Solo Backpacking Diaries: Sabtang Island, Batanes

Hello Blog,

I’m back! I’m here to blab again about my Batanes birthday getaway. This time I’m going to talk about my second day there. Say hello to Sabtang Island!

I woke up early that day. Boats leaving for Sabtang Island are all in Ivana Port which is approximately 30-45 mins away from Basco, and they leave early in the morning ’round 6 or 7. I enjoyed the beautiful views to Ivana Port, but I will tell you more about that in the next entry.

We only had 4 major stops in Sabtang Island –  Ahao Morong Beach/Nakabuang Arc, Savidug Village, Chamantad-Tinyan Viewpoint and Chavayan Village.

So anyway, there I was waiting for the faluwa ride in Ivana Port, taking my Bonamin around 6 in the morning.

I expected huge waves; I braced myself for that big possibility. Thankfully, the waves were big, but they were not alarming. Nothing wild, thank you! The boat-ride I took to Camotes was a lot more rough.  I could not imagine what the waves would transform into if it were rainy and windy though. All I can say is thank you God for calm seas.

The ride took about an hour. I already asked Ate Linda in advance to help me find a good trike driver to help me navigate around Sabtang Island. I was supposed to ride with Kuya Mael, but when I got there he told me he was already booked. He referred me to Kuya Nino.

Kuya Nino’s lovely trike

Just close by is the San Vicente Ferrer Church built around the 1800s. You might be wondering why it looks new…the church as it appears to this day was reconstructed and was completed year 1984. 🙂

It was a school day, blog and a lot of kids were doing exercises in the church grounds. P.E. I bet.

Stop 1: Ahao (Natural Stone Arc) Morong Beach

I think this place is also called Nakabuang Arc. The sun was high and the heat burned. And once again, like always, photography-block strikes again! Believe it or not these are the only photos I was able to take in Morong Beach. Tsk. I will definitely learn from this. Never again will I forget. Photography-Gods help me. lol

 

Stop 2: Savidug Barrio

You have to explore Savidug by foot to fully enjoy its quiet and narrow streets. Walking the streets felt like I was being transported into another era, but maybe that’s just me being imaginative.  But really, the traditional houses are a sight, blog. It’s a village you couldn’t and shouldn’t miss when you visit Sabtang Island. (I’m talking to you now like you’re some kind of special blog with feet and can travel hahah)

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This is the Old Beaterio. Right next to it is the town’s chapel -St. Thomas Aquinas. People gather here during fiestas. It is adjacent to the town plaza and activity area.IMG_20170609_082229

On our way to Chamantad, we passed by Sleeping Beauty.

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Can you see her?

 

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I just took a photo of this road bec. I thought it looked nice. It reminded me a bit of the steep roads in Mountain Province

Stop 3: Chamantad-Tinyan Viewpoint

I crossed my fingers hoping there won’t be a lot of tourists. But, there were … A LOT. It was drizzling when I stepped into the stairway.  I asked Kuya Nino, if it was always this busy at this time of the year, and he said no. He was even surprised of the influx. We both agreed that it might have something to do with the cancelled MNL-BSO/BSO-MNL PAL flights earlier that week.

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It’s sad I was not able to take a photo wearing the vakul. I did see several vakuls in display, but the signs all said FOR SALE. And silly me never bothered to ask. My bad!

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Spent a few minutes just staring at the view

On the bright side, I got to eat camote (sweet potato) donuts and fresh buko juice!

Stop 4: Chavayan Village

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Chavayan Village was our last stop in Sabtang Island. It looked almost similar to Savidug.

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The only remaining church/chapel in Batanes with cogon-grass roofing

I saw kids bringing a cauldron to school which I assume might have been for their snacks. I wanted to know more, but stopped myself because I might end up disturbing the kids in class.

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The villagers live a simple life. No phone signals. Electricity cut off at midnight, and I think there’s no internet connection too.

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The end of the Chavayan road leads to the sea

 

For lunch, I had turmeric rice, plain rice, sauteed squid, sweet-and-sour lapu-lapu, chopseuy, camote fries, buko juice, water and lunis which is local delicacy – Ivatan’s version of dried adobo. I didn’t order all of that mind you (defensive haha), but that was what came out of the restaurant’s 300-peso pack lunch. Super sulit!

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A new and still under-construction restaurant by the beach. You can swim while waiting if you want.

 

You may want to try their coconut crabs! I have bad crustacean allergies so maybe you can try and tell me if it’s as good as they say it is (I’m talking to you again like your some kind of special blog that has a mouth and can eat haha).

Ugh. Uploading food photos makes me hungry. Let’s wrap it up!

Last stop for more pasalubong while waiting for the faluwa.

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A gift shop with the honesty-store concept 😉

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And a bit of local-life watching while eating some pulvoron….

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I remember my grade school days whenever I see students lining up like this ^_^

Next thing I know, I was saying goodbye to Sabtang Island. *bittersweetsigh

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Boat ride back to Ivana Port was good. It was quick, and I was able to catch some 3G signal in the middle of the sea (can you believe that? O_O) long (or short) enough to allow me to post one photo in Instagram to greet myself a Happy Birthday in Social Media world.

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I ended the day with a night-walk, a short-trip to the pharmacy and some halo-halo, barbecue, and bread in the streets of Basco.

Budget Breakdown – Batanes Day 2 Sabtang Island:

Total: Php 2820.00

 

To and From Sabtang

Tricycle to Ivana Port and back: 440.00

Faluwa Ride to Sabtang Island (roundtrip): 200.00

Sabtang Island Registration Fee: 200.00

Tricycle Tour in Sabtang: 1000 + 200 (tip) = 1200.00 (I recommend Kuya Nino (+63 998 449 3797). Kuya is originally from Itbayat, so if you’re visiting the island, he can help you with tours.)

Chamantad Tinyan Viewpoint stores: pasalubong 170  + buko 35 + camote donuts 20 = 225.00

Lunch: 300.00

Concscience Store: pasalubong (pulvoron malunggay, peanut, rosary bracelet) = 105.00

Basco

Bread at Sari Sari store near Veronica’s Transpo Office: 20.00

Halo halo and BBQ at Silver Tam: 35.00

I.B.S. Pharmacy: cetirizine and medicol 35 + Bonamin 60 = 95.00

 

Ohkayyy. Got to go!

Love,

Me

P.S. I plan to visit Itbayat in the near future. Leave no island unexplored! 😀

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