Our day started really early; We're done with breakfast by 5:30 AM and on the road by 6am. Sitting at the back, I opened the window on my side and turn my face into the cold, chilly wind as our van travel along narrow coastal roads, while occasionally extending my hands outside, holding a GoPro to capture the stunning vistas in almost every direction. Blowing of horns is a matter of necessity here due to several blind corners that may conceal oncoming traffic.
At the Ivana port, townsfolk and tourists alike were readying to board the Faluwa.You can easily distinguish which is which. Those donning neon orange vests like us, hurriedly look for seats at the back while the locals prefer to stand in front and enjoy the stomach turning ride that includes the occasional splashes of waves thrown their way. Our group took the front seats and seeing how calm the faces of the locals while the Faluwa gyrated to the waves gave me a good sense of security. It's like them saying "this is nothing but normal my dear".
After 30 minutes, Sabtang island came into full view with this lighthouse prominently standing to welcome us.
On Sabtang Island, population is even smaller than on Batan Island but stone houses are still in abundance. The island also boasts of spectacular rolling hills, white sand beaches, beautiful coastal roads and rock cliffs. We also saw from a distance a 3000 yr old fortress carved into the mountain used by warring tribes in the island.
STONE HOUSES AT SAVIDUG AND CHAVAYAN VILLAGEBATANES and stone houses have become synonymous with each other and it's here on Sabtang Island where you'll see them in abundance. Ivatan stone houses are designed to withstand harsh elements and are made of limestones and corals with roofing made of cogon grass.
|Stone Houses at SAVIDUG|
|OLD BEATERIO AT SAVIDUG|
|STONE HOUSES AT CHAVAYAN VILLAGE|
|CHAVAYAN VILLAGE CHURCH|
If you're intrigued how the traditional Ivatan headgear called VAKUL is made and how you'd look like wearing one, visit the Sabtang Weavers Association here in Chavayan Village.
CHAMANTAD-TINYAN VIEWPOINTIf Batan Island has Racuh-A-Payaman aka Marlboro Hills, Sabtang Island on one hand has Chamantad-Tinyan Viewpoint to show off.
|CHAMANTAD TINYAN VIEWPOINT|
|BEACH COVE BETWEEN ROLLING HILLS|
Rocky cliff coupled with strong wind prevented us to go down a bit further, but that didn't stop us from admiring the place any less.
MORONG BEACH/NAKABUANG BEACHYou've probably seen this natural rocky formation called Nakabuang arch on travel magazines that is widely associated with Batanes. This iconic beach is located in Sabtang Island. The white sand is fine and the waves are tolerable enough for a swim.
|lone resto at Morong Beach|
Stay tuned for more Batanes posts to come. If you visit Batanes, don't skip Sabtang Island for fear of riding a Faluwa otherwise you'll blow your chances of catching a glimpse of Batanes in it's most unadulterated form.