Banaue Rice Terraces
With no doubt, Philippines has one of the best views in South East Asia. One of the places the Philippines is proud to showcase to the world is the Banaue Rice Terraces. Did you know that the Banaue Rice Terraces is shown in the 20 PESO BILL? It is also considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Book your transportation here: 
https://www.bookaway.com/

We decided to spend the weekend in Banaue to relax and enjoy the view. This would be our second time visiting Banaue and Batad and we wanted to have a stress-free experience. We planned the trip a few days in advance to secure our accommodation and transportation.

WHY TRAVEL TO BANAUE
Banaue is one of the Philippine provinces that has a rich culture and beautiful scenery. It is the home of world famous terraces of Banaue, Batad, and so much more. Tourists from all over the world visit this location to hike along the terraces and visit the Tappiya Falls. Travelers can also learn about the culture of the locals and stay in their traditional Ifugao houses.

ACTIVITIES:
Banaue Rice Terraces
Banaue Village
Try the Kalinga Coffee

Stay in a Traditional Ifugao House
Hike the Batad Rice Terraces
Wear the Ifugao Traditional Clothes
See and swim at Tappiya Waterfalls

BOOKING WITH BOOKAWAY
We searched Bookaway for transportation options from Manila to Banaue. Three options were available:
- Tourist Bus by Ohayami Trans (Cheapest)
- Tourist Bus by Coda Lines (Fastest)
- Standard Minivan for 6 Pax by Flyeast (Private Transfer)
We booked the first option, Ohayami Trans, since it was the bus company we booked in our Banaue trip in 2015 and it was the cheapest. It was a trusty option.
Ohayami Bus Schedules taken from Bookaway.com
Ohayami Tourist Bus detailed description is shown on Bookaway.com

We booked the Ohayami Tourist Bus with schedule of July 19, 2019 21:00AM departure time with a 7:00AM arrival time and a return schedule of July 21 19:00AM with a 5:00AM arrival time in Manila. Don't forget to take advantage of the 20% discount and book your return tickets in advance! 
We instantly receive a confirmation of our booking and within a few hours, we got the Bookaway bus voucher.
Ohayami Bus Terminal, Sampaloc, Manila
Ohayami Trans Terminal
In the Bookaway website, it was easier to pick my ideal transfer since they display a brief description about the bus company. This made me feel secure knowing that the bus company was in service for a long time. They also included the pick up and drop off location (with Google Maps) which for me is essential to avoid going to the wrong destination. Useful information like indicating the travel time, number of stopovers, and travel tip like bringing something to make me warm was a plus to make our experience comfortable. Free cancellation details are also shown. 
Ohayami Booking Office
Ohayami Trans Schedule
MANILA TO BANAUE VIA OHAYAMI TRANS
We headed to the Ohayami Terminal in Sampaloc, Manila an hour before our scheduled departure. The terminal was located in the corner of A.H. Lacson Avenue and Fajardo Street and it was easy to spot with all the buses. We headed to the booking office and exchanged our voucher to receive our tickets. At 8:30PM, they started letting people in the bus and at exactly 9 in the evening, we headed to Banaue.


Bus Tickets
The bus was just like any typical provincial bus in the Philippines. It has an adequate leg spacing, an overhead bin for smaller bags, and a larger compartment for luggage. The bus was equipped with WiFi which was a plus! Although, I think the connection was not that great since we are heading to the remote mountains of Ifugao.
The useful information was accurate. We had 3 bus stops where we can go to the restrooms or have some snacks. They always check if everyone was on board before leaving. 


We arrived at Banaue at 6:00AM, one hour earlier than expected. 


Ohayami Terminal, Banaue, Ifugao
Ohayami Terminal, Banaue, Ifugao
WHAT TO BRING ON THE BUS TRIP:
1. Jacket
2. Neck pillow
3. Earphones
4. Power bank

TRAVEL TIPS FOR THE BUS TRIP:
1. Arrive at the terminal an hour earlier so you won't miss the bus. They usually leave on time.
2. I really suggest using Bookaway to secure a comfortable seat in the bus. Only a few bus companies offer direct routes to Banaue and tickets run out fast especially on the weekends. 
3. Book a return ticket. On our travel back to Manila, we noticed a lot of travelers didn't reserve tickets and they were given the aisle/center seats which for me were uncomfortable. They also prioritized people with tickets.
4. It is a 10-hour bus ride and to make the journey comfortable, bring a jacket and neck pillow. 
5. Bring earphones and a power bank so you can listen to music or watch a movie while on the road.
6. Once the sun rises, open your curtains and enjoy the stunning views of the mountains!

