Batanes, Philippines

Since this is going to be our first entry for this travel blog, I would like to impart with you the very first trip that Wayne and I had ever shared.

Last September 2008, after so many days of whining and mocking, me and Al finally gave in to Wayne’s request and decided to join her in witnessing the splendid scenic spots that can be found in the northernmost part of the Philippine islands, Batanes.

Batanes is considered to be the smallest province of the Philippines in terms of population and land area. It is about 190 kilometers south of Taiwan and 280 kilometers north of Aparri, Cagayan. It comprises of 10 main islands and islets namely: Batan, Sabtang, Itbayat, Mavudis, Siayan, Ivuhos, Dinem, Dequey, North Island and Y’ami. Only the first three islands are currently inhabited.

Boarded an Asian Spirit flight, we all left Manila at around 5 a.m. and arrived at Basco airport in Batan Island, Batanes past 7 a.m. After settling all the fees at the airport, we all headed to Batanes Resort, the place which served as our “home” for almost a week.
During our stay in Batanes, we pampered ourselves as much as we can. We slept a lot, ate a lot of foods, laughed our lungs out, went out on tours and enjoyed every minute we had while we were away from hustle and bustle of Manila. Here’s a glimpse of Batanes and its people:

A Road in Batan Island Rocks in Valugan Bay Basco Church
Vayang Rolling Hills Naidi Lighthouse Bike at the back of Naidi Lighthouse
Ivatan Stone Houses at Chavayan Falowa Waves at Mahatao
Lola Florestida Racuh A Payaman (Marlboro Country) Blow UR Horn Sign

These are what you will most likely see in Batanes: a scenic view of the hills with cows and carabaos roaming on the grass; tall lighthouses standing like a mighty tower on a hill; boats which they call “falowa” used for island hopping; bikes with little baskets used by Ivatans for daily commuting; old stone houses and churches that have been preserved for years; boulder-lined shores; “Blow UR Horn” signs carved on every turn of the zigzag roads; huge waves splashing against the massive cliffs; and astonishing rock formations on the sea.

The pristine and untouched beauty of Batanes is simply captivating, enough to leave us breathless, enough to live on in our hearts forever. It is truly a place that will haunt you to come back. Try and see for yourself!

Getting There

Southeast Asian Airlines (SEAIR) flies to Batanes from Manila and vice versa using their 32-seater Dornier 328 aircraft. These flights land straight to Basco airport on Batan Island, Batanes.
Flight Schedule: Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday/Saturday
Website: http://www.flyseair.com/
Tel. No: (+63 2) 849-0100

Zest Airways (formerly Asian Spirit) also flies to Batanes from Manila and vice versa using their DASH7 planes or BAE jets however I have read that all Basco flights via Zest Airways have been cancelled since November 2008.
Flight Schedule: Monday/Wednesday/Friday
Website: http://www.zestair.com.ph/
Tel. No: (+63 2) 888-2003

You may also consider taking a bus to Laoag or Tugueguarao then take Chemtrad Air, a 10-seater aircraft to Basco. Their flight schedules may vary but they normally flies on Monday/Wednesday/Friday from Tuguegarao and Tuesday/Thursday from Laoag. You may also call their office for schedules.
Tel No: (+63 2) 833-0229 / (+63 2) 844-3113

Climate

March to May is usually hot and dry and considered to be the summer months in Batanes. June to October is rainy but the typhoons usually come during the months of August. On the otherhand, the months of November to February are usually cool and windy.

Transportation

In Batanes, you may travel Batan Island by foot or you can hire bikes, motorcycles or tricycles that are available within the island. There are also jeepneys and vehicles available that you may hire which could drive you around Batan island. When going to Sabtang or Itbayat, you need to take a motorized boat also known as “falowa” then from there, you may hire a private vehicle that could also drive you within the islands. The falowas in Ivana usually leave at 6.30 a.m., 1 p.m., and 4 p.m. and is a 45-minute travel to Sabtang.

