you would like to go inside a grocery there are groceries in Lim Ket Kai and Ayala Centrio Mall but you have to go there during mall hours. There was a 711 along the way to Lim Ket Kai, I think it was about 300 meters walk.
When we were checking for accommodations in Puerto Princesa, one of our criterias was to be near a beach. Preferably beachfront. Another criteria was to be away from the busy buzz of the city but not that far away just in case we wanted to do something in the city. That was when we decided to stay in Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. A bit higher than the usual rates compared to budget hotels and backpacker lodge but definitely worth the price.
In terms of location Microtel Inn & Suites got what I wanted. Somewhere in beachfront and away from the busy city streets, but not that far away. It’s located in Brgy. San Manuel.
To give you a better idea on where it is located check the Google Map below.
If you are a bit worried that you will have a hard time going to Microtel Inn & Suites from the airport you do not have to worry since a reservation here includes a pick-up and drop-off to the airport for your check-in and check-out, respectively.
One of the van that they use for pick-up and drop-off from the airport.
When we checked in at Microtel we came from El Nido and I am happy to let you know that our van transfer from El Nido to Puerto Princsea dropped us off at the hotel. There were some delays on the drop off though since we had some of the passengers were catching their flight. And since Microtel is a bit far from the usual route of the van going to the airport we decided to allow the driver to drop us off last as long as he would let do a drive thru to Jollibee (we were craving).
There are no tricycles or jeepneys that always pass by the hotel that you can just wave to and ride in Microtel but the resort has covered that. I shall discuss on how to get and get out of Microtel in the how to get there section of this review. It includes a free ride to and fro Robinsons Place.
If you also book your tours with travel agencies in Puerto Princesa, like the Underground River and Honda Bay Tours, they could pick you up and drop you off at Microtel Palawan.
The room we got was 2 Queen Beds with Beach View, which I really loved. The room was big with high ceiling, beds were big and comfortable, the air conditioning was working well, we got a refrigerator inside the room and the room was really clean.
Anyways, here are what was inside our room.
Queen Size Beds
Comfort Room (CR) – I have written about this below.
Closet with drawers and hangers
A table and a chair
Their websites says that the beds were chiropractor approved. I really do not know what type of bed is chiropractor approved but what I can tell you is that I was very happy with their bed, not to fluffy and not too hard. I loved the fact that each bed had 3 pillows. I’m a pillow guy!
Light switches were accessible from the bed which was really helpful since you do not need to stand just to turn off the lights. The lights too were not too bright nor too dim. If you need additional lighting during the daytime you can open the blinds.
The view outside the room
Below are more photos of the room.
Most of the time we did not use the airconditioning and the ceiling fan because as it is the room was well insulated and had a cool temperature even if it was in the middle of the day.
By the way the room and bathroom was cleaned everyday.
The room from the outside.
The bathroom was clean and also spacious and has a sink, toilet bowl and shower area.
Taken with a GoPro
They also provided towels and some soap.
Soap, hand towels, dental kits, shampoo and conditioner and off lotion.
Taken with a GoPro
Water pressure was strong and hot water was working which I am really happy with.
There was a hairdryer too.
And I am very happy to announce they provided one of the most basic needs inside a comfort room, a bidet with good strong water pressure.
Electric Sockets, Internet and Mobile Signal
There were about 4 electric sockets inside the room that we can use. Which is enough really for us who carry not many electronics gadgets but I think this would be a problem if you have lots but that can be solved by using triple cube adapter.
In common areas like the lobby there are some electric sockets that you can use.
This was where we usually did our work online.
WiFi Internet was fast but only available in common areas.
Mobile Signal is a bit of a challenge. What I noticed was that mobile signal was a bit weak when we were in our room (groundfloor, beachfront) but when I go out to the entrance of the hotel there was a good amount of signal, the hotel lobby had a good amount of signal. At the beach the signal becomes weak this might be because the hotel was blocking the signal.
Mobile Internet (Globe) had the same problem but was really fast when accessible. We usually worked in the common area and I use my mobile internet to watch high definition Youtube videos.
We had two breakfasts in Microtel Inn & Suites Palawan both of them were buffet with lots of different food to choose from.
Fruits and Dessert
Soup and salad
Water and Juice
Cereal, Coffee and Tea
My favorite was the omelet station where I ordered my extra extra cheesy omelet. (I love cheese!)
Mushroom, Cheese and Corn
When ordering omelet just tell the cook your how your omelet to be done and when he is finished he will deliver it to your table. Just be patient if he has lots of orders.
Breakfast was located in front of the pool area.
See the blue doors, that was where we had our breakfast.