TRAVEL TIPS ON YOUR BANAUE TRIP:
1. Be sure to have enough cash. ATMs are only available in Banaue Poblacion.
2. There is no signal and internet in Batad. It is only available at Banaue Poblacion.
3. Pre-book your accommodation online. I suggest booking it in Banaue Poblacion and have a day tour in Batad. 
4.There are more places to visit aside from Batad and Banaue. Tricycle can take you on these tours. 

Read: BATAD, IFUGAO: TRAVEL GUIDE (DIY ITINERARY + BUDGET)

ABOUT BOOKAWAY:
Manila to Banaue and vice versa are just some of the routes you can book with Bookaway. We already used Bookaway on our Puerto Galera trip and the experience was smooth and hassle-free. Bookaway is an online booking site which lets you book land and sea transfers worldwide. Travelers can book their trips in advance to avoid the hassle of missed buses and going to the terminal in advance just to book tickets.
Whether your trip is planned or spontaneous, Bookaway got you covered!
Website: www.bookaway.com
Facebook: /bookawaydotcom
Instagram: @bookaway.travel 

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FOOTNOTES:

Credits to Rae Argallon and Cheloi Marasigan | Banaue, Ifugao | July 2019

RAESCAPE contains affiliate links in the website. By clicking and purchasing through this links, I get to earn a small commission to help me run this website without extra cost to you. Thank you for helping a fellow traveler and say yes to adventures! For feature/sponsor/collaboration, you may hit us up on raescapeblog@gmail.com

Read about the Disclosure and Disclaimer here.
Menu

My love for ramen is undeniable. I eat it when I'm sad and I eat it when I'm happy! Since my visit to Japan is not happening anytime soon, I was on the search for affordable yet authentic ramen near the metro that could solve my cravings!



This July, me and my friends of #SaanSaPH visited Yummy Tokyo, Maginhawa to try their yummiest ramen noodles at affordable prices.

YUMMY TOKYO
Yummy Tokyo is an authentic Japanese restaurant serving ramen, onigiri, and gyoza with a local twist. They focus on different ramen variants made famous by the different provinces in Japan. From their noodles to their broths, they create everything from scratch which makes every ramen meal special.

The staff of Yummy Tokyo has prepared all the ramen variants for us to taste!

Yummy Tokyo Maginhawa Branch

Miso Ramen and Unli Ramen Challenge



FLAVORFUL RAMEN


Miso & Spicy Miso Ramen
These are Yummy Tokyo's bestsellers. Both ramen have miso as the base soup hence the name. These ramen noodles originated in Hokkaido and Sapporo. Miso Ramen was indead creamy and satisfying! It was served with a slice of chasui and half aji tamago.
Miso Ramen
Tantanmen Ramen
Another Yummy Tokyo bestseller is the Tantanmen ramen. It originated in China but was also adopted by Northern Japan. Its base is a combination of spicy miso, peanut, and sesame and topped with a slice of chasui and half aji tamago. It also has a slight spicy kick which is perfect for those wanting a little spicy flavor in their ramen.

Cold Ramen
Cold ramen came from Tokyo and Honshu. This would be my first time trying this ramen and it was palatable! It was a unique taste and the combination of corn and cucumber with the shoyu soup complemented each other. I also loved that they used chicken strips for this!

Tonkotsu Ramen
This kind of ramen originated in Fukuoka and Kyushu with pork bones as its base broth topped with a slice of chasui and half aji tamago. I have such great expectation for their Tonkotsu since it is my favorite kind of ramen. I can say that I would recommend trying it as well!
Spicy Miso Ramen
Seafood Ramen
The seafood Ramen came from Nagasaki with scallops as its base soup with toppings of cabbage strips, sticks, Kani sticks, and narutomaki. I enjoyed the scallop-based soup!

Curry Ramen
Aomori and Honshu's curry ramen also has miso as its base mixed with curry with toppings of chasui and half aji tamago. Same with the Seafood ramen, it was my first time trying this kind of ramen. It has a distinct flavor and if you're feeling adventurous with your ramen, don't miss this!

Shoyu Ramen
Shoyu also originated in Tokyo and Honshu with shoyu base soup. It is savory salty topped with narutomaki, chasui and half aji tamago.
Shoyu Ramen
YUMMY TOKYO'S MAKE-AT-HOME RAMEN KITS
I love ramen and I would definitely hoard some of these! I can have ramen whenever I want with these ramen kits. These ramen can last up to a month as long as you keep it in the freezer.

