Thursday, March 5, 2015

Batanes - North Tour, Day 1
Hannah Villasis8:21 AM 0 sweets for free!


*Photos captured by Smart iPhone6

Last year, I won a contest hosted by Solar Entertainment and Jack City. I joined the contest with my dear friend and fellow Smart Ambassador - Ynnah. I won tickets to Coron but just a few days before our trip flights were canceled and we chose to fly to Batanes instead.

I was very excited! Coron and Batanes are my 2 dream destinations in the Philippines. Coron, wait for me I'll come back for you!

So we flew to Batanes at 5:30am and we arrived in Basco, Batanes at 6:45am. It was a good flight, actually I don't know coz I slept the entire time from the moment we left Terminal 4. Lucky I woke up just right, and I woke up greeted by clouds everywhere and suddenly, the clouds cleared and I was greeted by this!


Batanes by Flair Candy, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Flair Candy 

Our landing was good and I really appreciated the top view of the island. We were seated at the right side of the plane (E and F) so reserve these window seats if your Basco bound. 

The Basco airport is one of the prettiest, most humble airport I have ever seen! It's really tiny, not much going on but it is beautiful! It's like the Shire's airport, if Shire exists in modern times. The weather was cool at 20-22 degrees Celsius. We were lucky the weather is nice! Sun was shining bright, cool breeze and the view was amazing!


Batanes by Flair Candy, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Flair Candy 

We looked for our sundo but couldn't find our names. So we decided to just commute to our hotel Batanes Seaside. We went out of the airport there were no tricycles. We asked the guard and they said there's a tricycle terminal down the street. Since the weather is nice, we decided to just walk. A few meters forward and we asked the people living nearby if they know the direction to our hotel. They told us it was just 1 kilometer away. We decided to walk! After all, a little bit of exercise is good. Just then, a van stopped right before us and it read Batanes Seaside! They were looking for us apparently there was just a confusion. All good! This place has a certain magnetic field turning everyone's energy to calm and serene.

Batanes by Flair Candy, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Flair Candy 


Batanes Flights

Currently Skyjet and Philippine Airlines have direct flights from Manila to Basco, Batanes. If you book really early, you could get tickets at Php 7,000. If you need to book immediately (say next weekend or this month), it could cost around 15k or more.

Batanes Accommodation

Peak season: December 1 - May 31
Lean season: June 1 - November 30


Batanes by Flair Candy, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Flair Candy  - The view outside Batanes Seaside.


We stayed at the annex building of Batanes Seaside Lodge. You can book online here. The one that's near the city center. It costs around Php 1,600 per night during peak season (Php 1,400 off season). You can check out their website for more details.

You can also check out these hotels listed here.

If you're on a budget, you might want to stay in Ivana at Villa Bella. It only costs Php 250 per person a night. This will be a homestay type and you'll have a fan room - but you don't really need airconditioning in Batanes, the weather is really comfortable there especially during February. Just contact Ching +63 929 443 6866. She said airport transfer from the airport is around Php 750 for a van and Php 220 for a tricyle.

Batanes Tours

There are really no public transportation (except for tricycles around Basco) as you would see locals either walking or riding bikes. You can hire a car or a van to go around the city or arrange for tours at Php 2,000 for North Basco tour and Php 3,000 for South tour.

Hannahvillasis.com by Flair Candy, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Flair Candy 

As there were only 2 of us traveling, we decided to go for a tricycle tour Php 1,000 for North and Php 1,500 for South.

Hannahvillasis.com by Flair Candy, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Flair Candy 

For Batanes Tricycle tours, contact kuya Lito at +63 918 216 7440.

1. Valugan Boulder beach 

The Valugan Boulder Beach can be found in the East side of Batan island. Nothing much to see but enjoy the view, the natural formation of the rocks and enjoy the cool breeze.


Batanes by Flair Candy, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Flair Candy 

Batanes by Flair Candy, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Flair Candy 

2. Japanese tunnel

These tunnels functioned as Japanese hideouts before. Japanese officials even have their own room somewhere inside - yes we went inside from one end to another! And we had to do a mini - "hike" because there were stairs made of dried mud. It was really dark inside and I tried not to panic!


Batanes by Flair Candy, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Flair Candy 


3. Idjang

Our next stop was the viewing of Idjang Savidug stone fortress. Our tour guide during this day, Kuya Julian, told us that this is the stone fortress of the native Ivatans around 4000 BC. That was a very very long time ago. Ivatans then took abode in this place for defensive shelter. This stone fortress has a good angle or viewpoint where they can spot any enemies coming near.


Batanes by Flair Candy, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Flair Candy 

4. PAGASA weather station

The islands of Batanes, knowing that it is surrounded by big bodies of water like the Pacific Ocean and South China sea, are prone to typhoons visiting by. This PAGASA station helps the locals to predict and prepare for a storm.


Batanes by Flair Candy, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Flair Candy 

That's me doing my interpretation of the famous saying "Ang buhay ay weather weather lang" :P

Batanes by Flair Candy, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Flair Candy  The view from the PAGASA weather station

5. Mt. Carmel Chapel

This is one beautiful church that kuya said, many went here to get married. How can you not fall in love with this place? It is situated by a hill and you have a good view of the area around. 


Batanes by Flair Candy, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Flair Candy  Tukon Church

6. Lighthouse

We went to 2 lighthouses in Batanes. One was found in the North. Climb up the tower and you will see a great view of Basco.

Batanes by Flair Candy, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Flair Candy 

Batanes by Flair Candy, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Flair Candy 


Batanes by Flair Candy, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Flair Candy 

7. Rolling hills

This is probably one of the scariest walks we ever had in Batanes. The path is narrow and steep. You can really see where you're gonna fall if you're not careful! We asked our guide if someone had ever fallen and "rolled" down the hills. Fortunately, he said no ever did! :P


Batanes by Flair Candy, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Flair Candy 



Batanes by Flair Candy, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Flair Candy  The view when you get to the edge of the cliff


Batanes by Flair Candy, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Flair Candy  Thank you Skechers for that really comfortable walk. I recorded 11,228 steps using my iHealth watch and my feet could take all these much steps because of the comfortable memory foam my shoes have <3

That ends our North Trip! The Tricycle tour cost us 1000. It was just me and Matt so 500 each. For Batanes Tricycle tours, contact kuya Lito at +63 918 216 7440.

More photos here.

Coming up next, South Batan trip!


About The Author Hannah Villasis Hannah is a lover of life! She retired as a CPA to become a pole dancer and a blogger. She loves Christmas too. She's a weird little one, but she is very curious and loves to explore the world and appreciate all it has to offer. She loves to surf, travel, go outdoors, stay indoors, play Pokemon, love One Piece, loves to ride anything that has wheels. She is also a Polecat and loves to go beyond her limits every day. More about me here. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

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