Batanes: Postcards from Batan Island

The moody morning landscape at Diura
The moody morning landscape at Diura

No doubt the most visited island in Batanes is Batan Island, the landing point for any plane coming in this northernmost region in the country. The provincial capital, Basco is also located in the island making it as a starting point for exploration. I have written extensively about the places in Batan Island already so I won’t be repeating much aside from some updates and new site takes from our recent Backpack Photography 3-Island Hop in Batanes. But don’t get me wrong, even if I’ve been here several times already, the views still never fails to amaze me.

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Batanes: Sunrise at Mt Karoboboan and Sidetrip to Paganaman Port

Tree and Sun at Mt Karoboboan
Tree and Sun at Mt Karoboboan

We marvelled at the stars, shining plentifully at the sky. Something we don’t see in an urban night. We played around with the star-gazer on our phones figuring out the constellations, the position of the stars in the wee hours of the morning while waiting for our dump truck service to arrive. Despite the gizmos in our hands, there was no electricity in Itbayat at 4am as it runs from noon to 12 midnight only. We were headed to one of the mountains in the island, Mt Karoboboan. Usual program from tourism here is they take people to the peak at sunset. But since we didn’t have time the day before, we decided to go on a sunrise.

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Batanes: Awed at Torongan Cave and Hills, Itbayat Island

Literally breath taking view at Torongan Hills Itbayat Island
Breath taking view at Torongan Hills Itbayat Island

The view of the Pacific Ocean, the deep jagged cliffs from the island where I’m standing and Dinem Island, cutting through the ocean like a knife’s edge was stupendous. Here at the farthest inhabitable, northern island of Itbayat, I’m just lost for words on how I can describe the beauty I’m seeing from Torongan Hills. If I had my way, I can spend an idle afternoon here just looking at the sea and passing clouds. It was one of those moments that I’m so proud of the Philippines for having places like this.

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Batanes: Changing Winds, Barf Bags and Sailing to Itbayat

Waiting at Batan Port
Waiting at Batan Port

Up to the last-minute, we weren’t sure if we’re pushing through Itbayat on our second day. While having dinner the previous night at the Bunker in Naidi Hills, we watched how the wind threw monobloc chairs and tables making us think of a backup plan in case we don’t push through. But waking up the next day, our guide Joaquin, excitedly informed us and showed in the internet how the wind has slowed down and changed direction. That means we can push through with our Itbayat. So the group got ready for the overnight stay on one of the largest upheaved coral in the world, Itbayat Island.

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Batanes: Postcards from Sabtang Island

The Nakabuang Natural Arc
The Nakabuang Natural Arc, one of the distinct landmarks in Sabtang

It was the peak season alright for Holy Week in Batanes and our trip almost  didn’t push through but thank God (and Seair) for helping us secure our flights. Albeit shortened, we made do with our time, maximizing moments to take photos and enjoy the scenery. I’ve written about Batanes so many times already in this blog so I’ll just share some memorable takes during our recent Backpack Photography 3-Island Photo Tour. These ones from the small but charming Sabtang Island.

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Backpack Photography 101 in Corregidor

Photography 101 in Corregidor
Photography 101 in Corregidor

For me Photography is like learning how to ride a bike or driving, once you learn the basics, it should be second nature to you in order for you to speed away and shoot. We invite you to learn the fundamentals in photography and apply them on a weekend in Corregidor Island for Backpack Photography 101. Learn about history while you learn about photography. Explore the Rock while you explore your photographic talents. See Corregidor in a new light.

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Batanes Backpack Photography and Itbayat Chronicles 2010

Basco Lighthouse
Basco Lighthouse and Batan Cliffs seen from the sea

I have written plenty about Batanes on this blog and I’m sure when I go back there, I’ll find more things to write about again. It just shows how I love the place. It’s like being in a foreign land yet with the familiar warmth and hospitality the Filipinos are known for. For the mean time, here’s the chronicles summary from my recent visit to Batanes in conjunction to the Backpack Photography Workshops to cap off this series. I also hope you enjoy the Batanes Islands video I put together.

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