ironwulf-vuhus-island
Minding the cattle at Vuhus Island Sabtang

An island of cows. I’ve imagined Vuhus Island to be a vast open plain where cows freely graze aimlessly in dense numbers, left alone by their owners to wander until the time they are ready to be butchered. The island, prominently seen at the western coast of Sabtang Island have always lured me from afar. It is one of the islands that welcomes travellers from the plane window while flying into Batanes. In my last visit to Sabtang Island, I finally got to step on Vuhus Island. Briefly explored its ocean channel and learned that life in a cattle ranch on the island. So the population of cows here seem to have an order too.

The rest stop north of Sabtang Island
The rest stop north of Sabtang Island

Road to Nakanmuan

Satiated from the lunch at the Morong Beach, my guide and I decided to have a siesta time. High up on a hill, past the road leading to Morong Beach is an open rest stop with thatched roof where the breeze freely flows and surrounded sweeping views of hills, sea and the road behind. This is already at the northern tip of Sabtang Island. My guide, Mael, tells me, locals from the villages on the western side of the island would frequent this place as it is the last area where one can get cellular signal in Sabtang Island. I lay on one of the bamboo benches and amusingly found a gin bottle, still almost half-filled, tucked between the beam and the roof. I wonder if they use this in the evening when it can get extremely chilly at night.

When we continued on, the road opens up to views west of the island. Cliff-hugging winding roads with Vuhus Island constantly on our right side. What a desolate rugged coastal beauty. I particularly like the narrow roads cutting through some rocks. The road seems to have been recently paved unlike the poor condition the first time I was here. We reached Nakanmuan Village where it seems like a ghost town at that time of the day. People where probably enjoying their own siesta breaks. Mael looked for his friend who has a boat we could rent. A tataya, a smaller version of the falowa. Dark skinned from the sun, our boatman agreed and I agreed on a price for a snorkelling tour and time on the island. With nothing much better to do in the afternoon, it was good money for him.

The road cutting through the rocks
The road cutting through the rocks
Stonehouses at Nakanmuan village
Stonehouses at Nakanmuan village
Launching our Tataya, a small boat without outrigger
Launching our Tataya, a small boat without outrigger

Snorkelling at Vuhus Island on the next page…

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