Years ago, I was able to attend the exhibit of Fernando Zobel de Ayala showcasing his photographs of lighthouses. Ever since then, it has always been my dream to go and explore them. Though I was not able to see all three lighthouses in Batanes, it would have been awesome too. Perhaps if we had more time we would have been able to. The three lighthouses in Batanes are located at Basco, Tayid in Mahatao, and Sabtang.
Chawa View deck
The view deck is actually a cliff overlooking the water. Rock formations at the bottom allow the water to make big splashes, which is so beautiful to capture and relaxing. I caught myself just staring into the water and waves. There are stairs to go down if you wish to take a closer look but the most of us didn’t go down as the stairs are quite steep.
The stone houses were marvelous. I can only imagine what it was like to be living in those times. To have lasted all these years, they must have been build so well, it must be so sturdy to have lasted all the storms and typhoons that have come our way. It is no surprise that some locals still prefer to live in stone houses rather than have a modern house built. I admire the Ivatans for wanting to keep the tradition alive and the local government for encouraging them to do so. It adds so much charm and character to the province.
Ivatans are what the natives in Batanes are called. Their stone houses are made of lime stones that have protected them from the harsh winds and storms. Ivatans built separate structures for their kitchen aside from their actual home. In their kitchens they had large earthenware for storage of preserved food. They would separate the kitchens so that when they would cook, their house wouldn't get filled up with smoke. Read more about my Batanes adventure on QuicheTheCook.ph or click on the direct link on my instagram account.
Marlboro Country or Racuh a Payaman
Every one enjoyed this site. We didn’t have to climb or walk far, and still we were able to take beautiful photos. My mom did a jump shot for the first time EVER! It took a few tries and her face looked like she was scared but she did it. We enjoyed it so much that the next day, the group split up, I went to Sabtang island with half of the group and mom stayed and went back to Marlboro country with the rest. We were so in love with the view and loved the fact that we were being blown away by the wind. Mom and I even started to sing, “The hills are alive, with the sound of music.” Haha!
Say hello to my new friends! Haha!
Chamantad Cove / Tinyan Viewpoint
This was one of the most magical moments for me. The cove looked so beautiful from where we were. Though it was a more difficult trail than Marlboro country, it was definitely worth it. It was more difficult in the sense that the path was narrow and had more hilly features. It seemed so far at first and since getting there wasn’t too difficult because we were mostly going down, I was already dreading the climb back up. I was thankful that we came at a good time. Although the sun was out, it was still windy and cool, so the climb didn’t feel all that tiring. I could have stayed here all morning just hanging out. I should have brought sandwiches for lunch and just enjoyed the view and the breeze. I couldn’t help but do some splits and straddle jumps like I was a kid again.
As we got back to starting point, we sat down in these small stores. They were selling all sorts of things like tea, local wine, kamote snacks such as kamote chips and donuts and much more but we wanted to get ahead with lunch so we would have more time to take photos at the Morong Beach / Mayahaw Arc.
This is a photo of the walk back. Don’t be fooled by the photo, it doesn’t show all those ups and downs.
Morong beach – Mayahaw Arc
The Mayahaw Arc is the famous arc shaped rock formation on a beach. Its located at Morong beach, where two restaurants or rather, huts have been built to accommodate tourists for lunch. We were fed generously, plus that we also had some food with us, which we shared with our drivers and guides. Right after lunch, we went straight to the beach and started taking photos. Since we were not elevated, the winds weren’t too strong. We were able to get some drone shots.
- Should you need excellent guides with photography skills, you may directly contact JR Salengua at 09198970806 and Paolo Escobido at 09095747870. They were such fun company and very knowledgeable. They could answer any question thrown at them. Big props to the local tourism units for having trained them so well and continuing to train them and 100+ other guides.
- There is barely mobile service on the island and no wifi anywhere. Be prepared to detach for a few days if you’re planning a trip out there. It’s a good opportunity to just bond, rest and recharge.
- To learn more about Ivatan Cuisine, check out the previous article here.