I love to travel the beautiful islands of our country because " nature tripping " has become one of my outlets. I dreamt of going to Batanes for the longest time. Having traveled to many countries in Asia, I think Batanes outshines many tourist destinations.
So much has been said and written about Batanes. Opportunities for magnificent photographs abound. It is the dream destination of shutterbugs because anywhere you look at there is a perfect photograph just waiting to be captured. Almost half of Batanes is made up of hills and mountains enveloped in breathtaking seascape. Batanes holds such magical mystery.
Today --- let me take you to the beautiful place called Batanes.
Batanes is famous for its glorious coastline, vast rolling hills and centuries-old stone houses. But the town of Basco with its divinely provincial setting is already an object of enchantment. It indeed is magical. Batanes will sweep you off your feet!!!!!
Batanes is composed of ten islands but only 3 are inhabited --- they are Itbayat, Batan and Sabtang. Basco is the capital of Batanes. The language spoken are Ivatan--- it is peppered with pidgin Spanish and is spoken with the tonal musicality of the Chinese language. They also speak Ichbayaten and Tagalog.
We took a SEAIR flight at 9:30am that arrived in Basco after an hour and a half and from the airport, we went straight to the best place one should stay in, FUNDACION PACITA, owned by the Abad Family, this was the late artist Pacita Abad's studio. It is now a high end inn where the view of the South China Sea and the mountains of Tukon, Batanes is at your side the whole time.
On top of Tukon Hill overlooking the Philippine Sea, surrounded by pastureland , is Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge, a house which has the traditional stone wall but gigantic in proportion. The hotel is located on top of the cliff with a 270-degree view of the sea.
The hotel used to be the home studio of the late multimedia artist Pacita Abad. After her death, Fundacion Pacita was put up to support committed visual artists. Proceeds from the lodge fund the education of young outstanding Ivatan artists whose works grace the lodge. There were some watercolor paintings that were on exhibit in the living room by Roland Santos, an Ivatan artist .
Here are some of Pacita Abad's works which I liked...
This was the room assigned to me... I just loved my room!! It had a balcony where I would sit and look at the beautiful scenery all around me...
Here is what I had for my first meal in Batanes... I had lunch at Fundacion Pacita. After my meal, I asked for coffee and they told me that they serve LAVAZZA coffee... not bad huh!!
WHAT TO BRING TO BATANES:
* Bring your own personal medicines. The drugstores in Basco may not have them.
* Good trekking shoes because you will do a lot of trekking .
* Sunblock, sunglasses and lip balm.
* Insect / Mosquito repellent
* A jacket -- it might be cold at night
* Cellphone and charger - according to them SMART line has better reception than other phone servers.
* Extra Ziplock plastic containers to water-proof your valuables and gadgets when going inter-island
* A waterproof wristwatch. Do not bring expensive jewelry--- you will not need them there.
HOW TO GET THERE:
SEA AIR flies to Batanes from Manila three times a week. The travel time is an hour and 40 mins.
For inquiries on the packages please call 849 0100.
WHERE TO STAY:
FUNDACION PACITA BATANES Nature Lodge
Brgy. Chanarian- Tukon
Manila Address: Room 308, Philippine Social Science Center Bldg.
Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City
cell nos. + 63927 290 2404