Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro: Everything a Pinoy Needs to Summit the Golden Roof of Africa

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Four in the morning, pitch-black and it’s 20 degrees below zero. There’s iced snot on my face but I don’t care.

The world is limited to what my headlamp illuminates, all movement restricted by six layers of clothing. I crane my neck at a column of headlamps extending to the stars. The gradient’s so steep I can’t discern where the headlamps end and where the stars begin.

For a while there’s no sound but the crunch of our team’s boots on frozen ice. The wind starts to howl. Up here, the climate swings faster than a Pinoy politician before an election. Has it been six hours since we started climbing? Ten? Suddenly our ‘Kilifighters’ – tough mountain guides who surround and constantly encourage us – break into a lively Swahili song.

Welcome travelers,

To Kilimanjaro, the towering mountain,

Just walk slowly, no problem,

Like a snake, coil around her,

And you’ll summit safely.

I fantasize of a fiesta waiting at the top, with steaming lechon, adobo, taho and everything else that’s hot and warm. I check my watch. Eight hours since we left Barafu, the dry and icy basecamp where we stashed most of our gear. We don’t stop – at this elevation, it’s tantamount to rapid body heat loss. I glance at my teammates and they too are trying to survive the freezing winds. Gradually the dawn reveals a windswept world of rock, of ice.

There. Up ahead, a final push away, lies the shoulder of Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa and one of the world’s Seven Summits. Gritting our teeth, we climb.

Preparing for Your Kilimanjaro Climb

Mt. Kilimanjaro is one of the planet’s most iconic mountains, so popular it’s in the intro of The Lion King. It towers over northern Tanzania, near the Kenyan border in a slice of Africa known to geologists as the Great Rift Valley. In actuality, Kilimanjaro is an extinct volcano that rises 19,341 feet (5,895 meters) – almost twice the height of Mt. Apo, which at 9,692 feet (2,954 meters), is the highest peak in the Philippines. Fortunately, Kilimanjaro hasn’t blown her top in 360,000 years, almost before Juan Ponce Enrile was born.

Dubbed as ‘The White Mountain’, Mt. Kilimanjaro is one of the world’s Seven Summits, the highest mountains on each continent. The other summits include Everest in Asia, Aconcagua in South America, Denali in North America, Elbrus in Europe, Vinson Massif in Antarctica plus either Kosciuszko in Australia under the Bass list or Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia under the Messner list.

Just half of the roughly 35,000 climbers who attempt to scale Kilimanjaro’s sheer slopes succeed, but you don’t need to be a rope-toting Sherpa to do it. For the average Filipino, summiting Kilimanjaro just requires years of saving, months of preparation and anywhere from five to ten days of steady climbing. Many Pinoys have successfully reached her frozen rim. You can too with these tips.

1. Choose your own adventure. Your preferred route and outfitter might very well determine how enjoyable and successful your trip will be. We chose Top Climbers Expeditions, a company run by pros with a solid success rate for summiting the mountain (we all made it).

From the Philippines, you’ll fly nearly 10,000 kilometers to Dar es Salaam, the quaint, seaside capital of Tanzania. For a slice of local flavor and culture, we recommend exploring its markets, museums and ivory beaches before flying to the jump-off cities of Arusha or Moshi, some 600 kilometers away.

There are seven established routes up Mt. Kilimanjaro and two trails for descending and resupplying expeditions. They vary from easy Marangu, where climbers can sleep in huts, to the more brutal and direct Umbwe Route. “We chose and highly recommend the Lemosho Route, the most scenic trail with the highest summit success rate due to its gradual ascent. We measured the route at around 70 kilometers which takes about eight days to complete, from the jump-off at Lemosho Gate to its conclusion at Mweka Gate,” explains Rofil Sheldon Magto, leader of our successful expedition.

Over eight days, you and your climb-kada will pass through cool pine plantations, misty cloud forests, wet moorlands, dry alpine deserts and the frozen alpine zone, where sunrays and wind dance like fire and ice.

While Kilimanjaro can be climbed year-round, the driest and safest climbing windows would either be from December to mid-March or from July to October. Climbing in the wet season means slogging through heavy snowfall and slushy mud – not much fun and not too safe for you or your guides.

Leave ample leeway when crafting your itinerary, adding extra days to anticipate instances when flights are interrupted, delayed or missed. Some of our teammates were stuck for three days in another country when a freak snowstorm canceled the region’s connecting flights. Worse, they weren’t issued entry VISAs, so they had to survive at the airport like Tom Hanks in The Terminal.

2. Pick your climb-kada wisely. “When high-altitude sickness, crazy physical challenges and inclement weather set in, you’ll be grateful for the company of your most trusted climbing buddies,” explains Rofil. “They’ll inspire you and your team to reach the summit, while taking care of you when you aren’t feeling well physically, mentally and emotionally. They’ll also probably laugh when you fall flat on your butt! Kilimanjaro is no walk in the park so you should look for buddies with similar goals. Climbers who you’ll enjoy trekking with, who’ve got your back no matter what happens.”

3. Save up. Prepare a realistic budget. Your two biggest expenses would be roundtrip flights from the Philippines to Dar es Salaam, capital of Tanzania, plus the cost of your climbing outfitter. “Be wary of cheaper outfitters, which may scrimp on vital services,” warns Rofil. Kilimanjaro isn’t cheap, but it’s far more affordable than the other Seven Summits. A budget of PHP200,000 (USD3.6K) should be enough to cover a climber’s roundtrip flights, travel and climb insurances, VISAs, accommodations, food, tips and pasalubong. “Don’t bring PHP200,000 or its USD equivalent in cash to reduce overall risk. Africa – like any place on Earth – is not bereft of crime. Pay for what you can in advance, bring secure credit and debit cards and stash your physical cash in various bags.”

Lastly, remember that Africa is a region where tipping is highly appreciated. Our team of six climbers pooled together our resources to give each of our 22 porters and guides a fair tip. Tipping generously not only helps hardworking Africans provide for their families – it builds a good image of us Pinoy climbers.

4. Logistics, logistics, logistics. This is the most critical part of your trip and one you should pore over again and again. “It may seem daunting and complex because it’s an international climb, so try to secure as many requirements ahead of time. Plane tickets, hotel accommodations and climb slots all fluctuate in price and availability so book them as soon as you can,” says Rofil. “Secure your VISAs immediately and don’t forget to get travel and outdoor insurance.”

