Travel Kwento: BATANES

April 28, 2012 § 2 Comments

Travel Dates: December 30, 2011 – January 4, 2012

Airfare P12,000/pax (includes travel insurance) booked April 1, 2011; Airfare booked Dec 1, 2011 was at P16,755.20

Fundacion Pacita Family Terrace Suite P9,500/night good for 3 pax, we were charged P1200/night for the extra bed. I booked the room Feb 19, 2011 via website and paid 10% around P3500 then the rest paid to their bank account before we went there although we can choose to settle in cash in Batanes, they dont have no credit card facilities but they are expecting it soon.

Prologue: original trip is Dec 31-Jan4 lang kami kaso Seair texted me around Dec 1 to tell us na the flight on Dec 31 is cancelled and we can either go Dec 30 or Jan 1. I felt 3 days might be bitin so I opted for 5 days. Looking back mas ok sana yung 3 days kaso it would definitely leave me feeling bilin and rushed. Our 5 days there was really long, the last day talagang wala na kaming ginawa. And becuase we have such a long stay na usisa namin ang mga kwarto, naka pag bike kami sa city and etc etc sa akin ok ako sa long stay namin but I know Kite & Didda was bored na nung last day. But good na din kasi now we dont have an urge to go back parang na-namnam na namin siya ng husto.

Tour choices from Fundacion Pacita:

Whole day Batan Island Tour P2100/pax if 4 pax – lunch included

Half Day Northern Tour P1,790/pax if 4 pax – lunch included

Half Day Southern Tour P2,000/pax if 4 pax – lunch included

Sabtang Tour P2,350/pax if 4 pax – lunch included

I also found out we can rent a car at P350/hour (yung rent a car nila pala with driver di pwedeng we drive around) or P3000 for the whole day then if we want a guide too that’s P1000. I asked lang eh mas mura if we get the car and the guide and ask the guide to do the North or South tour with us. So ayun ang ginawa namin. I requested for Roger kasi yun yung isa nirecommend sa akin sa FB. Pag dating sa FP I was asked which Roger kasi 2 daw Roger nila waaah. I just googled and hope the Roger I will google is the right Roger.

*turns out he is not the Roger Ivan of Old Manila Walks was refering to, yung Roger daw is in his 30’s or 40’s fyi.

Travel Diary:

Day 1 (Dec 30) flight was 5:15am, we didnt sleep na kasi we left the house mga 2:30am and to be sure we are in the airport by 3am, kaso our car broke down, new car siya more than 1 year old lang and it broke down so the pessimist in me was asking hmm sign ba ito? well syempre inasikaso muna everything and we were able to leave mga 3am na, dahil madaling araw we got to the airport by 330am, flight was delayed mga 6am na nakaalis. We arrived Basco around 7:30am na. Grabe ang lamig!!! I have been monitoring the weather via yahoo and it says 22-24 degrees and ang Manila daw is 28-29 so I didnt  think it was THAT COLD! hay naku naku naku I kept visiting blogs and nakikita ko shorts and tank tops mga suot, then Abie’s blog said she is not prone to sweat but her dormant glands came alive (yes I know different season but basta yun nga. We went to Baguio mid December and it was less than 20degrees yet ok lang kami so di ako nagdala ng jackets namin! (Yes I know I know, lesson learned na…) Anyway, ok naman mga damit namin kasi I can layer BUT the worrier in me was stressing kasi nga walang jacket. I hate it kasi I prepared and researched.

Well after airport we proceeded to Fundacion Pacita na and was told the rooms are being prepared pa kasi kakaalis lang ng mga guests so have breakfast muna. The breakfast was yummy🙂 Shortly ready na ang room. I also learned pwede mag pa cargo ng gamit via seair so I scrambled to call the house to prepare the jackets etc para mapadala but yun nga walang flight the next day so our jackets arrive Jan 1. (Malamig lang sa Batanes nung Dec 30, 31, nung Jan 1 di na gaanong malamig grrr, nung Jan 2 & 3 in fact maaraw pa!) I also took the waiting time to find out about tours and booked a tour guide and a car for the next day.

