Batanes Random Narratives (Day 2)

Monday, August 04, 2014

From the moment I saw the stone houses and rolling hills of Batanes, I told myself, "I am definitely not in Manila anymore." I still can't believe I was stepping in one of the most sought-after destinations in the Philippines. Even on our second day, everything seems to be like a dream. Tagal mag sink in. #Pentium1
Amy, Genevieve, Myself and Badz
Day 2 June 5, 2014
4:00 AM
Location: Crisan Lodge

We slept early the night before so we got plenty of rest for our second day. Our reservation with Crisan Lodge only includes breakfast for 2 persons. But when Kuya Mon (owner of Crisan Lodge) found out that we are on a budget, he said he'll provide food that is good for five people. And it's not just bread, we were served Filipino breakfast for three days! Thank you so much Kuya Mon :)
Genevieve and Amy outside Honesty Coffee Shop
6:00 AM
Location: South Batan

We left Crisan Lodge at exactly 6:00 am. On our way to Ivana Port, we were discussing about the one time exception provided by PAL. Remember Badz was allowed to take the plane without presenting ID? We asked her what if the one time exception only covers her trip going to Batanes and not going back to Manila. She will have to wait for her ID and be stucked for days in Batanes. Of course, we have work so there's no other option but to leave her all alone. Lol. That cracks me up whenever I remember it haha.

After 30 minutes, we arrived at Ivana Port. And there I saw the boat that will take us to Sabtang Island, they call it Faluwa. Apparently, outrigger boats are non-existent and what they use are boats like the one used in Life of Pi. Wicked! Kinoy, our tour guide explained, it was designed that way so it will ride the waves instead of battling it. Though I know how to swim, the thought of having to cross Balintang Channel and to battle the mad waves of Pacific Ocean and West Philippine Sea scares the shit out of me!
this place is so perfect for pre nup photoshoot!
7:30 AM
Location: Sabtang Island

"That's not so bad," I told myself after the 30 minute boat ride from Ivana Port to Sabtang. We were lucky the ocean is so calm that morning. Upon arrival, Kinoy introduced us to our driver, a 17 year old Ivatan. On our way to Nakabuang Beach (our first destination), Kinoy mentioned Sabtang, being the smallest of the three inhabited islands of Batanes, is more rural and less populated compared to Batan where Basco is located. It has lesser mode of transportation and people mostly use Cogon roofed tricycle to go from one place to another. 
you can buy vakul as souvenirs
9:00 AM
Location: Cliffside road going to Chamantad Viewpoint

After spending some time in Nakabuang Beach, where the famous natural stone arc is located, we went on a bumpy ride to Chamantad Viewpoint. On our way to the viewpoint, Kinoy pointed the Savidug Idjang, which served as a fortress for the Katipuneros. While he is explaining the importance of this fortress, Maki asked why the places in Batanes sounds like gay lingo. He was referring to Chamantad, Chavayan, Idjang, and Adequey Island. Kinoy answered, "Baka po bading yung mga ancestors namin." Lol. Of course he was just kidding and we still don't know why the places sounded like gay lingo. 
old monastery
10:30 AM
Location: Chavayan Village

After 15 minutes of another bumpy ride, we reached Chavayan Village. It is where the Sabtang Weavers Asociation is located. You can purchase a vakul as souvenir or you can pay for a photo op wearing it. Nothing says "I've been to Batanes" better than a photo wearing a vakul right? :)

Walking on Chavayan's narrow alleyways was actually my favorite part of the tour. I think Chavayan has the most number of old stone houses I've seen in Batanes. Kinoy explained that the concept of stone houses were actually introduced by the Spaniards. These houses were made using lime stones, corals and dried cogon grass. It was strategically designed to withstand the strongest typhoons. Thus these houses are proof of Ivatans resiliency. Not only that, their houses do not have door locks, proving they are trustworthy. Can't help but say, "Ang galing." 
12:30 PM
Location: Somewhere near the Centro

We had lunch at one of the seaside restos in Sabtang. We were served veggies, grilled parrot fish and sinigang na baboy. It was my first time to see a parrot fish and it was grilled. SAD. Genevieve said it is a beautiful fish especially underwater. After lunch, we went back to the port. At 2:00 PM, we boarded the Faluwa going back to Ivana Port. The clouds are all grey on our way back but surprisingly the boat ride was still ok. No buwis buhay moments. We reached the port after 30 minutes and it started to rain. Good thing, our van is already waiting for us. When we reached Crisan Lodge, we were all dead tired. At 4:00 PM, we were all sound sleep. Boo! No sunset view again!

Check out my other Batanes Blog Posts right here.

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  1. Batanes is very photogenic. I swear, I would love to stay in that place. Looks so peaceful and refreshing.

  2. Yous should! It's perfect for your family :)

  3. Batanes is in my bucket list too. Hopefully next year,we'd be able to visit the majestic place as well =)

  4. Hello Mommy Charm! Nice to know Batanes is included in your bucket list! You should go before it becomes overly commercialized :)