Its More Fun

Monday, April 27, 2015

Phil's Brew @ Batanes

Last month, I visited one of the most isolated islands in the Philippines. A month after that trip, I can't rationalize why it took me too long to finally visit Batanes. This group of islands north of Luzon and south of Taiwan is by far the best island I have been in my country (there are 7,107 islands by the way). 

My mode of transportation for one week

The topography reminded me of Hawaii, Scotland and Palawan all roll into one. But that needs another blog to tell that story. I am here to talk about my daily source of caffeine while I was in the island. It was so good that I promise the owner that I’ll write about her newly opened coffee shop so that those few hundreds who visit Batanes will not missed her corner coffee shop.

Crystal clear waters of Batanes beaches

Phil's brew is named after Ms. Imee Amboy's father, who is a native of the Island. An Ivatan is a Filipino ethno linguistic group mostly from Batanes group of island. The Ivatan use a specific language called Chirin Nu Ibatán and well known for their craftsmanship in building limestone and coral houses that are specifically built to withstand strong typhoon and hostile environment.

The facade of Phi's Brew

Back to Phil's Brew. Ms. Amboy decided to renovate the family's ancestral home. She painstakingly works to restore the beautiful limestone house to its original structure. She even personally harvested, dried and formed the cogon grass that forms the roof of the house. The inside of the house feature antique furniture and fixtures seen in typical Ivatan house.  In my view, Ms. Amboy's limestone house can easily be transformed into a rustic yet charming airbnb home stay (trying to convince her on this issue).

Home made sardines are also available at the Phil's Brew

Outside the house, is another Ivatan ingenuity, the water tank made of limestone. It’s a huge water encampment to protect and save water. Ms. Amboy said that the water tank is as old as the house and the design is unique to Ivatans. 

Scenic bike ride of Batanes island

At Phil's brew, you'll get the best coffee, cappuccino and hot chocolate. Ms. Imee doesn't employ anyone and makes the coffee by herself. The coffee shop is just next to the limestone house and she serves the coffee from her window. She also sells local pastry made by her neighbors. Those sticky rice cake and "malunggay" moringa cookies are to die for. 

Batanes lighthouse, a bike away from the coffee shop.

Phil's Brew is open Monday to Saturday from 8:30 am to 11:00 am, 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm and Sunday from 9:00 am to 12 noon and 4:00pm to 8:00pm. 

Brewed Coffee with sticky sweet rice cake

Price range is from 55 pesos to 110 pesos. Enjoy your brewed coffee for 55 pesos, cappuccino for 85 pesos,  tea for 50 pesos, "tsokolate" hot chocolate drink for 90 pesos. Pastries are about 50 pesos or less.

Phil's Brew limestone house and its cogon grass roof

 So on your visit to Batanes, a daily dose of coffee from Phil's brew is an essential treat.

Latte, cappuccino, brewed, tea, hot cholocate anyone?

1 comment:

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