Tag Archive | "room"

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Where to stay in Siargao: The Matanjak Guest House

Posted on 22 February 2014 by Dreidel Regala

Matanjak Guest House

Matanjak Guest House is located in General Luna, Siargao. It’s between the famed Cloud 9 and the General Luna town.

As soon as I walked in Matanjak’s yard, I immediately felt the friendly vibe. “Lunch tayo!”, a few people were gathered in the open kitchen feasting on Tuna and Kinilaw on their hands. Normally I would shy away but my stomach has been growling ever since I got to the small plane bound for the island. So I took a huge chunk of Tuna for my appetite’s delight. Oh it was so good!

This is going to be good.

View of Buddha Surf Resort in the balcony

View of Buddha Surf Resort in the balcony

Minimalist interior

Minimalist interior

There are 5 rooms in Matanjak. Each one having a balcony or a terrace which I thought was amazing. At P800, I never had a balcony before ha! P800 a night may be a bit high for a solo budget traveler but Matanjak is actually one of the few places (if not the only place) with this price. And since there is a kitchen, guests can cook to keep expenses at the minimum. Incidentally, this kitchen is also a great venue to meet new people. From guests of Matanjak to local friends of Matanjak.

They come in everyday! Nice!

Matanjak common kitchen

Matanjak common kitchen in the middle

The owner Bunsoy, who surfs Siargao’s waves with a paddle board – UNLEASHED, is one of the nicest people you’ll meet in Siargao. He’s a traveler too so he enjoys meeting other travelers and very much knows what his visitors are looking for. “Parang nag-ta-travel na ren ako” referring to the people who stays in Matanjak.

Meeting their family is also like getting the whole package. His brother owns the adjacent resort La Luna which serves good food while his tatay owns a boat perfect for island day outs. For surfers, you can rent boards in Bunsoy’s shop or maybe ask one of his brothers to teach you. Good people I tell you!

By the way, from the airport it’s best to take a van going to Matanjak since General Luna is almost an hour from the airport. Vans cost P300.

***

The name Matanjak is derived from the surf spot in front of the guest house. It can be seen by walking (1 minute) towards the beach.

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Why I think Marfel’s lodge is the best place to stay in Basco, Batanes

Posted on 31 August 2013 by Dreidel Regala

Why I think Marfel’s lodge is the best place to stay in Basco? Simple – it feels home.

Ate Fe texted me that she’ll be waiting at the airport. After a canceled flight two days before, my excitement turned into a big worry no thanks to the lurking typhoon in the country. She told me I can stay in Marfel’s now that one of the original guest has rescheduled her trip. Nice!

“Dreidel”, a short-haired lady called me so I quickly turned to her and gave her a hug like I knew her a long time already. After waiting a while for other guests (who by the way turned into friends) who’ll stay in the sister location, we went on to Marfel’s lodge. It’s actually in a walkable distance from the airport even for guests on wheeled luggage.

Marfel's lodge

Marfel’s lodge

A simple 2-storey home in De Padua Street greeted me. There’s a living room, a dining area, a kitchen, and even a terrace. The house only has 2 bedrooms which could probably accommodate 2 solo travelers each, maybe more for families or friends who can share beds/spaces.

I had 2 other great housemates who are solo travelers too. “B” even cooked a feast for us the night before she left. We got along so well that everyday after going around the sites we would hang in the living or dining area to watch TV or just do a lot of kwentuhan. A lot of times Ryan and Jay-ann, our guide friends, would join us and play silly games.

Kwentuhan with (L-R) me, ate Fe, Alvin, and Ryan

Kwentuhan with (L-R) me, ate Fe, Alvin, and Ryan

I think it’s not just their friendliness to their guests but rather the Ivatan hospitality that is common to Batanes. Just like when ate Fe surprised us with a cooked lunch in a stormy stranded Wednesday. The typhoon winds were strong but I didn’t feel alone because it felt like home in Marfel’s.

The basic Marfel’s lodge may not be for the fancy soul so take note of these when booking.

  • It’s a house converted to a lodge so don’t expect hotel amenities
  • It doesn’t have overlooking views but location is very central
  • The room is priced at 350/person with a fan but there is air-conditioning installed too
  • If you are staying overnight in Sabtang or Itbayat you can leave your stuff in the room
  • At the moment there is just one toilet and bath so be mindful of use especially when the place is full
  • Sometimes ate Fe will check on the guest’s needs but keep in mind that Marfel’s is a self served environment
  • There’s a chance you will share the room, living, kitchen, and dining areas so try to be friendly, it’s fun!
  • There’s a mini honesty store in the house so be that – honest
  • Drinking water is not free but is reasonably priced in the honesty store
  • If you need anything that is not in the store, try asking ate Fe about it cause she has a separate bigger store too
  • Towel is provided but please don’t ask for replacement everyday
  • Try not to break stuff
  • Don’t ever take anything that is not yours
  • If you want to go biking you can rent it from ate Fe @ 20/hr
  • Ate Fe is the sweetest person who can take suggestions but please do it nicely and not in a demanding way

If you need more info you can contact ate Fe @ 09088931475. You may also read Solitary Wanderer’s and Pinoy Adventurista’s posts about Marfel’s.

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Island Nook in Boracay

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Boracay hotel: Island Nook

Posted on 03 August 2012 by Dreidel Regala

Anybody looking for a decent Boracay hotel? I’ve visited the island a couple of weeks ago and I’m happy to have this new find. It’s not a fancy place but I liked that I can still have a clean fragrant private room at a decent rate. Name – Island Nook. The place is by the road which may be an issue to some but personally I like it better cause I have easy access to public transport. So if this is no big deal for you then check it out! Here are some photos of my room:

Island Nook in Boracay

Island Nook in Boracay

Island Nook in Boracay

Island Nook in Boracay

Island Nook in Boracay

Island Nook in Boracay

Bathroom

Bathroom

I’ve been to Boracay a few times already and I think this room looks nicer compared to those closer to the beach (most budget hotels aren’t even fronting the beach). There’s an alley close to Island Nook which takes you to the beach so it’s not so much of a hassle to go there, plus it’s near D’Mall. The only minor draw I think is the food, Island Nook has a small Persian-style restaurant inside and the food is not that excellent except maybe for the sandwiches.

Tripadvisor Reviews

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