Basco, also known as Santo Domingo de Basco, is considered to be the capital municipality of Batanes and is located at the northern part of Batan Island, the second largest island among the Batanes Islands . It has the domestic airport which serves flights coming from Manila. Its land consists mainly of rolling hills and mountains.
According to wikipedia, its town got its name after Capitán General José Basco, who led the Philippines to freedom from the control of New Spain (today known as Mexico) and based on the 2000 census, it has a population of 6,717 people in 1,469 households.
We arrived at Batanes Resort past 7 a.m., still sleepy from the early morning flight. As soon as we checked in, we went straight to our beds to get some rest. At around 4 p.m., we decided to go out for a walk. First, we went around Batanes Resort. While Wayne and I were busy taking pictures, we saw our friend Al climbing up the hill at the back of the resort. Al called us to follow him.
We started climbing using the ladder leaned against the wall. Going up, we saw a big white mushroom and a herd of cows on the other side of the barbed wire fence. From the top we also saw Mt. Iraya, Naidi Lighthouse, and the whole resort. After enjoying the views, we headed back down to Batanes Resort.
Just a few blocks away from the resort, we discovered an area full of trees and grass which looked like a forest of some sort. We don’t know what’s behind but our curiosity led us to go further. There’s a sign that read: “Marine Sanctuary”, so we checked it out and found an open sea. Then we realized that this is the beach we are seeing from our cottage at Batanes Resort. We spent the rest of the afternoon at Marine Sanctuary.
Before dark, we decided to get a tour guide as we are still clueless on how to go to the different scenic spots in Batanes. We have arranged a schedule with Kuya Nards of Batanes Resort to serve as our tour guide for the next 3 days.
The next day, we woke up early and got ready for our Basco tour. It was a beautiful sunny day and we had our breakfast at Batanes Resort. Kuya Nards came just right after we finished our breakfast. He waited for us while we prepare for the trip. We brought our cellphones and cameras with us, and made sure they were fully charged. Then we went to his van and proceeded with the tour. Our first stop was Tukon Chapel.
Tukon Chapel was a project of Dina and Butch Abad for Tukon’s residents. Its architecture is similar to the Ivatan stone houses. Though the chapel was closed, we still had the chance to peek through its windows. Inside, there were murals of saints painted on the ceiling, which were said to have been hand-painted by Ivatan artists.
Not far from Tukon Chapel is the Radar Tukon. In Ivatan, radar means lighthouse and tukon means hill. Formerly used as a lighthouse, Radar Tukon now serves as the island’s weather station. Kuya Nards suggested to climb Radar Tukon to enjoy the 360 degree view of Basco. So we climbed Radar Tukon using the metal railings attached to the wall. Wayne went up first, then I followed. As I was about to reach the top, I noticed that the last railing was too far from the top. I actually didn’t know what to do. Good thing, Wayne helped me get to the top.
On top of Radar Tukon we saw the breathtaking views of the rolling hills and the rest of the island. We stayed for a while, took pictures of the Rolling Hills and enjoyed the strong winds of Basco.
As we were about to leave Radar Tukon, we noticed this small transparent sphere just across Radar Tukon. We don’t know what it is, but it looks interesting, so we took a picture of it. Then off we went to Fundacion Pacita.
Fundaction Pacita is another famous stonehouse-like structure in Basco. According to Kuya Nards, Fundaction Pacita was originally built as an art gallery of the late artist, Pacita Abad. But soon, it will be converted into a bed and breakfast facility. So that explains why when we entered the place, it was still under construction. We saw a sack of cement on the door entrance, a ladder up against the wall, and tables and chairs scattered all over the place. Surrounding Fundacion Pacita are plants that have been planted to form part of the landscaped garden but some haven’t fully grown as yet. Everything was raw and unfinished but I can already imagine how beautiful the place is going to be when it is done. That’s why I am very excited to see Fundacion Pacita when it opens.
The Japanese Tunnel served as a hideout of the Japanese soldiers during World War II. When we entered the tunnel, everything was pitch black. Though we had our own flashlights, Kuya Nards’ lamp lighted the way. As we moved deeper into the tunnel, we heard squeaking sounds coming from one of the chambers. Then, a group of bats came flying toward us. We brought out our cameras fast and took pictures of the flying bats. They just kept flying and passed over us. Luckily, we get to shoot a few of them just before they left the tunnel.