You can secure your VISAs here while getting trip and climb insurance here.

Remember that clearing African immigration requires mandatory vaccines. Aside from complete COVID shots with boosters, you’ll need vaccines for yellow fever, malaria, typhoid, polio, diphtheria, hepatitis A and B, and tetanus. Many of these can be obtained from larger hospitals or from your local Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ). Secure these shots months ahead and remember to keep your yellow BOQ vaccination passbook with you at all times.

Always remember to check Tanzania’s official website as vaccination requirements may change over time.

5. Gear up. Buy, repair or modify your equipment ahead of time from reputable places like Decathlon and ROX. Insulated shoes, a down jacket, gloves, ear protectors and shades are must-haves.

“Don't hesitate to invest in quality gear because your life and limb will depend on it. Merino wool for instance works great as a base layer,” recommends Pinoy Mountaineer Dr. Gideon Lasco, who summited Kilimanjaro in 2011 and has since scaled numerous international peaks. “Good trekking poles can ease knee strain while making your downhill treks easier. Every part of your body must be protected from the elements. I highly recommend bringing lip balm with SPF, polarized sunglasses with UV protection, a buff or scarf to protect your ears and neck, plus multiple layers of gloves to keep your fingers warm.”

Redundancies can save your life. I made the mistake of bringing a water bladder on summit day. Though my body heat kept the bladder itself from freezing solid, the water inside the drinking hose froze solid. Fortunately, I brought along an extra two liters of water in tumblers.

Most outfitters will also let you rent gear for the climb. Don’t scrimp, especially on cold weather equipment. Rent thermal sleeping bags, which are worth their weight in gold. If you thought your fuzzy sleeping bag was warm at the top of Mount Pulag, imagine what it will feel like at 20-degrees below zero. Proper gear spells the difference between a good night’s rest and silent suffering until sunrise.

Remember to pack some good, old-fashioned Pinoy food, guaranteed treats after weeks of African fare. One of our trip’s best moments was when our teammates Grace, Isoy, Andrei and Yelena broke out cans of Pinoy dinuguan, sardinas and bagoong. For a while our mess tent truly became home.

6. Train like a beast. Ensure you have strong legs and a solid core. Endure harsh, almost ridiculous conditions when training to build mental grit. Climbing is mostly a mental game, particularly on summit day when you’ll be climbing 18 or more hours in a single day. Climb and bond with your team to know each other’s personalities, strengths and limitations.

Our team did conditioning through a series of minor climbs in Rizal, Batangas and Laguna. Rofil, Yelena and Andrei complemented climbing with Ultimate Frisbee while Grace went for long bike rides.

My training was endless running, weights and carrying my little boy plus a 50-pound pack up and down a mountain in Rizal in the full heat of summer.

7. Polé Polé. You’ll hear this term passed on along the trail. Literally ‘slowly, slowly’ in Swahili, this approach will maximize your chances of avoiding altitude sickness and physical injury. Climbing slow and steady allows your body to gradually acclimatize to both colder temperatures and higher elevations where there’s less oxygen for your body to absorb.

Altitude sickness is the top reason people fail to summit the mountain and it’s not to be trifled with. “Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a syndrome characterized by headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue and sleep disturbance which stems from being exposed to a hypoxic or oxygen-poor environment,” explains Dr. John Lei, a professional expedition doctor.

“Climbers are always at risk from AMS upon breaching 8,000 feet or 2,400 meters. “Higher altitudes might lead to the more serious condition known as High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE), characterized by altered consciousness, abnormal movements or even a coma. High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) is another serious condition where fluid accumulates in climbers’ lungs. The best solution for all of these is to immediately descend. Supplemental oxygen and medications such as acetazolamide, paracetamol and ibuprofen will also help.”

Polé Polé, deep breathing, drinking lots of fluids, eating high-carb food and getting a good night’s rest after each trekking day is your best chance of avoiding altitude sickness. If you really want to be sure, you can take a few pills of Diamox or acetazolamide to reduce its effects. You can usually find Diamox and other mountaineering medicines in Arusha, the jump-off city for your climb.

8. Enjoy every step. “Reaching the summit is your goal, but don’t forget that your journey is as important as your destination. The whole experience is your reward for your months or years of planning and preparation. Once you set foot on the mountain, allow yourself to experience what nature has to offer. Bask in the morning sun, feel the cool breeze, listen to the sound of the forest and appreciate the beautiful wildlife you might see along the trail. This is an opportunity for you to be fully present, so take things slowly. Take the time you need to find that inner peace,” shares Rofil.

9. Capture fleeting moments. “Don’t forget to bring your camera, a lightweight tripod, enough memory cards and three or more rechargeable batteries. Snap all the photos you want and take as many candid photos to record the moments that truly made your trip meaningful. Ensure your gear is weather-proof and back up your photos once you have access to your laptop or the web when you return to the city,” says Rofil. “The last thing you’d want is to lose your precious photos and videos because of lost, low-quality or damaged memory cards. Ouch!”

10. Pasalubong and side trips. The African continent offers travelers an endless array of pasalubong options – from food to clothing, to trinkets and tribal weapons. You’ll have ample time to pick up a few mementos from your once-in-a-lifetime trip after you summit the mountain. Souvenir stores will be ready as soon as you arrive in both Dar es Salaam and Arusha.

Your Climb Outfitter should also make a short stop at a good souvenir shop upon your descent from the mountain. “Some of these shops sell Tanzanite – glittering blue jewels which are found only in Tanzania, considered up to a thousand times rarer than diamonds,” adds Rofil. “If you have extra cash, you might want to buy a stone or two as Tanzanite is much cheaper in Tanzania than anywhere else. Ask your guides to help you haggle for a good discount.”

Should you decide to continue your adventure after your climb, then the possibilities are endless. You can go on safari a day or so after you descend. You can cross over to neighboring Kenya to meet the Maasai and Samburu people. You can travel north to Ethiopia to sip authentic coffee. You can even dive in the coral reefs of Zanzibar or the Great African Rift Lakes which host colorful freshwater cichlids. Remember, ‘safari’ is Swahili for ‘adventure’ – and your adventure doesn’t necessarily need to stop after summiting the mountain.

Reaching the Golden Roof of Africa

Nearly 12 hours after setting out, we finally reach Stella Point, the crater rim. From atop, we gaze down at the crater floor, blanketed by a vast field of jagged ice. The wind is brutal. I dash to the front of the column to snap pictures but gasp for breath after a few steps.

Oxygen here – even after two weeks of acclimatizing – is at 9% or less than half of the 21% that we breathe in the Philippines. All I can do is Polé Polé, Swahili for ‘take it slowly’ and the second-most important local saying for climbers (the first being Hakuna Matata or ‘no worries’) behind everyone else.

One breath, one step at a time, we march slowly to the summit of Kilimanjaro. It’s just 600 feet away, but with thin air, it takes nearly an hour to get there.

Eventually we reach frozen Uhuru Peak to unveil three stars and a sun. As we raise the Philippine flag – decades of dreaming, years of saving and months of training – finally pay off.

Up here at the Golden Roof of Africa we are – for a few glorious minutes – the highest people on an entire continent. (END)

Captioned Images:

Cover photo above:

Three stars and a sun. The Philippine flag flies proudly atop Uhuru Peak, the highest point on the African continent at 19,341 feet or 5,895 meters. Team leader Rofil Magto raises the flag while author Gregg Yan signals the successful completion of the first of the Seven Summits, the highest peaks on every continent. (Rofil Magto)

Mountaineering for every Juan. Team Parachichi unveils the logo of Decathlon, one of the world’s most accessible sports brands. (Rofil Magto)

Tools of the trade. Insulated water jugs, medicine, cold-weather clothes and extra batteries are just some of the items you’ll need to hump on your Kilimanjaro climb. Most of your gear – your ‘heavy kit’ including your ‘pamalit’ and ‘pantulog’ – can be carried by porters, but you’ll need to wear a self-sufficient daypack with food, water and an extra jacket at all times. (Rofil Magto)

Start trek. Our jump-off was the Lemosho Gate, which sits at an altitude of 7,381 feet (2,250 meters), around 1,000 meters higher than Baguio City. The vegetation and conditions for the first day will be familiar to most Pinoy climbers – just like climbing in the Cordilleras. (Rofil Magto)

Melting ice caps. Fierce winds up to 20-degrees below zero temporarily keep snow and ice from melting, despite sun rays that can cause sunburn in mere minutes. “These glaciers have retreated hundreds of feet since I started guiding people up the mountain years ago,” shared mountain guide FC Mtey. Scientists fear that global warming might cause Mt. Kilimanjaro’s remaining ice caps to completely melt away by 2030. (Gregg Yan)

Camp life. The temperature swung wildly at the Barafu basecamp. Full sun was as hot as a summer day in Boracay. Temperatures dipped by 10 or more degrees whenever the mists rolled in, which happened every few minutes. About five kilometers behind camp towers Mawenzi point which at 16,893 feet (5,149 meters), is Kilimanjaro’s second-highest peak. (Rofil Magto)

Kain po tayo. Your meals shall be served by a trained chef inside a comfortable mess tent which will be erected at every campsite. Cheerful chef Twahir ‘MPemba’ Nyange doles out a steaming ladleful of beans. African food is tasty, but can be tiresome. Remember to bring a few cans of delata to whet your appetite. (Gregg Yan)

It takes a village. The lifeblood of our expedition was a human train of porters who carried up to 20 KG of camp equipment and provisions daily. For Kilimanjaro, the ratio was seven support staff per climber. The six of us for example, were buoyed by 19 porters and three guides. Hardworking and friendly, Kilimanjaro’s porters are worth their weight in gold. (Rofil Magto)

Team Parachichi. Our team got its name from the Swahili term for avocado. From left to right are Grace Feraer, Andrei Nikolai Magto, Gregg Yan, Isoy del Rosario, Yelena Magto and Rofil Magto. Most of us have been climbing mountains for nearly 20 years. (Rofil Magto)

The most important seat in camp. You’ll bet your ass that the USD70 investment for this portable toilet is worth it. Do not, we repeat, do not scrimp on this. Wiping your butt in below zero conditions is just no fun. (Gregg Yan)

Let’s dub to that. Author Gregg Yan teaches guides Frank Mrema and Fadhili Hamza how to dub Pinoy style. (Rofil Magto)

Wildlife of Kilimanjaro. The ‘skunk monkey’ or Kilimanjaro guereza (Colobus caudatus) is the most conspicuous animal you’re likely to encounter on your week-long trek. We also saw forest antelope, chameleons, rodents and scores of birds. Wildlife in the cloud forests of Africa are noticeably distinct from the more familiar animals of the African savanna. (Gregg Yan)

Alien trees. Like a cross between a Baguio cactus and a mutant pineapple, these giant groundsels (Dendrosenecio kilimanjari) dominated the upper reaches of the mountain. Even at the very summit, moss-like lichens eked out a living. (Rofil Magto)

Great guides. Our three mountain guides from Top Climbers Expeditions are among the best in the business – friendly, helpful and knowledgeable about all aspects of climbing. From left to right are FC Mtey, Frank Mrema and Fadhili Hamza. We highly recommend them to all Pinoy climbers. (Rofil Magto)

Sight for sore eyes. These colorful markers demarcate where a trekking day ends and pretty much mean that the day’s six or seven hour trek is done. With sore legs and blistered feet, these are sights for sore eyes. (Rofil Magto)

Climb-kada. Team Parachichi poses for a quick group shot before setting out from Shira Ice Camp. The ground frequently freezes over but melts as soon as the sun peeks out of the horizon. (Rofil Magto)

Hakuna Matata. Our amazing porters and guides never failed to lift our spirits. Halfway through the expedition, they surprised us by dancing to lively Swahili songs. (Rofil Magto)

The long and winding road. With patience, your Kilimanjaro experience will unfold one breath, one step at a time. (Rofil Magto)

Impatiens kilimanjari. Endemic to the Mt. Kilimanjaro area, this enchanting cool-weather flower lights up the forest with its vibrant flame hues. Rofil surprised his wife Yelena with a mini-bouquet prepared along the trail. (Rofil Magto)

That’s a wrap! After eight days and over 70 kilometers of trekking, our team finally takes well-earned swigs of Kilimanjaro beer, which is almost as good as a Pale Pilsen. Now off to the pasalubong center for some haggling. (Rofil Magto)

