Stay | Batanes Pension Ivatan: From Hometel to Boutique Hotel

Pension Ivatan at night
Pension Ivatan at night

In a span of a decade, I can say I am seeing how Batanes transform. Recently, accommodations are on the rise to cater to the increasing number of tourist in the country’s smallest province up north. While new ones are being built or old homes converted into homestay, a long-time establishment asserts its place in Basco. Pension Ivatan, a small hometel with a restaurant known to serve Ivatan cuisines is already considered an institution. I have seen the trend of dining options come and go in Batanes but this is one of those that has stayed ever since I remember.

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Stay | I’m Hotel: 5 Star Luxury in Makati and the First Onsen Spa in the Country

The bedroom at the 1BR Executive Suite at I'm Hotel
The bedroom at the 1BR Executive Suite at I’m Hotel

It’s all about you at I’m Hotel. It’s time to celebrate your individuality and indulge yourself with some much deserved luxury. I’m Hotel is a 5-star hotel in the heart of the bustling Poblacion, Makati. It’s hard to miss this 24-story hotel, towering at the corner of Kalayaan and Makati Avenue. It’s near the central business district and just walks away from where the nightlife and shopping areas are.

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Stay | La Union’s Yang House: Good Vibes Abound

Facade of Yang House guest house
Facade of Yang House guest house

When the call of the waves beckons, now it’s fairly easy to ride a bus or drive up north. La Union can be as easy as a 4–5 hours drive or six hours commute on a good day. Staying in ELYU, there’s now a wide choice of accommodations to chose from. But if you are looking for something of value and at the same time imbibes the surf culture vibe, how about trying Yang House? A fairly new guest house in La Union that wants you to be part of their bonafriends.

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Stay | The Oriental Leyte: Grandeur Beyond the Waves

Morning by the infinity pool at the Oriental Leyte
Morning by the infinity pool at the Oriental Leyte

I think the world already knows what happened to Tacloban, Leyte more than three years ago (November 2013). Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) devastated Tacloban and the surrounding areas putting the region on a global spotlight. Pre-Haiyan, one of the fanciest seaside resorts stood in Palo, The Oriental Leyte. It received the brunt of devastation being located by the beach. But three years would be more than enough to pick up the pieces. Along with the province and the city getting back at their feet, the Oriental Leyte was rebuilt. Last November 2016, the hotel opened its doors again, softly to the public.

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Stay | Villa Jhoana Resort: A Home in the Heart of Angono

The pool and the mansion at Villa Jhoana Resort in Angono
The pool and the mansion at Villa Jhoana Resort in Angono

November is a very festive month for the municipality of Angono, the art capital of the country. Aside from the main Higantes Festival which usually happens on the 3rd week of November, there are pockets of activities leading to and after the event. If one plans to experience the Angono Higantes Festival, it’ll be a good idea to stay in town. One place I would recommend is Villa Jhoana Resort, a seven-room elegant pool villa strategically in the heart of Angono.

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Stay | La Roca Villa La Union: Little Santorini by the Rock

The arc and the calm shores of San Juan Beach
The arc and the calm shores of San Juan Beach

It was a calm morning. Subtle purple hues dominated the sky. I made my way to the segmented stairs leading to the topmost viewing deck atop the rock where this private resort was named from, La Roca Villa. It was only in this morning light when I can truly appreciate the place. From this higher vantage point, I could see the Greek-inspired structures of the resort. White washed walls, blue domes, a pool and the low-tide shores filled my view. Immediately, Santorini came into mind.

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Stay | Kahuna Beach Resort and Spa: La Union Luxury

The Kahuna resort pool illuminated
The Kahuna resort pool illuminated

There is so much action happening at San Juan Beach, La Union. The surfing, the chill night life and interesting eats in the area. Right smack at the center of it all is our lodging, Kahuna Beach Resort and Spa. A luxury Filipino-Balinese inspired resort facing the famed shores of San Juan Beach. This was our home for a night during our Lakbay Norte leg in La Union.

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