Stuck in Batan: New Sites & Sentimental Favorites

The visit to faraway Itbayat did not materialize.  It was a bit disappointing considering that it was the single most significant destination I was looking forward to in this return trip to Batanes.  But I’m glad that it didn’t take place, and here’s why: Continue reading

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Hiking in Northern Batan

One thing I took note of the last time I was in Batan was that there were a lot of spots I just breezed through, owing to the fact that I was aboard either a motorcycle or a bicycle.  This time, I intended to tour Batan at a much more “leisurely” and laid-back pace in order to soak in the scenery and to possibly discover picturesque spots that are normally just passed by the usual tourist route.  And so I plotted a roughly triangular path that would take me first from my starting point of Basco to the Valugan Boulder Beach, then to the highlands of Tukon, and finally to the Naidi Lighthouse to catch the sunset. Continue reading

Batanes Day 4: Biking from Ivana to Mahatao to Basco – 12/11/09

the Ivana municipal complex

After “lunch” I continued southbound.  The municipal hall was nearby so I barely warmed by bicycle seat before I got off again to explore the area.  Ivana is another one of those Batanes towns that have a modern-looking center with the rest of the town looking traditional.  I’m beginning to think that it’s the rule and Basco is the only exception.  But I haven’t been to Itbayat, so I wouldn’t know.

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Batanes Day 4: Biking from Basco to Mahatao to Ivana – 12/11/09

For my last full day in Batanes, I planned to spend it on my own – without a tourguide – by renting a bicycle and testing the strength of my legs and my lungs all the way to the town of Ivana in the south of Batan island.  I got the idea from Ironwulf, who gave very precise instructions on where I could rent a bicycle in Basco, as well as an idea of what a tour of that magnitude would entail for somebody who hasn’t used a bicycle in a decade.

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Batanes Day 3: Back to Batan (part 2) – 12/10/09

view on the road towards Uyugan from Mahatao

It was a long drive going towards the southernmost municipality of Uyugan.  It seemed as if this route only got as much as 5% of the vehicle volume of the much more frequently used western stretch of the National Road in Batan.  This area is sparsely populated as there are no villages/baranggays on sight.  The nearest baranggay is in Imnajbu, and even that is sparsely populated itself.

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Batanes Day 3: Back to Batan (part 1) – 12/10/09

I actually had a good night’s sleep in the Tourism Office in Sabtang.  This was unusual for me because I usually have difficulty sleeping when I spend the night in an unfamiliar place. It’s probably a combination of fatigue from the tour and the excellently filling dinner I had the previous night.

Batan island as seen from the Tourism Office veranda

I woke up at around 6 am and walked around Centro.  I tried to do my usual exercise regimen but my aching joints seemingly protested even the easiest warm-up routines.  From my conversation with Joaquin the night before, we most likely would not be able to catch the first trip going back to Batan so that means I have enough time to walk around Centro before the second trip.  I used this time to take pictures of people going about their daily lives, as well as the surroundings.

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Batanes Day 1: Arrival and tour of the northern half of Batan Island – 12/08/09

[So after all the Batanes photos have been uploaded here in Multiply at an excruciatingly slow pace, I’m finally going to start blogging about my trip.  My apologies for the delay to those who might have been expecting this sooner.]

I left home early morning on December 8 to reach the old Manila domestic airport on time for checking into my flight to Batanes.  With the exception of a long delay due to a lot of heavy fishing equipment being lugged around by a group of “fisher dudes” who were in line before me, I found the checking-in procedure to be relatively efficient. Continue reading