Don’t forget your pasalubong. It’s the sacred duty of all Pinoys to bring home all manner of trinkets and snacks. Here’s a sampling of the many items you can take back to your family and officemates – paintings, wooden carvings, jewellery and baskets. Don’t forget to use your bangketa haggling skills, you’re a budget-conscious Pinoy after all! (Gregg Yan)

Expedition leader. Mountaineer and landscape photographer Rofil Magto safely led Team Parachichi up and down Mt. Kilimanjaro, the team’s first of the Seven Summits. He now looks forward to the next big adventure. Which summit will come next? Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina? Mt. Kosciuszko in Australia? Stay tuned. (Gregg Yan)

Pinoy explorer. Explorer and story author Gregg Yan wished he brought kaong, nata de coco and condensada to turn this lump of sheared ice into halo-halo, before settling for a few cold licks. The ice tasted exactly like mud. (FC Mtey)

Contributed by Gregg Yan

Friday, January 20, 2023

Top 5 Destinations for Filipinos to Travel in 2023

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

After not traveling as much for the past few years, 2023 is the year to really travel around the world and appreciate everything that there is. More and more routes are opening up from the Philippines, so, what are the top five destinations for Filipinos to travel to in 2023? Let’s dive in and find out!

Costa Rica:

As one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet, Costa Rica is on pretty much every top travel list for this year. From the stunning beaches of Tamarindo to the lush green cloud forests of Monteverde, there are plenty of things to see and do in Costa Rica. It’s also an adventure hub with zip lines, world-class surf breaks for those of you who love hitting the waves back home in the Philippines, and even whale watching.

Filipinos can enter Costa Rica on a visa-free basis for up to 90 days, which is plenty of time to explore all the hot spots as well as getting off the beaten track.

What not to miss:

● Go whale watching in Uvita, and discover a national park named after a whale tail-shaped sandbank in the town.

● Swim at the Catarata Fortuna waterfall in La Fortuna

● Start surfing in the party town of Tamarindo which has plenty of cafes and hostels in the area thanks to its dreamy peeling waves.


As one of the Philippines' close neighbors, Indonesia is a great option for a vacation with a shorter flight. With non-stop flights available from Manila for around 100-150 USD, it’s relatively affordable to get to the chilled-out shores of Bali or check out the striking Borobudur Temple in Java.

The good thing is that Filipinos can enter Indonesia for 30 days without a visa, so you have a good chunk of time to check out the sights. You will need evidence of onward travel when you enter, so make sure you have a return flight booked or are going to another country afterward with booked transport.

What not to miss:

● Visit monkeys at the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. Housed in an old temple complex, the monkeys have relatively free reign so you can get up close.

● Hike to Uluwatu Temple, located high on the cliff tops of Bali, offering spectacular sunset views across the water.

● Get blessed at Pura Tirta Empul. This holy bath complex is designed for Hindu purification practices, and tourists can touch and dip in the holy waters and feel refreshed and blessed.

Sri Lanka:

Famous for beautiful beaches, ancient temples, stunning hill country, and fractured history, Sri Lanka is an interesting destination to visit in 2023. Known as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka has become popular for surfing, yoga, and wellness retreats, as well as for checking out the extraordinary local wildlife.

Filipinos need to apply for an online ETA visa which allows for stays of up to 30 days on arrival. The online visas are valid for six months so you can apply for them in advance. Just make sure you have six months on your passport and evidence of onward travel.

What not to miss:

● Visit the fort city of Galle, an old English city that has quaint and pretty streets filled with artisans and cafes, and is home to some excellent cricket tests.

● Explore the outdoors at Ella, the main town in Hill Country, which is a retreat in nature, surrounded by amazing hikes.

● Take the iconic Blue Train and crawl from city to hill country and soak up the views.


Filled with history, culture, and amazing food, Morocco is one of the most popular places to visit in Africa. From the beach resorts of Agadir to the souks of Marrakesh to the culture of Casablanca, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

As a Filipino, you will need a visa to enter Morocco, but you can do this online before you travel. Once you’ve got your approval, you can stay in Morocco for up to 30 days. It’s valid for up to 180 days after the visa has been issued, so you can do this in advance.

What not to miss:

● Experience the blue-wash town of Chefchaouen. It’s a beautiful and iconic town, painted entirely blue, and is located in the north of the country.

● Lose yourself in the Jardin Majorelle-Yves Saint Laurent Mansion with amazing tropical gardens and Moroccan architecture.

● Be awe-inspired by Ouzoud Falls. Located against striking red brick, these falls are outstanding and have plenty of monkeys calling the area home.


Another short-haul option from the Philippines for 2023 is Vietnam. A popular destination for travelers from all around the world, you can enjoy a whole new culture and benefit from super cheap food and accommodations.

Filipinos do not need a visa to enter Vietnam, as long as they’re staying for less than 14 days. There are also plenty of direct flights from Manila to Vietnam for around 150 USD return, making it an affordable option for a short trip.

What not to miss:

● Cruise around one of the most beautiful beaches and bays in the world, Hạ Long Bay, best enjoyed from the water.

● Experience modern Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City, with soaring skyscrapers, thousands of eateries, stores, and bars, a visit to the Vietnamese capital is a must.

● Soft stretches of golden, white sands await you on the island of Phú Quốc with swaying palms all around you.

So, if you’re thinking of booking a vacation for 2023, there are plenty of amazing options for Filipino travelers. Whether you want to travel across the world to Morocco or Costa Rica, stay local with Vietnam or Indonesia, or split the difference and head to Sri Lanka, the choice is yours - they’re all amazing and varied options!

Thursday, August 26, 2021

“Ember” and “Aquamar Kitchen” to Debut Aboard Vista, Oceania Cruises’ New Ship

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Oceania Cruises, the world’s leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line, revealed the restaurants and dining experiences aboard its newest ship, Vista, due to debut in early 2023.

“Vista will present a fresh perspective on the finest cuisine at sea with an astounding array of dining options that range from informal to the extravagant,” stated Bob Binder, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises.

Vista will offer a total of twelve culinary venues, which is unprecedented for a ship of its size. Of the twelve, four are brand new and exclusive to Vista.

