Oct 6, 2014

DIY Batanes - Expenses

Most people think that Batanes could be one of the most expensive destinations here in the Philippines. Maybe because of its proximity from Manila and the unanswered questions about the food, transportation and accommodations that this majestic island currently offers. By reading this article, you will definitely change your perception and may wanted to book the next seat sale as I shared to you how to cross out your bucket list and satisfy your wanderlust by not shelling out big percentage of your bank account.

How to get there?

Facade of Basco Airport and currently under construction for expansion.

The only way to reach Batanes is by plane. Below are the list of Airlines that caters tourist in and out of this beautiful island of Batanes.

Note: Make sure to book ahead of time and grab the seat sale. It will save you a lot of money.

Regular Airfare starts from Php 10,000.00 up
Seat Sale Fare starta from Php 1,300.00 up

*Kindly contact the specific airlines for their updated schedules.
Basco Airport Runway facing Mt. Iraya

Where to stay?

Batanes offers different type of accommodation  depending on what budget you have and what type of traveler you are.

Home-stay : Price starts from Php 350.00/night for a fan room and
                     Php 1,000.00/night for an AC room

Resort : Price starts from Php 1,600.00/night 

Hotel : Price starts from Php 7,000.00 /night

Basco City from Naidi Hills

White Beach

Where to eat?

If you are interested to try their local delicacies, you may wanted to visit any of these restaurants

Pension Ivatan : Their famous Ivatan Platter cost Php 1,700.00 (good for 6 or more pax)

Vatang Grill & Restaurant : DIsh starts from Php 180.00 up (good for 2 pax)


Total expense for the tours depends if you wanted to join the group tours or you may opted to try the DIY style.

Options available:

1) If you are at least 3 pax, I suggest that you do the DIY (tricycle) 
2) If you are big group (6pax up). I suggest that you do the DIY (Van)
3) If you don't prefer to ride a tricycle, you have no other choice but to join group tour.
4) Drive your own Bicycle or Motorbike

Below is my sample computation :

Ruins located in Sitio Song Song
Watching the strong waves from Uyugan, Batan Island

Pros of taking the DIY Tours:
  • Budget Friendly
  • You are helping the local (Driver) to earn some money
  • You have instant photographer
  • He can also tell stories about each locations
  • You will enjoy the fresh air of Batanes
Pros of staying at Homestays:
  • Backpacker's haven - Budget friendly.
  • If you are not choosy, stay with a fan room. Batanes is generally cold throughout the year.
  • You will meet new friends that can share the tours with you to save mone

Below is my expenses for the 4Days 3Nights Batanes Trip

Speacial Thanks to Ate Fe of Marfel's Lodge for giving me discount on my accommodation and free of charge for light cooking and around 2-hours total bicycle use.

San Jose Church in front of Port of Ivana

Who to Contact?

Accommodation: Marfel's Lodge
Felomena "Ate Fe" Fitero
Batan Tour Guide/Driver (Tricycle)
Kuya Dale
Sabtang Tour Guide / Driver (Tricycle)  
Kuya Michael

Oct 5, 2014

DIY Batanes Day 3 - South Batan Tour

My third day in Batanes was scheduled for the South Batan Tour, Dale picked me up at my home stay around 7:30AM.

Our first stop is the Chawa View Deck. It is known to be one of the perfect spot to view the sunset. Since it was just around 8:00AM, I just decided to go down the cliff of more than 100 steps and enjoy the watching the strong waves crushing down the stones. Also I was able to spot the Philippine Airlines preparing their arrival at Basco. 

 Then we headed down south over the Mahatao Water Shelter. As the name implies, it serves as shelter/protection for boats during typhoon season. 

 Next on my list is the Maywang A Libro Du Vatan / Batanes Blank Book Archive. Literally speaking, it is a collection of Blank books wherein you are given the privilege to right something about something or do scribble or anything you want.

