The Loran Station is located in Basco, Batan Island in Batanes Province. LORAN is an acronym for Long Range Aid to Navigation). The Loran Station was built in 1953 and was used to house a US coastguard detachment for operated for almost two decades. The Loran Station is located 25 kilometers from Basco. The Batanes Islands lie 375 miles north of Sangley Point* midway between Luzon and Taiwan. The normal morning flight path was north over central Luzon and the return flight normally diverted over the west coast to circumvent the afternoon cumulonimbus build ups. The Loran Station was located on the east side of the main island and the airstrip was on the west side at the capital city of Basco. Basco International Airport, as it was referred to by the Coast Guard aviators who flew in there, was 3000 feet long, unpaved and situated on the side of a mountain Continue reading
The Dipnaysupuan Japanese Tunnel is located in the Tukon Hills area in Basco, Batanes Province. The Dipnaysupuan Tunnel is an interconnected network of tunnels built during the Japanese occupation of the country for the refuge of Japanese soldiers and lookout post on Batan Island. It served as a shelter for the Japanese imperial forces during the Japanese occupation in the Philippines until the end of World War II. Because of its strategic location, the Japanese imperial forces forced the Ivatans to dig these tunnels for their shelter. The Japanese soldiers spent years hiding in these tunnels until the end of Word War II. There are five doors to the tunnel and it has several chambers. The entrance is low and one has to duck-walk towards the back until one can stand up. It is cold and damp and chilly inside. Continue reading
Mount Iraya is Batanes‘ highest mountain, standing at an elevation of 1,517 meters above sea level. Mount Iraya is a dormant volcano on Batan Island whose last eruption was recorded in 505 AD. At its summit, trekkers can view the horizon and be on the top of the Pearl of the Orient Seas. Hiking to the summit takes approximately four hours depending on skill level. Mountaineering, trekking and trailblazing are recommended sports activities on the mountain. Walking distance from Basco, the top of Mt. Iraya can be reached in about three hours. Adventurous types will enjoy the heavily forested and steep trail leading towards Mt. Iraya. The forest is filled with plants and wildlife, giving everyone opportunities to take a lot of Batanes pictures for their photo albums back home. The Basco Airport is located at the foot of Mount Iraya. Source of the spring water distributed in Continue reading
Radar Tukon is an abandoned United States weather station located on a hilltop 2.75 kilometers away from Basco on Batan Island. It is currently being used by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) as the Basco Pagasa (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) Station to monitor weather in the Batanes region. This Tukon Radar offers a magnificent 360-degree view of Batan Island, the South China Sea, Mount Iraya, Basco proper, boulder lined cliffs and the Pacific Ocean. Continue reading
The island-province of Batanes is the smallest province in the Philippines with a land area of 230 square kilometers and was created by a series of volcanic activities and other geologic forces when Mt. Iraya erupted around 325 B.C. It is bounded on the north by the Bashi Channel, on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the west by the China Sea and on the south by the Balintang Channel. Basco, its capital town is about 280 kilometers north of Aparri, Cagayan or some 860 kilometers north of Manila and about 190 kilometers south of Taiwan. The pre-historic Ivatans who are nationally acclaimed as the “True Insulares” were boat-making and sea-faring people who lived in small tribal Continue reading
Basco is known for its breathtaking views of the ocean and quaint structures great for photo opportunities. One of its landmarks, the Basco Lighthouse is a 6-story building with a viewing deck overlooking the whole of Batan Island. Another impressive structure is the Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge, once the home of internationally-acclaimed artist Pacita Abad which was refurbished into a deluxe bed & breakfast.