Ok after breakfast we slept lang sa room. Nagising kami 3pm na, had lunch then marvelled at the place lang, picture dito picture doon. Our lunch was super yummy! Bistek na ma garlic and ang sarap at P350 na good for 2 na; then rice is at P30 each and then P120 yung pako salad with yummy vinagrette. Total bill for lunch was P970. Not bad.

Ang siste sa FP, they will ask you lang to choose among the menu for the day ano gusto mong ulam usually it’s 2 dishes lang to choose from.

Yung breakfast set meal yun and kasama sa room cost so walang pili pili dyan. Ang breakfast nila if you are ordering is P350/pax.  Mas mahal pa kesa sa lunch.

We asked din ano ang New Years Eve festivities ng place, di pa daw alam ang plans kasi lahat ng supplies and paputok is nasa barko pa, it left Manila and dapat daw by Dec 24 nasa Batanes na kaso yung last leg ng barko eh di makatuloy tuloy dahil sa lakas ng alon, the fruits on board nga daw are pabulok na. The supplies in the barko is not just for FP but the whole town, mga tindahan daw wala na halos benta and their bigas are really low na sa supply. According to Sec Abad they flew in rice na that day for the town.

Day 2 (Dec 31)

Northern Batan Tour (I chose Northern muna kasi mas malamig yung Southern and wanna wait for our jackets muna).

Our tour was supposed to start at 9am so gising and eat breakfast at 8am, ready na kami by 9am waah the tour guide wasnt there. By 9:30 di na kami natutuwa so Didda said let’s wait na lang sa room tamang tama si Laya want milk na, so we went sa room, shortly after he arrived na, we said wait a bit kasi tulog si Laya. Well off we went sa tour, he apologized kasi daw he was hesitating kasi mukhang uulan, actually sa city daw raining na so sayang lang yung tour if raining etc. Then he proceeded with his tour and kwento about the place, wow impressed kami kasi he is really good and knowledgeable about the place, political leader siya so madaming alam about the city talaga.

We went to Radar Station, Ijang (mga fortress na bato lang no big deal but it was along the way and took maybe an additional few minutes lang so no sweat; Boulder Bay; Rolling Hills (I super love this place!) then nag mamadali na yung tour guide namin bumalik kasi mukhang malakas daw ang ulan so we didnt go na to the lighthouse, we went straight to eat na at Batanes Seaside Resort, dahil Dec 31 wala nang ibang bukas we ate there and the food was blah! pancit bihon and lumpiang shanghai na made of fish and soup na parang tinola na mas maalat ng konti and it was P250 per person! eh yung food namin sa Fundacion na ang sarap na eh sa Fundacion pa was P970, itong sa Batanes Seaside na walang ambiance tapos di masarap eh P1000 grrr at this point I was thinking ulit ok ba yung guide or are we in for a ride… baka maling Roger yung nakuha namin?

Pagasa Station

Boulder Bay

Rolling Hills

Anyway the tour was roughly 3 hours lang including our lunch na mga 45 mins so parang yikes ang bitin yata and ang daming kulang based dun sa IT ng North Tour ng FP.  But when I asked him if we settled with FP or sa kanya he said direct na lang daw, and dun he didnt charge us day rate for the rental ng car instead per hour lang and he charge P1000 for himself so total namin was P2050, ahh bumalik ulit tiwala ko kasi I was ready to pay P4000 na. Madami kaming mga di napuntahan itong day na ito like the Mt Carmel Church and the Lighthouse in Basco.

Secretary Abad's Garden - pang movie!

