Architect's Travel Bucket List Series: Philippines (Province of Batanes)

Updated: Oct 13

The Province of Batanes

BATANES, also known as the "Home of the Winds," is the northernmost province of the Philippines and the smallest in terms of population (18,831 as of the 2020 census) and land area. It is well-known for being one of the most peaceful provinces in the Philippines.

The Province is made up of ten islands located between the vast expanses of the Bashi Channel and the Balintang Channel, where the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea meet. The only inhabited islands are the three largest, Batan, Itbayat, and Sabtang. Basco, the capital, is located on the island of Batan.


The entire Province is on the UNESCO tentative list for World Heritage List inscription. Batanes is well-known for its beautiful waters, rugged terrain, and clean environment. It is also known for the distinct culture of the Ivatans, the island's original settlers. It is also rich in marine resources, including some of the world's rarest sea corals.


Summer is the most popular season for relaxed tourists. If you enjoy adventure, the best time to visit Batanes is between July and October. However, if there is a typhoon, avoid going because you might get stranded and miss out on the beautiful scenery.



ARCHITECTURE

First, let's take a look at some Batanes architecture on the island:

A Sinadumparan Ivatan house is one of the oldest structures in the Batanes islands. The house is made of limestone and coral and the roof is made of cogon grass.


The houses were created to withstand the region's extreme weather, which includes typhoons, earthquakes, scorching humid summers and monsoon rains.


This demonstrates how the Ivatans made an effort to develop environmentally friendly solutions to the region's severe weather problems.


Take pictures if you see one because they are only found in Batanes!



ACTIVITIES

1. Visit Racuh A Payaman (Marlboro Country)

Racuh A Payaman is a well-known tourist attraction in Batanes. It is a large communal pasture land with livestock grazing freely on the small plain, primarily cows and carabaos. The scenery, seascape, and rolling terrain are stunning, especially at sunrise.


Arrive between 8:00 and 10:00 a.m. to get the best shots and avoid crowds. Wear your most comfortable hiking shoes due to the long distances required to reach the ideal picturesque backdrop.


2. Wear the vakul headdress and kanayi vests – Symbol of Survival

It is the Ivatans' one-of-a-kind all-weather headgear and vest made of shredded leaves from an impressive palm found only on Sabtang island. These headdress and vest protected the Ivatan farmers from the heat of the sun and rain. Another environmentally friendly invention used to adapt to changing weather conditions. Wear it, smile, and strike a pose.


3. Visit the Tayid Light House and take in the 360-degree view

Tayid lighthouse is situated on a hill and provides a 360-degree view of Mt. Iraya, the West Philippine Sea, and Mahatao. This structure, which faces the Pacific Ocean, is best seen from Rakuh a Payaman. Take in the breathtaking scenery and smell the ocean and fresh air.


4. Put your honesty to the test in Batanes' Honesty Coffee Shop

Take a break after admiring the breathtaking views and enjoy a cup of coffee in this one-of-a-kind coffee shop where no one is looking. Take a look at their souvenirs as well. After that, simply go through the price list and place your money in a jar. Always remember that the best policy is honesty!


5.Visit the Chawa View Deck for a panoramic view of Batanes