Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Batanes: North & South Batan Tour

To avoid the influx of other tourists, our guide decided to start the tour the other way around, South-to-North Batan, that is. Pleased to show you my handpicked favorites.

Calm and clear turquoise water from the Mahatao Boat Shelter. This serves as a refuge for the fishing vessels in times of unfavorable weather conditions.

Ancient churches always gives me a nostalgic feeling. Like it is endowned with powers that evokes such holiness. This is the San Carlos Borromeo Church in Mahatao. It's excellent state of preservation made it a National Cultural Heritage Treasure by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts on July 2001.

Basco Lighthouse in Naidi Hills. Visitors wishing to climb it can use the spiral staircase inside the lighthouse. Lo and behold! at the 5th floor floor is a viewing deck which gives a stunning 360 degrees view of Baluarte Bay, Basco Town, Mount Iraya and the rolling hills of Batan Island. 
OOTD: Dress by: Fievre

Across is the Bunker's Cafe, which serves per-ordered meals. A lovely setting for a romantic dinner.    

An array of handmade souvenir items. Bring home a taste of Batanes with mini replicas of Ivatan stone houses and Vakul .

Vacul, the unique headgear of the Ivatans. Made of shredded leaves of a unique palm in Sabtang Island. I was really contemplating if i should bring home one. (tee-hee)

House of Dakay. One of the oldest Ivatan houses. Perhaps the most photographed stone house in Batanes. Visitors are welcome to take photos in front of the house, or even inside the house. Just ask for permission before you enter. Dont forget to remove your slipers or shoes before stepping into the house.

Honesty Coffeeshop. This is a self service store. You are free to browse and purchase items that are for sale. Prices are fixed. There are no shopkeepers to serve and take your payments. Kindly list the item/s you purchased and the amount paid in the log book. Please pay the exact amount, nobody is around to give your change. If you want to pay more, we would like to tank your generosity.

We believe that human beings are HONEST, may the good Lord bless you. The income generated by this store is used to buy medicines, food and other basic necessities fo the elderly owners. May you have a fruitful visit. Thank you for your visit. God bless all of us

This is probably one of the most photographed places in Batanes. Also known as the "Marlboro Country", because the grasslands reminds some people of the Marlboro commercial where the animals roam freely in a wide area.

Racuh A Payaman is a communal pastureland with panoramic view of endless rolling hills, the ocean, towering mountains and lush green pastureland

Being here right at this moment on my birthday is truly priceless. I can't help but gasp in awe, the surreal beauty of Batanes right before my very eyes.

Batanes has a certain mystique or perhaps it’s the purity of the place — a beguiling rawness to it. 

We were in for a special lunch, a feast rather at the Marlboro Hills. Thank you for making this possible! Two thumbs up for Ryan Cardona, our nicest and most efficient tour guide. 

The rare Coconut Crab ( Tatu ) The pinchers of this terrestrial crab are so strong it can crack open the coconut-husk shell. Regualrly sold in Sabtang Island, it has a sweet heavenly flesh, when boiled simply in water with salt to taste

Steamed fresh lobsters anyone?

Delectable Ivatan cuisine plus a majestic view of the Marlboro Hills = truly priceless!

The exact scene from the movie where the famous tag line i-Dawn Zulueta mo ako was coined.

Off to the equally stunning North Batan. Hills upon hills of green greet you at the the Rolling Hills of Vayang Ranch.

Exasperated for words amidst the blue summer sky and the stillness of the ocean.

Weather turned kinda gloomy later in the afternoon. But nonetheless, rain or shine nothing can stop me from setting foot on the boulders of the famed Valugan Beach.

Ivatan culture immersion. My admiration for Ivatans grew all the more because of this visit. Whatever it is one learns about them in books and articles is just a small fraction of what one would learn when one takes time to actually be with them.

I felt His love and presence with these lovely people

I think i left my heart somewhere in this quaint and lovely Mt. Carmel Chapel in Tukon. Nestled atop the hill, it is the perfect venue for intimate ceremonies like weddings, and the like.

Kapiyan kamu pa nu Diyos!  Our lady of Mt Carmel Chapel needs funds for repair. in this connection we are humbly asking for your help.

You may drop your donations in our donation box or deposit at our bank account 1081-0553-15 Land Bank Basco Branch or you may contact our Brgy Pastoral Council President Ms. Maria G. Hordonez on her mobile number 0908-3688786

Our Patron Saint, Our Lady of Mount Carmel will shower you and your family with abundant grace and countless blessings.

For God loves a cheerful giver

Kabaya dinner. Instead of plates, it  was a common practice to serve food on the big leaf of the breadfruit (locally called Kabaya) — at Jessica Salamagos Kabaya Restaurant

( with lunch at Marlboro Hills ) P5,200/ head
Add-ons:  Dinner at Kabaya Jessica Salamagos +P400/head
Tour Guide: Ryan Cardona (Highly Recommended )
Contact No: 0998-9885898

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fundacion Pacita Hotel Batanes

Dios Ma Majes (Thank you! ) Grateful to have experienced the surreal, pristine, tranquil, majestic and breathtaking beauty of Batanes!  


Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge. One of the best boutique hotels in the country, located on top of a cliff with a 270-degree view of the sea, mountains and the sky.

The lodge, once the home studio of internationally acclaimed artist Pacita Abad, pays homage to its creative roots with ivatan inspired rooms and suites.

Our lovely room for the weekend. The Family Terrace Suite. With 1 queen bed and 1 single bed. Each suite (a total of 8) combines organic design and interiors with contemporary comforts.

Mesmerized by the enchanting scene by our room's view deck. Utterly priceless!

The hotel's iconic blue bench chairs and tables. Ivatans have  a penchant for blue color, attributed to the beauty of the sea.

Set atop a lush hill and caught between the mountain, sea and sky, the hotel offers the best spot from which to view the scenic landscape and cultural and aesthetic heritage of the Ivatans   


Staying in this destination hotel, nurtures the artistic lifeblood of its community. It continues to strongly support the local community, from its farm-to-table cuisine to various projects that benefit Ivatan artists and heritage-conservation initiatives.

Breakfast, anyone?

The very same day when I let the sun kissed my skin and the waves touched my feet. Just plain grateful. 

Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge
Brgy. Chanarian, Tukon
Basco, Batanes 3900
0939-9016353 /0917-8559364