December 16, 2007

Batanes.


Batanes is a delight to the senses.

It is just right that I start this travel blog with one of my favorite Philippine destinations — Batanes. My friends and I went island-hopping from Batan to Itbayat to Sabtang to Ivujus. To say that Batanes is breathtakingly beautiful is an understatement.

When I was there, I texted family and friends — Batanes is so beautiful, God must have lingered here before He finally said: Done!


Flights to Batanes: Asian Spirit flies to Batanes (with stop-over at Tuguegarao).

Best time to visit: Between April and May.
Note: If you go there before and after the summer months, flight schedules could be cancelled due to bad weather.

Accomodations: There are a lot of hotels in Basco. Call them for reservations. You can home-stay in Itbayat and other islands. The Ivatans are very generous, honest, and kind. Still, you must let a local arrange home-stay accomodations for you.

Transportation in Batanes: In Basco, the most convenient way to go around the town proper is through a tricycle. You can also rent a van or a jeep (with a guide) if you want to go around the island.

If you want to visit other islands, there are small motorized boats (small, considering they are going to cross the strait between the Pacific ocean and South China sea). The trip to Itbayat from Basco takes three hours of extremely rough ride and the conditions are not very ideal (squatting for three hours takes a toll in the body and spirit). Still, it’s a trip worth experiencing. Just be ready with some plastic bags for you-know-what. =)


Places to visit:
We went to Batan, Ivuhus, Sabtang, and Itbayat. Different adventures, but the most unforgettable would be the three-hour I-will-throw-up-now trip to Itbayat.

See old stone houses, historical churches, lighthouses, and rolling hills with panoramic views. Do not forget to drop by the Honesty Store and Pacita Abad’s house for some inspiration.

Don’t forget:
Bring enough cash (I’m not sure if they already accept credit card payments there). Bring your favorite food because there are no supermarkets (but they have grocery stores that might not carry your favorite chocolate bar). Bring comfortable clothes and shoes. Bring medicines, flashlights, and if you decide to go island-hopping, bring a sleeping mat (or your trusty malong).

Batanes has zero crime rate and the Ivatans take very good care of their environment. Bring them respect and love.

Some more photos of Batanes:


We visited this lighthouse twice, had mini-picnics here, and waited for the sunset.


Majestic sunset.


We home-stayed. People were so generous with their homes.


So many bicycles in the island.


Quick pose at the oldest stone house in the island.


Pacita Abad's amazing home. We lingered here.

13 comments:

  1. i love your batanes pics ai. it's one of my dream destinations. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Kit! You should go! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. dream destination ;)
    whew! ka nice dri te Ai

    ReplyDelete
  4. tara punta ka uli!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Tony: I know you'd visit the island one day soon. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Noreen: Tara na! :D I'd love to go back!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Like you Batanes will always be on on my favorite destinations.

    I loved Philippines even more when I went to Batanes last summer. Also, because of the bicycles there my passion on bicycles was awaken.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your blog is amazing. Bookmarking it. :D

    ReplyDelete
  9. Mike: Thank you! Glad Batanes inspired you and made you love the Phils even more!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Nice Blog...
    Explore, Experience and Enjoy Batanes...

    Thanks for considering Batanes!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Nice traveling guys ..

    Goodluck guys and be safe ..

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have been dreaming to set foot on Batanes! Envy much!

    ReplyDelete

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