There’s also a part in the tunnel where we had to go down through a small opening. To get past that, we spread out our arms against the wall for support, then jumped down. The walls in this part of the tunnel are a little muddy so we had to be careful. Kuya Nards went down first, so he could guide us on our way down. We followed what he did. We were not able to hold our flashlights and cameras properly. We continued to walk some more and when we saw the light, we know we’ve finally reached the end of the tunnel.
Valugan Bay is famous for its bouldered shore. It is said that the large rocks that lay along the shore came from Mt. Iraya’s eruption a long time ago. We had to step on these rocks one after the other before we can reach the bay. Valugan Bay is perfect for picture taking and resting.
It was past lunch when we headed back to the town proper of Basco. We had our lunch at one of the canteens within the town, named SDCBI Canteen and Store Dept. After eating, we went to the oldest church in Batanes, the Santo Domingo de Basco Church which was also called the Basco Cathedral. The church was established in 1783 and was dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. Its present structure was built by the Dominicans in 1812 in espadaña style. It is also one of the first limestone buildings built during the Spanish regime.
Vayang Rolling Hills
Also known as Vayang Ranch, the Vayang Rolling Hills is another place that we wouldn’t want to miss in Basco. As we stand on top of the hill we saw a wide world of green grass and blue sky and felt the rushing of the wind against our faces. These are the moments we wish we could experience in the city.
Inside, we took the spiral stairs leading to the top of the lighthouse. The view from the top showed us Mt. Iraya, the sea, and the rest of Basco. We did nothing but enjoyed the view and took pictures. We left after sunset.
Im very excited! Me and my friends are planning to go to Batanes next year. Thanks for sharing this itinerary. 😀
You’re welcome Jeanna. Good luck to your trip. 😀 Enjoy!
(L) Wow! That place is sssoooo pretty!!!! I’m thinking about going there because of this blog! Thanks! (L)
Thanks Miki! Hope this helps. 😀 Goodluck and hope you’ll also enjoy your stay there. 🙂
@jeanna and @miki, Goodluck. dont forget to share with us your stories when you get back!
ganda naman talaga ng batanes. lalo na yung view ng Fundacion Pacita. And the rolling hills. Ganda! Parang hindi sa Pilipinas.
Hi Supersawsaw! Agree! 100% Para ka talagang wala sa Pinas pag nasa Batanes ka. (L)
@supersawsaw, oo maganda talaga dyan grabe. Open na din yung Fundacion Pacita ngayon! 😀
grabee talaga ganda ng batanes.. im longing in that very peaceful and relaxing place, especially when it was featured in Korina Sanchez’s rated K para talagang nasa paraiso. search ng search talaga ako about batanes. Im from Cebu, when my friends asked me where to have a vacation, i always said batanes tatawa lang sila dahil sobrang layo daw, but its my dream to go there someday…Please feature pa more about batanes… :o) :o) (F) thanks
batanes is a home away from home…hope someday i can go there… (L) (L) (L)
Yes just believe, makakapunta ka din. And if you do, dont forget to tell us about it! 😀
I agree, the first time I saw Batanes in pictures, grabe, talagang pinangarap kong makarating dyan. At first, sobrang pinagtatawanan din ako ng mga friends ko pag niyayaya ko silang pumunta dyan. Buti na nga lang at napilit ko yung 2 college friends ko (Al and Icey) na samahan ako sa trip ko dyan last year. True, the place is so peaceful and very relaxing. At higit sa lahat, safe pa!
We have other entries about Batanes. You may check on them on our previous posts. Or check mo rin yung links under the “Related Posts” sa baba ng entry namin. Enjoy!
Btw, kwentuhan mo kami pag nakarating ka na dyan ha? 😀
i can’t wait na makapunta ng batanes ive been to sagada mt. province last summer the place was so relaxing very rich in culture O:-) now i want to invade the batanes island im so curious about the place i saw 8s pix at maganda talaga!!!tagal naman ng sembreak :-S
@Cristy: I suggest you visit Batanes during summer para ma-enjoy nyo yung place. Maganda dun, parang Sagada rin sa kagandahan. 😀
hi,i’m from batanes…i was glad you want to go here in batanes…as you said, this place is very beautiful…you’ll feel that you’re in a paraiso,haha..hope you can visit here.. 😀
wowwww nice photos… grabeh sobrang green talga ng mga damuhan nila…. whaaa i wonder, when akoh makapuntah dyan….
what a beautiful place! sana makarating ako sa batanes. gusto ko tahimik at hindi polluted na lugar at mabait ang mga tao.
