Batanes Solo Trip: North Batan Tricycle Tour

Since it’s my day and I didn’t really spend too much on the previous months, I decided to splurge on my Solo Birthday Trip in Batanes. Delayed gratification ftw!

I had this plan of waiting for another solo traveler in the airport, but I was too tired and cranky when I arrived in Basco Airport. I went straight to my booked accommodation to rest. I ate lunch at a nearby food establishment and feasted on Pancit Cabagan. The song “Domino” by Jessie J is played when I arrived. On cue?

By 1:30PM, Kuya Lito arrived as scheduled. Time to explore the Northern part of Batan!

North-Batan-Gloomy

I admit I was still a bit grumpy way back in the airport because of some misunderstanding with my booking, but I shrugged all the negative vibes upon reaching the Basco Airport. With a power nap and delicious brunch, I’m all set for the tour!

North-Batan-Sign

Then there came the gloomy weather. No, don’t rain, please! I managed to pose at the Welcome to Basco Batanes sign though.

Let’s visit the chapel first since it’s your birthday.” Kuya Lito said. I kept quiet. I should stop worrying because I’m blessed to visit Batanes on my birthday. This is a dream come true and I need to thank Him for the safe flight and what comes ahead.

 

Mt. Carmel Chapel (Tukon)
Mt. Carmel Chapel (Tukon)

My cousin attended an intimate wedding in Mt. Carmel Chapel (or Tukon Chapel) weeks before my arrival. I can say it is one of the simpliest chapel I’ve been too, but the grandeur view from the window is love!

North-Batan-Tukon-WindowNorth-Batan-Tukon-

I’m not a regular church goer, but I make sure to always thank Him for the blessings. I honestly feel like I’m in heaven that moment. I also want to get married immediately! (Oh, my. Not yet!!!!)

Our next stop is the Basco PAGASA Weather Station. I spotted a policeman so I asked to have a photo taken with him. Why? Wala lang.

North-Batan-Police

North-Batan-Pagasa

I wasn’t permitted to go inside, but I enjoyed the breathtaking view. It might be a bit chilly and gloomy that time, but I loved it. Perfect scenery if you want to contemplate about turning 27 and what lies ahead.

North-Batan-Pagasa3
North-Batan-PAGASA1

I asked Kuya Lito certain things about the Ivatans (locals of Batanes). I enjoyed watching them greet and help each other whenever their paths cross. I rarely see that in the city.

Fundacion Pacita - The Most Expensive Hotel in Batanes
Fundacion Pacita – The Most Expensive Hotel in Batanes

Our next stop is the popular Fundacion Pacita. There was a sign at the entrace saying that they’re not entertaining and day tour visitors that day, but I refuse to leave. Birthday ko kaya! So I thought of a strategy – I went to the booking office and asked for rates. I also asked them if they’re serving Brewed Coffee because I need to drink and it’s also my birthday. I’m glad that worked (although I’m not sure if that sign was just put up that day or its been there for ages to avoid noisy visitors toinks).

North-Batan-Fundacion-Pacita-Art

Fundacion Pacita is the most expensive hotel accommodation in Batanes, but I can see why. Fascinating artworks, stunning view and an ambience perfect for honeymooners. Ah, unconsciously planning my wedding already?

Coffee Break at Fundacion Pacita
Coffee Break at Fundacion Pacita

By then, the sun showed up and I’m more than happy to drink coffee and indulge on the moment of serenity. This is the life!

North-Batan-Fundacion-Pacita-Coffee-View

I stayed there for almost an hour and I kept on asking Kuya Lito some questions about Sabtang, Itbayat, Fuga, Calayan, Babuyan Islands and Tuguegarao. Why is it hard to travel in these islands? He also shared some stories that made me realize how lucky I am. If only I can do something for them.

North-Batan-Idjang

We got back to the Tricycle and proceed with the tour. Kuya Lito stopped and pointed the historical Idjang. By then, it finally sunk in that I’M IN BATANES!

Forgive me. It's my birthday :P
Forgive me. It’s my birthday 😛

North-Batan-Green2

So my child-like persona’s out and I kept on running, posing for more photos. IT’S MY BIRTHDAY AND I’M IN BATANES! I screamed. Yes, I did.

Dipnaysupuan Japanese Tunnel
Dipnaysupuan Japanese Tunnel Entrance

We passed by the Dipnaysupuan Japanese Tunnel. Kuya Lito asked me if I wanted to go, but I declined. Why? I’m not ready to go inside a dark place. Baka may nakatago pang hapon dun. Sa Japan ko na lang sila i-meet 😛

North-Batan-Valugan-Beach
On the rocks

The Valugan Boulder Beach is a favorite spot for most travelers. Some even go there early in the morning to take sunrise photos.

I can hear the waves and all of a sudden, its a cool, rocky afternoon.

North-Batan-Valugan-Beach1
Every second is a highlight!

Where did these boulders came from? Mt. Iraya, when it erupted on 1454. This is a beautiful outcome of a natural disaster. I don’t wish for Mt. Iraya to erupt again though.

Sto. Domingo Church

We went back to the Basco City proper to visit Sto. Domingo Cathedral. I went straight to a nearby sari-sari store afterwards then I heard Jessie J’s Domino played on the radio. Again. Am I in Heartbeat land? 😀

Standing tall and strong like the Basco Lighthouse
Standing tall and strong like the Basco Lighthouse

Then off we went to Naidi Hills, where the famous Basco Lighthouse and Bunker Cafe is located. I spotted a number of tourists biking towards the iconic landmark. Too bad I can’t ride one. It would’ve been fun to explore Batan via bike, but the tricycle is a good alternative.

Bunker Cafe
Bunker’s Cafe – Reservation is required if you wish to dine at night
Love pushes one to do silly things. #Polvoron
Love pushes one do silly things. #Polvoron

 

North-Batan-Basco-Lighthouse-View

Kapit lang..
Kapit lang..
Basco Town view as seen on Basco Lighthouse
Basco Town view as seen on Basco Lighthouse

I asked one of the local kids if it is okay for me to climb through the spiral stairs and they nodded. The howling wind was a bit scary, but that didn’t stop me from appreciating the view on top. I can see the town of Basco, Mt. Iraya and Baluarte Bay from here!

North-Batan-Vayang2

Our final stop for this tour is the Vayang Rolling Hills. I automatically spotted a group of young Ivatan kids walking with a cow. It reminds me of the indie film ‘Kadin’, although the lead character in the film was looking after a pet goat.

North-Batan-Vayang

I  can shoot a music video here! Let me belt out my own version of Jessie J’s Domino!

Kidding aside, I can say that our Vayang Rolling Hills visit is my favorite part on my North Batan Tour. You can see the active Mt. Iraya from there and a glimpse of the West Philippine Sea. I was waving at Sabtang Island too like a little girl. Silly me.

North-Batan-Vayang4
“Make this dream the best I’ve ever known..”

Maybe the sunset view affected my mood. I was just too happy. It’s my first solo birthday trip and I chose the right destination. Now I know why I kept on hearing that Jessie J song the whole day: Every second is a highlight 😛 I’ll bring my family with me on my Batanes next trip!

BATANES NORTH BATAN TOUR via Tricycle is priced at Php 1,000 for 2 pax. I got it for Php800 because it’s my birthday  😛 I highly recommend Lito Alcantara (+639182167440/+639162291080). He takes good pictures too!

Have you been to Batanes? Writing this post brings back the overwhelming feeling of celebrating your birthday in Batanes. I went there alone, but I wasn’t lonely. It reminded me why I find solace in traveling solo – I’m in control and I can do whatever I want at my own pace.

28 Comments

  1. Ponyo Bites said:

    Hello!
    It’s me from FB 🙂
    I wasn’t able to hire Kuya Lito as my guide on any of my tours but I was able to meet him!
    He was the one who pick us up from Marfel’s lodge (pagkatapos naming mamiyesta) to the Naidi Lighthouse and fetch us 2 hours after going back to our homestay.
    I saw his name plastered on the tricycle (Jolito) and wondered if he was the same one you mentioned and checking on the number you posted, he is indeed!

    What a coincidence 🙂

    September 23, 2014
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      What a nice coincidence! 😀 Hope you enjoyed your Batanes trip. Buti ka pa naki-piyesta hehe 😛

      September 24, 2014
      Reply
  2. Gosh am I the only blogger who haven’t been here? Saklap :-/ I’ll stay here for 2 weeks chos! But iIsa lang napansin ko sa post na ito. Your travel outfit. I LOVE IT!!! Shalalala..

    September 24, 2014
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      You’re not alone teh hehe nagkataon lang na sunod-sunod yung iba last year 😀 Gusto ko rin bumalik for Itbayat!

      That dress is my travel uniform this year lol 😀 favorite eh 😛

      September 24, 2014
      Reply
  3. Bob said:

    Hi, where did you stay? How was the wearher like? Planing to go up there mid October. Why is it difficult to travel to the islands. Thanks.

    September 24, 2014
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Hi Bob! I stayed at Time Travel Lodge for Php 500. You may contact them at +639396238978 and look for Linda.

