Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sabtang Island

Being the smallest of the 3 inhabited islands of Batanes, the usual tour reco for Sabtang is only half a day. But if you wanna enjoy their beaches (something that I wasn’t able to do coz by mistake I booked ONLY a 2-day trip, HAHAHA *facepalm*), then you are most welcome to homestay in their well-preserved villages/ stone houses - the most unique attraction of this island. It certainly feels like stepping into another world in the Savidug Village.

Here, you’re free to explore rows of centuries-old lime stone houses with their trademark cogon roofs in all its rustic beauty. And what better way to do so than wearing/ renting some of the locals’ traditional costumes that serve as protection against the weather – the vakul (headgear for the women) and kanayi (vest for the men). Batanes being the northernmost part of the country means it’s one of the most typhoon-battered island (atleast 25 average in a year). But don’t be fooled by these simple houses with narrow doors and windows – their materials are all weather-proof. And the vakuls/ kanayis made of indigenous materials have become the symbol of the Ivatan’s resilience.

My male models are a group of gay besties I met at Chavayan Village 

Or...if you wanna complete the romance of the rolling hills, you may don the vakul/ kanayis in Chamantad-Tinyan viewing point. Aaaah, my most favourite part of the tour. But seriously, you have to wait for my first day post and be in awe at the other beauties I saw there. *wink* In general, I love a tourist spot when it’s (1) utterly huge. Meaning I will never ran out of space for photo-ops without having to elbow out other tourists, lol (2) offers physical activity. Aside from some relatively challenging hike that you need to do on this place to take in more breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, you can just simply take off your clothes and run down the hill (see video below at 00:24) to swim on the glistening water. 

And I swear, from where I was sitting above, it’s just too inviting in that 10-ish morning. I did have my swimwear but unforch, the tour wasn’t done yet. In retrospect, I could’ve asked for the guide to take me back there or the Morong beach instead of lunch. Coz of course, between food or swimming? I’d def choose the latter! It's a no-brainer. Hehe.

In the usual itinerary, Morong beach should be the last stop but my guide took me here first thing because he didn't want me to compete with the other tourists at the Ahaw arch formation. Lol. Part of this beach is also where I had my set lunch. It was the last stop since the faluwa (boat) that would take me back to Batan island is scheduled on 1PM. I did try to get some outfit change for some beach appropriate shots after my meal though.

For other areas of Sabtang that weren't covered in this post, I made an amateur video below. I wouldn't make any conclusions about my short trip since this is just like a quarter of the trip. I hope you enjoy the clip below and get as excited as I am about the post on Batan island. :)

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