Our trip to Batanes was an AWESOME way to start our year. This trip wasn’t planned at all, well, until we booked that Php 1,500+ RT promo fare last October from PAL Express. You see, we always book months ahead (think 6 to 9 months before our trip), and thanks to Cebu Pacific and PAL Express, we were able to spread our trips for 2014. So adding another destination was unplanned, but less-than-a-thousand pesos fare is too cheap to pass up.
Our flight to Batanes is January 1st at 6 am. When I booked the flight, I didn’t see any problem since December 31 naman ang putukan di ba? Eeeeep, I miscalculated. If our flight is at 6 am, we should be in the airport by 4 am, which means we have to leave from Caloocan around 3 am. And thanks to the overpriced overnight parking fees at the airport, we decided not to bring the car and just take the cab. Wait… cab during the New Year’s Celebration?! Either it’s very difficult to pass the streets because of the fireworks or there are no taxis at 2 am/3 am because the drivers are celebrating. The solution, go to the airport before the New Year. Our plan is to check in or look for a place to leave our bags and head to Resorts World to have dinner and watch their concert for the New Year. But we just stayed and Gwen slept in a dimly lit hallway at the airport right after midnight. (We just stayed because we were stressed by the baggage issues of PAL Express).
What came to be an uneventful new year for us in Manila was transformed into a memorable one in Batanes. Upon landing, we were instantly mesmerized with Batanes, so serene and charming. I will be writing about our tour package and accommodation in Batanes at Badudets.com in the coming days. In the meantime, here are some of the photos taken from my phone.
Lighthouses, rolling hills, blue skies, old churches, stone houses… the things why everyone falls in love with Batanes. Everywhere you look is a perfect spot for picture taking.
We joined the North Batan and South Batan tours, but my favorite place in Batanes is Sabtang island where we stayed overnight in the traditional stone house in Chavayan Village.
According to our guide, Niko, Chamantad viewpoint is the place where Dawn Zulueta and Richard Gomez shot the scenes from their movie “Hihintayin Kita Sa Langit”.
We passed by Savidug Village too, another community where the stone houses are preserved. How about our family photo first…
We reached Chavayan village around 4 or 5 pm, and while our guide was searching for a place to stay in one of the Ivatan’s houses, Jeff and Gwen roamed around the village.
We finally got a home to stay and we are so excited for this experience. The stone house we stayed has wooden floors and our host gave us banig, pillows and blankets. The host cooked dinner for us, which is included in the tour package.
From 12 midnight to 6 am, there’s no electricity so we have no choice but to sleep early, and we’re also exhausted from the day’s tour. We left Chavayan village very early to catch the 6 am faluwa boat ride going back to Batan island. It was a short but sweet stay but it’s one of the highlights of our trip.
The rest of our stay were spent in Basco, Jeff and our friends climbed Mt. Iraya too while Gwen and I stayed at Marfel’s lodge and played with her new friend, Ate Nicole. Her house is just across Marfel’s lodge.
We’re supposed to board the plane to Manila on January 6, but a 6-day vacation was turned into a 7-day vacation. Due to bad weather, PAL Express needed to offload some passengers and we’re one of the offloaded (lucky?) ones. So there, an awesome first 7 days of 2014 in Batanes.
*** Batanes tour package from A2C Travel. Promo tickets from PAL Express.