Breathtaking Batanes !

all photos ©alana2013
please do not use photos for whatever purpose without the author's permission

Scenes from the Islands of Batan and Sabtang

Very common mistake among visitors is to call this the Mahatao lighthouse. This is actually the Tayid Lighthouse located in Mahatao. The real Mahatao lighthouse that dates back to the 1700s has been destroyed.

Cows grazing on dramatic cliffs is just one of the breathtaking views of Batanes

Fundacion Pacita

Row of stone houses at Chavayan Village, Sabtang Island. Some of the stonehouses are now ruins.

An Ivatan woman wearing her vakul at Chavayang Village

Common scene at the Chavayang Village

Daily life at the Chavayang Village

By the beach at Sabtang Island

An Ivatan on her way home from work

A goat grazing at a hillside near the Tinian viewpoint

An Ivatan woman we call "Auntie" demonstrated to us how she creates a vakul, similar to what she is wearing.

Nakabuang beach in the Island of Sabtang prides itself with natural rock formations. Popular and most photographed of them is the "Ahau" Arch

There are three light houses in Batanes and one of them is in the island of Sabtang. The other two are in Batan Island. The third island of Batanes, Itbayat has none of these lighthouses. 

Children fishing with nets and hooks at Sabtang

Lghthouse in Batan Island, the Basco lighthouse. This is the view we wake up to from the veranda of the Batanes Seaside Resort

Ivatan fishing with nets

Interior of the San Carlos Borromeo Church in Mahatao, Batanes. Listed as one of the 26 churches considered as cultural icons by the National Museum, the church was originally built in in 1789 by the Dominicans.
San Jose de Ivana Church in Batanes

From inside the San Jose de Ivana Church in Batan.
The Church is overlooking the waters surrounding the island and the mytical Sabtang Island.
Portion of the Blue Lagoon.
Allegedly during the Spanish colonial times, only Spaniards were allowed to swim in this lagoon. The native Ivatans were prohibted in the area.

In the town of Ivana is a rustic offeeshop. What makes the store one of its kind in the world is that nobody tends it, as Lola Elena, now 78, and her husband Jose, 73, do their regular farm chores and other day-to-day activities. The Gabilo couple grow agricultural crops on their farm nearby.
Honesty Shop rules, as listed by the couple and hung on the wall: Get what you need, please pay whenever you get. (Drop payment in a money box). If you have no change, knock at the next door. If no one answers, sorry, give more than the price. May your tribe increase, and remember – Honesty is the best policy!

A view from the ruins of one of the stone houses destroyed by the tsunami of 1954. The area is now called Song-Song ruins. Resettlement for the affected Ivatans was provided by then President Magsaysay in Southeren Philippines. Hence, places like Bukidnon are now home to original Ivatans.
An Ivatan boy

Oldest stonehouse in Ivana, Batanes is the House of Dakay, owned by Lola Ida. It has been declared as a UNESCO heritage building, built in 1887 and one of only five structures that withstood the earthquake that leveled the town in 1918

The Tayid Lighthouse from afar

Lenticular clouds cover the peak of Mt. Iraya

Valugan Boulder Beach - volcanic stones from Mt. Iraya

Vayang Rolling Hills

Vayang Rolling Hills

Vayang Rolling Hills

Marlboro Country

The Lighthouse
by Becky Jennings

The mighty lighthouse stands secure,
Undaunted by the restless sea;
Ravaged by the changing tides
And buffeted by winds blown free.

Yet, it sheds its beacon straight and true,
Unfaltering in the bleakest night,
Guiding every passing ship
Uncertain of the course that's right.

May we be diligent and true,
Dedicated to the right
And like the stalwart lighthouse stand
A beacon in the darkest night.


  1. Woah! Batanes on my mind! When will I caress you! Beautiful shots indeed!

  2. wow!!!! breathtaking shots! very excited to be there...! -ka popoy

  3. Thank you! Visit Batanes and you won't regret that you did! :)

  4. breathtaking shots, indeed ... nice to commune with nature, and be more closer to our Creator ... thank you, for sharing ...


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