I Left My Heart and Soul in Batanes (Part 5: Exploring North Batan)
|A priceless view from the Basco Lighthouse|
To make the most out of our last day, we woke up early so we can walk around the quaint and sleepy town of Basco. Our North Batan tour would not start until after lunch then, so we still have plenty of time to buy souvenirs and explore the capitol.
From Palangud Homestay, we walked towards the town proper and looked for Vavayat, a souvenir shop also owned by Ryan Cardona of BISUMI Tours & Services. We didn't have a hard time finding it, as it's just near LBC and the hospital. If you are looking for cool souvenir shirts and other keepsakes, Vavayat is the place to be. T-shirts may be priced with a premium but the quality is better than the ones from other souvenir shops in town. You canq even have a customised souvenir shirt!
|Vavayat Souvenir Shop|
On our way back to the homestay, we saw a bunch of corn being dried up in the sun. We also came across a fisherman who luckily got a few Dorado fish. Dorado is a kind of big fish that Ivatans cure with salt and dry in the sun for weeks. A whole slab of dried Dorado costs around Php 1,000.
I actually adore one mixed-media piece (acrylic and other items found by the artist) by Michael Malupa, which costs Php 15,000! Not bad for a beautiful work of art masterfully created with passion. I don't have Php 15,000, though. Too bad.
|Yaru Nu Artes Ivatan|
|Handpainted ref magnets|
|A mixed-media artwork by Michael Malupa|
If you've seen the movie "You're My Boss," starring Coco Martin and Toni Gonzaga, then you are probably familiar with this place. This is where they stayed (in the movie) during their visit to Batanes.
They said food here is great so we gave it a try. What did we order? Lobster, of course!
|Octagon Bed & Dine|
|Huts for chit-chats and picnics|
|Dining al fresco|
|The fatty bitch!|
|A view of the Basco Port|
|From Octagon Bed & Dine's veranda|
After lunch, we started our tour of North Batan with our charming tour guide, Cindy Labrador of the Heritage and Tourism Office. North Batan tour takes shorter time than South Batan simply because it only covers the town of Basco. Tourists usually go here on the first day but we opted to do this last so we can still rest in the afternoon prior to our early morning flight the following day.
Our first stop was the Tukon Chapel (also known as Mt. Carmel Chapel). Perched on a hill, this chapel is made of coral and limestones reminiscent of the old stonehouses in Batanes. While it is not an official parish church, it is a famous venue for destination weddings because of its spectacular 360-degree view of the town of Basco.
|Tukon or Mt. Carmel Chapel|
|Inside Tukon Chapel|
|A very nice view from the inside|
|Lush greenery surround the chapel|
|Fundacion Pacita from afar|
|A bronze sculpture of the award-winning Pacita Abad|
|The entrance leading to the rooms|
|A graffiti by Ivatan artists|
|Another picturesque view from Fundacion Pacita|
|Can you see Dinem Island over there?|
|Dipnaysuhuan Japanese Tunnel|
From the tunnel, we went next to Valugan Boulder Beach. An offshoot of the Mt. Iraya eruption in 400 AD, the long stretch of boulders is another famous spot in Basco. The waters crashing onto the humungous rocks as well as the endless view of the sea make it a must-see.
|Valugan Boulder Beach|
|Sto. Domingo Cathedral|
|Vayang Rolling Hills|
|Off to pastureland|
|Basco Town and Mt. Iraya|
|A faluwa cruising on calm waters|
|The telegraph stations used during the American colonisation|
|Capturing yet another magical moment|
Dios mamajes, Batanes! I've learned a lot from you! Until next time!
PGO-Heritage and Tourism Office
1/F Provincial Capitol Complex, Basco, Batanes
BISUMI Tours and Services
+63919.279.5963 / +63915.803.4582