Si Batanes

If the path is beautiful, ask where it leads to. But if destination is beautiful never mind about the path, keep walking. – Patrick Idowu

Have you ever plan of going to a certain place every year yet always falls through due to few circumstances that comes in your way? Well I do. A lot of times in fact and this trip is one of my example.

You see, I’ve been planning to visit Batanes since 2014 when I was able to snatched a very cheap air ticket c/o SkyJet but I got a new job and as a new employee I didn’t have leave credits yet so I let it slide. Then, 2nd attempt was 2015, another promo ticket too bad the weather wasn’t in my favor and as a full time employee I can not just move my leave dates anytime I want so another chance slipped away.

Last July 2016, I’m supposed to travel end-to-end places (Batanes & Tawi-tawi), sadly the weather’s not good during my travel dates to Batanes and work also gotten it’s way on a good note I was able to push through my Tawi-Tawi trip.

Months came and asked myself the “when” question. When will I push my Batanes trip as I’ve seen pictures of it in my feed and I got envious of it it. From there, I decided I’d visit it before the year ends or perhaps spend my New Year there despite the costly airfare which happened.

I was there for 8 days – purchased a regular round trip ticket through Philippine Airlines and SkyJet and toured around like any ordinary traveler.

Weather’s quite bad for the past few days and when I step foot at the island, Mr. Sun’s about to come out. Lovely is it?

Days spent there and I can surely say it’s worth the costly airfare.

The place is too beautiful to describe that even cameras can’t capture it well.

No offense to other locals but the Ivatans are too good to be true.

I can’t say so much so I’ll proceed with my itinerary…

1st day – December 31, 2016

0800 – ETA Basco Airport

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somewhere in the arrival area
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Checked in at IVATAN INN (PHP400 per night per person with breakfast)

0930 – Start of South Batan Tour

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  • Chawa Viewing Deck
  • Mahatao Shelter Port
  • Mahatao Town Tour
  • Racuh a Payaman
  • Alapad Hills & Rock Formation
  • Sitio Song-song
  • Uyugan Town Tour
  • Honesty Coffee Shop
  • Ivana Town Tour
  • House of Dakay & Spanish bridge
  • White Beach & Spanish Lagoon

1530 – End tour

1600 – Back accommodation: Chilling while waiting for New Year

2nd day – January 1, 2017 New Year’s Day

1000 – North Batan Tour

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  • Valugan Boulder Beach
  • Japanese Tunnel
  • Basco Idjang
  • Tukon Chapel
  • Tukon Radar Station
  • Basco Cathedral
  • Vayang Rolling Hills
  • Basco Lighthouse and Naidi Hills

1230 – End tour

  • Lunch at Beehan

1300 – Free whole afternoon

3rd day – January 2, 2017

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Port of Basco
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Loading of goods
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checked in at Levinda Lodge (250/pax/night)

0700 – ETD Itbayat Island

1100 – ETA Itbayat Island (Chinapoliran Port)

1115 – Checked in at Levinda Lodge

1130 – Start of Land tour

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  • Torongan Cave
  • Torongan Hills
  • Torongan Cliff
  • Lunch
  • Mt. Karoboban view deck
  • Yawran Village
  • Barrio Riley
  • Kavaywan Lake
  • Itbayat Airport
  • Itbayat old PAG-ASA Office
  • Paganaman Port

1800 – End tour

  • back to accommodation

4th day – January 3, 2017

0700 – Breakfast

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1300 – ETA Basco

1330 – Back to Accommodation: IVATAN INN

1400 – Free time (toured around BASCO)

5th day – January 4, 2017

Sabtang half day tour

0700 – ETD Sabtang Island

0730 – ETA Sabtang Island

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  • Savidug Village
  • St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel and Old Beaterio
  • Chavayan Village
  • Chamantad-Tinyan Viewpoint
  • Visit the zipline place
  • Morong Beach
  • Nakabuang Cave
  • Mahayao Arch
  • Sabtang Lighthouse
  • San Visente Ferrer Church
  • Conscience Store

1330 – ETD Sabtang Island

1400 – ETA Ivana Port, Batan

1500 – FREE TIME

  • sunset at Naidi Hills

6th day – January 5, 2017

FREE DAY

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  • Sunrise at Valugan Boulder Beach
  • Visit some sites in South Batan
  • Fountain of Youth
  • Fundacion Pacita
  • Cafe de Tukon
  • Bike around Basco Airport runway

7th day – January 6, 2017

FREE DAY and LAST DAY

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  • Sunrise at Valugan Boulder Beach
  • Visit Mahatao’s Blank Books library
  • Visit Fountain of Youth again
  • Swimming at Spanish Blue Lagoon
  • Visit Alapad rock formation
  • Casa Napoli
  • Sunset at Naidi Hills

