3/3: What to Do in Batan Island, Batanes (South Batan)

1.  Watch How the Carabaos ‘Mow’ the Hills in Marlboro Country

Ang mga members talaga ng animal kingdom, ie. goats, carabaos, and cows, ang nagmi-maintain ng mga hills ng Batanes. Huwag i-provoke ang mga carabaos at may tendency silang mang-habol.

South carabaos

Hindi ka pagbabawalan na bumaba sa may bangin. Pero siguraduhin mo lang na kaya mong bumalik. Mas ok ang view don. 

South Marlboro cliff

View from down yonder. Amazing ‘yong rock/ coral (?) na ito na puro halaman.

2. Don’t Go Down the Stairs at Chawa View Deck

Ang hagdan ay para lamang sa mga lamang-dagat tulad nina Ponyo at Ariel. Cheret.  Itinayo po ito ng mga Tsino bilang kadugtong ng Great Wall nila. Cheret.South Great Wall

3.  Awaken the Scientist in You by Checking Out the Corals at the Summit of the Hills

Wait, pa’no sila napunta do’n? So ibig sabihin nakalubog ang islang ito dati? O baka naman may movements ang mga plates tapos naitulak ito pataas?

South Mountain

Mej buwis-buhay nga lang ang pag-akyat rito. At bangin na siya. 

4.  Measure the Thickness of the Walls of the Stonehouses

Dahil nga land of the wailing winds ang Batanes, pang-malakasan ang mga bahay dito sa kapal ng walls. At di basta-basta ang materyales na ginagamit to build these fortresses.

South Stonehouse

OA daw kung nakalabas lahat ng bato. Plastered daw dapat. At saka nakalubog nang kaunti ang first floor for more grounding.

South stone vakul

Ito ay kailangang palitadahan daw. Pero tingnan mo naman kung saan gawa. Siguro for tourism purposes lang. Oldest stonehouse daw ito sa Brgy. Tuhel. Sabe.

5. Walk Down the Beach in Ivana

While my companions were busy taking photos of churches and stonehouses, and buying stuff at the famous Honesty Store, I headed to the beach and it was worth it.

South woods

South Heart

How can you not fall in love with this pristine beauty? Sabtang Island na ‘yong nasa harap.

South facing Sabtang

Random sea grasses na p’wedeng gawin table centerpiece. 

Selfie Seashore

I just have to include this timed shot. 

6.  Take Refuge at the Mahatao Boat Shelter Port

This port, sadly, reminds me of the documentary ‘The Cove‘. Buti na lang at walang dolphin captivity na nagaganap dito.

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You can climb this islet. May hagdan sa gilid.

South Goat

May hagdan sa gilid, pero the goats in Batanes choose to take the buwis-buhay bangins. 

South Lighthouse

We didn’t make it to the more famous Tayid Lighthouse in Mahatao. But for me, this old one near the boat shelter deserves more publicity. Dramatic. 

That’s it for our first series of minor blogging!

I hope these lists somehow help you make the most of your Breathtaking Batanes experience.

P.S. Sorry at mej hindi hi-res ang pictures. Dinaan na lang natin sa composition at caption. Salamat pa rin, Cherry Mobile.

1/3: What to Do in Batan Island, Batanes (Basco Downtown)

2/3: What to Do in Batan Island (North Batan)

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2/3: What to Do in Batan Island, Batanes (North Batan)

1.  Visit Mt. Carmel Chapel (Tukon Church)

The chapel was under renovation during our visit.  Chapel on a hill so tanaw mo ang karagatan at mga burol ng Basco sa labas. North Church

 

2.  Try Rock Balancing (Valugan Boulder Beach)

Sabi, si Mt. Iraya daw ang dahilan kung bakit may ganito kalalaking bato sa tabing-dagat. (Pero bakit sa South Batan walang ganito? E sa iisang isla lang naman sila.) Cheret lang sa balancing act.

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3.  Monitor the Weather at the PAGASA Complex

I’m not really sure if the public is allowed to enter the facility. Under renovation. Besides, ang weather forecast naman sa Batanes ay forever windy.

North Pagasa

4. Pass by/Drop by Fundacion Pacita

(Un) Fortunately, the place was full when we planned to drop by. Wala nang parking space.  At balita ko ay medyo pang-alta nang bahagya dito, pero, pero sabi ay sulit naman. So good for me, I guess.

North Fundacion

5. Be blown away (by the wind and Batanes’ beauty) at Vayang Rolling Hills

OA ang lakas ng hangin sa area na ‘to. Halos hindi ko maisara ang pinto ng van from the inside when I tried going out on my own.

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Kailangang magdikit-dikit at magkapit-kapit or else tatangayin kami. True story.

 

6.  Hide at the Dinaysupuan Japanese Tunnel

This was built daw during the 1940s–uso pa ang World War. Di na namin na-explore ang ibang chambers dahil maputik at madulas that time.

North tunnel

1/3: What to Do in Batan Island, Batanes (Basco Downtown)

3/3: What to Do in Batan Island, Batanes (South Batan)

1/3: What to Do in Batan Island, Batanes (Basco Downtown)

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.

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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.

Downtown plaza

Basco Plaza

BASCO DOWNTOWN

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.

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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.

Downtown Basco LH

Tatlong beses akong bumalik-balik dito. Araw-araw, ganon.

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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.

Downtown DepEd.jpg

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.

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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.

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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.

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2/3: What to Do in Batan Island (North Batan)

3/3: What to Do in Batan Island (South Batan)