We have basically seen most of Batanes for 3 whole days already and I still couldn’t get enough of it. Since there was no lined up tour for this day, we could actually just sleep off the rest of the morning right? But nah, I will never be caught dozing off when there is a splendid view that needs to be explored. Well, not in Batanes anyway. So, what can be done on a Batanes free day? Let me count the ways.
Must read: Exploring Batanes for Only Php 8,500
From Manila, the fastest way to get to Batanes is by plane. Philippine Airlines has daily direct flights to Basco and takes 1.5 hours to get there. Alternatively, you can take the Manila-Tuguegarao route and do a connecting flight to Basco via Sky Pasada which offers Tuguegarao-Basco routes.
What We Did
Biked around Basco Proper
It was another sunny day in Batanes and we were up early in order to do some biking around the Basco Town Proper. We ended up resting at the Basco Lighthouse as we got tired maneuvering the bicycles on steep roads.
Between the endless horizon and splendid view that we have seen, I realized that a simple island life wasn’t so bad. Coming from a city girl like me, that’s kinda a big deal. And oh, my boyfie even helped a cow which had its rope stuck on a fence. Naks, sumu-superman!
This is what coconut crab looks like up close. Please note that coconut crabs are endangered species and you cannot have it out of Batanes at any circumstance. Don’t even think of sneaking it out. One can be imprisoned by doing such.
Bathed at Diura Beach
After taking our lunch, we decided to check out Diura Fishing Village. This place is usually just an optional tour as it will take time and effort to see its outskirts. The Marfel Lodge staff helped us book a tricycle to and from Diura with a travel time of around 30-45 minutes depending on the traffic. Just kidding, of course traffic in Batanes is minimal to none noh.
The trek going to the beach took us 30 minutes. There are parts that we have to go walk up and encounter some rocky pavements. Be cautious on moving stones though. It might be a tiring hike but we were rewarded by a man-made infinity pool, a secluded beach and the fountain of youth. Whew. All worth it!
Checked Out Fountain of Youth
Konti lng ung patak at the time that we got to the so-called Fountain of Youth. Our driver told us that the flow of water from the mountain dictates the volume of water that will flow into the fountain. This is mostly during rainy season.
So does it really transforms a person to its youthful self? Locals said that the story is an urban legend but some tourists still tries to bathe in the fountain just to test if it’s true. Is it effective? Hmmmm, I didn’t get to bathe, we can see other living things in the fountain so I didn’t dare try. Though we did enjoy the infinity pool.
Enjoyed the Man-made ‘Infinity’ Pool
At the time that we got there, they just cleaned the pool and was just filling it up with fresh water. Talk about being lucky, huh?
Where We Stayed
We stayed for 4 nights in Marfel’s Lodge (extension) fan room for P1,000 per night for 2 people.
Below are the dishes we ate during our last day in Batanes:
>> Steamed Lobster – As we were on our way back to our accommodation, we stumbled upon a small ‘store’ (it was just actually outside their house with a folding table) selling freshly caught seafood. We bought 3 pieces of lobster for only P250. Yaay, score! We were supposed to bring it back to Manila but we were eventually told that small lobsters are not allowed to be brought back as pasalubong.
>> Crispy Beef Ribs – And yes, we went back to Octagon to try this dish. I was expecting it to be quite ‘tutong’ and chewy but it wasn’t. So big score for that. We ate this together with Octa-rice, sort of their version of Yangchow rice.
• Get up early to roam around Basco Proper. Rent a bike for only P25 per hour.
• Lobster and coconut crab are cheap in Batanes though cannot be brought out of the province, either live or raw. Sneaking it will cause you serious jail time.
• Please note that it can get cold during the night and though we originally reserved for an AC room (P1,500/night). In Marfel, we just settled for a fan room instead. #tipidtip
• Most dishes in Batanes’ restos are usually good for two. If you don’t have a big appetite, you can just settle to one ulam.
• If less than 3 people, it is better to do a trike tour than to join a group tour or rent a van. It will be cheaper that way.
Travel Expense Summary
|Day 4 Expenses||Total||Divide by 2|
|Marfel’s Lodge Fan Room (1 night)||1,000||500|
|RT Diura trike rental||500||250|
|Marfel bike rental (2 bikes for 2 hrs)||100||50|
|Diura Entrance Fee||100||50|
Special shout out to the people who helped us make this trip possible. In behalf of my travel crew, maraming salamat po. Sa uulitin. Apir!
Kuya Jhun Gasilao, whom I have contacted months before our trip but a DOT seminar conflicted with our sched, thank you po for finding an alternative to take your place. Di nio po kame pinabayaan. Contact him at 0906-565-3457 and 0999-825-9130.
Ate Donna, our tour guide, contact her at 0939-288-1164.
Ate Fe and her kwelang Marfel Lodge staffs, contact them at 0917-857-4493 and 0908-893-1475.