Mavid Batanes 2014 (Day 2)

Whoooot! All set for our second day. Woke up around 430am to prepare for our island tour in Sabtang. We had breakfast in our hotel and left at 615am to go to the port since we the boat will leave around 700am. I told to myself that I will drink a medicine (bonamine) but for the sake of being sure I took one.  The waves are not that strong but if you have motion sickness just be ready since it might get a lil bit rough in the middle of the sea.

We arrived in Sabtang almost 800am (30-45mins boat ride). Were fetch by our own cute lil van like a surfer chic van and ate Juliet our tour guide accompany us as well.
Tip: you can wear your swimming attire in case you want to have some dip in the ocean but be cautious with your time ESP when you’re doing a day tour only. You don’t want to miss your boat since they only have one schedule going back.;)
FIRST STOP:
Nakabuang Beach and Arc
Nakabuang Beach and Arc
Oh! Helloooo white sand and this natural arc made of stones will welcome you right away!
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Chavayan community tour (UNESCO Nomiated Site)
Chavayan community tour (UNESCO Nominated Site)
Were amazed on how they preserved this community.
It made me feel that I’m in a different time. Their traditional house are built in a way it can stand a storm or even a tidal wave. Their main house, kitchen and even bathroom is separated to one another.
Lola Marina, 88 yrs old (Ivatan local)
Lola Marina, 88 yrs old (Ivatan local)
We’ve met Lola Marina, she’s 88years old and she weaves Vakul (women’s traditional head gear to protect from sun and even rain). She said that it’s the only thing that she can do since she cannot go up to the mountains.
Locals are helping with each other as they build a house
Locals are helping with each other as they build a house
The people in their community are hospitable even the children get to smile whenever you’ll ask them that you’ll take their photos (I guess, they’re also used with a lot of tourists asking them to smile to the camera)
Chamantad - Tinaian View Point
Chamantad – Tinaian View Point
Fresh Buko Juice
Fresh Buko Juice  (perfect to refresh us from the heat of the sun)
Our tour guide made sure that we’ll enjoy this place that’s why we let other tourists go here first and we made this in the middle of the day. And we said to her that it’s a good decision bec were able to savor the place as a group alone! We bought some buko juice for the store along the road before going down and up to see the whole view.
Chamantad - Tinaian View Point
Chamantad – Tinaian View Point
We didnt mind the trail again even if its quite high. Its all worth it! One of the best place ever!!!!!!! The very picturesque scene is unbelievable coz I feel like I’m in a different part of the world but the more I felt so in love with the place. The cliff, mountains, cool breeze, white sand, and the sound of the waves are really taking my breathe away. I can’t get enough of this kind of view. One of a kind experience!
No Filter!!!:)
No Filter!!!:)
Thank you ate Juliet for our wonderful photos (group and solo)…;) you made our trip more memorable!;)
LUNCH
Fresh Lobster and lovely view over lunch
Fresh Lobster and lovely view over lunch
We left Sabtang by 1:00pm bec they’re monitoring the weather and glad that the coast guards are there to check the boats and made sure that everyone is safe. Again, I took my medicine since I don’t wanna risk being sea sick (tho, I don’t have one. Just to be sure…). The waves are different since its kinda rough unlike in the morning but still manageable. It’s funny that some of the elders get to scream like they’re in an amusement park. Hihi we just slept in the middle of it.
We went back to the hotel early and rested for few hours. We went to the town proper bec my friends will attend church and I get to have sometime alone. Went to the canteen near the church (in the capitol area) and tried their famous noodles.
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>>>Dinner we tried this new italian restaurant few mins away from our hotel. They only serve pizza but I say it’s delicious but the service is quite slow bec I think they only have 2-3 staff in the restaurant.
Such a beautiful SUNSET!:)
Such a beautiful SUNSET!:)
I’m still excited for what is in store for our last full day in Batanes….;)
***TIP: plan your Sabtang tour on the 2nd day of your trip since they only have one boat trip everyday. It will be safe for you in case your boat will not be permitted to go back due to some bad weather situation.

Mavid Batanes 2014 (Day 1)

BATANES – “The Last  Frontier of the North”

It’s been years since I’ve said to my self that I will go to Batanes and even placed it to my bucket list. Yes! This may sound familiar for you because I know that as you read this Batanes is also included in your travel goals. Thanks to my friend and workout buddy mylene who asked me last yr if I wanted to join her version 2.0 in Batanes since it will be her 2nd time there. Of course, without a doubt I said yes!

