South Batan

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For Joanne, Divine, Ramon and Ester who love nature and appreciate the fact that we made it to the tip of the Philippines as much as I do. Glad to have met you on my first day in Batanes!

Twelve visitors. One driver. One guide. We’re all in one van traversing through the winding road to South Batan. Horn’s blown in every turn. Windows are pushed open. No need for air-con. Let the breeze come through. Everyone is simply captivated with the rolling hills and the deep ravines overlooking the vast blue water.

South Batan has over twenty tourist attractions. And joining a group tour means having to decide on which places to see or skip and on the amount of time allotted for each stop – be it the group’s call or the guide’s call…hopefully everyone is happy! Well, given the infinite shots and selfies taken from DSLRs, point & shoots, tablets and camera phones are enough to show everyone’s delight!

Here’s a list of interesting places to see in South Batan. Ask your guide which ones are included in your itinerary, as not everything below can be covered in a day…unless you opt to just drive by it. Some may be visited on your free days and take a slower pace in Batanes.

  1. Chawa View Deck
  2. Mahatao Idjang and Boat Shelter Port
  3. Mahatao Church (San Carlos Borromeo Church)
  4. Maywang A Libro Du Vatan (Batanes Blank Book Archive)
  5. Spanish Lighthouse
  6. Old Beaterio
  7. Mahatao Town
  8. Mahatao Wind Turbines
  9. Tayid (Mahatao) Lighthouse
  10. Diura Fishing Village
  11. Racuh a Payaman (Marlboro Country)
  12. House of Dakay
  13. Old Spanish Bridge
  14. Song-Song Ruins
  15. Imnajbu Village, Uyugan
  16. San Lorenzo Ruiz Chapel in Imnajbu
  17. LORAN Station
  18. Alapad Hill and Rock Formations
  19. Old House in Uyugan Town
  20. Honesty Coffee Shop
  21. Ivana Church (San Jose de Obrero Church)
  22. White Beach

The highlight of the day is Racuh a Payaman. One can keep on walking and wondering where the hills will end until you realize you have to walk back to the top where the van is parked. And so you turn around and work your way for the ascent. Remember to rest every now and then. Take in more air and the view.

Uphill gives a panoramic view of this so-called Marlboro Country. A full lunch is also arranged up there in a shack with one or two Ivatan dishes in the menu. You’d wish there’s time for siesta – either under the shade or anywhere on green pasture. It seems this is a favorite resting site among the cows, too!

If you ever make it to Batanes and as you reach viewpoints, please consider this plead that is usually posted in summits and in national parks around the world:

 Take nothing but pictures.

Leave nothing but footprints.

Kill nothing but time.

-Anonymous

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