BATANES: Near yet so far!!!
Batanes is an island province comprising ten islands that are located in the Luzon Strait between the islands of Luzon and Taiwan. It is the northernmost part of the Philippines and is also the smallest province, both in terms of population and land area.
Early year of 2012, a thought of visiting Batanes came to the picture. Planning and researching were done in preparation for the exploration. Spots to visit, where to stay and contact persons were planned. What is missing??? BUDGET!!! That is the reason why piggy bank was activated. Save, save, save for Batanes!
May 8, 2013, the day that Jho, berlyn and I have been waiting for. We’ll be stepping in the breathtaking islands of Batanes. We are all excited to personally see the places where a year ago was just a picture, a research, and paperwork. Now, this is it, we will unveil the beauty of Batanes in 6 days/5 nights.
Observation plus picture taking started when we arrived at Basco Airport. Like what we read on blogs “Every corner of Batanes is picture perfect!”. Thus, the ordinary view became extraordinary.
Our first day of itinerary: North and South Batan Tour. We visited the famous honesty coffee shop, song-song ruins, stone houses, beach, lighthouse, old churches plus we got a chance to feel how to own a ranch for an hour when we visited Vayang Rolling Hills and Racuh a Payaman. A stay in Batanes Resort after non-stoppable picture taking and exploration of beautiful North and South Batan ended our first day.
Itbayat is our next stop; a 4-hour boat ride in an amazing uplifted coral reefs. The place does not have a shoreline and their normal rock is corals. We visited Mt. Karoboban, Torongan Hills, Torongan Cave – where we have a majestic view of the ocean from inside the cave. The Batanes experience would not be complete without trying their delicacies like tatus - coconut crabs, vunes – dried gabi stalks, fried flying fish, yellow rice – rice with turmeric (yellow ginger) and picture taking wearing vakul – the headdress of Ivatan. The day ended with a sleepover at Cano’s humble homestay.
Third day is a light day for us. We arrived in port and headed immediately to lavish Dive Batanes.
Sabtang is a place to visit on fourth day; one of the three inhabited island of Batanes and a 1-hour boat drive. We visited Nakabuang Beach, old churches, stone houses and had a chance to experience their fiesta and eat delicious foods in kabaya – breadfruit leaf. Exploration of Dive Batanes and feel our last day stay in our extravagant room.
Biking around the city is our early morning activity on fifth day. The healthy living activity started in Dive Batanes going to the city to lighthouse. It was an experience biking around spots in Batanes. After biking we moved to our last Amboy’s Hometel where we will be spending our last night and had a chance to eat tamiduk – fern salad. Wait, that does not end our Batanes adventure, we also experience the luxurious Cruise offered by Dive Batanes where in a 2-hour which started from Shelter Port roving around Mahatao, not to mention fishing while sailing!
Batanes is a magnificent place. It’s like you’re not in the Philippines, it’s like you’re in Batanes!
Like what Saint Augustine said “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page".