Batanes gave me the experience to see not only breathtaking landscapes but also old infrastructures that took me back in time and made me appreciate our country’s diverse culture more. The boat ride to Sabtang is probably the most intense I’ve ever experienced but exploring the island made it all worth it.
Our Sabtang adventure started early as we left the homestay at 5AM and rode a jeepney to Radiwan Port in Ivana. After the 30-minute ride, we arrived at Ivana Port. It was still dark and we were informed that the usual 6AM boat will leave at 7AM instead. While waiting, we explored and took photos of the Honesty Coffee Shop and the San Jose de Ivana (San Jose el Obrero) Church.
When the boat arrived, we had to register first before boarding. The St. Ines boat left Port Ivana at 6:50AM. Although it took us only 20 minutes to get from Ivana to Sabtang, the HUGE waves that were at our eye level (some are even higher, I think) made it feel like an eternity to me. After that dizzying ride, I literally spaced out at Sabtang Port while concentrating in bringing back my internal organs to their proper places.
After the registration, our first stop is Barrio Sadivug where traditional stone houses abound. We spent more than an hour going around the village, taking photos of the houses and playing at the local elementary school lawn. We also explored an old house and the St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel which apparently are sites where Yeng Constantino shot the music video of her single, Ikaw.
The next stop is a hilly landscape where the Sleeping Beauty is located. Locals call it such because of the shape that looks like Sleeping Beauty lying down with an apple on her mouth. Beside it is the Savidug Ijang.
From here, we drove to Chavayan viewpoint where tourists can buy souvenirs at the huts along the road. We also rented the Vakul for Php 20 each for a photoshoot with the Sabtang hills and the Pacific Ocean in the background. Vakul is a headgear used to protect the Ivatans from rain, wind and sun. Vakuls are used by women while its counterpart Talugong are worn by Ivatan men. Vakuls are made out of Philippine Date Palm or Voyavoy leaves.
We drove by Chavayan Barrio but didn’t get to stay long since we have to travel to the other side of the island for lunch at the Morong Beach where the famous Nakabuang Arch is located.
We had to leave by 1pm though since that’s the last trip leaving Sabtang. One of the memorable experience that day was when we rode the jeepney from the port going back to Batan. We didn’t know that the jeep we rode was the transpo of the boatmen so we were the only ones there aside from the crew. Good thing they didn’t ask us to go down and gladly dropped us off the homestay.
Other posts from the Batanes Series: