Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Batanes, Sabtang, Part 1.

We waited a long time for this trip. We have always wanted to go to Batanes because of the stories we hear about how beautiful the place is. Finally, last Holy Week, we were booked and ready for our adventure. 

The airport is probably the best looking airport in the country. 

We rode a jeepney because that's the only vehicle available that would fit a family of 20. 

We were taken straight to the port to ride a boat that will take us to Sabtang Island. 

Five minutes away from the airport and I could already tell how I would be taking at least a thousand photos of Batanes. 

The boat ride is about 45-50 minutes away from Basco. I have never been so dizzy before. The fact that my head was still floating from the flight, to ride in a boat where the waves are strong just made me feel terrible. My daughter, Jacqui and niece, Gillie threw up their breakfast. Just when I thought I couldn't stand it any longer, we arrived. 

Sabtang is a beautiful island. Here, one will be able to find a small village where the old Ivatan houses still stand. It's very similar to this but this is a souvenir shop, not a house and of course, Lucille is shopping away. 

It was a very hot day and we had a lot of places to see. Our guide, Joaquin wanted us to see these spots 
-Savidug, Lime Kiln, Ijang, Tinianand, Chavayan and Nakabuang Beach. 

I could tell that Batanes people like to drink their happy liquid because I saw this garden filled with empty bottles. 

If you go to Batanes at the height of summer, I suggest you bring a hat. The heat can come down on you so harshly that if I stayed out in the sun any longer, I would be crispy fried human bacon. 

Here's the love of my life, Liam, looking too cute for words. 

 Saw this really old Ivatan house with freshly painted wooden doors. I love the contrast of the old and new. The color just pops out. By the way, as you can see, this house is on the National Road. 

I tried to do the jump shots with my family but somehow, I think they all just look weird. 

This is pretty much what you will see all over Batanes. Huts, beautiful hills that are overlooking the ocean. 

Although it's beautiful, I really can't imagine living in a place like this. 

We had a buko juice stop where we could run around the hills and sing, "the hills are alllliiiiiivveee....with the sound of music...ahhhhhh."

On our way to lunch, a picnic near the ocean, everyone was pooped. 

And after lunch, we went to Nakabuang Beach where we ate coconut crabs, fish and veggies. 

The famous arc of Sabtang Island with my two baby girls.

The family that sweats under the sun together, stays together. I, of course, stayed under the shade. 

Our super male model in the family strikes a pose. 

And with that, we end our Sabtang Island tour and head back home to Basco but..........

......before that....we came upon a dilemna at the port. 

Our ride back had to load a carabao on our boat!! I TOTALLY REFUSED to ride in the same boat with a male carabao. He was so scared that he pee'd while being pulled on to the boat. 

At the end of the ordeal, the captain of the boat decided to leave the carabao and take us in. 

My recommendation and additional information:
Sabtang Island is one of the 3 inhabited islands of the Batanes Island group off the coast of Northern Luzon in the Philippines. It lies southwest of the main island, Batan. Sabtang is known for its beautiful vistas, quiet unspoiled beaches with white sand, authentic traditional architecture, and historic sites. In 1994, the Department of Tourism declared it as one of the 12 best places to visit in the Philippines. Its principal municipality is San Vicente, which is popularly known as Sabtang Town.

If you read upon the history of Sabtang, you will be amazed at how rich and interesting the town is. The people and architecture holds a lot of stories to tell us visitors but personally, it's something that I will go to only once. I much prefer to stay in Basco. 

Do not go without prior arrangements with a tour guide. You will need a vehicle to get around.

Bring lots of bottled water, sunblock, hat, shades and baby wipes. If you need to pee, almost all the kids and men in our family did it cowboy style. 

No 3G, wifi and sometimes, Smart and Globe have fluctuating signal. 

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