“We have never been content to rest on our laurels, so even the expected has become the unexpected. A dramatic re-inspiration of every dining space from décor to table setting to menu offerings has resulted in a new pinnacle of diversity and creativity for our guests to enjoy,” added Binder.

Ember is the signature addition to Oceania Cruises’ family of restaurants. Open for lunch and dinner, Ember is the ideal place to warm your culinary soul. Featuring a menu of inventive American creations blended with time-honoured classics, this inviting dining spot will instantly charm you with its alluring ambiance and tantalising menu. Whether you are looking forward to a leisurely evening of dining or a quick dinner before catching the headline show, Ember is where you want to be. Braised Short Ribs on Polenta, Grilled Swordfish with Asparagus, Crab Cakes with Spicy Aioli, and a Cobb Salad with Smoked Chicken are just a few of the delights designed to tempt the palate.

Aquamar Kitchen presents a decidedly fresh perspective on dining and the pursuit of wellness. Whether you are a dedicated flexitarian or a die-hard foodie, Aquamar Kitchen offers an abundance of indulgence with none of the guilt. Breakfast selections include cold-pressed raw juices and superfood smoothies, hearty homemade granolas and avocado toasts, organic power bowls, and savoury breakfast wraps. For lunch, dozens of tempting, healthy dishes are offered such as Slow-Roasted Organic Salmon with Quinoa Tabouleh and Lemon Tahini, Yellowfin Tacos with White Cabbage Slaw, or even a Crunchy Chicken Sandwich on a freshly baked whole grain bun.

The Grand Dining Room is the luxurious grand dame of Oceania Cruises’ culinary world. Here, guests will savour a leisurely dining experience in a truly magnificent and inspired room whose ambiance soars to equally lofty heights as the cuisine. This signature dining experience has always offered a bevy of delicious continental dishes, and now a fresh and new array of options brings even more exciting possibilities. Every day presents a realm of choices from signature Jacques Pépin classics to an incredible spectrum of global flavours and an all-new Executive Chef’s Tasting Menu. Menus change daily with an expansive choice of at least 10 appetisers, soups and salads and ten main courses, along with healthy options such as Aquamar Vitality Cuisine.

Polo Grill delights diners with the ultimate classic steakhouse experience presented with timeless reverence. Richly layered décor and an abundance of custom millwork create an imaginative rendition of tradition set against crisp white linen tablecloths while a cadre of black jacketed servers set the tone for an evening of gracious dining. Each course stands as the very definition of time-honoured favorites, most notably the beef dishes, all of which are 28-day dry aged certified Black Angus USDA Prime, while succulent seafood dishes such as grilled swordfish and whole Maine lobster gratinée are also classics in their own right.

Toscana presents an evolution of Tuscan cuisine in a truly Italian setting of rich Chianina leather, hand-blown Venetian glass and Carrara marble. Evolved from generational family traditions, many of our recipes originated with the mothers and grandmothers of our own Italian culinary staff. Presented on elegant, custom-designed Versace china, masterfully prepared dishes exemplify the essence of Tuscany and celebrate Italy’s culinary passion. Perhaps the evening begins with the Octopus Carpaccio with Champagne Vinaigrette or the Artichoke and Parmesan Cheese Timbale with Black Truffle Sauce, followed by classic dishes such as the Hand-Rolled Gnocchi with Pesto, a rich Risotto with Lobster Medallions and Shallots, or a Pan-Seared Sea Bass Fillet finished with Sorrento Lemon, Chardonnay and Capers.

Red Ginger radiates harmony and tranquility while evoking the boldness and subtleties of the extraordinary Pan-Asian dishes our talented chefs have created. Much like the room itself, the Thai, Korean, Japanese and Malaysian rooted specialities are a mélange of spicy and soothing, savoury and sweet to please virtually every palate. Begin with a salad of Spicy Roast Duck and Watermelon with Cashews, Mint and Thai Basil. Savour a Malaysian Beef Penang with Coconut Rice and Paratha roti. Or try Thai vegetable curry with sweet potatoes, aubergine, mushrooms and basil in green curry Sauce. In Red Ginger, the gustatory pleasures are as striking as the visual ones.

Terrace Café is the ultimate informal dining experience any time of day, whether inside the plushily adorned dining room or alfresco at one of the shaded tables on the stylish terrace. At breakfast, Terrace Café features a seemingly never-ending selection of sumptuous savoury and sweet temptations including made-to-order eggs, omelettes, pancakes and waffles. Come lunch, an expansive menu of international-inspired dishes is complemented by flavourful roasted and rotisserie meats and the magic of the pizzeria’s oven. In the evening, you’ll enjoy dinner in decidedly relaxed comfort as our chefs serve up an astounding array of dishes. Revel in a bounty of selections from grilled-to-order lobster tails, fish, fillets and steaks to freshly made, hand-cut sushi and sashimi. A varied menu of hot and cold specialities changes daily along with our hallmark Chef’s Market Dinners featuring locally inspired specialities from the ports of call.

Waves Grill is a casual, colourful, and perhaps a bit playful setting for dining on all-American favourites. Located in a spacious, shaded area steps from the swimming pool and Terrace Café, Waves Grill offers an extensive and mouthwatering menu during lunch and late into the afternoon for that much-desired snack or meal after an adventurous day of touring ashore. Watch the chefs grill gourmet burgers, succulent seafood and sandwiches to order in the open galley, accompanying them with sides like fresh salads, coleslaw and crispy, hand-cut fries. There is always room for dessert and the selection here is too good to pass up. Try a homemade sorbet, a made-to-order hot fudge sundae or a thick, hand-dipped milkshake.

The Culinary Center ascends to a new level of gustatory immersion as our passionate Chef Instructors share their enlightening perspectives on culture and cuisine through the lens of food and wine. Here, guests may not only partake in lively hands-on instruction – they may also indulge the pleasures of the palate in the new ocean view Culinary Center Dining Room with private group dinners or one of our many exclusive and highly acclaimed food and wine pairing experiences.

Priveé is our marquee venue for bespoke, intimate culinary celebrations for a maximum of ten privileged guests. Dramatic backlit, debossed walls and a blooming flower petal ceiling from which a dramatic chandelier descends over the polished marble slab dining table set the stage for a memorable evening. Meanwhile a wall of floor-to-ceiling glass provides an exhilarating view to complement a most memorable private dinner party that can literally traverse continents.

