May 25, 2014

BATANES : Entranced by the Battered Islands

When friends would ask me what's my ultimate Philippine destination, my quick answer is always BATANES. I often received a quizzed look with that choice as if I need to expound further for them to understand and once I did, they'd refer to the place as the typhoon capital of the Philippines or even more confusing for some, they thought Bataan and Batanes are just the same. 

Where is Batanes?

To address the misconception, Batanes isn't hit by typhoon as often as they regard, in fact the place enjoys four seasons as opposed to the rest of the country's wet and dry season. However, precipitation occurs almost everyday throughout the year in different parts of the province. BATANES is located in the northernmost part of the country and as a result they've always been used as a reference point for all typhoons that enter the Philippine area.  Batanes is much nearer to Taiwan than to the northern tip of the Philippines. The smallest province in the country, both in terms of land area and population and a part of the region of Cagayan Valley. It has 10 islands, but only 3 are inhabited, Batan, Sabtang and Itbayat.


Getting to Batanes is a dream come true and with all expenses paid by someone who just happened to come across this blog and read the stuffs I wrote is like the heavens conspiring with him to have my wishes fulfilled (you're right, Mr Paulo Coelho! ). To my generous sponsor, I can't say thank you enough.

How that happened? Check it here.

And why BATANES?

I was completely mesmerized when I saw photos of picturesque rolling hills with livestock freely roaming around, breathtaking stretches of seascapes at every turn, stone houses that were built to defy the strongest typhoons, existence of the winter season, that unsinkable spirit of the Ivatans and the culture of honesty among its people speak volume why BATANES is my ultimate Philippine destination and why you should consider it in your travel bucket list too. The isolation from the main Philippine archipelago, separated by an endless stretch of surging water where the Pacific Ocean meets with the China Sea must have produced such admirable characteristics of the Ivatans who've successfully lived around the harsh conditions and limitations of an isolated province.

Also Related : My Bucket List

In BATANES finally!

It took me five years to finally tick off my Top 5 Must Visit Philippine Destination but the wait was well rewarded. A sudden jolt welcomed us, as we finally landed on the soils of Basco, Batanes on board a PAL EXPRESS turbo-prop aircraft as if waking my senses to remind me that this is no longer a dream, this is reality and making every moment count to savor and experience the beauty of this special place is now in order.

Kindly stay tuned for my next post.The details of my 4-day Batanes adventure and some helpful tips for those planning a visit to this special place will follow very soon. 

Next > BATANES : Stunning South Batan on Day 1


  1. Was it a bumpy ride? It appears that you flew in a Bombardier Dash 8 Q300 or Q400 aircraft (the prop engine and the smaller size can often make for an uncomfortable ride). With the stunning scenery, it's easy to see that this trip seems like a big deal to you! I was so enjoying the read... medyo bitin tayo (just kidding) ;) Thanks for sharing, aabangan ko ang susunod na kabanata :)

    1. Yeah, it was bumpy and the landing was really rough. I guess that's really part of the challenge of flying to Batanes as well as the high probability of being offloaded on your return flight. It was really a big deal. My visit here sort of culminates the must visit list I made 5 years ago and thanks to you ;) Hahaha, ako nga rin nabitin while reading it but that's the point kesa ma bore ang magbabasa because its too long, hehe! I'll try to come up with the next post before the week ends. Thanks Patrick! :))

    2. Really, you mean they can bump you out of a flight? What sort of compensation do they offer when that happens (just curious)? I'm just happy for you that you've made closure on your "must visit" list :) Haha, yeah, you have to keep your audience coming back for more, which is the whole point, I guess. No rush, please take your time :))

  2. Well, not really bump out of a flight, passengers will have a choice and they can volunteer to be offloaded to meet the plane's takeoff weight limit due to weather conditions. In our case, while waiting to be boarded, only then they announced that all check in baggage will be flown in the following day or they can choose to be offloaded together with the baggage. Of course, some complained especially those with connecting flights going to other countries but as it appeared, they dont have a choice. They probably just filed a complaint later for all the hassles.

    Yes, thanks a lot ;)!


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