Make-At-Home-Ramen Kits


Make-At-Home-Ramen Kits

YUMMY TOKYO'S UNLIMITED RAMEN
This would be my first time hearing unlimited ramen! You can have any flavor on the menu! You can enjoy this with unlimited time. From broth, noodles, and topping-- fill your heart and stomach with all the ramen you can eat.

YUMMY TOKYO RAMEN CHALLENGE
Starting July 16, 2019, they will hold the Unli Ramen Challenge: finish all ramen bowls within 2 hours and it is free! The challengers will have to pick a number in a bowl to determine how many bowls of ramen they need to eat. Choices are 5, 6, 7 or 8 bowls of any flavors they prefer. You're lucky if you get 5! The player will be given two hours to finish all the bowls for the meal to be free!

Unli Ramen Challenge Winners




YUMMY TOKYO BRANCHES
🚩 103 Maginhawa Street, Teacher’s Village East, Quezon City (inside Moonleaf Tea Shop Compound) Working hours: Daily (4:00 PM - 12:00MN)

🚩 Fourth Floor, East Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange, Ortigas Center (inside Moonleaf Tea Shop)
Working hours: Weekdays (11:00 AM - 6:00 PM)




#yummiestramen
#yummiestramenataffordableprice

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We would like to thank Yummy Tokyo for a welcoming stay and #SaanSaPH for this opportunity!

FOOTNOTES:
Photos by Rae Argallon | Shot using Samsung Note 9 | Quezon City, Philippines | July 2019

RAESCAPE contains affiliate links in the website. By clicking and purchasing through this links, We get to earn a small commission to help us run this website without extra cost to you. Thank you for helping fellow travelers and say yes to adventures! For feature/sponsor/collab, you may hit us up on raescapeblog@gmail.com


Read about the Disclosure and Disclaimer here.

Tribes and Trek Marker in Zambales
Tribes & Treks Marker

We always say YES to adventures, but after joining the Tribes and Treks Tour by MAD Travel, we will always say YES to adventures that matter.


We always try to put purpose in our travels. It grew from just wanting to 'escape' and 'discover' to a more meaningful way of sharing what we have, informing others of what we can do to help and encouraging others to do it as well. After joining the Tribes and Treks tour by MAD Travel, it was even more fulfilling to travel while sharing it with inspiring people.

Tribes and Treks is one of the many sustainable tours by MAD Travel. Last June 21, 2019, we had the chance to join the tour.

Read more: SUSTAINABLE TRAVELING: How to  Travel Eco-friendly



ZAMBALES: TRIBES & TREKS x VICTORY LINER
The Tribes and Treks Tour in Zambales includes tree-planting and cultural discovery. Joining this tour will help the local Yangil Tribe raise their farms and forests and create livelihood. The Tribes & Treks Zambales is a joint venture by The Circle Hostel and MAD Travel in collaboration with Victory Liner and Seed Nation PH.

Tribes and Treks - June 15 Crew
The Yangil Nursery

TRIBES AND TREKS: ACTIVITIES & ITINERARY
It was a pre-organized and guided tour. Everything from transportation to accommodation was arranged so that the guests will have a stress-free experience with Tribes and Treks. Before the tour, MAD travel sent us an e-mail about our activities and itinerary, what to bring, and additional details to give us a glimpse of what will happen during the tour.

These are the activities included in the tour:
🚩Volcanic Ash Trek to Yangil
🚩Environmental Briefing
🚩Tree-planting at the Nursery
🚩Lunch at the Village
🚩Village Tour & Storytelling with the Tribe
🚩Archery, Traditional Music & Dances
🚩Beach Sunset at Liwliwa
🚩Snacks at Chief Iking’s

Additional activities like ATV and surfing can be arranged with additional costs. Instead of trekking, you may opt to take an ATV ride which costs 800PHP per hour. Liwliwa is one of the surf spot in Zambales, and surfing starts at 200PHP which includes an hour use of a surf board with your personal surf instructor.






TRIBES AND TREKS: ADVENTURE PACKAGES
Tribes and Treks has different packages that would suit your preferences. If you're short in time, we would suggest a booking a day tour package. For a comfortable stay, book a day tour + 2 nights package. For us, we booked the day tour + 1 night which was enough for us weekend warriors!


