Have you traveled anywhere exciting lately?
BATANES is one of most fascinating places in the Philippines. It’s beautiful sceneries and kind people catch the eyes of the globetrotters. But not all travelers think they can afford to go to Batanes. Here’s one of the most wonderful vacation these two have ever experienced. I included their DIY IT for those who would like to go to Batanes!
Airlines such as PAL and Skyjet fly from Manila to Batanes. As far as I know Skyjet flies on weekdays and weekends except for TUESDAY. They only have flights in the morning. The plane leaves at an exact time (6:45am). Don’t be late. The plane arrives after an hour and 15 minutes. Batanes airfare can go as high as PHP10,000 one way but sometimes, you can score cheap tix whenever there are promos available or seat sale. Unlike in Boracay, there is 2go available or passenger boat that would take 10 hours. In Batanes there isn’t any available.
Arriving at the airport, you will have to pay P300 for the environmental fee in Basco. You will be given a map and a ticket, Make sure to keep it,, you will use it later on.
Hotels and homestay abound in Basco. They stayed at Nanay Cita’s Homestay which is just a few minutes away from the airport. Just take a tricycle and pay for P30.00 to reach Nanay Cita’s. There are 5 available rooms. They suggest you rent the one on the rooftop. (Photo available here) All of the rooms are air-conditioned, but since it is very cold in Batanes, you can just tell Nanay that you will only use a fan. (3N4D, they only paid for 2100 for two.) It has it’s own restroom/bathroom and you are allowed to cook. She has a kubo where you can enjoy the relaxing view while having coffee or lunch. Since they arrived at 8ish, she prepared a free breakfast (egg, sinangag and tapa plus coffee).
The two took a rest the morning they arrived and had their North Batan Tour after lunch. Nanay Cita will provide you a tricycle driver who will take you to your tour.
North Batan Tour – P1,000 (Don’t ask, you will understand when you get to experience it.)
Valugan Boulder Beach (They didn’t swim LOL, mashadong mabato po). You will see different sizes of pebbles in layers.
People in Batanes believe that if you make one yourself that day you visit Valugan Boulder Beach and it is still there the moment you get to come back, your wish will come true. (fingers crossed)
Dipnaysupuan Japanese Tunnel – show your ticket. (the one that you paid upon arriving at the airport)
Fundacion Pacita – they say, this is the most pricey hotel in Batanes where most actors stay. (Approx 8-12,000 per night.) They will allow you to take photos and take a tour inside if there aren’t any tourists. But if there are, you are only allowed to take photos outside, and the garden. There are food and drinks available too.
The famous Dios Mamajes
Cafe de Tukon – famous for their tea. A must try!
Pagasa Weather Station
Tukon Church or the famous Mt. Carmel Chapel – Their churches are really awesome, old and new.
Vayang Rolling Hills – breathtaking.
Chadpidan Boulder Beach – sister of Valugan
Naidi Hills / Basco Lighthouse – wear flats or sneakers, you wouldn’t want to have your feet numb and heavy with fatigue.
END OF DAY 1 – their moms cooked and prepared adobo and tocino on their first day. There aren’t any resto close to Nanay Cita’s. So it’s either you cook or take time to find a resto. They said it’s really tiring! You’d rather stay at home after a long trip.
They were scheduled to have their Sabtang Island tour the next morning, unfortunately, it rained. So they decided to just have the South Batan Tour instead and wished for a sunny third day for their Sabtang tour.
South Batan Tour – P1,500 (Again, don’t ask, you will understand when you get to experience it.) They both decided to take the tour at 12:00pm hoping that the sun will appear after lunch and voila! It did. Thank God.)
Chawa View Deck
Racuh a Payaman (The famous Marlboro Country) – Manong told them, that a few decades back, an American came to visit Batanes and said that, Racuh a payaman looks like the famous Marlboro country so he named it after it.
Imnajbu Beach (It rained a little so they were not able to enjoy the view for a long time)
Ruins at Sitio Songsong
Honesty Coffee Shop – unfortunately, the owner wasn’t there when they visited. They were not able to take photos with them.
House of Dakay – Yay for the son of Dakay whom they met personally on their trip.
The old Spanish Bridge
Homoron Blue Lagoon and White Beach – Talking about aqua blue? See it to believe it.
Diura Fishing Vilage
Mahatao Boat Shelter Port – This serves as a shelter to vessels bound for Itbayat and other boats during inclement weather.
San Carlos Borromeo Church – the first stone-made church in Mahatao, which has its small souvenir shop and the famous Batanes Blank book archive which holds hundreds of hardbound books with blank pages. You can pick any number of a book and you can write anything there. (BTW, you will have to pay P100 upon entering)
END OF DAY 2. – They had to get back home before dinner so they can take a rest and tuck themselves in bed early for their 5:15 am tour in Sabtang. Received a message from Kuya Jun Castillo (everybody knows him) informing them of the tryc number who will take them on their last tour.
