Breathtaking Batanes and the lovely Ivatans

Priceless views

It’s been a while since my last visit to Batanes, but time has done nothing to erase the memories of those massive green pastures, long and winding roads, and the deep blue bodies of water that envelope the island. Batanes is a place where almost everywhere you turn, there’s a picture-perfect moment waiting to be captured.

There’s more to Batanes than its natural wonders. This island-province is dotted with old churches, ancient stone houses, beautiful lighthouses, and ruins that have become tourist attractions. Of course, there is the herds of cows lazily eating under the glorious sun—the reason why it is often compared to Scotland or New Zealand.

Batanes is best known for its amazing landscape. But for me, the most memorable thing about this beautiful island isn’t a thing at all—it’s the people.

Locals are all smiles.

When we were there, people in the streets would greet us a “Magandang umaga po!” Locals always had a smile on their faces. I felt so welcome and at home.

I also noticed that people were willing to be photographed. Despite the influx of tourists, though, it’s evident that the Ivatans have not lost their identity. I hope it stays this way.

I remember how wonderful the weather is in Batanes, with light breeze that is just cold enough to make you want to enjoy a warm cup of coffee. 

While there, we stayed at the gorgeous Fundacion Pacita, without a doubt the most beautiful boutique hotel in the island.

We capped off our trip with a trip to Sabang, which is a part of the province that has off-white sand along the shores of a beautiful beach. If you haven’t been to Batanes, make sure to add it to your bucket list and head over there once the pandemic is over.

Amazing view, fantastic weather, friendly people.
Kenneth M. del Rosario
Kenneth has been writing for the Philippine Daily Inquirer for more than 17 years, covering travel, food, motoring, technology, real estate, and business, among others.