Upon arriving sa FP we were told we are invited da by Sec Abad for New Year’s Eve daw, just go to his house (within the FP complex naman) at 10pm, have food daw.  We went naman kaso di naman mahilig makichika sila Didda & Kite, tapos Laya was sleeping na so we just dropped by I was really secretly hoping si Pnoy was there as visitor eh, nagpa picture lang ako with Sec . Abad and Patsy (yung girl sa P200 bill) then shortly after eating Didda & Kite went ahead na to the room, ako chumika pa ng konti. Sarap ng Ivatan Adobo🙂 And super nicey ng pamilya Abad, so nice and accomodating.  Tsaka parang fellowship night siya since other hotel guest were there too. I wuld love to stay if only its not 12 midnight.

**I saw sa bill ng isang guest sa office (tambay kami sa office kasi doon ang wifi, yung 3G namin sumpungin eh minsanok minsan mahina) Coconut Crab so pwede pala umorder doon but feeling ko mahal sa sa town na lang ako kakain.

Day 3 (Jan 1)

Tour of Southern Parts. Dahil nga laging nag dri-drizzle I opted to schedule the tour agad, dapat kasi rest day then tour day after kaso naisip ko what if umulan tapos di pa kami maka tour so pina sched ko na itong tour maski alam ko baka late kami magising dahil nga new Year’s Eve the night before. We just started the tour at 11am. Ito the tour was 6hours long. We went to lots of places. Super notable are the view deck na may mahabang stairs, yung Marlboro Country, and the whole place actually. Ang sarap ng lamig. Although umaambon ambon and paminsan minsan lumalakas ang ulan, sinuwerte kami kasi everytime we reaches a place it stops raining so drizzle lang or sandali lang humihina na. Aside from di kami nakapunta dun sa lighthouse sa South part walang nasira or nagulo sa sched namin because of the rain. Yun lang I worried lang baka magkasakit si Laya. So may mga places na pinuntahan kami na di ko na si Laya pinapababa ng car.  Also the car Kuya Roger brought this day was a rickety old FX. We arrived back sa FP mga 6pm na kasi we started the tour at 11am, also we went to the places na di namin napuntahan the first day like Lighthouse & Mt Carmel kaya din siguro humaba ang tour. I asked Kuya Roger to find saan makakain ng Coconut Crab kaso wala, most places kasi were close pa tsaka hibernate time daw ng crabs.

Marlboro Country - can't get enough of it

When we reached FP nag ask ako if may Coconut Crab nyeks ubos na daw kasi reserved na, ayun maski mahal sabi ko the next day hanapan nila ako.

Day 4 (Jan 2)

We relaxed lang itong day kasi we were able to go to all places na eh. On our own lang kami so mga after lunch nag tricycle kami ni Didda to Basco and went places, we checked out the other resorts para in case the Vespa Club wants to come eh naka occular na kami ng rooms. Then we went biking around the place. Cost: tricycle fetched us from FP then we went to Pension Ivatan (may bakery kaso maguumpisa pa lang magluto ng bread), Casa Napoli (closed), then Post Office (dyan daw pinanganak si Pacita Abad) Tricycle cost was I think P160 (may computations sila for ilang stops, ilan yung distance and also ilan minutes waiting time sa stops). We then walked around merienda sa SDC Canteen then we rented bikes na P25/hour each bike. Sakit na pwet namin tsaka legs kasi may mga uphills tapos 1 hour lang pala yun.  Then while biking may naamoy kaming baked bread smell so takam na takam kami so mega bike to look for bakery kaso wala, sa SDC lang yata but the bread we ate there was not what we were looking for. Ayun we went back to Pension Ivatan kasi nga by then dapat baked na mga bread nila, ayun dun namin na realize na ang tricycle sa Batanes eh tinatawagan pala, so we called FP to ask a tricycle to pick us up. Initially kasi ang plan was tricycle bring us to town then pasundo na lang kasi sa FP pabalik, but since we wanted pa to go to Pension Ivatan’s bakery we figured tricycle muna tapos doon na kami sunduin ng FP. But after buying bread ayaw na namin maghintay so pahatid kami again sa tricycle to FP this time tricycle cost was P130. Pag dating namin sa FP tamang tama papunta na si Kite & Laya & Yaya to the office so ayun pinasakay muna si Laya sa tricyle ikot ikot.