Must Haves

  • Light Clothing (Shirts and shorts)
  • Sturdy and comfortable shoes/slippers/sandals
  • Cap, hat or bandana
  • Shades/sunglasses
  • Light jacket or raincoat (During rainy season)
  • Sunblock
  • Insect/mosquito repellant lotion
  • Plastic bags or Ziplocs (To put in your camera, wallet and mobile phones)
  • Camera (Extra batteries, extra film, extra CF or SD Cards and a sturdy tripod)
  • Loads of money (Credit cards are not accepted. There are only 2 banks in town: Landbank and PNB. Landbank ATM is sometimes offline and I think PNB don’t have an ATM)
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This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 at 2:14 pm and is filed under Batanes, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Comments

46 responses to “Batanes, Philippines

  1. rain

    I so, so love Batanes! :-$ Thanks for sharing this great article. This is very, very helpful to those who are planning to go there. 😉

  2. alain

    ice,
    would like to know the differences from your travel in september to travelling in the summer months. would you know the difference with the temperament of the sea during both seasons and also the color of the pasture if browner or greener?
    i’m planning to go to Batanes either september or the summer months kasi. thanks!

  3. Wayne

    Hi Alain,

    Since Ice is still sleeping, let me answer your questions on her behalf. 😀 Actually, we were in Batanes September 2008 so rainy season pa yun period na yun. Kaso we haven’t been to Batanes on a summer month so I don’t think we could give you the exact answers to your questions. 😀

    Feeling ko naman, during summer months, bihirang umulan. Pero you can never tell kasi minsan may times na maulan kahit summer. Then meron din times na mainit during rainy season. So siguro just to be safe, I suggest na habaan nyo na lang yung length of stay ninyo sa Batanes para in case na ulanin man kayo eh may ibang araw pa para makapag-tour kayo.

    I also noticed that usually greener ang pasture after a rain and kapag malamig ang panahon. Then medyo brown na medyo green naman sya pag mainit. With regards naman sa dagat, natural lang yung malakas na alon doon kasi Pacific Ocean and South China Sea yun. Pero mas malakas ang waves sa dagat kapag may paparating na bagyo. 😀

    Hope that helps. Hintayin rin natin yung response ni Icey. Baka may maidagdag din sya. 😀

  4. Icey Post author

    Hi Alain, the weather in Batanes is unpredictable. So I agree with Wayne, habaan nyo na lang yung days nyo sa Batanes hehe. (Y)

    Thanks for answering mah men! 😀

  5. shine

    I love your site. this is very useful! i am planning to go to Batanes soon. Thanks for all the info. 😉
    btw, how many days did you stay in Batanes?

  6. Wayne

    Hi Shine,

    Thanks! Thanks! We stayed 6days/5nights in Batanes. Actually overview lang ng Batanes tong entry na to, you might want to check out our previous entries about Batanes. Mas naka-detail dun yung mga places to visit there. Good luck on your trip. 😀

  7. freda

    haaay… this is the place i want to visit talaga! kelan ko kaya magagawa yun? hehe! question! my friends told me, once a week lang daw ang flight ng mga airlines dito? and how much naman ang budget for the whole trip? kahit estimated lang.. sana next year makavisit ko na to! :)

    nawili na yata akong magsulat dito ah.. hehe!

  8. Icey Post author

    Hi Freda,

    Sa Zest Air wala nang Batanes hehe. Sa Seair, thrice a week ang flight to Batanes (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday). Estimated budget namen non is 50 to 60k for 3 pax.

  9. Wayne

    Ayun nasagot na ni Icey. Btw, yung 50-60k budget namin nun for 3pax, eh excluding fare pa yun. Although I heard mahal daw yung mga fares sa Seair which are around 10-15k ata un per head. Sana magkaron na ng flights yung Cebu Pac dito. Para maging affordable na tong lugar na to.

    Oo nga, nawili kana magsulat dito. Hehehe! Salamat. 😀

  10. freda

    huwaattt??? parang singapore ang budget ah! hahaha! andyan lang naman ang batanes, saka ko na lang siya bibisitahin… hahahaha! 😀

  11. Wayne

    Hi Freda,

    Anu bang mahal dun, I think ang nagpamahal talaga sa amin nun is yung haba ng stay namin sa Batanes. 6days kasi kaming andun. Yung accommodation medyo mura kaso times 5 agad. Then yung tours, parang 4days kaming nagtour nun so times 4 din halos yung gastos namin, then yung food dun ang medyo mahal kaya ayun. Hehehehe! 😀