VICTORY PACKAGE 1 (3300PHP)
🚩Transfers to and from Zambales via Victory Liner Bus

🚩Roundtrip tricycle pickup and drop off from San Felipe proper to The Circle Hostel and vice versa
🚩Day Tour Activities and transfers within Zambales
🚩Day Tour Lunch, Snacks, Dinner
🚩2 nights at The Circle Hostel
🚩Simple Hostel Breakfast


VICTORY PACKAGE 2 (2200PHP)
🚩Transfers to and from Zambales via Victory Liner Bus

🚩Roundtrip tricycle pickup and drop off from San Felipe proper to The Circle Hostel and vice versa
🚩Day Tour Activities and transfers within Zambales
🚩Day Tour Lunch, Snacks, Dinner


To make your experience even better, check out these optional add-on activity:


TIPSY WITH SUSTAINABILITY WITH SEED NATION (250PHP/PERSON)
🚩1 cocktail and seed-saving workshop
🚩1 bamboo straw from Yangil
🚩The knowledge that you left fruit seeds for the Aetas to plant

Posing for the camera!
The RAESCAPE Team
Renz Mina, Cheloi Marasigan, Rae Argallon, Kat RiΓ±on, Nathan Sario
OUR TRIBES AND TREKS EXPERIENCE
We caught the 9:00 PM Victory Liner bus from Cubao, Quezon City to Iba, Zambales. We told the conductor to drop us at San Felipe, Zambales. Travel time was roughly 5 hours. We arrived in San Felipe around 2:00 AM and took a tricycle to The Circle Hostel.

We took the remaining time to catch a few hours of sleep to have enough energy for our hike.

At 6 in the morning, we took our breakfast and packed everything we need for the day. We were gathered in the common area and Ruth of MAD Travel gave us the briefing on the day's activities. Everyone was excited for the trip!

Tribes and Treks Briefing by Ruth of MAD Travel
7:30 AM
We rode the jeepney going to the jump off trail in Sagpat. The ride was roughly 20 minutes which gave us plenty of time to meet our fellow MAD travelers. Since we started early, we had the perfect weather to trek. The trail was a combination of river crossing and volcanic ash trek. The scenery of the lush mountain ranges which separates the blue sky and the vast field of volcanic ash was definitely a stunning view that you can only see in some areas of Zambales and Tarlac.

We instantly felt the heat once we reached the trail where there was nothing but ash. We took our water breaks along shaded areas. The cold water while river crossing also helped ease the heat. Since we were a large group filled with diverse nationalities, I was excited to meet everyone! The long trek gave us a chance to chat with our fellow MAD travelers.

After roughly one and a half hours, we reached the Tribes & Treks Marker.

Volcanic ash trail
River crossing
9:00 AM
Just a few steps from the Tribes and Treks Marker is the Yangil Nursery. It was like a mini-forest in the middle of a field of volcanic ash! Different fruit and vegetable plants were already growing within the area. We even used the deep well pump to cool ourselves and have a quick shower!

We took a quick break and gathered in the middle of the nursery. Mr. Raf Dionisio, co-founder of  MAD Travel and The Circle Hostel, told us the importance of trees and how we can help the local Aeta Tribe. MAD Travel aims to rebuild a 3,000 hectare rainforest. As of October 2018, they have planted almost 35,000 trees! They have also generated employment and livelihood programs for the locals. (Source: MAD Travel Website) The rebuilding of the rainforest through this nursery would help the local community flourish on their own.

Mr. Raf Dionisio
Renz, Max, Aileen and Sophia sowing their set of seeds
Gia, Norah, Rae, Kat, Marian and Ruth sowing cacao and cupang seeds
After the briefing, we were taught how to sow the seeds properly. We were grouped into three to plant different sets of seeds. After a while, we were served with a yummy merienda. The Yangil tribe has prepared lemongrass tea and sugar-coated sweet potato chips. We haven't finished planting our seeds but these snacks felt like rewards already! I love the lemongrass tea! I should've brought home a couple of those leaves!

We felt proud to have helped this nursery grow. We sowed a total of 455 seeds! After our meaningful seed planting, we left the nursery and headed to the community.
Everyone's happy since we planted 455 seeds that day!
Hop on the the Grab-Car(abao)!
12:00 NN
We knew we were near once we saw the simple Bahay Kubos. The Yangil kids were waving at us and hoping on our carabao sleds! We arrived in the community area just in time for lunch. Our appetizing meal was prepared by the Yangil tribe.