      I went there last May. It was sunny most of the time with occasional rain at night. I think October is okay 🙂

      The islands I mentioned on the Fundacion Pacita part of this post are far from each other and the boat ride to move from one island to another will take you hours of strong waves. Batan to Sabtang though will only take you 20-30 minutes 🙂

      September 24, 2014
      Reply
      • Bob said:

        Thank you Senyorita! Much appreciated. I will take some pics too and maybe I can post them here. I am not a Senyorita but a Senyor though so don’t know how that will work. LOL! 🙂 – A Senyor’s pics on Senyorita.

        September 25, 2014
        Reply
        • Senyorita said:

          Nice idea! Just share your trip photos on my Facebook page 😀

          September 25, 2014
          Reply
  4. Our next stop is the Basco PAGASA Weather Station. I spotted a policeman so I asked to have a photo taken with him. Why? Wala lang. – This is exactly how i travel. I had so much fun reading this post i don’t want it to end. Sobrang natutuwa ako kasi halos pareho tayo ng trip. And pareho tayong di sumasakay sa bike. ha ha ha I haven’t been to Batanes. I’m reserving it for something special. Cheers!!!

    September 26, 2014
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Thanks Jerik! That’s a compliment 😀 I guess that’s the reason why I also enjoy reading your blog lalo na ‘yung mga ‘wala lang gusto ko eh!’ moments 😛 Sana mag-travel din tayo soon!

      Reserving it for something special? Hmm… romantic destination ang Batanes teehee 😛

      September 26, 2014
      Reply
  5. Phie said:

    ahhhh this inspire me. paano ung plane? thanks

    September 26, 2014
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Hi Phie!

      At the moment, PAL Express and Skyjet are the only ones offering Manila-Basco flights 🙂 Wait lang ng seatsale 😀

      September 26, 2014
      Reply
  6. Mikay said:

    Nag birthday trip din ako sa Batanes at sa Time travel Lodge din kami ng stay nung first week ng September.:-) Ngpaluto nga kami sa kanya ng Coconut crabs 🙂 Natutuwa ako dun sa little ‘Honesty store’ nya kasi nililista namin dun ung mga inuutang naming softdrinks tapos saka babayaran bago mag check out.:-)
    Sobrang ganda talaga ng Batanes noh? Ang sarap ng feeling na dun ka ngbibirthday prang super blessed ung feeling ko at that time.:-) Gusto ko ring bumalik kc hindi pa kami nakapunta ng Itbayat.

    September 28, 2014
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Same sentiments, Mikay! Do we also have the same name? Haha 😀

      Aliw din ako sa “Mini Honesty Store” kaya nag-invite din ako ng friends na mag-kape dun hehe 😀 Naubos ko rin mga pastries dun lol 😀 I’m glad you celebrated your birthday in Batanes. Nakakagaan ng feeling, ‘di ba? 😀

      October 5, 2014
      Reply
  7. Love your dress, girl. You look so cool traipsing around Batanes in that brown number. Wish I were comfortable wearing dresses too haha It;s been a year since I visited Batanes. Sigh. I wonder when I can go back!

    October 7, 2014
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Thanks Aleah! I’m hoping to visit again soon!

      October 8, 2014
      Reply
  8. rio said:

    hi, what month po kau nagpunta?

    March 15, 2015
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      May po 🙂

      October 19, 2015
      Reply
  9. Angel said:

    I’ve been looking for solo trips to Batanes posts and yours is the one I liked so far!! It looked like you had so much fun there. Been planning to go to Batanes on September for my birthday. Do you think the weather will be good at that time? Also, how much did you spend, considering the solo tour and accommodation, on your entire trip? 🙂 Looking forward to your response! 🙂

    October 13, 2015
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Thank you for the kind words, Angel! I think early September will be good. If I remember it right, between 7k-10k yung dala ko pero di ko nagastos lahat 🙂

      October 19, 2015
      Reply
  10. heart said:

    I was planning to go to batanes this coming october. Solo traveller.. tanong ko lang po. 1000 per day yong bayad sa tricycle??

    April 13, 2016
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Yes for North Batan tour but I’m not sure kung nagchange na ang rate ni Kuya Lito since 2 years ago po yung trip ko 🙂

      August 6, 2016
      Reply
  11. ANNIE said:

    QUESTION PO… COMFORTALE PO BA NA MAGTRIC TOUR?
    ANG WORRY KO PO KASI IS MALALAYO UNG MGA SPOTS?

    THANKS PO IN ADVANCE..

    August 5, 2016
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Yes comfortable naman 🙂

      August 6, 2016
      Reply

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