Baristas offers the ultimate panoramas aboard Vista with its commanding 270-degree views over the sea while guests enjoy complimentary illy® espressos, cappuccinos and lattes prepared by our master baristas as well as the delicious pastries, finger sandwiches and homemade biscotti. Just steps away, the new Bakery, with its freshly baked French and Italian pastries, is certain to be an instant hit. As the delicate yet rich scents fill the air, you’ll be drawn from the adjacent coffee bar or Library for an indulgent chocolate-almond croissant or sinfully sweet bombolini while enjoying the lost art of people watching or simply gazing out at the azure blue sea.

Coming Soon

Owner’s Suite - Details on Vista’s Owner’s Suites will be revealed on 30th August, 2021

Inaugural Season Itineraries – Vista’s inaugural season itineraries will open for viewing on 9 September, 2021, and go on sale the following week, on 15 September, 2021.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises announces captivating new 2023-2024 voyage collection

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

139 Sailings, 129 Overnight Stays, 15 Maiden Ports of Call and 4 Grand Voyages

Regent Seven Seas Cruises has unveiled its new 2023-2024 Voyage Collection, featuring exciting new ports of call and immersive cultural experiences in iconic destinations throughout the globe, with reservations opening on 19 August, 2021.

Crafted to create memories and stories that last a lifetime, The World’s Most Luxurious Fleet™ will sail an incredible 139 new voyages, with itineraries across Africa and Arabia, Alaska, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, the South Pacific, Canada and New England, the Caribbean and Panama Canal, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and South America, as well as transoceanic crossings, and four mesmerising Grand Voyages to explore. Enjoying exquisite comfort and care onboard, with every imaginable luxury included, guests sailing with Regent on one of its exclusive Voyage Collection journeys will enjoy a truly unrivalled experience.

Sailings range from 7 nights up to the recently announced 132-night 2024 World Cruise and feature more than 129 overnight calls in unforgettable destinations such as St. Petersburg, Russia; Kyoto, Japan; Singapore; Lisbon, Portugal; and Bordeaux, France. The 2023-2024 Voyage Collection also boasts 15 new ports of call, including Vanuatu’s Mystery Island, the majestic island of Syros in Greece, the captivating and untamed Lofoten Islands in Norway, and the charmingly colourful Puerto Banus in Spain.

Four inspiring Grand Voyages have been thoughtfully curated for the line’s most discerning guests: Grand Arctic Adventure, a 78-night sailing from New York to Barcelona; Grand European Sojourn, a 62-night journey from Stockholm, Sweden to Athens, Greece; Circle South America, a 67-night round trip commencing in Miami, Florida; and the Grand Asia-Pacific Journey, a breathtaking 59-night sailing from Sydney, Australia to Tokyo, Japan.

Discerning travellers can benefit from booking their preferred suite and itinerary early, with 50% Reduced Deposits available to guests sailing in Deluxe Window through Master Suites (Category MS-H), valid for bookings made by 30 September 2021. Regent Suite guests (Category RS), along with those sailing on a Grand Voyage or World Cruise, are not eligible for the 50% Reduced Deposit.

“We are delighted to release our very special Voyage Collection for 2023-2024, which has been meticulously crafted for our discerning guests, who we know have a passion for discovering the world in the ultimate luxury that Regent Seven Seas Cruises is renowned for. We hope that this new season of diverse and inspiring locales enables travellers to create memories and experiences that will last a lifetime,” said Jason Montague, President and Chief Executive Officer, Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

“We recently launched our 2024 World Cruise, which was an opening-day record-breaker for the third year in a row, selling out within three hours of launching. This phenomenal result reinforces just how strong the pent-up demand for luxury travel is among our guests, especially for longer voyages, and we are confident that our new Voyage Collection will be well received too,” continued Montague.

Together with spacious all-suite, all-balcony accommodations and FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions in every port of call, voyage fares also include gourmet cuisine in a range of specialty restaurants and al-fresco dining venues, fine wine and spirits, entertainment, unlimited internet access, free valet laundry, pre-paid gratuities, transfer between hotel and ship and a one-night, pre-cruise hotel package for guests staying in Concierge-level suites and higher.

In addition, more than 25 voyages aboard Seven Seas Explorer, Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Navigator offer guests a FREE pre-or-post-cruise land programme, along with NEW 4-night land programmes on selected sailings.

A brochure and video showcasing Regent’s new 2023-2024 Voyage Collection have been created. For more information, please visit, call Singapore 800-616-7097 / Hong Kong and Rest of Asia +852 2165 6020 or contact a professional travel advisor.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

For Second Year Running, Regent Seven Seas Cruises Sets Record for Largest Booking Day in Company’s History

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Luxury Cruise Line Enjoys Fourth Record-Breaking Launch Day Within a Year

Regent Seven Seas Cruises, the world’s leading luxury cruise line, achieved the largest booking day in the company’s 29-year history with the launch of its 2023-2024 Voyage Collection when sales opened at 8:30pm HKT on 18 August, 2021.

Reservations surpassed Regent’s previous largest booking day – which was set on 21 October, 2020 with the launch of its 2022-2023 Voyage Collection – by 15%. Travel trends identified from the booking day include a desire for longer, more exclusive experiences in bucket-list destinations, as illustrated by a significant rise in bookings of the US$11,000-a-night Regent Suite and more unfamiliar and exotic regions being reserved.

The latest record-breaking launch day is the line’s fourth in just under a year having broken their world cruise launch day twice, and now also their largest ever booking day twice. The phenomenal achievements began with the launch day for its 2023 World Cruise in September 2020, closely followed with the launch day for its 2022-2023 Voyage Collection in October 2020. Most recently, in July 2021, the cruise line celebrated selling out its 2024 World Cruise in under 3 hours.

“The outstanding result of our 2023-2024 Voyage Collection launch is the perfect spring-board as we welcome our first ship back to the ocean next month with the inaugural season of Seven Seas Splendor®,” said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer, Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “I’m proud to say that this is our fourth record-breaking launch day within a year, reinforcing the fact that luxury travellers continue to have a burning passion to explore the world and that Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ unrivalled experiences are extremely important to them. It also shows how our loyal guests have throughout this challenging period continued to give us their unwavering support, and we are delighted to be able to offer them the luxury vacations they so richly deserve.”