At the Yangil Community
Best lunch ever? Adobo, Tinola, Pritong Tilapia! Say YES to Filipino food!
After our meal, we were given a few minutes to rest and have our siestas. We got to lay the banigs under the shade of a balete tree. The kids visited us and we had a few conversation with them. Eventually, they got us playing!

Quentin playing with the kids
Korean heart sign ❤
Quentin, Max and Cheloi playing Tumbang Preso with the kids
2:30 PM
We headed back to the community area to try archery. We were introduced to the Tribe's sharp shooter
 and he showed us his skillful technique. All eyes on the target as we try the local-made bows and arrows!

Renz and Max showing how to properly hold the bow and arrow
Cheloi's first attempt to hit the target
Nathan's turn on archery
While the others were trying archery, some of us were playing with the kids. We were playing Chinese garter like we were 10 years old! Products like bow and arrows, bamboo utensils and straws made by the locals were for sale. Local-harvested fruits and honey were also offered in cheap prices.

Kat, Rae and Aileen playing Chinese garter with the kids
All smiles with Lea and Norah
After a while, we were gathered to witness a short show prepared by the Yangil tribe. They shared with us their traditional courtship dance, a serene tune made by their local-made bamboo flute, and a performance by the kids mimicking the movements of animals. They even invited us to dance with them! Everyone was happy and enjoying the moment. It was a genuine moment that gave everyone a cheerful and fulfilled heart.
It was almost 4 in the afternoon when it started raining. The experience left us wanting more time to spend with the community. We hoped on our carabao sleds and started our way back to the jump off.

Everyone enjoying the music from the bamboo flute
The kids sharing a wonderful song
5:00 PM
Just as we thought the day was over, it was time to head to the beach! We ended the day with a quick dip and sunset watching in Liwliwa beach. We had our delicious dinner at the 
Chief Iking’s house. Once we arrived in The Circle Hostel, it was time for socials! We spent the rest of the night bonding with our new friends!

Kat at the beach!
ABOUT VICTORY LINER
Victory Liner is one of the largest provincial bus company in the Philippines with routes to Zambales, Pangasinan, Benguet and so much more. This is our preferred bus company when traveling north for its travel insurance and their own premium card. Check out the latest fares and routes on their website. 

You may book here: Victory Liner Website


Cheers to a fun day!
ABOUT THE CIRCLE HOSTEL-ZAMBALES
The Circle Hostel is our top pick in San Felipe, Zambales. It is one of the eco-friendly and budget-friendly hostels in the Philippines. You may also book an accommodation in San Juan, La Union and Baler, Aurora branches. This hostel is perfect for backpackers and travelers where they practice #ThereAreNoStrangers. 
Here are their rates as of June 2019.
Hammock - Php 445.00 per person
Coed Bunk Bed - Php 560.00 per person
Dorm Style Ladies Bed - Php 560.00 per person

You may book here: The Circle Hostel Website

The Circle Hostel, San Felipe, Zambales
ABOUT MAD TRAVEL AND HOW THEY  TRAVEL FOR CHANGE
MAD Travel is an organization which works for and with different indigenous communities in the Philippines. MAD Travel aims to Make A Difference through meaningful travels that create a sustainable social impact to these communities and the travelers. Check them out and join some of these tours by MAD Travel:
Zambales: Tribes and Treks x Victory Liner
Aurora: Tribes and Treks
Subic: Forest and Folklore
Rizal: Hikes and Harmony
Philippines: Bayani Tour
Bohol & Negros: Authentic Island Experience
Bohol: Local Exploration

You may book a tour here: MAD Travel

Grateful to have met these amazing and inspiring people
It was a fulfilling weekend! We met a lot of new friends and helped a local community. How about you? Do you want to be a part of an adventure that matters?

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We would like to thank MAD Travel, The Circle Hostel, and Victory Liner for a wonderful experience. Thank you for this purposeful tour! These are adventures that could inspire and change both the lives of the communities and travelers. We can't wait to feed our wandering hearts with more adventures that matters! 

Watch our Tribes and Treks Travel Video here:


FOOTNOTES:
Photos by Cheloi Marasigan, Renz Mina and Rae Argallon | Credits to Kat RiΓ±on and Nathan Sario | San Felipe, Zambales | June 2019

RAESCAPE contains affiliate links in the website. By clicking and purchasing through this links, We get to earn a small commission to help us run this website without extra cost to you. Thank you for helping fellow travelers and say yes to adventures! For feature/sponsor/collab, you may hit us up on raescapeblog@gmail.com

Read about the Disclosure and Disclaimer here.