My mom was invited to travel with her friend to Batanes. And because she had never been there, she happily agreed to go with me in tow. It was a memorable day since it was the week of Valentines, one wonderful February day. We met our travel companions at the airport. There were almost no hassle. Tickets checked. Bags checked. Seating assignment both window seats, so a small issue because we were not seated beside each other; but it was fine since it was a short flight to the small island in the northernmost tip of the Philippine Archipelago. So checked.
The flight was wonderfully smooth. It was just like a lullaby like sway that lolled me to a short sleep. I did not feel queasy. When the pilot announced that we had arrived, I was excited as I looked down at the scenery as the plane glided towards the runway. We readily carried our hand bags down the steps to the tharmak. We took a few pictures and headed in the airport for our checked in luggages. Our companions booked all our activities together through a tour company, the Northern Adventures. However, we had different hotels, so as soon as the tour guide picked us up at the airport and introduced himself, we were transported to our different hotels where we ate our breakfasts.
It was my first time to eat fried flying fish. They served it Filipino style with garlic rice, an egg and tomato, so this would be called like the Flyifisinalog. I’m making this name up okay since we Filipinos are into silog (si- for sinangag or garlic rice, -log for itlog or egg). But anyways, it was so crunchy that the fishbones could be eaten, just make sure you munch on it a bit more just to be on the safe side though.
After a bit of a rest and freshening up at our room, we headed back down, with me excited to my toes, to start our North island tour. Our travel companions was picked up by the van first since their hotel was far away from the city. We were booked for a private tour, which was way better I thought. But mind you there are joiner tours that you could book. This will just mean that you’ll be sharing the van with other tourists. Anyhow, here is a glimpse of the places we saw on our first day.
Our first stop was at this small chapel on a hill, the Mt. Carmel Chapel, also known in their local dialect Tukon Chapel. This chapel is said to be well sought off for weddings by couples, looking for the beautiful interior and the most romantic and breathtaking view of the Batanes countryside.
Next we passed-by the Fundación Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge, which is privately owned by the Abad family and considered a high-end resort. It is closed to the public due to an incident…where a tourist went in the private quarters and infront of family guests and the owner. Now it is only open to paying guests and reservation guests, who want to dine at the Café de Tukon. Maybe I’ll eat lunch, or merienda (snack) or dinner here someday…
Our next destination was the Idjang View, which was a quick but short hike away to see the amazing view of the mountain.
We were then brought to a Japanese Hideout. It was just a small opening of a cave, which was a bit dark and a tight squeeze if you’re brave enough to check it out. Unfortunately, we chickened out and just peeked inside with our cellphone flashlight.
We had a couple of more stops on this tour, and other wonderful sights, but I might be boring you guys already. So until tomorrow…
To be continued…
P.S. Just one thing I would never forget…the beauty of God’s creations is a sight to see in these small islands of Batanes. Also, I’ll explain the title at the end of these multipart travel adventure.