It was November of 2017 when we visited the wonderful province of Batanes. The whole tour was full astonishments and amazements as we discover the place. We barely have 4 days and 3 nights to wander around the province.
Batanes is one of the provinces of the Philippines located at the northernmost part of the country. It is under Cagayan Valley region (Region II) and is the smallest in population and land area.
FIRST DAY (NORTH BATAN TRIP)
When we arrived in Batanes, we didn’t waste our time just to rest. We took advantage of the beautiful weather during that time because in the Philippines, November is a rainy season.
TIP: don’t forget to pay the ecotourism fee worth Php 350 upon arrival at the airport (this will be needed during your trips in Basco)
We immediately went to the lodging house to leave our stuff before starting the trip. My colleague and I stayed at Palangud Inn (Nanay Cita’s Homestay) for Php 350 per night per person.
Tricycle is the main means of transportation in Basco. You can rent a tricycle for the North Batan trip for PhP 1,000 per tricycle that can accommodate 3-4 persons. North Batan trip can possibly be finished in half a day.
TIP: Always bring water and snacks during your trip just in case you’ll get thirsty and hungry along the way
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
Locally known as “Tukon” Chapel or the Mt. Carmel Chapel was opened last May 2008. This chapel is inspired from the traditional stone houses of Ivatans that is made to stand against storms and typhoons as the province is open for such phenomenon.
We didn’t have the opportunity to go inside the church because during that time, the owners are doing some maintenance to enhance the chapel. Nevertheless, the beauty of the outside appearance already speaks of the charming interiors of the church.
Mt. Carmel Chapel is just a walking distance from Basco Pag-Asa Weather Station Complex or known as Tukon Radar Station. This station also served as a lighthouse way back.
A mix of art and homey feel, Fundacion Pacita is a unique boutique hotel located in a hill at Brgy. Chanarian, Tukon, Basco. The hotel offers a breathtaking view of the West Philippine Sea, Pacific Ocean and an astonishing landscape of Batanes.
The place is open to the public and will give you a chance to see the artsy side of the hotel. There are number of artworks inside which vary from different types. Fundacion Pacita also have several projects that give funds to different activities of Ivatan artists and other art events in Batanes.
If you have enough budget for a stay, you can book at Fundacion Pacita to feel more of the place and its distinct style.
IDJANG FORTRESS AND DIPNAYSUPUAN JAPANESE TUNNEL
In Batanes, “Idjang” is a fortress to protect the people from war. This has served as their shield from combat ages ago. There are 4 Idjangs that can be found all throughout Batanes and the most popular is the Savidug Idjang. We saw this triangular-shaped hilltop from afar with lush green grasses and a wonderful view of the sea.
On the other hand, we also visited Dipnaysupuan Japanese Tunnel. This has been a hideout of the Japanese soldiers during the World War II. It is an interconnected tunnel and has five entrances that will lead you to Taytay or Tukon.
TIP: Bring a flashlight if you want to go inside the tunnel
VALUGAN BOULDER BEACH
Scattered stones and pebbles will welcome you when you first step at the Valugan Boulder Beach. This is not the usual beach your are expecting, no fine and white sand as you will compare it to Boracay’s and Palawan’s. You are not allowed to swim because of the strong waves and winds, but the scenery and the sound of the rushing waves are more than enough to leave you astounded.
TIP: Wear comfortable rubber shoes to protect you from stones
VAYANG ROLLING HILLS
Just a few kilometers away from Basco’s poblacion, the Vayang Rolling Hills share one of the most beautiful views of Batanes. It is a perfect chemistry between the green hills and the blue sea horizon that will make you decide to stay in the place for quite a time.
The place has livestocks such as cows and goats that is a part of some Ivatan’s daily living. And more than the view of the place, you will really appreciate how hardworking the locals are.
BASCO LIGHTHOUSE AND NAIDI HILLS
The Basco Lighthouse in one of the 3 lighthouses of the province of Batanes. And the nearest from the main town is the Basco Lighthouse. It is located on top of Naidi Hills and will allow you to see the 360-degree view of the surroundings of the lighthouse. You will more appreciate the place during sunsets because, I must say, the view is more admirable.
And to add an exciting experience while staying in Basco, you can go on biking within the town. You can rent for only Php 25 per hour for bikes with basket and Php 50 per hour for mountain bikes.
TIP: You can rent at Cielo General Merchandise Store just located in the town
Find out more of my Batanes trip on my next blog posts.!
Beauty and Batanes (3/3)