You will have to get dressed as early as 5:15 in the morning. Nanay Cita will wake you up and will call you once the jeepney arrives. Make sure to bring BAON (water, crackers, juice or whatever)
Sabtang Island Tour – P1000. You will pay P54.00 back and forth. There is only one jeepney available. So the one who will drive you to the port is the one who will be there after your tour. You will be asked to register your name. Do not forget the number of bags you’re taking with you.
Here we go! The water between Sabtang and Batan is known to be rough, tough and frightening. They dare you to try it. (Take 1 bonamin before riding aboard the Faluwa/Falowa boat. A 30-minute boat ride to the unforgettable island.
Arriving at the port, One shouted Kuya Jun’s name and he was there waiting for them, guiding us to our tryc driver kuya Eugene. The tryc in Sabtang is different from the usual ones that we get to see in Manila. Theirs is made of wood.
You will then have to go to the Tourism office and will be asked to pay P200 for the environmental fee.
Savidug Village – this is where you can see a lot of stone-made houses built in a small barrio. Where people live by means of farming, fishing and alike.
St. Thomas Aquinas chapel and old Beaterio. (PS: they have a restroom)
Chamantad Cove and Tinyan Viewpoint – where you can rent a complete outfit of Talugong, kanayi, basket and Vakul for P25.00 and take as many photos as you like. There are some small souvenir shops as well, which sell drinks and snacks too. They bought buko and ate pansit bihon packed in a some kinda leaf.
Chavayan Village /Chavayan Chapel – The first Nipa hut on the right is where you can find some traditional Ivatan costumes and headdresses being sold. You will meet Nanay, who will teach you how to make a Vakul.
Morong Beach, Mahayaw Arch and Nakabuang Cave – the driver will take you here right after a long day. PREPARE P300 for your lunch. I think that is where they really take the tourists.
Conscience Cafe and Souvenir shop – this was their last stop for this tour. Where they bought some bukayo and waited for the 1 pm boat ride back to Basco.
Some people stay here overnight. (You can stay at a homestay next to Sabtang Lighthouse. If I am not mistaken, you will have to prepare P300 for an overnight stay.) They chose to have a day trip instead since their flight back to Manila the ff day was early. Make sure to be at the port before 1 pm or you will have to stay overnight. That is the only schedule going back to Basco.
Manong jeepney (The same jeepney driver that morning) will be waiting for you and will drop you off at Nanay Cita’s.
They arrived at 2 pm and decided to take a nap since they woke up early that day. At 4 pm they walked to a store a few blocks away from Petron Gas Station where bikes are for rent. For only P25.00 for an hour, you can go visit some places in Basco. They went biking to the plaza where some food stalls and souvenir shops can be found.
They also tried Phil’s Brew Cafe. They offer sweets and coffee of course. MUST TRY!-
This was their DIY/Tipid Tour in Batanes. They suggest you visit Batanes for a week because they were not able to visit Itbayat Island which is approx. 3-4 hours away from Basco. Considering the pricey airfare, if you are already there, stay for a week.
For goodies, you can purchase Ube Halaya for P100 per container, P35-P45 for Camote chips, Prices ranging from 25-100 for bukayo (different sizes), P30-P250 for souvenirs.
If you are a nature lover, go and experience the relaxing view and places in Batanes. They actually have the internet everywhere, but right after Bagyong Ferdie, most places had a problem with the internet connection. There are some areas which do not have any signal as well. They don’t suggest kids, especially toddlers because it requires you to a lot of walking, hiking, and trekking. They will not enjoy it yet.
Batanes is a very clean province. There are only 3-4 tourists who were smoking. People are all kind and not boastful. They smile a lot. They are all fair and they all follow the standard rates in everything. You won’t see any street children. Everybody works. So they are all busy and earning. Life in Batanes is very simple. It felt like as if they lived back where technology wasn’t a big deal yet.
Make sure to have water with you all the time. It’s really hot.
PS: make sure to have a perky, active and funny buddy with you. 😊👍🏻
So, para sa mga nagtatanong – I hope this one helps!
Should you have concerns – Is there anything else that you need? I think I have written everything here already.
Nanay cita’s number : 0939 919 3616
Kuya Eugene Castillo (Sabtang Island Tour) : 0935 965 5317
photo (c) imjaydejavier
PS: Please excuse if there are photos which are placed under a different name. They have forgotten the photo already… (only if there are)
Thank you for reading! Hope this one helps!