Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Where to go in Batanes? (Things to do in Batanes) Part 1


First, How to go to Batanes 
I won a ticket last year from a writing contest I joined. The ticket was valid until Decembeer 2010 and because I was busy, I just went a few days before November 2010 ends. We only booked for 4 pax via Seair then divided the total by 5 to make the fare more affordable. Booking was made through phone but i suggest that you book online. Booking by phone, you need to go to their office to pay but online, you can pay using credit card.

Seair flies to Batanes daily. Check out Seair's Website for more information.

What to expect in this post?
1. Manila Domestic Airport
2. Basco Batanes Airport
3. Abandoned Weather Station of PAGASA - DOST
4. Mahatao View Deck
5. Honesty Coffee Shop


We planned the trip on our own by doing research. It's not that hard because there's only a handful of places to visit. We then decided to stay for 4d/3n. Our supposed plan was from Nov 27 to Nov 30. This way, we will not miss any work because the flight out from Batanes was 8am and we would be landing in Manila around 930am. Unfortunately, due to some unclear issues, they moved our flight to Nov 28. A few days before our flight, they changed our departure time from 6am to 8am. No problems with that for us.

Upon reaching the Domestic airport, it was improved a bit compared to my last visit several years back. They now have a laptop charging station and free wifi connection. The plane, a Dornier 328, can carry around 30+ passengers. 2 would be on the right and one person on the left.



Upon landing in the island of Basco Batanes, you will see this small airport building that gives you an impression of what to expect in that island - simple, artistic and homey-feeling. There's only one flight per day via Seair. Upon disembarking the aircraft, you will immediately feel the cool and strong winds the island has to offer.

A new airport tower underconstruction in Basco Airport

Outside Basco Airport Terminal


We were easy to spot because locals know their people. The rest were visitors. Fundacion Pacita staff spotted us, holding a placard with my name on it. To read more about Funacion Pacita, I made a separate post for it here: Fundacion Pacita Nature Lodge Batanes

Our Luxury Terrace Suite Balcony in Fundacion Pacita Hotel Batanes

 Abandoned PAGASA - DOST Weather Station
This is included in our Fundacion Pacita Heritage Tour. Fundacion Pacita offers a free half-day tour service if you're staying at the Fundacion Pacita Nature Lodge.

Radar Tukon ( Radar = lighthouse, Tukon = hill ).



Here, you can see Mount Iraya and other parts of the Batan island (360 degree view of Batanes). Caution though because it's not easy to climb up the tower. You'll be climbing up two levels of like this:

This is the easy one. The second level is much harder.

Upon reaching the top, you'll realize that the effort of climbing up is all worth it! Here's what you can see above the tower.

The little house on the middle left is Fundacion Pacita. You could actually visit this place from Fundacion Pacita by walking.

Those are our little shadows on top of a big tower.

Another view - Afternoon Sun

It's this windy up here. The camera strap was flying around like it was a kite and our pants was blowing like we were sky diving. Yes, the wind there without typhoon is that strong.

Near the gate, you'll notice a crystalball-like contraption. 


Up close, it looks like this. It's a crystall ball that measure the sun's heat during the day through a cardboard that's placed below it.

Mahatao View Deck (Chawa View Deck)
This is included in our Fundacion Pacita Heritage Tour. Fundacion Pacita offers a free half-day tour service if you're staying at the Fundacion Pacita Nature Lodge.

Traveling amidst the winding country side road. we suddenly stopped to see a place at the edge of a cliff with benches. I had no idea what to expect. Mahatao View Deck is facing the South China Sea


When I walked in closer, I saw a stairway, leading to the bottom part of the cliff.

As expected, going up is harder than I thought. Go down the more than 100 steps to the sea and you can opt to wet your feet.

The rocks might be slippery so we didn't go down to the bottom of the cliff.


 The View around Mahatao View Deck in Batan island, Batanes Philippines

Honesty Coffee Shop in Batanes
This is included in our Fundacion Pacita Heritage Tour. Fundacion Pacita offers a free half-day tour service if you're staying at the Fundacion Pacita Nature Lodge.

It is an unmanned store and coffee shop, a self-service store Ivatan-style. Unlike our modern self-service shops, there’s no one there as service crew or cashier. The shop relies on the honor system.


I never thought I'd still see a day in this world were everyone were as honest, even for just a small town. Although this is only one place in the Philippines we know of that is as honest as an angel, it's still good to know that there's a little hope left in all humanity, honesty-wise.

In my opinion, this Honesty Coffee Shop is overrated. It lacks maintenance. For something so famous like this establishment, I hope the government can help contribute a bit to improve this store.

On the lower left side of the photo, you can see a pen, notebook and a money slot where you can drop your payment. The notebook is where you list the things you will buy. We bought a small pack of "cornicks" for Php 10.00.

By the way, here are the rules:

“The Lord is my security guard." 
Entrance to the Honesty Shop

Port of Radiwan (Non-operational)

 The view outside the Honesty shop

Old Spanish Bridge
We didn't go down here but you can if you want. It's also included in the Fundacion Pacita Heritage Tour.

Built by the Spaniards. Parallel to the Ivana Bridge (Where I'm standing)

Watch out for more posts about Batanes, Philippines!



Pia said...

I love your photos. Thanks for sharing.

Cagayan de Oro philippines said...

I love reading posts about Batanes. It's actually my target vacation getaway!http://www.cdokay.com/

Anonymous said...

Was looking for "intel" on Batanes, and stumbled on your pics, gives a good feel of the place . Thank you !