8th day – DEPARTURE TIME

CONTACT  PERSONS:

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Kuya Jovar Vargas: owner of Ivatan Inn (Basco Town Proper – 09985519656)
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Kuya Lito Alcantar : my guide in North & South Batan tour (09182167440/ 09162291080)
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Kuya Jojo Labrador: guide in Itbayat Island (09206603801)
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Kuya Jun Agache (no contact number but his tricycle is # 42)

EXPENSES:

A. Accommodation

NAME RATE DESCRIPTION TOTAL
Ivatan Inn (Basco) PHP 400 8 days of stay w/ breakfast  PHP   3,200
Levinda Lodge (Itbayat) PHP 250 overnight stay, fan room only  PHP      250

B. Tours

TOURS RATE DESCRIPTION
Registration  Fee (Basco) PHP 350
South Batan PHP 1,500 rate for 1-2 persons, additional 500 for the 3rd person
North Batan PHP 1,000
Itbayat Island Tour PHP 3,000
Sabtang Tour PHP 1,000
Registration Fee (Itbayat) PHP 100
Viewdeck Fee PHP 40
Torongan Cave Fee PHP 20
Registration Fee (Sabtang) PHP 200
Blank Book Archives fee PHP 50
Fountain of youth fee PHP 50

C. Food

DESCRIPTION RATE
Lunch at Paulvanna’s PHP 300
Lunch at Beehan PHP 380
Pork Bbq PHP 40
Egg PHP 15
Water PHP 40
Nova PHP 20
Lunch at Itbayat PHP 150
Dinner at Levinda PHP 250
Breakfast at Levinda PHP 100
Lunch at Morong Beach PHP 300
Kamoteng Donut (10/pc) PHP 30
Buko Juice (30/pc) PHP 90
Dinner at Beehan PHP 200
Lunch at Monica’s PHP 230
Snacks at Café de Tukon PHP 670
Snacks at Casa Napoli PHP 555
Dinner at Beehan PHP 260

D. Miscellaneous

DESCRIPTION RATE
Soap PHP 120
tshirt PHP 400
ref magnet PHP 60
shampoo PHP 8
surf powder PHP 13
gas PHP 360
bike rental PHP 50

E. Fare

DESCRIPTION RATE
MNL-BASCO VIA PAL PHP 4,891
BASCO-MNL VIA SKYJET PHP 6,412
BASCO-ITBAYAT M/V ONE SPIRIT PHP 400
ITBAYAT-BASCO M/V ITRANSA PHP 400
FALUWA BOAT RT BASCO-SABTANG PHP 200

REMINDERS:

  1. Batanes is located in the northern most part of the Philippines and consists of 3 major islands: Batan, Sabtang and Itbayat Island.
  2. Batanes is one of the few provinces in the Philippines that have moody weather, so better check your bag(s) if you packed the right clothes with you.
  3. It’s best to visit the place during summer season (April-June) so you won’t miss visiting Itbayat Island.
  4. What you read in other blogs regarding how they spent less than PHP 5,ooo in Batanes isn’t true, unless they purchased a promo airfare and they’re from the place or they know someone who adopts them there like accommodation and food free then it’s possible.
  5. You can tour around Batan (North and South) in one day without having a guide long as you know how to ride and operate a motorcycle then you’re good to go to follow the map but I rather you get a guide to help the locals as well.
  6. Basco town is so small but keep an eye on the arrow directions on the roads if it’s a one-way or two-way.
  7.   You’ll never get wrong with Beehan’s food and its price.
  8. Don’t miss to eat Batanes’ specialty: uved, luñi’s, coconut crab, kamoteng donut
  9. Buy your souvenirs in Sabtang, it’s way cheaper than in Basco.
  10. Lunch is optional when you’re on your South Batan and Sabtang tours.
  11. Boat travel time from Basco to Itbayat vice versa takes 4 hours per way and expect huge waves as you’re crossing Pacific Ocean and Philippine Sea. (tip: be the first one to enter the faluwa boat so you can get a good space for you to sleep on during ride).
  12. Fountain of youth is NOT included in the tours as it’s quite far and it’ll take you roughly an hour to go there, make sure you won’t visit the place during Fridays as it’s cleaning day and no one from the registration office will tell you so and to not frustrate you.
  13. Going to Fountain of Youth? If you have someone with you from Batanes or who has been there then good but if not, the way is going to the Diura Fishing Village. There are no signs going there, also make sure you know the local name (Rakuh-a idi Spring) as locals aren’t so familiar of the name Fountain of Youth.

**questions/comments/clarifications just leave a comment or message me, I’ll try to answer you one by one. ^_~

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