Uncompromised Luxury Travel with Bookings of up to US$600,000

Demonstrating that luxury travellers are still unwilling to compromise when they vacation, the largest price tag on a single suite booking was close to US$600,000. The booking was for the palatial, 412 square metre Regent Suite which comes with an in-suite spa with unlimited spa treatments, original Picassos, a private car and chauffeur in every port, and dedicated butler service among a host of other amenities. Overall, demand for this one-of-a-kind luxury experience - only found on board Seven Seas Explorer®, Seven Seas Splendor® and the soon to be launched Seven Seas Grandeur® - grows higher still, with bookings for the Regent Suite up by 64% when compared to the 2022-2023 Voyage Collection launch day.

While all itineraries were popular, notable destinations were Africa and Asia, with 3 of the top 6 itineraries booked focusing on the regions. In addition, Northern Europe, particularly the Baltics attracted high levels of interest. The voyage which attracted the most bookings was a 21-night Istanbul, Turkey to Dubai, UAE sailing on board Seven Seas Navigator® which tours the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. Starting at US$10,299 per guest and set to depart on 10 November, 2023 the cruise’s popularity illustrates not only that luxury travellers are keen to explore exotic lands once again, but that they also want to make up for lost time with longer adventures at sea. With overnights in both Israel and Egypt, as well as a transit of the Suez Canal, this port-intensive sailing epitomises the unparallelled destination immersion provided by the 2023-2024 Voyage Collection which, when combined with The World’s Most Luxurious Fleet™, takes the travel experience to new levels.

2023-2024 Voyage Collection

As part of the 2023-2024 Voyage Collection, Regent’s five ships will sail an incredible 139 new voyages of 7 up to 132 nights, with itineraries across Africa and Arabia, Alaska, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, the South Pacific, Canada and New England, the Caribbean and Panama Canal, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and South America, as well as transoceanic crossings, and four mesmerising Grand Voyages. Enjoying exquisite comfort and care onboard, with every imaginable luxury included, guests sailing with Regent on one of its exclusive Voyage Collection journeys will enjoy a truly unrivalled experience.

Unforgettable destinations such as St. Petersburg, Russia; Kyoto, Japan; Singapore; Lisbon, Portugal; and Bordeaux, France are featured, and the 2023-2024 Voyage Collection also boasts 15 new ports of call, including Vanuatu’s Mystery Island, the majestic island of Syros in Greece, the captivating and untamed Lofoten Islands in Norway, and the charmingly colourful Puerto Banus in Spain.

Montague continued, “With a rich and varied selection of luxury cruises on offer, combined with personalised service from a warm and friendly crew, plus the peace of mind of our multi-layered SailSAFE™ health and safety program, it’s little wonder that guests continue to return to Regent time and again.”

A brochure and video showcasing Regent’s new 2023-2024 Voyage Collection have been created. For more information, please visit, call Singapore 800-616-7097 / Hong Kong and Rest of Asia +852 2165 6020 or contact a professional travel advisor.

Radisson Resort & Spa Lonavala, a blend of nature and heritage opens its doors to guests

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Radisson Hotel Group announced its first hotel in the scenic hills of Lonavala today with the opening of Radisson Resort & Spa Lonavala. A drivable getaway with convenient air, rail and road connectivity from Mumbai and Pune, the destination is a travelers’ paradise offering many tourist attractions such as Rajmachi Point, Lonavala Lake, Duke's Nose, Karla Caves etc. The resort is spread over 14,100 sqm, offering sweeping views of the majestic Sahyadri range and one of the largest venues for hosting off-site meetings and large weddings. The resort’s commitment to sustainable design practices and extraordinary local character makes it a perfect getaway for modern travelers seeking a purpose-driven travel experience.

Zubin Saxena, Managing Director and Vice President, Operations, South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group, said, “Radisson Resort & Spa Lonavala is a key opening for us in 2021. The resort’s perfect location and MICE facilities make it an attractive venue for guests looking to host destination weddings, large corporate or social functions. The opening provides further momentum to our strategic expansion plans in West India where we are already present in cities like Mumbai, Pune, Alibaug, Karjat, Nagpur and will add Nashik to the list by the end of the year.”

Located at just 15 minutes’ drive from both Lonavala and Khandala railway stations, Radisson Resort & Spa Lonavala is easily accessible for guests traveling from Mumbai, Pune and Khandala. The resort offers easy accessibility to tourist attractions such as Bushi Dam, Narayani Dham Temple, Lonavala Lake and the celebrity wax museum.

Designed by well-known Indian architect, Kamal S Malik, the resort has been envisioned as the perfect amalgamation of sustainable design and local art and culture. The resort has seamlessly adapted eco-friendly design practices and incorporated reused natural elements such as stones from the site for stone-cladding of the entire building. It features areas such an open atrium, that has been designed to reduce the need for air-conditioning. The resort’s atypical entrance lobby has a grand cylindrical space which recreates the effect of the echoes of Shivaji’s forts, giving the sense of a conservatory surrounded by hills. Radisson Resort & Spa Lonavala is home to the country’s largest Gabion wall which is approximately 21 m in length and is a visual spectacle for guests.

The resort features 103 uniquely designed modern rooms across four categories - Superior room with balcony view, Deluxe room featuring a lush green view, Suite which offers generous space, and Presidential Suite which comes with a five-seater open deck whirlpool.

“Radisson Resort & Spa Lonavala is perfect for vacationers who want to enjoy hospitality in the lap of nature. The resort’s modern yet earthy architecture, unrivalled views, and easy accessibility to key tourist destinations, makes it a preferred choice for guests. We are proud to partner with Radisson Hotel Group and are confident that this hotel will set a new benchmark for purpose-driven hospitality,” said Mr Parth Bihani, Partner, Monarch Hospitality.

With over 4,500 sqm of indoor and outdoor event space, the resort offers seven venues: Raj Sabha Wedding Lawn, Raj Bhawan Grand Ballroom, Royal Bastion, Surya Bhawan Indoor Banquet, Torna Banquet Terrace, Pool Deck and Board Room, that can host up to 1,500 pax. All meeting and event spaces come equipped with modern audio-visual technology making them ideal for hosting destination weddings, social and corporate getaways. Raj Sabha Wedding Lawns and Torna Banquet Terrace, offer a spectacular view of the hills surrounding the resort, making every event memorable.

