Words and Images by Mark Kenneth Veneracion–
1.) Good Food
Tasty meals and turmeric rice. Lots of it. Most tour packages are inclusive of free lunch. I was served with traditional Ivatan meals which all came with turmeric rice. I don’t know about the abundance of this crop in the island but they seem to love it so much that they put it in everything: rice, coffee, tea. Name it.
2.) Scenic Views
You might have seen it on the internet but pictures don’t do it justice. It’s breathfuckingtaking! See some of my shots below.
3.) Crazy Boat Ride
Batanes is also known for Faluwa, a traditional boat without any outriggers that is made for strong waves. It is big enough to fit 60 persons, some scooters and a tricycle. Yes, a tricycle! You’ll ride this boat going to Sabtang Island. If you often get seasick like me, bring some Bonamin. It’s gonna be a rough ride!
4.) Digital Detox
Cellsites in Batanes were damaged when Typhoon Ferdie made a landfall on the island last September 2016. According to the locals, while their network connectivity was weak beforehand, it totally got lost after the typhoon. During my visit last March, I’m only able to browse the internet every 3 AM, with speed that takes about 10 minutes to upload a picture (yes, free FB data feels). But in this world of Fibr and 100 MBPS internet speed, it’s good to have a change of pace, right?
5.) Unexpected Friendships
Travel agencies will put you in a “join tour” if you are travelling solo or in small groups. Mingle. Make friends. I was lucky enough to meet a group that clicked right from the start, we were already laughing 5 minutes after the van picked us up. Yes, close kami agad.
For booking inquiries, you may contact BISUMI Tours.