  12. euriks

    yah..pwo di pa ako xure may failed subject kasi kylangan ko pah mg.sumemr jejej bobo koh kasi jajajajaj ok lng un better luck nxt tym ganyan nman tlga lyf..addict kasi ako sa gadget jajaja 😛 😛

  13. Icey

    @euriks, dont worry, lahat naman dumadaan sa bagsak na grade. it’s part of life. aral ka nalang ulit mabuti next time and do your best. 😀

  14. Nikki

    I love this Batanes page! hope I can be there when I come home. so wayne, you need to help me find a cheap package.. hehe.. gtg

  15. Wayne

    Hey Nikki! Thanks for lovin’ our Batanes page. 😀 Sure, sure! Kelan ka ba uwi? Sabay kana kay Kuys! 😛 Nang makagala naman tayo. 😛

  16. Nikki

    hahaha! bilisan nyo na at napagiiwanan na kyo! lol.. naku bawal magresign, not an option.hehe.. sa march nalang next year.hehe..

  17. Wayne

    Hehehe! Dahan-dahan lang. Wag nating madaliin. Kelangan makaipon muna, kasi marami akong gustong balikan pag kinasal kami. Kelangan magkaron kami ng mga pre-nup shots sa Batanes, Davao at Palawan! Hahahaha! 😛

  18. jewel

    Wayne! gusto ko punta ng batanes!! been wanting to go there for a year na yata! 😀 hindi naman expensive super don? 😛 thanks for the scoop! and thanks for letting me know about your site! galing! *hands down*

  19. Wayne

    Hey Jewel. Hehehe! 😛 You’re welcome. Naku, you should try going there. Fares and foods ang mahal sa Batanes. Affordable yung mga tours dun. With regards to the accommodations naman, maraming murang mapag-i-stay-an dun. 😀 Naku, jewel, must-see talaga tong lugar na to. 😀 Kelangan mapuntahan mo to. 😛

  20. Wayne

    Hey Lyra, thanks for that. Cute naman ng beach house nyo. Simple lang pero maganda naman yung surroundings. Gusto ko rin magkaron ng rest house dyan. Kainggit naman. 😀

  21. Wayne

    Hi Jen,

    Around 5k to 6k yung nakuha naming fare nun. Sa Asian Spirit pa kasi yun. Kaso ngayon, wala ng Asian Spirit. :( Nung naging Zest Air naman sila, parang nacancel yata yung mga flights nila nun sa Batanes kaya no choice kundi mag-Seair. :-S

  22. jilly

    hi, would you happen to know if there places in batanes that are for rent for about a month? i’m in need of alone time, emotional healing that sort of thing and i think batanes is the best place for me to lick my wounds and find myself again. it looks like a safe place for a suddenly single woman to go to, right?

  23. Travelgeek

    hi! I read in Seair website that Batanes actually has 4 seasons:

    Spring – Mar to May
    Summer – Jun to Aug
    Autumn – Sep to Nov
    Winter – Dec to Feb

    Do you agree? I’m planning to go there on Aug, so I was excited to learn that it will be summer then. But based on your blog, the summer months fall between Mar to May. Would you have an idea if it will be rainy instead? Thanks.

  24. Donnie Ang

    Hi!! Thank you for sharing this information. I will definitely visit Batanes hopefully this year or early next year, I am actually saving money for my Batanes trip kahit na mag-isa lang ako go pa rin :) This information will help me a lot , so thanks again :) God Bless everyone :)

  25. Chinitz

    Went to batanes with my mom on a bussiness trip back then i was 10 yrs old and i would love to go back there with my boyfriend as a birthday trip this november how is the wearher? N also a place yo stay for 2-3days tnx

  26. Ryan Cardona

    Hello All,

    Welcome to Batanes…

    Explore, Experience and Enjoy BATANES

    If you have concerns/questions re:
    Best Place to Stay –
    Where to Spend the Day Tours –
    Best Restaurant in Town –
    Airline Promos/Reservations –
    Where to Look/Buy for Pasalubongs –
    And even to those interested in activities like trekking, hiking, biking, mountain climbing and other adventurous hubs…

    Feel free to drop a call/text to CP #’s
    Smart – 0919 2795963
    Globe – 0915 5232178

    Satisfaction Exceeds Expectation…

    Tour Guide in Batanes
    Ryan

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