This is my first travel for this year and after what happened last december, I’m excited to have a break. Somehow I badly needed a new environment even just for a couple of days.
Last March 7, 2014, finally! I’ve set my feet to this wonderful place. I’ve read so many blogs and asked friends who went there as well, suddenly it created so much expectations. I prepared my Dslr, adventure camera, tripod, happy pod, travel journal (surat journal) and most of all my happy feet with good vibes.
We took PAL 2P84 flight MNL-BASCO, 6:00am and we arrived around 7:45am. Their beautiful airport with boulder stones, fresh air, tarpaulins of their well known tourist spots, and smiling locals greeted us. And I said to myself, This is going to be a great vacay!
Originally, we’re booked in Batanes seaside lodge since my friend checked in there last yr. but then, suddenly their staff told us that they’ll moved us to another hotel coz our travel agent had some miscommunication with them. Oooops! Of course were disappointed and told them to fix this problem asap. Since we lack some sleep and eager to have some rest before we start our tour for the day. We decided and accepted their offer to transfer to Batanes Resort. Then we realized that we have a better accommodation there since we got one cottage with two separate rooms and it’s a restored storehouses in Basco. Yay! We treat it an an upgrade and favor.
Batanes resort was run by their department of tourism and now it’s their LGU who’s in charge of maintaining it. They only have 6 cottages (total of 12 rooms) named after their 6 towns in the province. With the view of hills, sea, and the refreshing sound of the ocean is really relaxing.
We started our tour for the 1st day around 1:00pm. Kuya Wilbert, our tour guide fetch us to the hotel to bring us to the Northern Part of Batanes:

For our first stop: Tukon chapel
For our first stop: Tukon chapel
Fundacion Pacita
Fundacion Pacita

This is one of the most high end hotel in Batanes and you can see the artworks of Pacita Abad the first Ivatan artist who was able to brought her master pieces all around the world.
you can check heir website for more details http://www.fundacionpacita.ph
Japanese Tunnel
Japanese Tunnel
Valugan Boulder Beach
Valugan Boulder Beach
Enjoyed walking and seeing big andesite rocks along the beach but we can’t stay super close bec of its waves. This place is sooooo beautiful. I think i can seat there all day while reading, listening to some relaxing music and drinking some coffee. Since its facing the Pacific ocean, expect to see some beautiful waves.
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*dont forget to take a panoramic view of the beach and if you’re into yoga, do some of your favorite yoga poses for a memorable shot.;) 
Vayang Rolling Hills and Mt. Iraya
Vayang Rolling Hills and Mt. Iraya
Vayang Rolling Hills
Vayang Rolling Hills

This place blew me away!!! Apart from its trail that’s quite high but I didn’t mind it bec of its scenic view of the ocean, Mount Iraya, and of course the rolling hills. My jaw dropped (not literally! Haha) bec I didn’t expect that I get to be on top of a hill and one of a kind of view in the Philippines.

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****our guide told us that there’s a fiesta in their barangay and we teased him if we can eat in their place for snack. Suddenly, he told us that his tita prepared food and were welcome in their house. We’re surprised and quite shy as well. But hey, it’s a Filipino way of being hospitable and they said that they’re happy to see tourists visiting their province. Thank you to the Castillo family for welcoming us into your home and let us tried your delicious food.:)
Batanes museum - located in Batanes National High School near the Capitol.
Batanes Museum

(located in Batanes National High School near the Capitol) 

We’re so glad that we get to have some history background about their culture and traditions explained by Mr. Arn, history teacher in BNHS. I hope and pray that you get to have a separate location to have a museum bec your province has one of the most richest culture in the Philippines.
Naidi Hills and Basco Lighthouse
Naidi Hills and Basco Lighthouse (sunset viewing and dinner)

Again, and I will never get tired of saying this is an awesome place. Batanes has a lot of lighthouses since they’re being surrounded by water. It’s a bit cloudy that’s why were not able to see the full view of the sunset but nonetheless it’s still beautiful.
We also had dinner at the Bunker Cafe few walks down the lighthouse. They served a very very good food there but take note to reserve a day before since they only cater to 50 guests. 
***(I will post my gastronomical experience in Batanes separately)
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>>>Actually, the first thing we’ve noticed that the grass of the hills are so trimmed and with my curiosity I didnt hesitate to ask our tour guided how come it’s well trimmed? He said that bec they use a natural way of maintaining it. They let their cows, horses, or even goats to eat the grass and tada they’ll have a well trimmed grass.
1st day: Blown away and expectant for the next coming days
You’ll never get tired of taking photos everywhere 🙂
We have lots of impromptu moments with our first day but as they say that traveling is all about enjoying every detail of it and meeting new people makes your journey a memorable one. Wrapping up our first day with so much happiness and still expectant for the next day in Sabtang…