Dinner namin was Coconut Crab. Buti na lang nagbilin ako kasi hirap din silang makahanap ng crabs but they were able to find for us.  It is yummy kasi ANG DAMI DAMING aligue nung crab, but ang luto nila was parang they steamed it lang eh. Mas yummy pa din for me ang Shanghai Crabs… drool!

Coconut Crab. If you want to eat this you gotta go there, it is not allowed to be brought out of Batanes.

Day 5 (Jan 3)

Last day na namin but wala na kaming maisip anong gagawin, Sabtang is not an option kasi di ako papayag isama sila, mag worry naman ako about the kids if iiwan namin sila ng ganyan katagal and walang 100% assurance makabalik kami kasi may chances ma strand if pangit talaga ang alon.  So wala kaming plano for the day. So we explored FP further, may access kasi ang FP na papunta sa beach nabasa ko sa blog, so ayun ang ginawa namin, josme ang haba haba so mga 3/4 or maybe halfway ayaw ko na kasi ok lang yung pababa but I can imagine if we went all the way down anong hirap yung all the way back up. It was really nice yung stairs so ok na ok na ako maski di kami bumaba sa beach.  After that may time pa so inaya ko si Kite & Didda to go to the rolling hills again since nagmamadali kami when we first went, eh ayaw nila so me, Laya & yaya na lang. Hay grabe ang ganda talaga nung place. Yun nga lang di maganda picture ko kasi si yaya nag picture😦. Tricycle lang din kami again. Round trip cost us mga P260 yata including waiting for us for mga 30 mins while we picture picture there.

Back to room, pack na ng gamit. Then relax and settle na ng bill.

Day 6 (Jan 4)

Woke up yaya had breakfast sa resort kaloka P350 yung congee na kinain niya, kami hindi na kami kumain kasi wala na yung free breakfast kasi we ate breakfast upon arrival, we went straight na to airport. Dun sa airport since tapat ng airport yung Pension Ivatan dun kami kumain, we ordered a several Ivatan dishes to try out.

Please check out pictures at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150683317563662.494530.594228661&type=1

May mga captions na din mga pictures.

The end🙂

Super duper thanks to Roslyn for answering my never ending last minute questions; to Jade for her trip with Summer and Winter ayun kaya ako biglang nag decide kaya namin; Abie for her pictures and kwento (ayy sandali di yata ako dapat mag thank you dahil sa iyo Abie shorts dala ko! hahaha joke lang) and Peachy Juban too for her files on Batanes.

Hanggang sa susunod na lakbay🙂

Please do email if you have questions. Would love to help naman.

§ 2 Responses to Travel Kwento: BATANES

  • K Aguirre says:

    Hi! I loved all the details you gave about your trip to Batanes. I’ll be having my small & intimate wedding in FP on June 2014 with our closest friends & relatives. Can you help me by suggesting what tour is a must-see & what tour should we just let go? I prefer scenic & picturesque tours sana. And other activities we should experience.

    • BenzRana says:

      Aww a wedding in Batanes! Awesomeness and in rightly so in FP🙂 There are just 3 tours option (I hope I can find the tour packages) 1 is where do do everything in one day then the other two is first half and second half of the one day package. I chose halfing them coz we stayed for a long time there. The real scenic places would be the Boulder Bay (shore with boulders); Rolling Hills (love this place very much – second to Marlboro) these two are ones on the side of FP; the South part naman there’s a cliff na viewdeck; Marlboro Country and words cant describe how awesome this place is! Yan those are the scenic and picturesques places. I loved biking around the area. Do you plan to go to Sabtang? We didnt kaya I have no suggestions on that eh. Happy planning.

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