My Batanes Experience

Dornier airplane at Batanes Airport
Seair plane at the Batanes Airport with Mt. Iraya on the background

It’s my first time in Batanes and talk about forgetting to print the e-ticket the night before our flight. Pfft. Anyway, I was not really sure if I have to print my copy since all of our names were listed in one ticket except for Eric and Dino. Luckily, Melo was able to print a copy for me. 😀

We met up at the old airport at around 5am. Melo and Nina were the early birds. After that, when Marc and Gail arrived, we lined up at the check in counter that has a sign “Caticlan” since there’s no counter yet for Basco. But then, when the counter opened, the sign was changed to Basco. 😀 Eric and Dino arrived just in time too.

Basco Airport
Basco Airport Terminal Building

After checking in our baggage, we had breakfast and waited for our turn to board which was late since they were checking the weather in Batanes and that the person assigned goes there at 6am. I was asleep throughout the flight except merienda time. The flight was about 1 and a half hour long. After landing in the Batanes airport, I saw Mt. Iraya and the Basco Terminal Airport Building that has stones around it just like the stone houses.

Then, we walked towards Novita House. It’s not a hotel but it’s a house where you can cook and also enjoy cable TV. The place is good for about 8 to 10 people. Thus, I would recommend this for groups.

We then went to SDC. It’s a canteen in town. I had spaghetti there. The prices of the food there are affordable. You should try visiting there and have your lunch or merienda. 🙂

Batanes Lighthouse
Lighthouse in Mahatao

Then, we headed to the lighthouse in Mahatao. It was really cloudy that time that instead showing you the colored version of this photo, I post-processed it to become black and white instead. Anyway, when I walked towards the lighthouse, I saw the picturesque door with a stone wall. I went up the lighthouse and marveled at the beautiful scenery.

Japan surplus bicycle
Japan surplus bike

A japan surplus bicycle is a common sight there in Batanes. You’d usually see people use this as their mode of transportation. There are jeepneys and tricycles around though.

Valugan Beach
Valugan Beach

Followed by our photo op at the lighthouse in Mahatao, we then went to Valugan Beach. I’d like to share to you an excerpt of the sign board at Valugan Beach:

Valugan beach manifests volcanic effusions from Mt. Iraya that is an important geologic formation in the archipelago…

We also went to the Tukon Radar Station in Batanes. It was interesting to see the locals play a game of basketball. After some photo ops there, we went to Sitio Diura in Mahatao to have our lunch. Our rice was cooked the old way using chopped wood.

The rolling hills of Marboro Country
Marlboro Country

We went to Marlboro Hills (also known as Payaman). We enjoyed the splended view where we found some animals grazing.

The Most Photographed woman in Batanes (different angle)
Most photographed woman in Batanes

We also visited Songsong Ruins and the Honesty Coffee Shop. We were able to visit the oldest stone house in Batanes which is located in Ivana. Then, we tried catching the sunset but the cloudy skies somewhat failed us.

Stone Houses at Sabtang Island
Stone Houses in Sabtang Island

The following day, we went to Sabtang Island by boat (Faluwa). We were lucky enough that the waves are not yet that strong when we departed from Batan Island. There are also stone houses to be found here. It’s also interesting to see the locals play a game of softball. Instead of using a bat, they used a flat piece of wood. We met Mang Ano who makes “salakot” for a living.

Lunch at the beach
Lunch at the beach

We had our lunch at Sabtang in front of the beach and enjoyed eating coconut crabs. It was my first time to try eating one. On our way back to Batan Island, the waves were stronger. Thanks to Dino’s Sea2Summit Dry Sack. 😀

On our third day there, we were just bumming around the house since the weather was not good for traveling around.

Big thanks to Seair for covering our airfare. 🙂

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