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THINGS TO DO IN BATANES: Batan Island South Tour - "Amazing Places to Visit, Tourist Spots and Attractions in Mahatao, Ivana and Uyugan"

Things To To What To Do Activities in Batanes

As one of my ultimate dream destinations, I expected Batanes to be "heaven on earth" because of the rave reviews of those who've been there before. The truth is, it exceeded all my expectations in every sense of the word. Still can't get enough of the province, we spent our third day in Batanes visiting the different tourist spots and attractions in the southern part of Batan Island, the second largest island in the province of Batanes. This whole day tour filled with amazing sights and activities includes a visit to the towns of Mahatao, Uyugan and Ivana. Taralets! Let's explore Batanes!


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Top Things to Do, Places to Visit, Tourist Spots and Attractions in South Batan, Batanes


You can find many amazing places and do many things in Batanes. I've listed here the top tourist spots and attractions, things to do and places to visit on our visit to the towns of Mahatao, Uyugan and Ivana.

1. Mahatao Idjang and Boat Shelter Port

This shelter port is built within the vicinity of Matahao Idjang which is intended to give shelter to boats plying the Basco-Itbayat and to Ivana-Sabtang routes during inclement weather conditions.

Things To To What To Do Activities in Batanes
Mahatao Idjang at the background

Things To To What To Do Activities in Batanes
Boat Shelter Port

2. Mahatao Church (San Carlos Borromeo Church)

Built in 1787 under the patronage of San Carlos Borromeo, this centuries-old church is declared as a national cultural treasure by the National Museum in 2001. It is one of the 26 Spanish Colonial Era churches identified by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts to be under its conservation program.

Things To To What To Do Activities in Batanes
San Carlos Borromeo Church

The marker at the church's entrance reads:

"Itinayo sa ilalim ng patronahe ni San Carlos Borromeo, 1787. Nasira ng bagyo, 1872. Muling itinayo ni P. Cresencio Polo, O.P., 1873. Itinaas ng mga katipunero ang bandila ng katipunan sa kampanaryo, 19 Setyembre 1898. Pinalitan ng bubong na yero, ika-20 singlo. Tinanggal ang koro, noong mga taong 1990. Ipinahayag ng Pambansang Museo bilang Yamang Pangkalinangan, 31 Hulyo 2001.

Things To To What To Do Activities in Batanes
NHI Marker

Things To To What To Do Activities in Batanes
Church's Interiors

3. Maywang A Libro Du Vatan (Batanes Blank Book Archive)

Located beside the church, the Batanes Blank Book Archive is a room full of around a thousand books with empty pages. Visitors are encouraged to choose any book they want sign, leave a message, a prayer or maybe create artwork on its pages. It's a good way to say a little prayer or intentions or just to express what you feel.

Things To To What To Do Activities in Batanes

I was born on April 21, 1980, so I pulled out book number 21 (my favorite number) and wrote my message.

Things To To What To Do Activities in Batanes

4. Spanish Lighthouse

From the church's compound you could also see an old Spanish lighthouse used by the fishermen as reference point during that time.

Things To To What To Do Activities in Batanes

5. Old Beaterio

Also within the vicinity of the church is an old beaterio or the priest's house.

Things To To What To Do Activities in Batanes

6. Mahatao Town

We then drove up to Mt. Sumhao where the wind turbines are located. Before reaching the site, we were greeted with a picturesque view of the town of Mahatao surrounded with lush greens.

Things To To What To Do Activities in Batanes

7. Mahatao Wind Turbines

Located at Mt. Sumhao, these wind turbines are considered as the first commercially operated hybrid system in the Philippines. Unfortunately, as of our visit, they are not anymore operational.

Things To To What To Do Activities in Batanes
One of the Mahatao Wind Turbines

The three units of 60-kilowatt wind turbines could have been a very good complement to the diesel generator system that Batan Island is using.

Things To To What To Do Activities in Batanes
Mahatao Wind Turbines

Since they are not operational, the wind turbines were intentionally brought down to the ground to save it from further deterioration. Hopefully someday, they will be able to utilize them.

Things To To What To Do Activities in Batanes
Mahatao Wind Turbines at Mt. Sumhao

8. Tayid (Mahatao) Lighthouse

Built recently in the year 2000, Tayid lighthouse in the town of Mahatao affords a stunning view of the pacific ocean as well as the other parts of Batan island with its rugged mountain cliffs.

