Southern Batan Island Tour

Day 3 in Batanes and still blessed with a good weather. :)

When traveling, I religiously check all weather apps to check if it will rain or not. While typhoon Fung-Wong (locally known as Mario) was ready to make landfall in some parts of Luzon, maaraw pa rin sa Batanes. So I got a text from my tour guide Art that my southern Batan island tour will push through. ;)

First Stop: Homoron Lagoon and White Beach

Homoron has calmer waves compared to other beaches in Batan Island. Locals and tourists come here to swim or for picnics, no entrance fee btw. :) I just think the government needs to provide larger trash bins to keep the beach clean. Be careful when you swim though, medyo mabato.

Spotted this migratory bird which I think came from Taiwan.

Pulled over to take this photo before heading to my next destination. Bato lang yan pero nagagandahan na ako. Hahaha. #Photographer

Second Stop: Old Spanish Bridge at the town of Ivana.

A hundred something years ago, Spaniards built bridges around Batan Island. Isa na lang yata ito sa natitira. If you look closer at the lower left part of the photo, may cracks na yung bridge. Sadly, the government hasn't done anything to preserve it. Puwede pa naman siya daanan ngayon, wag lang mga sasakyan. Few meters away from the bridge is the...

Third Stop: House of Dakay

House of Dakay is one of the most visited and oldest surviving stone house in Batanes. Biruin mo nothing has changed since 1887! Wow. Kaya lang no one's home that day. Di ko tuloy nasilip yung loob. Haha.

Fourth Stop: San Jose de Ivana Church

Ivana Church is one of the oldest churches in Batanes built in the 1800's and is the only church that has bell tower. Ryan, if you're reading this please correct me if I'm wrong. I forgot some parts of Art's lecture. #LolaMode

It looked fairly new from the outside but if you go at the back of the church you'll see the ruins from the original altar built using limestones. Across the Ivana Church is...

Fifth Stop: Honesty Coffee Shop

Honesty Coffee Shop is owned by Jose and Elena Gabilo and has become one of the most famous tourist spots in Batan Island. The store is unmanned so if you want to buy something, just leave the payment in the boxes provided. You may also list the things you bought, maybe for inventory.

Batanes is a crime-free zone but I couldn't help but wonder if meron na bang hindi nagbayad dito? Lalo na mga tourists. Nako mahiya kayo no! Haha. Magbayad ng tama! :)

I saw Mrs. Elena Gabilo that morning and looked like she wasn't in the mood. I took my chanced and kindly asked for a photo to which she obliged. :)

I once again pulled over and took a photo of the 'BLOW UR HORN' sign in one of the many blind curves around Basco.

Sixth Stop: Song-Song Ruins/Beach

Song-Song is a small town that got wiped out by a tsunami in the 1950's where you'll find ruins of the stone houses that made it look like a ghost village or something. There were no casualties and survivors were sent to Mindanao for resettlement by the Magsaysay government. Ang layo ha!

Seventh Stop: Alapad Hills

Took this one on top of Alapad Hill where Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta shot their "i-Dawn Zulueta mo ako!" scene from their 90's movie Hihintayin Kita sa Langit. This has got to be my most favorite stop during my southern Batan tour. It had an awesome panoramic view plus it was easy to get on top of the hill. Haha. Anyway, on the left most part of the photo you'll see a white building. That's the LORAN (Long-Range Aid to Navigation) Station built the Americans which is now being converted and constructed as a museum.

I spotted goats and literally had to sound like one just to capture this photo of them looking at me. Cute! Hehe.

Eight Stop: Imnajbu Village

In case you're wondering what happened to the corals in the photo above, my tour guide said that locals had to get rid of some of the corals to make way for fishermen in their smaller boats. Moving on... Imnajbu is the last village from Basco. This town is also considered the birthplace of Catholicism in Batanes because this is where the Spaniards held the first mass in the whole island of Basco.

The village chapel was named after San Lorenzo Ruiz, the first canonized Filipino saint.

Ninth Stop: Racuh a Payaman (Marlboro Country)

But first I had to have lunch wherein I invited my tour guide Art and driver Dodong to join me so as not to feel alone. The eatery had an awesome view of Mahatao and from here you'll see the Tayid Lighthouse.

I love Batanes.

After lunch, it was time to burn calories by going downhill to get a panoramic view of Marlboro Country. I have no words to describe that place. It was heaven on earth. I had the place all by myself hence the solo photo shot by my awesome tour guide Art. From here you'll see the Pacific Ocean and the very-shy-covered-with-clouds Mt. Iraya. ANG GANDA, PERIOD.

Tenth Stop: Tayid Lighthouse

Tayid Lighthouse is the only lighthouse in Batanes that has a hexagon-shaped tower. From here you'll get another panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and the whole Marlboro Country.

Eleventh Stop: San Carlos Borromeo Church in Mahatao

This church was originally built in 1787 but tumbled down by a typhoon in 1872 and rebuilt once more in 1873. Among all the century-old churches I've been to in Batanes, this has got to be the most beautiful. See the other structure on the left? It's an old and small lighthouse built by the Spaniards. Akalain mong ganyan lang pala kaliliit ang lighthouse before? It probably stands mga 7ft. tall lang.

Just beside the church is a room with a thousand blank books called Batanes Blank Book Archive where tourists are encouraged to pick any book and leave a note for the province of Batanes. I left a note in Book 1 wherein I wrote: "I shall return. ♥ Love"

Twelfth Stop: Boat Shelter Port

Back in the days, Batanes used to be the province where typhoons usually make their landfall so the government created shelters for both private and public boat owners. Try to zoom in the photo and you'll see a building in the middle where the local government plans to build a restaurant overlooking the West Philippine Sea.

Thirteenth Stop: Chawa View Deck

This is my last stop for the southern Batan island tour. If you still have the energy like I do (thanks to the Gatorade I drank earlier), you have the option to go down the cliff (approximately 150 steps) to go fishing or just enjoy the view of the sea.

Again I was accompanied by my driver Dodong and tour guide Art. :) I suggest you come here ng sunset para mas maganda ang view. ;)

Waves were a bit rough that afternoon but Art was able to convince me to stand near the ocean just to get this buwis buhay este basang sisiw shot. In fairness, hindi naman ako nabasa. I actually had fun down there. ;)

WHEWWWWW! This has got to be the longest post in my blog. I hope you guys enjoyed this entry and hopefully inspired you to finally plan a trip to Batanes. If interested to go on a tour then contact Ryan Cardona of BISUMI Tours and Services at +63 998 988 5898.


  1. Well, colour me interested. I don't do a lot of travelling in our corner of the world, mainly because of poor transportation links - though in retrospect that seems like an awfully flimsy excuse for not supporting the local tourism industry. (In fact, I probably know the streets of Tokyo better than Quezon City - and I'm a lifelong resident of Metro Manila.) I've been on the lookout for local destinations that might pique my interest, and the Batanes islands seem to fit the bill.

    I suppose transportation won't be much of an issue if I book a guided tour (since someone will be there to drive me around), but would you say that it's easy to move around and between islands as a solo traveller?

    In addition, is it possible for a solo traveller to strike out on his own and go on a long walk or light hike, with great ocean views along the route? I ask because even though I have no interest in beaches or swimming or diving and so on, I do enjoy taking long walks wherever I choose to travel - especially if the sea is within view.

    Cheers and happy travelling.

    1. Hi Diego,

      It's possible to go around Batanes as solo traveler. :) I suggest you get a tour guide on your first day and go solo the day after. At least you get to help the locals by hiring them di ba? ;)