25 Photos That Sum Up My Batanes Experience

It’s official. I’m in love with Batanes. I had a brief affair with him—four days and three nights, to be exact. It’s been over a month since then, but I can’t stop thinking about him.

(Click on each photo to zoom in)

Among the several churches found in Basco, Batanes, Mt. Carmel Chapel is the most famous. Also known as Tukon Chapel, Mt. Carmel was designed by Filipino architects Joven Ignacio and Tina Turralba with traditional Ivatan stone houses in mind. It stands on top of a hill where you can see a view of the West Philippine Sea and Pacific Ocean.

Among the several churches found in Basco, Batanes, Mt. Carmel Chapel is the most famous. Also known as Tukon Chapel, Mt. Carmel was designed by Filipino architects Joven Ignacio and Tina Turralba with traditional Ivatan stone houses in mind. It stands on top of a hill where you can see a view of the West Philippine Sea and Pacific Ocean.

From the Tukon Radar Station you can see Mt. Iraya, an active volcano that last erupted in 1454.

From the Tukon Radar Station you can see Mt. Iraya, an active volcano that last erupted in 1454.

A distant view of Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge, the most expensive accommodation in Batanes. The home studio of late artist Pacita Abad, it is run by the most powerful political clan in Batanes.

A distant view of Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge, the most expensive accommodation in Batanes. The home studio of the late artist Pacita Abad, it is run by the most powerful political clan in Batanes.

At Fundacion Pacita, where nature meets art.

At Fundacion Pacita, where nature meets art.

My group examined the double rainbow that appeared after our Ivatan Fortress expedition.

My group examined the double rainbow that appeared after our Ivatan Fortress expedition.

The Valugan Boulder Beach along Contra Costra Road was formed after Mt. Iraya erupted in 400 AD. This caused the rocks to scatter around Batanes.

The Valugan Boulder Beach along Contra Costra Road was formed after Mt. Iraya erupted in 400 AD. This caused the rocks to scatter around Batanes.

Vayang Rolling Hills, where you will see cows and goats grazing around.

Vayang Rolling Hills, where you will see grazing cows and goats.

View from the top of Rolling Hills

View from the top of Rolling Hills

The Basco lighthouse at Naidi Hills is one of the three lighthouses in Batanes. The other two are in Sabtang and Mahatao. When I reached the top of this 6-storey structure, I was treated to a view of the lush green hills, residential stone houses, and Basco Cemetery.

The Basco lighthouse at Naidi Hills is one of the three lighthouses in Batanes. The other two are in Sabtang and Mahatao. When I reached the top of this 6-storey structure, I was treated to a view of the lush green hills, residential stone houses, and Basco Cemetery.

My first glimpse of Sabtang Island, a 45-minute boat ride from the Radiwan Ivana Port in Batan.

My first glimpse of Sabtang Island, a 45-minute boat ride from the Radiwan Ivana Port in Batan. Batanes is actually made up of three major islands: Batan (where you’ll find the capital of Basco), Sabtang (photographed), and Itbayat (more rugged and difficult to explore). There are other islets surrounding the three main islands.

Sabtang Island’s Savidug Vernacular Houses. These traditional Ivatan homes are made of stone to withstand any weather. Being at the northernmost point of the Philippines, Batanes is the point of entry of storms and typhoons.

Sabtang Island’s Savidug vernacular houses. These traditional Ivatan homes are made of stone to withstand any weather. Being at the northernmost part of the Philippines, Batanes is the point of entry of storms and typhoons.

Tiñan Viewpoint, one of the most breathtaking sights at Sabtang Island

Tiñan Viewpoint, one of the most breathtaking sights at Sabtang Island

Halfway from the edge of Tiñan Viewpoint

Halfway from the edge of Tiñan Viewpoint

I conquered Tiñan Viewpoint. Pictures don’t show it, but my tummy whirled from the height of the peak overlooking the Pacific coast.

I conquered Tiñan Viewpoint. Pictures don’t show it, but my tummy whirled from the steep height of the peak overlooking the Pacific coast.

The Chavayan Village in Sabtang Island is where you’ll find many of Batanes' traditional stone houses. The residents are used to seeing tourists walk around their community. Some have even put up souvenir stalls to make extra income.

Chavayan Village in Sabtang Island is where you’ll find many of Batanes’ traditional stone houses. The residents are used to seeing tourists walk around their community. Some have even put up souvenir stalls to make extra income.

The Mayahaw arch at Nakabuang Beach

The Mayahaw arch at Nakabuang Beach

Sabtang Island’s Nakabuang Beach (or Morong Beach) makes a great alternative to the tourist-heavy white beaches around the Philippines.

Sabtang Island’s Nakabuang Beach (or Morong Beach) makes a great alternative to the tourist-heavy white beaches around the Philippines.

My only regret is not having time to explore Batanes’ coffee shop culture. There are plenty of quaint cafés around Batan, including Shanedel’s Inn and Café located next to Yaru Art Gallery.

My only regret is not having time to explore Batanes’ coffee shop culture. There are plenty of quaint cafés around Batan, including Shanedel’s Inn and Café located next to Yaru Art Gallery.

The steep Chawa Viewdeck was part of my Batan South Island tour.

The Chawa Viewdeck was part of my Batan South Island tour.

Look out below! After climbing down 100+ steps, you’ll see Chawa’s cave and lagoon with waves constantly splashing on the rough rock formation.

Look out below! After climbing down 100+ steps, you’ll see Chawa’s cave and lagoon with waves constantly splashing on the rough rock formation.

We found love outside San Carlos Borromeo Church.

We found love outside San Carlos Borromeo Church.

Next to Tayid lighthouse in Mahatao is this private land overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Next to Tayid lighthouse in Mahatao is this private land overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

With the wind blowing against my face, I trekked through Marlboro Country past the horses and onto the highest peak of the hills where my stomach whirled once again.

With the wind blowing against my face, I trekked through Marlboro Country past the horses and onto the highest peak of the hills where my stomach whirled once again.

Homoron Blue Lagoon in South Batan

Homoron Blue Lagoon in South Batan

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Homoron Blue Lagoon was one of my most difficult treks Batanes. From the top I couldn’t imagine how someone could possibly descend down the slippery rocks, but I did—slowly but surely! I celebrated this feat by dipping into the clear waters with my friends Kimi and Miguel. Look closely for the girl in the white shirt. That’s me waving from below!

All photos by KateWasHere.com, except for photos #22 and #25 by Mimi Quiogue



One Comment

  1. Brenda wrote:

    Really Batanes is amazing! 🙂

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