Right beside the Blank Book Archive is the Matao Church / San Carlos Borromeo Church. It was declared as one of the 26 Philippine Churches that has been recognized as Cultural Icons due to its beauty and excellent state of preservation, It was built using Limestone walling in Baroque Style and Cogon Roofing.

From the church, we proceed to our next stop, Tayid Lighthouse and the Liveng/Hedgerows. While driving uphill, the view was mind blowing. I even imagine the Great Wall of China situated on top of the hills from the road constructed with retaining wall built on both sides of the road to protect the vehicles from falling.

While walking towards the Tayid Lighthouse, A local snake welcomed us. Sorry for the poor photo. We all know that snake is a snake. haha. It's better for me to stay distant when I took photo. haha.

Next stop is thew Racuh A Payaman / Marlboro Country. It is a vast area of pastureland for cows, carabaos and horses. It is a perfect spot for nature lovers and photographers.

Our last stop before going back to Basco is the Municipality of Uyugan. We stop over at the Alapad Rock Formation and overlooking Loran Station. From where I am standing, you can feel the strong wind whipping your entire body and the ravage of waves crashing the huge stones.

The Loran Station were previously used during the World War II by the Americans as the US Coast Guard Station. Way back, it was known as Little America. The government is planning to rehabilitate the structure as the National Museum of Batanes.

I don't know the name of this area. I just asked the driver to stop when I saw this spot.

10 Commandments written in Ivatan. This monument is located in front of Itbud Curch,

The Old Spanish Bridge which is built during the Spanish Period. This bridge is still being used to date.

After few hours of awesome South Batan Tour, We decided to have our lunch break at Vatang.



After we had our late lunch, we rest for few minutes and headed down to couple of spots left on our itinerary. Below is the famous White Beach of Batanes. This is the most memorable part of my vacation here.  I will attached a short clip below this post for you to find out the story. :)

Along the roads of Batanes, you can see from each corner this sign. #medyobastos #parangtextlang

To wrapped up my South Batan Tour, I went inside the House of Dakay. It is the one of the 5 houses that survive the catastrophic earthquake happened last Sept. 13, 1918 that causes the Municipality of Ivana to be leveled. Up to this date, the floorings and shutters haven never been changed. Cogon Roof is changed every 30 years. Last change of Roofing is way back 2007.


After that, I went back to my homestay around 3:00 in the afternoon to regain the lost energy of the entire day. By 5:30PM, Dale picked me up at my homestay and we went to Naidi Lighthouse to catch the sunset. Unfortunately, It is too cloudly due to the tail of Typhoon Pepeng. But still, the last photo I had below is taken on top of the Naidi "Basco" Lighthouse.

Oct 4, 2014

DIY Batanes Day 2 - Sabtang Island Tour

After a semi streneous North Batan Tour yesterday, to my excitement, I found myself already  awake by 4:30AM. All geared up for my Sabtang Island Tour.

Dale arrived at the homestay around 5:30AM.  From Basco, we drove for about 30minutes towards Port of Ivana.

The scheduled trip bound to Sabtang is 7:00AM via M/B Sto. Thomas. It is a 60-seater Faluwa (Regular boat without triggers).  While waiting for our departure, I stroll around the area and went inside the Honesty Store which is located  beside the Port.


Faluwa is the main water transportation here in Batanes. It also used to transport Construction Materials, Goods and also can carry several numbers of motor bikes.


Travel time between Batan Island (Ivana Port) and Sabtang Island (Sabtang Port) is around 30minutes. Payment will be collected at Sabtang Port, but since Batanes is known for their honesty, you can pay your two-way fare when you're back at Ivana Port.

Michael is already waiting at Sabtang Port when we disembarked. I was fascinated by their tricycles. It is a regular motorcycle but their sidecars is thin and the roofing is made of Cogon. 

Below are the list of the spots I'd visited in Sabtang Island: [name of places to follow ^_^]



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