Batanes is located on northernmost part of Philippines. And I am one of the lucky few who had set foot on this beautiful island. It is hard to go here because there are plenty of factors to consider: budget, flight availability and WEATHER. If you are planning to go here, make sure that it is during summer time!
The budget for a round trip ticket normally ranges from Php 10,000-15,000, we were so lucky because we got it for only P4500, this was a promo fare from Zestair when they were still operating. I believe that Zestair had stopped offering flights tp Basco, but I think Seair is still on business.
Here are some shots that I took to give you more reasons to go. More pictures will be posted on my photoblog.
a newly opened resort in Elephant Island in Marinduque
See Promo below:
I must admit, I was a fan of Cebu Pacific promo before. Everytime there's a promo, I always wanted to book flights either domestic or international. All I can think of, is to just grab the opportunity and buy cheap tickets. During those days, there are times that we have to rebook our flight or even cancel it so unfortunately I have to undergo on their horrifying refund process, not even sure if they have process at all.
Now I am reading some comments from PinoyTux weblog "Cebu Pacific sucks" (nice title!), and I can understand their anger, I mean I really am. Kung 50 cents nga lang di ka sinuklian ng jeepney driver, nakakainis na e, hehe. There was a point that I really have to go to the Cebu PAcific office and asked for someone in-charge from their refund or accounting department, but it was useless. I can't blame their call centers, I know that it is somehow not their fault, except if they are not good in documenting all incoming refund request. I think the problem is in their accounting department that handles refund, I don't really know what's going on in their office, and I don't feel that all the people who works there especially the managers are doing their job.
One of the most stupid thing they customer service did to my friends is that: they cant refund a flight which was double charged on credit card due to internet error because they said that it was tagged as a promo, they said it because its what their system says. Because of this, I tried to help my friend, called the customer service daily, I took names of all the agents who answered it and asked for a manager. Whew, it is not easy to do that, ive undergone through many many follow-ups until I got hold one of their managers and finally have received their refund.
So..based from my experience, I just wanna share some few pointers When is the best time to call?
When it is your first time to request for a refund process, asked for the name of the agent who took your request and I think now they will provide a reference number to that request so they can track it back when you call back again
When they say 60 working days, start to mark your calendar! Wait for that 60 working days to give time to all those Cebu Pacific employees to do their "very difficult" job. Expect the worst.
While waiting for that 60 working days, pay your credit card bill first, don't expect Cebu Pacific to pay it back so quickly or else you'll regret paying the interest too.
And finally, when that 61st day comes, try to call your bank and ask if there is a refund payment coming from Cebu Pacific. If they say they have not receive it yet, then be prepared by bombarding calls to their customer service hotline. I'm sure that you'll hear hundreds of alibis why it was taking so long. And don't forget to ask for their names before initiating into a conversation, you'll never know if they will hang up on you if you lose your temper. Dont get intimated from those Cebu Pacific customer service, just come to think that they are only local call center agents and you earn So be patient, this is like a stress test, pag pikon ka talo ka, hehe!
Lessons learned: as much as possible, if I am planning any vacation, I would go to Philippine Airlines website first. Cebu Pacific had somehow built its bad reputation about their refund process, no need to prove it, its all over the internet. I hope Gokongwei clan would look into this, bad bad bad for business.
If you're the type of person who sees Holy Week as the best time to spend a summer vacation...where will you be? Sometimes it is very hard to decide if you're group does not have any definite plans. It always depends on time and budget. If you're from Manila and if you don't want to go on very far places, you can either choose Batangas on south area or Subic on north, both are just 2-3 hours drive.
Besides from Boracay, there are other alternative places you can go. You can try Coron Palawan, this is where you can find the cleanest freshwater in the country. Picture shown below is taken from a view deck found in Cayangan Lake. In Coron, the most common location on where you will stay is in the town of Coron, then you will just have to hire a boat to bring you on its best places, you can go to Cayangan and Baracuda lake, Sangat and Black Island for a fine white sand... and Calauit island to get a Safari experience. For more info click here .
Another place to be... is Batanes which can be found at the northern tip of the country, close to Taiwan, you can even get radio signals from Taiwan. I think everyone dreams to be in this place, ever since college, i always wanted to be here. Some folks are scared because of weather conditions, the safest time to be here is just during summer. But for our experience, we went last December, we took our chances... thanks for ZestAir for a cheap ticket price, we bought it for less than P5000.00 because of its promo. It was a fine weather but very windy. The wind was so strong that it can stop you while you are riding a bike, hehe. We stayed in town of Basco, i don't know if you can rent a jeepney to tour you, we brought our own bikes to roam the island, pretty good experience. Place to see is Sabtang island which is famous for stone houses, you can also visit the Honesty store and also the Marlboro country to witness green grass landscape as if you were in Scotland or Ireland (that's what they say) .
- Best of Mt. Pinatubo Photos
- December 2005.MT PULAG, BENGUET
- Kota - Kinabalu ITINERARY
- Jan 2006 - MT KINABALU, MALAYSIA and BRUNEI
- March 2005 , PALAWAN
We stayed at Treasures of Bolinao which is cheaper than the famous Puerto Del Sol. For my own review, I like the place including rooms, the cottages, they have what they call the bridge which is a nice place for picture taking and to witness the sunset.
Funny thing here is if you are going to use your credit card here, the staff would have to go to the lighthouse to swipe it because that is the only place where they can surely get a signal.
There are other options, you can go to Puerto Galera, im sure that there are so many people here, just be prepared to beat the crowd in Batangas pier. You can also go to Baguio for a cool weather or in Sagada. There are other places where you can go during Holy Week...its up to your family or your friends on where you want to be. Or you can just stay on your homes and sleep all day.
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You won't survive in China if you don't know how to speak Mandarin, thanks to my friend, Dex, hehe. Here are some of the videos he made, nice edit!
The Best Peking Duck
Shanghai 1st Day
Dining out at Shangahai
Just Arrived at Beijing