The resort houses three exquisite dining options; Hirkani, an eclectic cuisine restaurant with emphasis on Oriental, Coastal, Indian and local cuisine; Malhari, a niche and trendy lifestyle bar serving contemporary grills, signature cocktails with a special emphasis on local flavors and produce from chef’s garden; Torna, a roof-top lounge with breathtaking views of the hills, offering a wide range of options such as classic Indian dishes, seafood, barbecue and Italian pastas. Guests who want to taste delectable biryanis and kebabs can opt for an authentic experience in the resort’s Pop-up restaurant, with innovative menu that changes every season.

A key attraction of the resort, The Spa at Radisson, a full-service wellness center, is perfect for guests looking forward to an immersive and rejuvenating experience amidst the calmness of Lonavala. Personalizing each session, the spa has a distinctive approach towards wellness by optimally integrating the use of local products and vital aspects of local culture. Built on a unique philosophy, the spa is centered around mental and physical wellbeing where guests are encouraged to interact with one another and feel part of a community.

The resort is well equipped with modern amenities like a 24-hour fitness center and houses an interactive kids’ play area. A distinctive feature of the resort is its outdoor swimming pool – Kund, designed in the shape and color of an actual Kund (traditional water reservoir), overlooking lush greenery surrounding the resort.

Alok Kaul, General Manager, Radisson Resort & Spa Lonavala said, “The resort is uniquely positioned in terms of its location, sustainable design and modern comforts. We are confident that our unmatched offerings paired with Yes I Can! hospitality will prove to be a compelling option for guests looking for an enhanced experience.”

With the health and safety of guests and team members as its top priority, Radisson Resort & Spa Lonavala is implementing the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol program. The in-depth cleanliness and disinfection protocols were developed in partnership with SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, and are designed to ensure guest safety and peace of mind from check-in to check-out.

Photo caption: Façade and entrance of Radisson Resort & Spa Lonavala

Friday, August 6, 2021

5 Most Romantic Places to Visit in the Philip

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

In the Philippines, there is no shortage of romantic destinations. Lovers and honeymooners can find almost anything they're looking for in a romantic getaway. Surrounded by nearly 7000 islands, a honeymoon in the Philippines is the ideal dreamy start to your married life. The Philippines is an archipelago in the eastern region of Asia, surrounded by turquoise waters and uninterrupted surroundings. This picture-perfect Southeast Asian destination is a blessing for all the lovely couples planning a special secluded romantic retreat.

German citizens can currently enter the Philippines for up to 30 days without a visa. And, the Philippine government has announced that the new Philippines visa requirements for German citizens will be issued soon. Germans will be required then to apply for an eTA to the Philippines before departure.


Palawan Island, popularly known as the "Last Frontier," is a sugar-coated delight hidden in the mountains. Palawan's islands and islets have incredibly gorgeous beaches, turquoise oceans, and an astonishing underwater environment. This is regarded as the paradise in the Philippines for couples who love island life. El Nido, situated on the northern tip of Palawan, is an excellent location for viewing lagoons and coral reefs. You and your beloved can rent a kayak to explore the magnificent lagoons or go snorkeling and scuba diving to see an ethereal coral reef garden. Coron, a short ferry ride from El Nido, is a once-in-a-lifetime destination, especially if you're a couple who prefers adventure over luxury. You can swim in clear blue waters, snorkel down to shipwrecks, or simply relax on the bow of the boat while your captain prepares a seafood lunch for you and your partner. Due to the many beautiful places to visit in Palawan, it has been named the best island in the world several times by international magazines.

Boracay Islands

Boracay, one of the best islands in the world, is a popular honeymoon destination due to its crystal clear waters, pristine beaches, sparkling sunlight, and romantic setting. The Philippine Sea surrounds it to the east, South China Sea to the west, and the Celebes Sea to the south. The island's main attraction is the 4-kilometer White Beach, which has dazzling white sand and calm, crystal-clear waters and is where you can see one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. If you and your darling are feeling daring, you can participate in some of Boracay's challenging and enjoyable activities like scuba diving, cliff diving, and kiteboarding. Boracay is also one of the ideal places in the Philippines to propose, whether on the beach, on a sunset yacht cruise, or a helicopter ride around the island. Luxury resorts such as Shangri-la Boracay and Discovery Shores are among popular wedding reception locations.


Vigan is defined by its heritage houses, cobblestone streets, kalesa, historical attractions, and delectable cuisine. Nothing beats the romantic scent of nostalgia of the city. As one of the best-preserved Spanish colonial towns globally, Vigan has a distinct charm that would appeal to anyone. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is widely regarded as Asia's most beautiful colonial city. In fact, you won't find much of its classic architecture and cobblestone streets anywhere else in the Philippines. Take your time strolling the cobblestone streets, or spend some time window shopping at the many antique stores along Calle Crisologo. Your partner will undoubtedly love Vigan, as it is one of the best romantic getaway destinations in the Philippines.

Bantayan Island

Bantayan Island is a tropical paradise in the Visayas Sea, just off the northern tip of Cebu. Something is enticing about a sleepy coastal town with long stretches of white sand beaches. This island makes you feel as if you're in your own little world, in your own little space. Allow this small island to tempt you with its laid-back ambiance, beautiful beaches, and native-style accommodations for an amazing quality time with your loved one. Visit famous locations like Ogtong Cave and the neighboring The Ruins for romantic photoshoots. Get on a scooter and ride around town before heading to Kota Park for a sunset session. If you and your partner enjoy seafood, Bantayan Island is perfect for you as you can indulge in a seafood buffet for as little as P250 per person.


You'll fall in love with Batanes as soon as you see its rolling hills, scenic landscapes, and breathtaking cliffs. Batanes, nestled in the northernmost part of the Philippines, is one of the most popular places to visit for the anniversary. The traditional stone houses, vast greenery with an otherworldly view of the sunset and sunrise, a boulder beach, and friendly locals are some of the usual sights on this small island. Unlike other tourist destinations in the Philippines, Batanes is never overcrowded, making it ideal for a romantic getaway. Batanes' unimaginably beautiful features make it the best romantic retreat for couples.
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