As it turns out the breakfast and the area where it was served was operated by the restaurant named Senordamla.
The restaurant or breakfast area.
All in all, I had happy breakfasts.
There is a lot to cover here so let us start on their lobby, which is actually divided into areas.
Because the front desk is located here I shall call this place the Front Desk Lobby. This is where you would want to sit down and just talk or read a book.
Because it is in front of the beach and this is where people usually pass by to get to the beach I shall call this lobby the Beach Lobby. This place is where we usually work.
Last September 2016, together with fellow cheese-addicts Lakwatsero.com and JovialWanderer.com we went to Galileo Enoteca Deli to try the Parmesan Cheese Wheel Pasta and it was worth it! Good food, great ambience and helpful staff.
A photo posted by Lakas ng Trip (@lakasngtrip) on Sep 11, 2016 at 9:06pm PDT
Do not know on how you can avail the Parmesan Cheese Wheel Pasta in Galileo Enoteca? This blog post is exactly for you.
1. Galileo Enoteca is a Wine Library
Going to Galileo Enoteca I was only looking forward to seeing my pasta be mixed inside the big Parmesan Cheese Wheel that I did not even bother to think on what the place looked like. Surprisingly, It was full of brick walls and many many wines. In fact, the word ‘enoteca’ is an Italian word which means ‘wine-library’.
If you read Galileo Enoteca’s history it actually mainly sold wines from Italy. We ordered Fragolino Blanco Sparkling as adviced by their staff (950 Pesos/bottle)*.
With Italian wines comes great Italian food, thus Pizza and Pasta! Cold Cuts and Cheese! Perfect partners for the wine.
2. Walking distance from MRT Shaw Boulevard Station
Galileo Enoteca is located at the intersection of Calbayog Street and Malinao Street in Mandaluyong City. If you do not know where that is then you are as clueless as I am when I first went there.
Galileo Enoteca Deli is only around 10 minutes walk from the MRT Station of Shaw Boulevard or Shangila Mall.
You can follow the Google Map below to get there.
If you have a vehicle you can park on the side.
3. Friday to Sunday only
Though Galileo Enoteca is open everyday of the week, you can only avail of the Parmesan Cheese Wheel Pasta on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only.
If you go there on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday you can avail of the items on their menu but not the Parmesan Cheese Wheel Pasta.
Here’s the daily schedule of Galileo Enoteca Deli.
Last order 10PM
Last order 10PM
Last order 10PM
Last order 10PM
Last order 10PM
Last order 10PM
Last order 9PM
4. Reservation is Required
If you’re planning to just show up in Galileo Enoteca and order the Parmesan Cheese Wheel Pasta without a reservation you would go home very sad because they require a reservation.
To reserve you can call their phone at the following numbers
You can also make a reservation via their website.
5. Price is 500 Pesos/order* for Parmesan Wheel Pasta
The price of the Parmesan Cheese Wheel Pasta is 500 Pesos/order.
I know it’s not your typical affordable price for a restaurant but that is how they priced it and we should respect it. Besides the price is worth it.
6. Choose what type of Parmesan Cheese Wheel Pasta
When the waiter gave their menu I was surprised that we still had to make a choice on what types of pasta and sauce should be mixed with it.
I was really hungry. So we made a quick discussion on what we will order and settled for the following.
Tagliatelle Pasta with Creamy Truffle Sauce
Penne Pasta with Alfredo Sauce with Shrimp
They were good choices if you ask me. Especially the Pasta with Alfredo Sauce with Shrimp.
7. Size of the Parmesan Cheese Wheel Pasta
When we asked their staff if we should how many we should order he told us that it was good for 2 persons so we only made 2 orders. When our Parmesan Cheese Wheel Pasta arrived I agree that it was actually good for 2 persons.
But my reality is different, with how good it taste and how big my appetite is I could actually devour a single order.
Parmesan Cheese Wheel. Alfredo Sauce with Shrimp. Penne.
8. Mixing Pasta in the Parmesan Wheel
When we ordered their staff told us to wait and they will call us when our pasta will be mixed in the Parmesan Cheese Wheel.
After about around 20 minutes, their staff approached us and told us that we should head to where they cook the pasta and mix it with the Parmesan Cheese Wheel.
There they taught us on how to properly mix the pasta inside the cheese wheel and we got an educational story on how truffles are retrieved.
This is my favorite part of the experience.
9. Galileo Enoteca is also an Italian Restaurant
Since I have talked about pasta for a great bit I think this point is already a bit too late but still it has to be said. Galileo Enoteca is not just a Wine Library, it is also an Italian Restaurant.