Things To To What To Do Activities in Batanes
Tayid Lighthouse

Things To To What To Do Activities in Batanes
Tayid Lighthouse

Things To in Batanes
Tayid Lighthouse

Things To in Batanes
Spectacular view from Tayid Lighthouse

9. Diura Fishing Village

Located around 3 kilometers away from Mahatao town, Diura is a small village facing the Pacific Ocean. Here, you'll see local fishermen performing the Kapayvanuvanua ritual to signify the start of the fishing season which usually happens from March to May. It would be great if you visit this place during the start of the fishing season so you will be able to catch them perform the ritual.

Things To in Batanes
Diura Fishing Village

The village is home to a group of fishermen called "Mataw" who practices the traditional fishing of "Arayu" or dorado fish. Dorado fishes being dried at the locals' houses are just some of the common sights at the fishing village.

Things To in Batanes

Things To in Batanes

Things To in Batanes

The local government had also built a traditional house at the village which visitors could rent if they wish to stay here overnight.

Things To in Batanes

10. Racuh a Payaman (Marlboro Country)

This is probably one of the most photographed places in Batanes. Also known as "Marlboro Country", because of the grasslands reminds some people of the Marlboro commercial where the animals roam freely in a wide area. Racuh a Payaman is a communal pastureland with a panoramic view of endless rolling hills, the ocean, towering mountains and lush green pastureland.

Things To in Batanes
The grassland at Racuh a Payaman

I've seen this countless times in photos, but it's far more beautiful when you're already here. It's a perfect place to have some quiet time to enjoy the view and the cool strong winds.

Things To in Batanes
A carabao at Racuh a Payaman

Since it is a communal pastureland with non-domesticated animals, visitors are advised to stay at the trail for safety reasons. But don't worry, there are areas that you could go to take those precious moments.

Things To in Batanes
Racuh a Payaman

A restaurant is also located within the vicinity of Racuh a Payaman where we had our lunch.

Things To in Batanes
Racuh a Payaman

Things To in Batanes
Our group

Things To in Batanes
Racuh a Payaman

Things To in Batanes
Who will not pose like this? Hahaha!

11. Imnajbu Village, Uyugan

After having our lunch at Racuh a Payaman, we drove southwards to the town of Uyugan. Our first destination is the village of Imnajbu, located in the southeast corner of Batan Island.

Things To in Batanes
Imnajbu Village

12. San Lorenzo Ruiz Chapel in Imnajbu

Imnajbu is considered as the Birthplace of Christianity in Batanes. It was in the village of Imnajbu where the first holy mass on Ivatan soil was celebrated and the first baptism was administered. There is a chapel in Imnajbu commemorating the said event. Its patron saint is San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila, the first Filipino saint.

Things To in Batanes
San Lorenzo Ruiz Chapel

13. LORAN Station

These are the ruins of the old Long-Range Aid to Navigation (LORAN) built in Imnajbu village. Constructed by the Americans as a navigation facility, it was abandoned some time in the 1960s. Today it is being rehabilitated to be a national museum in Batanes.

Things To in Batanes
Ruins of the LORAN Station

14. Alapad Hill

Definitely one of the magnificent views in Batan Island. This is famous as the location of the Richard Gomez-Dawn Zulueta movie "Hihintayin Kita sa Langit". A perfect site if you want to do the famous "i-Dawn Zulueta mo ako" moment. Hahaha!

Things To in Batanes
Alapad Hill

I love this place as it gave me the chance to sit at the edge of the hill while enjoying the stunning view of the rock formation on my right, the mountains on the other side and the ocean in front of me. I literally sat here for about 15 minutes or more just staring at the rock formations being crashed by the huge waves.

Things To in Batanes
I had a great time here!

Things To in Batanes
Rock Formation

15. Old House in Uyugan Town

We drove further southwards to Sitio Song-song. Along the way, we saw this old house. According to our guide, some parts of the movie "Batanes" were shot here. Very lovely stone house!

Things To in Batanes
Old House in Uyugan

16. Song-Song Ruins

This is an old settlement where you could see clusters of roofless stone houses abandoned after it was hit by a tsunami in the 1950s. It is said that the families affected by the strong tidal wave were given resettlement in Mindanao under the Magsaysay government. It made the village a "ghost village" in the next 3 decades after the catastrophic event that happened.

Things To in Batanes
Clusters of Abandones Stone Houses

Today, it is a thriving community again.

Things To in Batanes
Roofless Stone House

17. Honesty Coffee Shop

We then made our way to the town of Ivana where the famed Honesty Coffee Shop can be found. Located near the Port, it became famous worldwide for showcasing Ivatan's honesty.

Things To in Batanes
Honesty Coffee Shop

There is no one manning the store. Instead, the owners rely on the honesty of the guests. Everyone is free to get what they need and in a log book, you just have to write down what you took with its corresponding amount. You then put your payment on the box provided.

