Still wondering how you’ll get the most out of your Batanes trip? Here are some tips which you may include in your Batan Island (Batanes) Bucket List.
But first, if you’ve done your research, you’d know that your plane will land in Basco which is in Batan, one of the three large islands of Batanes. The other two are Sabtang and Itbayat. We only made it to Batan last December–of all months. It was forever drizzling–perfect setting if Candy Gourlay’s Shine would be made into a movie.
1. Rent a Bike
Feeling ko ay ito ang primary mode of transportation ng mga locals. Halos lahat ng bahay sa bawat kanto ay may nakaparada na bike. Wala pong Basco TODA, although may mga tricycles na nag-o-offer ng tours around the island. Sapat na ang two hours para malibot ang buong Basco (pa lang) kung ikaw ay medyo physically fit/active. Php 25 per hour. Choices: Mountain bike o Japanese bike. Other option is to walk or run around the area.
I rented mine from this store. But there’s a lot of shops that rent bikes–parang every street meron.
2. Visit Basco Lighthouse/ Naidi Hills
Ito yata ang most photographed spot in Batanes dahil nga very accessible. P’wedeng lakarin lang, 10-15 minutes from the plaza. Mga 1.5 kilometers lang yata. Dahil too mainstream ang daytime pasyal dito, why not try visiting it in the evening? It’s open 24/7 yata. P’wedeng-puwedeng umakyat.
Tatlong beses akong bumalik-balik dito. Araw-araw, ganon.
View from the top. Walang mga streetlights paakyat ng lighthouse, save for the one outside the local radio station. And the local cemetery is at the foot of the hill. Wala lang.
3. Go to a Church Service
Since we were there in December, I made it a point to attend a simbang gabi. 4:15 pa lang, may mga nakatayo na sa labas. I therefore conclude na mostly Catholics ang mga locals. Pero may nakita rin akong mga other churches like ‘born-again’/evangelicals (Jesus is Lord, others), Iglesia ni Kristo, and Ang Dating Daan. The mass I attended was delivered in Ivatan, so umasa lang ako sa mga non-verbal cues. At nakiki-amen.
Incidentally, DepEd teachers were assigned to perform an intermission number that dawn. They performed a Christmas medley. Kaso English songs 😦
4. Check out Yaru Gallery & Art Shop
Gawa ng 16 local artists ang mga naka-display sa shop na ito. May mga tinda ring hand-painted ref magnets, paper weights, shirts, and post cards. At siyempre kung afford mo, bumili na rin ng artworks nila. 2 pm to 7 pm ang shop hours.
5. Get your Coffee Fix at Lamon Center
Because Phil’s Brew is closed for the holidays, I had to look for other coffeeshops na hindi masyado nari-review online. May nakita akong superliit na coffeeshop along Abad Street–BikSaFrappe, pero mas magandang tumambay sa Lamon Center na nasa plaza. Mas artsy at mas maraming choices ng kape at pagkain. Maraming college students, so nakakabata ang feels. At si Adele ang bida sa playlist. May libreng panutsa ang fifty-peso brewed coffee na mabilis lumamig dahil sa labas ako tumambay. At environment-friendly dahil nasa mug ang kape. Definitely mas mura kaysa Harbour Cafe.
6. Stroll Along Abad Street
This is the busiest street in Batanes dahil nandito ang tindahan ng maraming bagay–mga pang-ulam, RTWs, school and home repair supplies, atbp. May ilang ukayan, kainan, at tour companies din sa paligid. Optional ang pamimili ng mga unique palengke items pampasalubong. Super-friendly ng mga tao. Pang-suki level ang treatment.
2/3: What to Do in Batan Island (North Batan)
3/3: What to Do in Batan Island (South Batan)