@Rhea: Swerte mo naman na taga dyan ka. 🙂 I really hope that I can go back there again. 🙂
@Ezra and Ornel: Makakarating din kayo dyan kung gugustuhin nyong talaga. 😀
Just arrived from my Batanes Trip last March 16, 2010 (Mar 13-16). Just want to comment about Fundacion Pacita. Now that the Lodge is fully operational and the construction and landscaping is done the place is quite breathtaking. The bad news is that since they are now operating as a hotel, it is now closed to the public unless of course you are a registered guest. So on our first day of the tour the Inn owner who arranged our tour said we can’t go there anymore and its no longer part of the itinerary. However, we can see it from a distance when we go to the PAGASA station. Fortunately for us, the following day when we went to our Sabatng Tour we met two couples who said their driver/guide brought them to FundacionPacita and that even if its “bawal” to just walk-in and see the place they still did it anyway with the help of the driver/guide. So the following day when we were to go to our Batan Island Southern Tour (Mahatao/Uyugan) we begged our driver/guide to also bring us to Fundacion Pacita first before proceeding to the Mahatao Tour. He agreed but warned us that if we are not allowed to go inside then he can’t do anything. When we reached the place we were fortunate to see the crew / stars of Trip na Trip TV show there filming. We entered asked permission but was allowed only up to the entrance of the Hotel. To make a long story short we made ourselves welcome or gate crashed the place as discreetly and us quietly as possible. We took pictures inside as fast as we could, but outside the hotel we lingered and took great pictures of the hotel from outside, the beautiful booking office and the “honeymoon house” located separate from the hotel itself.
The point of this comment is that if your guide said its not allowed, beg him to drop you there and take your chances. I think if there is no guest in the hotel they do allow, but if there are guests staying they are hesitant. Since the Ivatans are very friendly and hospitable people I am sure they will say no but turn a blind eye and try to accommodate. When we left our guide was thanking the caretaker profusely in their dialect of course. The only words I can understand is “dios mamajes” which means thank you. When I travel to other countries and provinces, one thing I MUST DO is learn how to say thank you in their language or dialect.
Budsdiana: That was cool! Hehehe! I wanted to see how Fundacion Pacita looked now. When we went there last September 2008, the place was being renovated. I’ve seen some pictures of it already but I think the rates here are really expensive. 🙁
:o) how i wish i could visit the place someday !!!
:-[ if GOD allows me to win the Lottery, for sure BATANES will be included in my list of travel….
(F) It’s my dream to visit Batanes and stay there for long … but the problem is, the place is very very far.. :-S
Wowwwwwwwwwwww……great pics talaga and the place was so great !!!! gusto ko magpunta talaga doon. Wayne, pwede post ka how many days talaga kailangan andun kami yon ma tour na namin pati ibang place. Meron ka ring Batan Island Southern Tour pics (Mahatao/Uyugan) just like what Buds was mentioning. Planning to visit there March of this year. It was featured in Sports Unlimited…….hayyyyyyyy………super ganda talaga. Thanks and God Bless!!! (F) Yana :o)
Marissa, Marisse and Merly: Pwede naman eh, kelangan lang talagang pagplanuhang mabuti at pag-ipunan ng husto. 😀
Yana: Thanks, yup we have a separate post for that here: http://www.pasyalera.com/batanes/mahatao-ivana-uyugan/ Hmmm, 3 days kasi ang kailangan para ma-tour mo yung buong place. (Except un Itbayat Island.) So that would be 1 day for Batan Island, 1 day for Sabtang and 1 day for Mahatao/Uyugan. 😀
Hi! I just came back from Batanes last March 22-25, 2010. I came across your blog when I was organizing my Batanes scrapbook/album & searching for some of the names of the places we went. I so envy the pics that u took! Wow Ang ganda ng angles! Kuya Nards was also our guide :o) Batanes is really breathtaking! I would definitely go back there next year. To those who dream of going to Batanes please do so while the place is still pristine & in its natural condition! believe in yourself and surely your dream will become a reality. After i came back from Batanes I’ve already convinced countless friends & relatives to go there and we are now planning to go together next year. The best time to go there is during summer but esp. March. 😀
Hi Susan, good for you. 🙂 Glad you liked Batanes sooo much. 😀
hi, in really love batanes island, and mt, province, i hope i go there as soon as posible.. by the way i go to mt. province on january.. i hope i enjoy the place , especially rthe f 😀 😀 ood.. love it
ang gnda tlga nang batanes,,
lyk ko tlgang mkapunta ..
