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