ME and my colleague spontaneously bought tickets during the Travel Madness Expo last June because the roundtrip fare of Philippine airlines is on sale! (from P15,000 to P3,300). And since it’s a promo fare, expect delayed or cancelled flights. HAHA. This happened to us – our flight going to Basco got cancelled (or moved) to the next day due to…well, unknown aircraft issues. There’s no storm advisory during that week. Luckily, PAL assisted us (after 3 phone calls and personally talking to the ground crew) and provided us airport transfers and accommodation with meals at a 3-star hotel in Manila.
Our flight was scheduled on November, we still have enough time to do some researching for the trip. most bloggers suggested to have a planned trip with a travel agency (instead of D.I.Y) because transportation is very difficult in the island. So, we booked a 3-day tour at BISUMI Tours. this covers the north & south batan tour and sabtang island tour. It costs P5,100 per head inclusive of Van, tour guide, lunch, boat transfers and environmental fees. you may also request for a personalized itinerary.
For our 4D/3N stay, we booked a non-aircon room at marfel’s House – P1,500 per head. the people were very ACCOMMODATING and helpful. the place also has an honesty store where you could buy or “palista” the items you bought and you could also use their kitchen to cook your meals.
DAY 1: NORTH BATAN
i would say that this is the most beautiful church in batanes – from its exterior and design inside.
do know that 94% of batanes’ population are catholics? that’s why there are chapels in every baranggay and the entire island have festivals for their patron saints.
the tunnels were dug by the Ivatans during World War 2to be used as the military bunker of the Japanese forces. the path was very short, but climbing down to the dug-outs was really difficult because the rocks were slippery and soft.
Valugan Boulder Beach
since white sand beach is too mainstream, mt. iraya (a nearby active volcano) erupted and created these lovely boulders.
Our Lady of Immaculate COncepcion Cathedral
Vayang Rolling Hills
the best spot to enjoy the view of west philippine sea and the endless green hills. i’m still thinking why it is called “rolling hills”. maybe because of the steep path – when you fall, you’ll keep rolling… in the deep *insert adele’s song here*
Fundacion pacita is both a hotel and a restaurant situated atop a lush hill and caught between the mountain, sea, and sky, the hotel offers the best spot from which to view the scenic landscape and the cultural and aesthetic heritage of the Ivatan people.
Pizza Margherita, Beef Salpicao and Ivatan Lunis
fancy, eh? the restaurant offers few but delicious courses and desserts (forgot to take a photo of the calamansi pie). the prices are
very reasonable, plus, the ambiance and service is great.
DAY 2: SABTANG ISLAND
we were given candies for the 30-minute boat ride. well, it really helped because the strong waves and shaking made me dizzy.
View of Sabtang Lighthouse from Sabtang port
the stone houses could withstand the strong storms and the cogon roof are replaced every 25-30 years.
Chamantad Tinyad Viewpoint
Vakul making at Chavayan Weavers Association
Vakul is a traditional headgear of ivatans. it is used to protect them from the harsh sun and rain. it is made from the dried leaves of the tree called Vuyavuy, a short palm tree growing in the coastal hills of Batanes.
MODELLING THE FINISHED PRODUCTS
MORONG BEACH AND MAHAYAW ARC
DAY 3: SOUTH BATAN
Blank book archive
the library’s concept is great. as if you made a book with random anonymous authors and phrases of experiences. i recalled that i left an instax film (hop that i could see it when i visit batanes again)
MAHATAO IDJANG BOAT SHELTER
HOUSE OF DAKAY
Honesty Coffee Shop
with batanes’ “almost zero crime” rate status, i can say that the province believes in the saying… honesty is the best policy. i have to admit that at first, i thought this was a coffee shop. well, they do sell coffee but it is more like a mini grocery. the system of payment is that you’ll drop your payment (and get the change) in a box. the price of items are listed and the rest is up to you.
i’m just awestrucked by the view
no, it’s not new zealand. the scenery makes me feel like i’m heidi, the girl of the alps or maria from the sound of music. i must say that this is my favorite place in batanes. marlboro country is perfect because of its cool winds, lush green grass, the view of the blue sea and calming peace.
the PICTURESQUE scenery is better in reality. among all the places that i’ve been in the philippines, batanes is the best. I fell in love with the beauty of the place, the serene atmosphere and the kindness of the locals.
Bisumi Tour and Services
Mr. Ryan Cardona
SMART – 0919-2795-963
GLOBE – 0915-8034-582
Marfel Lodge Batanes
Reyes St. Brgy. Kayvaluganan, Basco, Batanes
Smart – +63908-893-1475
Globe – +63917-695-5492