Things To in Batanes
Log Book and Payment Box

Reminders when visiting the Honesty Coffee Shop:
  • Self-service only
  • Get what you need
  • Pay for whatever you need
  • If you have no change, knock at the next door
  • If no one answers, sorry you give more than the price
  • Always remember, "honesty is the best policy"

Activities in Batanes
Please Pay Here

There's also a guestbook in the coffee shop where you could leave a message for the owners to see.

Activities in Batanes
Guestbook

Truly, the Honesty Coffee Shop is one of its kind not just in Batanes but in the entire Philippines.

Activities in Batanes
Honesty Coffee Shop in Ivana



18. Ivana Church (San Jose de Obrero Church)

Just across the coffee shop is Ivana Church or San Jose de Obrero Church. It is more than 200 years old with a foundation that dates back to 1795. It looks like a fortress with its square bell tower built on its left side. You can climb the bell tower to have a very nice view of the sea, the port of Ivana and the island of Sabtang.

Activities in Batanes
San Jose de Obrero Church

The interior is smaller compared to the other churches in Batanes but it has intricate and beautiful tile patterns and noticeably thick walls.

Activities in Batanes
The Church's Interiors

19. House of Dakay

Also known as Vajay ni Dakay, it is one of the most photographed Ivatan stone houses in Batanes. Originally owned by Luisa Estrella, the house was given to her favorite nephew Jose Dakay Estrella. Currently, it is owned by Floresida Estrella, more popularly known as Lola Ida.

Activities in Batanes
Vajay ni Dakay

According to our guide, Lola Ida was not born in Batanes, she was born in the Visayas where she spent most of her childhood years with her family in Silay City, Negros Occidental.

Activities in Batanes
Main Entrance Door

Unfortunately, Lola Ida was not in her house when we visited. According to her relative, she just left for Manila for a medical check-up.

Activities in Batanes
Me at House of Dakay

I have to go back to this house to meet Lola Ida and hopefully have a photo with her.

What To DO in Batanes
Ivatan Kid

20. Old Spanish Bridge

Located right in the middle of the town of Ivana, it is an old Spanish bridge which is still being used up to this day.

What To DO in Batanes
Old Spanish Bridge in Ivana

21. White Beach

This white beach along the road side is so stunning with high stone cliffs surround the area. It has a stretch of semi-fine white sand and clear calmer water.

What To DO in Batanes
Shoreline

What To DO in Batanes
Rock Formations

What To DO in Batanes
White Beach

22. Chawa View Deck

Before ending our tour, we Chawa View Deck. As it faces west, the best time to visit this place is during sunset as it provides a very nice view of the setting sun. There's also a stairs that leads down to the adjacent cliff where one can fish, take more photos or simply just to enjoy the view.

What To DO in Batanes
Chawa View Deck

What To DO in Batanes
Clear Turquoise Water

What To DO in Batanes
Stretch of White Sand Beach



Truly, Batanes is a paradise worth visiting. One should definitely have to visit Batanes once in their lifetime.



What To DO in Batanes

This is part of my 5-day trip to Batanes that happened on May 6-10, 2013. Batanes is the 79th province on my list.

TRAVEL TIP


Complete Batanes Travel GuideWhere to Eat in Batanes

North Batan TourSouth Batan Tour

Sabtang Island TourItbayat Island Tour

Where to Stay in BatanesWhat to Buy in Batanes



More photos on Pinoy AdvenTurista's Facebook Page, click here.





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5 comments :

Oman said...

My fave place in Batanes is on that hill overlooking Loran Station and Alapad Rock. I could stay there forever.

Remo said...

In fairness brod, di ko alam na may ganito pala sa Batanes. I am more into beach when travelling and going on a vacation. Pero sa ganda ng nakita ko ngayon, I'm sold. Pupuntahan ko to this year. Taga dito pa nman girlfriend ko bat di ko man lang alam to?haha Nice photos bro.

Melvin Lapesigue said...

thanks ditto bro, isa yan sa mga wishlist ko na gusto kong puntahan..

Batanes Travel Guide said...

We are looking forward to your visit here in Batanes! ... Yes, it is expensive to go to Batanes, make sure you get the most of your vacation by having a reputable travel guide.

Anonymous said...

Hi you should include also siguro yung Racu a payaman or yung fountain of youth though di sya sinasama sa mga itinerary dahil mejo mahirap papunta pero worth naman sya ng pagod.Nice pics by the way

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Pinoy Adventurista is one of the Top Travel Blogs in the Philippines and the World. In 2013, he visited all the 81 provinces in the Philippines.