Batan Island is the largest and most populated island of Batanes Province. It is composed of four municipalities namely Basco, Ivana, Uyugan and Mahatao. Its capital Basco, is located on the northern part of the island, and is the center of commerce and seat of the provincial government. What sets Batanes apart, even in the Philippines, are its Ivatan inhabitants, members of a distinct ethnic group with hazy origins and its own language. They have for centuries eked out a living here from fishing and yam farming and withstood centuries of ferocious typhoons with equal parts grit and grace. Places to visit on Batan Island include the Valugan Boulder Beach, the Nakamaya Burial Grounds, the Dipnaysupuan Japanese Tunnel, Fundacion Pacita, the Pagasa Weather Station, Tukon Church, Vayang Rolling Hills, Chadpidan Boulder Beach, and the Naidi Hills. Continue reading
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
Radiwan Point is located at the Port of Ivana in Radiwan, in the Batanes Province. Radiwan Point is where the Katipuneros, the Filipino freedom fighters), arrived from the island of Luzon in September 18, 1898. Radiwan Point has a falowas ferry station enabling passengers to travel to nearby Sabtang and Itbayat. Continue reading
Chawa Cave is located in Mahatao, on Batan Island. It is for the more adventurous. The local Ivatans believe the Chawa Cave is enchanted cave. It features a natural salt bed which opens to the south China Sea. The Chawa Cave is accessible through the boulders of Chawa Point in Mahatao. It is located four kilometers away from Basco in Batanes Province.
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
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.
The participants celebrating at the Batan Ati-Ati Malakara Festival wear masks made up of paper mache and prepared costumes. The festival is celebrated in honor of the Sto. Niño with merry making for a bountiful harvest, peace and prosperity, street dancing along the streets and plaza of the poblacion. A holy mass is celebrated before the start of the contest on Sunday morning proceeded with a parade of participating tribes.