tsaka dme ko nang nging gf na tga batanes..
sna,sna tlga mkapunta ako (L)
looking at ur pics made me fall in love with Batanes :o) my hubby and i are planning to visit it as soon as he got here. we’re both very excited to see those sceneries.. 😎
I miss Batanes, Basco where I stayed for 3 months once a week I did come to Sabtang Island, in Brgy Nakanmuan, I stayed in the old stone house Nanay Paz Calma, I reaaly missed the fresh seabreeze their. No mobile phone signal quietness of the ambiance is really the best! Best wishes to all of you IVATANS :o)
I’ve there Feb 3, 2010 I went back home to the mainland April 30, 2010. 😎
Is it safe to go there during the month of September?
Hi wayne.. I am from Batanes. We the Ivatans are very thankful for the visitors like you to post such an overwhelming blog. I’ve been in the city for more than half of my life but i always make time to visit my place at least once a year ( i wish i could make 4 times a year, but due to high airfare cost, I cant make it). Though am a local, truly, am almost always mesmerized with the seascapes and landscapes the islands have. Thank u for you have served as a walking advertisement.
who maintains the tunnel? is it the municipal government or a private entity? are there specific charges or entrance fee in getting inside?
hi…i read the articles and i’m very happy that you appreciate our place..i’m an ivatan and truly our place is very astonishing with its picturesque scenes…and i know my fellow ivatans would be very glad and proudhttp://www.pasyalera.com/wp-content/plugins/smilies-themer/pidgin/smile.png of you because of your gestures…thank you…dios mamajes!!!..
What places do you recommend where I can stay in Batanes?
Hi! I am from Batanes. Thank you for liking our place. I would like to give a suggestion if you come and see our place especially the Fundacion Pacita, come around 9:00 am – 11:00 am or 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm where most of their guests are having a tour around the islands. The place is some times open to tourists around those times and talk or look for a tourist guide that can bring your there.
Come and visit our place…
[…] it turned out, they were actually making it into a bed & breakfast, as pointed out by this blog). Mandy set this bike up with an orange shawl, and we took photos of […]
nice blog…am very excited for my planned trip to batanes late this year or jan. of 2013. am overseas right now so am longing for all the stunning places in the Philippines like batanes. there’s no place like home.
btw, am going alone…hehe! just want to find some quiet time for myself.
Hi! Wayne and Icey, your blog is so persuasive that it pushes me to book a flight and go to Batanes. My friend and I are planning to go to Batanes this May 2012. I am also planning to stay at Batanes Resort. Hope you don’t mind me asking. How much did you pay for your tour with Mang Nards? Thanks! More post and photos please 🙂
Hello! It is really my dream to go to Batanes and your blog makes me very eager to be there…. May I know how much you spend in this trip? Thanks
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I can’t wait to see yah Batanes! Be there this friday, Oct.12,2012! I would be there to entertain the people of batanes on their Octoberfest. Hay… I hope and pray it would be so much fun! I would be very glad to meet the people of Batanes as well! Hihi! 🙂
”THIS IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE ON EARTH” ever!!! the very first time that i saw this on a travel show. i was already hookup by its fascinated, majestic views… to all the nature lover like out there this is the best spot..
Hi wayne! your blog is really helpful. i just came back from batanes march 18, 2013 and the most beautiful place INDEED, ivatans are ery friendly. will definetely visit batanes again in the future. our tour guide is very nice . if ur looking for a tour guide you may call mang romy 09381592721 , 09169026712.
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greetings pls inform me how to reach basco by april 17 -23. but all fligths are book, am going by bus. pls teach me where the port going to basco. and what bus i must take.tnx