And so, we are married! And this is our very first vacation as husband and wife! Yehey! 🙂
After all the months of planning and organizing our wedding, and yes, crying (for me, anyway), now it’s time for some R and R! A little disclaimer, though. Since it has only been a little over a month since we got married, this post might contain slight fluff than usual. We have been thinking of going to Batanes for some time now. So, this is quite a dream come true for us. Before we show you the beauty that is Batanes, let me just share a couple of our honeymoon misadventures, I mean, highlights, before we even got to the place.
**We almost missed our flight because we woke up late. The hotel concierge had to call us to inform us that our car service was already waiting outside. Good thing my husband knows how to pack our stuff really quick 😛 Only downside, forgot my phone charger, jacket, and contact lens in the hotel room. Oh well.
**On the plane, I asked my husband to hold my ring for me while I put on some sunblock. Oh, the vanity. My husband wore my ring on his pinky finger and when I was asking for my ring back, we took one look at his pinky finger and then panicked. My husband must have accidentally dropped my wedding ring on the airplane floor and the both of us were panicking for all of 2 minutes until I spotted the ring. Note to self: Have the ring resized ASAP.
How To Get There
The easiest way to get there is by plane. The Basco Airport, as far as we know, is unique in that you can ride a bike on the runway. How cool is that, right? More on that later. Right now, three airlines have daily flights to and from Batanes: PAL, Skyjet Airlines, and Wakay Air. We booked PAL because Skyjet has a history of delayed flights and we can’t risk that because it IS our honeymoon, and we didn’t know about Wakay Air until we got there. For PAL, there is usually only one flight to Basco, Batanes daily, the 6:00am flight. And one flight daily as well to Manila, the 8:10am flight. So, plan ahead.
Usually, when we go on trips, our itinerary is DIY. This time, though, we opted to just book a travel agency because we didn’t want to have to worry about anything on this trip. My husband stumbled upon Shadow Travel and Tours (www.shadow888.com). They have an office in MOA which is very accessible to us. And our booking only took less than 30 minutes. Hassle-free. You can choose where you want to stay, which is great for us.
Our home in Batanes was at the Batanes Seaside Lodge (http://www.batanesseasidelodge.com) which is located just 5 minutes from the airport and the town proper. The rooms are nice and clean, and newly-renovated. And as its name suggests, the lodge is located right beside the beach and the balcony gives you an awesome view of the sea. You can even see the famous Basco Lighthouse from the balcony. If you are looking for an affordable place to stay in Batanes, this is the perfect choice. Our only comment though is that the wifi is not that great and, the bath water is a little bit salty. Brushing your teeth can be a bit of a chore.
We chose the full board and lodging option of Shadow Travel and Tours. Our breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the 4 days and 3 nights were already included in the package. Nice! And this also means that we have our own private tour with our own private van and our own private tour guide. By the way, our tour guide, Nelson, is totally awesome! We couldn’t have asked for anyone better. We found out that before you can become a tour guide in Batanes, you have to be certified by TESDA. We certainly learned a lot about Batanes from Nelson. And he takes the best pictures! Our honeymoon photos look like post-nup photos, all thanks to Mr. Nelson Gabilo.
Day 1: Batan North
We arrived at the lodge around 8:30am. We had breakfast at the lodge and lunch at the nearby Octagon Bed and Dine. The tour usually starts at 1pm but our tour guide told us that it might be better to go at 3pm so that it won’t be too hot. This was great for us, we had a bit of time to catch up on our sleep. Dinner was at the Beehan, located at Lizardo St., Kayhuvukan, Basco, Batanes. Whenever we go on a trip, we always try the local food available especially if we’re not familiar with the taste. We tried the Uved Balls, one of the local foods. Uved balls are like meatballs but made from ground meat with banana heart/blossom. They serve it with soup. Yum!
These are some of the places that we went to on the first day:
- Mt. Carmel Chapel
- PAG-ASA Station (Radar Tukon)
- Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge
- Dipnaysupuan Japanese Hideout
- Valugan Boulder Beach
- Vayang Rolling Hills
- Basco Lighthouse in Naidi Hills. This lighthouse has a very nice view of the West Philippine Sea.
- Sto. Domingo Church
Day 2: Sabtang Island + Biking around Basco
After breakfast at the lodge, we took a ferry boat to Sabtang Island. I wasn’t feeling too well on the second day of the trip because I was a little dehydrated. They say that it wasn’t usually that warm in Batanes, and we have climate change/El Nino to blame for the really warm weather. Lunch was on the beach.
These are the places that we went to on the second day:
- San Vicente Ferrer Church and Conscience Cafe & Souvenirs
- Savidug Idjang Fortresses
- Lime Kiln Traditional Ivatan Houses
- Chamantad Tinyan Viewpoint
- Nakabuang Beach and its famous arch
After buying souvenirs at the Tawsen Souvenir Shop, we rented bikes at a local store so we can do a little sightseeing in the town. We went to the airport to see if we can ride our bikes on the runway, but the guard said that the runway was closed to public because there is a private plane parked there. Oh well.
We got a little lost on the streets of Basco, but the locals were very helpful and we finally found the restaurant that our tour guide told us about. We had dinner at the Pension Ivatan Hometel and Restaurant.
Day 3: Batan South + Biking around Basco
These are some of the places we went to on the Batan South tour:
- Chawa View Deck with the gigantic waves
- Mahatao Shelter Port where they “park” the boats when there is a really bad storm brewing.
- San Carlos Borromeo Church where we wrote a little message on one of the books in the library
- Ivana Spanish Bridge
- Racuh a Payaman (Marlboro Country). Hiking, hiking, and more hiking while singing “The hills are aliiiiveee with the sound of muuuusiiiic!!!!”
- Oldest House in Batanes — the House of Dakay
- Honesty Coffee Shop. A little trivia: Our tour guide, Nelson, is a grandson of the owner of this Coffee Shop. And we asked him if everyone in their family is honest. Hehe!
- San Jose de Ivana Church
Imnajbu Point and the Alapad Rock Formation. You can see the remains of the Old Naval Base from here.
Tayid Lighthouse in Mahatao which overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Another trivia: The lighthouse in Naidi Hills (Basco Lighthouse is rounded, while the Tayid Lighthouse is hexagonal. This is my favorite lighthouse in Batanes.
I really, really, really enjoyed biking around Basco with my husband. Definitely one of the most unforgettable moments of our trip was getting lost on the streets of Basco. Good thing the locals are very nice people. And did I mention that
my husband and I’am are very bad with directions? No Amazing Race for us in the future. Hehe! And we most certainly enjoyed biking on the Basco Airport runway. Surreal!
We tried our luck again on the airport runway, and it was worth it! Amazing experience! I am so glad we were able to do it.
We absolutely enjoyed our Batanes trip. We definitely will go back. There is so much more to explore in Batanes. Batanes is truly breathtaking!
We found love in Batanes <3 Dios Mamajes, Batanes!