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Thursday, January 29, 2015

The #Batanes tour itinerary January 24 to 26 2015

Wheels of Happiness

Rizal Philippines   |  January 29, 2015

           View of Chawa deck from the Express plane prior to landing

                   Golden fluffy clouds seen at cruising altitude

The Batanes tour which we took, a once in a lifetime experience took us 5 days and four nights costing a tidy 4 figures for hotel and plane fare (they do not come cheap). You must request for wide latitude in vacation schedule because there may be cancellations of flights or tours because of bad weather.  Ours was arranged by Batanes travel and tours and our carrier was PAL Expresss.  The plane was a 70 seater twin turboprop engine Bombardier Q400.  The first flight leaves at 6:00 am and arrives at Basco at 7:45  (Flt PO804 (it could be earlier) departs at  8:10 and arrives Manila at around 10:00 am (Flt PO805)

There is now a second flight that leaves at 8:00 from Manila

View from the PAL Express


                      The six blade Bomardier turboprop twin engine


                     Western sea coast off Basco seen from the air


                  Hedgegrows separate farms;  create unusual pattern as seen from the air;   near the sea coast


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                   More tourist facilities being built





                   Most of the roads are concrete, I would say 95% of them

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At the arrival (airport)


                     Arrival area at Basco airport


                The PAL express Bombardier plane just finished offloading the passengers who just flew in at PO804 flt


                    The local tourism poster on Batanes


                       The Vacul, the traditional Ivatan headwear made from Vuyavu


       Jorgeusbiker would later wear one at the Sabtang tour


                      Some more Ivatan artefacts



                    The Basco port control tower


           The airport is undergoing constant improvement


                        Arrival at the Batanes Resort


At the Batanes Resort

                   The Batanes map;  Bob the tour guide looks on


                      Picture frame at the Resort lobby


                 The lodging are casitas type;  note the topiary and the magnificent view at the uppermost casita.


               Pathwalks, well trimmed lawn and hedges, with topiaries all over.  

       South Phil Sea, mountain view at our room Mahatao A


                    Jorgeusbiker at the topmost part of the resort




Our travel itinerary was divided into 3:

Day 1  -   Basco tour
Day 2 -    Sabtang island tour
Day 3 -    Mahatao, Ivana and Uyugan tour
Day  4 -  free day.  Self discovery tour.

Day 1  -  Basco

I earlier posted that this is my second time around in Batanes because the flight which we took last January 21, 2015 could not land in Batanes because of poor visibility and rains.  This time, January 24, 2014, the weather was fine and cool.  It was eve cooler than Baguio because they are near Taiwan and it snows in Taiwan at this time of the year.  The travel guide Bob said that the Northern winds which is prevalent these days, carry the cold wind from Taiwan.

After checking out some of our intercepted baggage (they could not fit the bins), a van of Batanes provincial govt took us to the Batanes Resort.  Bob was our guide.  After having breakfast, we spent some time at the beach (a Marine sanctuary).

At the Batanes Resort

         Great SS sign of the Resort - owned by the Provincial Govt of Batanes


                       Outdoor dining site of the Resort


                  View of the Ivatan house inspired casita


              Great view of the white sand beach, limestone formation, and the sea.  Mahatao can be seen from here


                  The globe lights at the resort
                  It costs P1,800 per room that accommodate 3


                  Well landscaped site for the resort (a misnomer since there are no resort activities;   service is flaky too)


           It is a good idea to walk barefooted on the beach.  Being barefoot get negative ions from the earth,  salt water removes dead skin and fungus from your feet.

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                      Xinia flowers


               Inspired by Ivatan architecture, house design




Other parts of Basco tour:

At Tukon Hills

                          Mt Carmel Church


          The vans wait for their tourists at Mt Carmel Church


               The Tukon weather station is the northernmost station of PAG ASA, it is equipped with  a Doppler radar


                        Jorgeusbiker at PAG ASA weather station

                    View of Pacific Ocean from Tukon hills


                Interior of the Mt. Carmel Church

                       View of the tourists from inside the church





                    Fresco at the church ceiling featuring the patron saints of the six municipalities of Batanes




                   View of Pacific Ocean from the Church window


      At Octagon bed and dine with view of the Basco port


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           The Octagon ceiling has plenty of reeds (Vuayu?)
The churches and the airport have this as ceiling materials


                         Wood tables from Laguna/Quezon


       The Basco port looks stately from here; so sordid inside.



                      View from the balcony of the Octagon

At the Pacita Fundacion

                 Artwork at Fundacion


                    Fundacion signages


                  Topiary at Fundacion


                       Flower floater near the topiary


                  Jorgeus biker points to his name.

                     A villa atop a hill overlooking Pacific Ocean


              A tribal fort -  Idjang to protect families from invaders.  It houses women, children and has stores of food and water to stand siege from tribal enemies



                         White horse near the Idjang


                         Entering the Japanese war tunnel


                       Tourists exit the tunnel


                     You have to crawl to get out of the tunnel

1,  Carmel church
2.  Tukon PAG ASA weather station
3.  Lunch at Octagon bed and dine by the seashore
4.  Pacita, Jorge and Amado Abad Fundacion
5.  Idjang Fort
6.  Japanese tunnel
7.  Balugan boulder beach
8.  Town plaza and Sto Domingo Church
9.  Naidi Rolling Hills and Lighthouse
10  Dinner at Jessica

Day 2  -  Sabtang tour

1.  Assembly and departure at Rawandi port in Ivana
2.  Arrival at Sabtang port
3.  Registration at Sabtang tourism office Tubho tea tasting
4.  San Vicente Ferrer church (this is the parish of Fr. Danny Cruz who is from Binangonan Rizal)
5.  Anhao arch at Nakabuang Beach
6. Tour of Savidung traditional homes
7.  Tinyang view of Pacific Ocean
8.  Tour of Chavayan community (of traditional homes;  where the church has cogon roof)
9.  Lunch at beach near Savidug community
10. Boat ride back to Ivana
11.  Dinner at the Batanes resort

Day 3 -  Mahatao, Ivana and Uyugan tour

1. Chawa descent and picture taking
2.  Mahatao ship port and shelter
3.  San Carlos Borromeo church and plaza
4.  Mahatao-Ivana white beach
5.  At Ivana  -  Honesty coffee shop
6.  St. Joseph the worker church
7. Rawandi port
8.  Uyugan - Song song settlement
9.  Alapad hills
10. Old naval base (Loran station now being made into a museum
11.  Lunch  (at Pacuh a Rayaman - meaning vast grazeland)
12.  Pacuh a Rayaman (this is where you have a rare view of both Pacific Ocean to the right (east)  Philippines Sea (old China Sea) to the left (to the West
13.  Dinner at Dive Point


                     Jorgeusbiker at Valugan boulder beach


                 These volcanic rocks were smoothed out by waves from Pacific ocean


                  The waves could reach the height of the banks