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Travel Guide Asia Philippines Luzon Batanes

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Introduction

Batanes is a region in the northern part of the Philippines where you can see honest people and communities. Instead of white-sand beaches, you can see boulder-beaches due to it's large boulders of rock layering at the foot of the beach. If you love greeneries, serene and tamed animals you can see it here Batanes, where it is called the Marlboro Country. The people who live here are, called the "Ivatans", where hunting and fishing are their means of living.

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History

On the Spanish period in 1782, then Governor General of the Philippines Jose Basco y Vargas sent an Expedition to Batanes to undertake the formalities of getting the consent of the Ivatan to become subject of the King of Spain. On June 26, 1973, Jose Huelva y Melgajo became the first Governor of Batanes. The new province was named Provincia dela Concepcion. Gov. Jose Basco was named “Conde dela Conquista de Batanes” and the capital town was named after him which is "Basco". Lime and stone churches began to build around 1795 , where the relics are still found anywhere in Batanes.

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Geography

The province comprises ten islands that are located in the Luzon Strait between the Babuyan Islands (belonging to Cagayan province) and Taiwan. The islands are sparsely populated and subject to frequent typhoons. The three largest islands, Batan, Itbayat, and Sabtang, are the only inhabited islands. The northernmost island in the province, also the northernmost in the entire Philippines, is Mavudis Island, also known as Y'ami Island. Other islands in the chain are Misanga, Siayan, Ivuhos, and Dequey. The islands are part of the Luzon Volcanic Arc.

Almost one-half of Batanes are hills and mountains. Batan Island, with a land area of 35 square kilometres, is generally mountainous on the north and southeast. It has a basin in the interior. Itbayat Island, which has a total area of 95 square kilometres, slopes gradually to the west, being mountainous and hilly along its northern, eastern coast. As for Sabtang, mountains cover the central part of its 41 square kilometres area, making the island slope outward to the coast.

The islands are situated between the vast expanse of the waters of Bashi Channel and Balintang Channel, where the Pacific Ocean, merges with the China Sea. The area is a sealane between the Philippines and Japan, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. It is rich with marine resources, including the rarest sea corals in the world

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Sights and Activities

  • Sabtang Island is undisturbed and unspoiled. The island has lots of natural attractions guaranteed to satisfy the most sophisticated nature lovers
  • Itbayat Island is located north of Batan Island. Itbayat is shaped like a giant bowl. The island is surrounded by massive boulders and cliffs rising up to 20 metres above sea level and has no shoreline. It has a dirt airstrip for light aircraft. A regular ferry runs the Batan-Itbayat route. Travel time is about four hours on falowa from Basco Seaport or Radiwan Port in Ivana. A light plane flies from Basco Airport to Itbayat leaves only when the plane is full.

Batan Island is the most populated island of the province. It is composed of four municipalities namely Basco, Ivana, Uyugan and Mahatao. Basco is the center of commerce and seat of the provincial government.

  • Mount Iraya is a dormant volcano standing at 1,517 metres whose last eruption was recorded in 505 AD. Mountaineering, trekking and trailblazing are recommended sports activities on the mountain. Walking distance from Basco, the top of Mt. Iraya can be reached in about three hours.
  • Yami/Amianan is the northernmost island of Batanes. It is also called the Orchid Island. One can see Taiwan on a clear day. Tatus or coconut crabs abound in the island surrounded by rich marine life.
  • Di-atay Beach is a cove with multi-colored rocks and white sand ideal for picnics and beach combing. Located along the highway of Mahatao, it is 9.85 kilometres from Basco.
  • Songsong in Chadpidan Bay is an hour of exhilarating trek from Basco proper (3 kilometres). It is famous for its beautiful sunset view.
  • Naidi Hills is walking distance from Basco.
  • Chawa Cave is for the more adventurous. An enchanted cave with natural salt bed whose mouth opens to the south China Sea and is accessible through the boulders of Chawa Point in Mahatao. It is 4 kilometres from Basco.
  • Sitio Diura at Racuj-a-Ide is the fishermens village at Mananoy Bay. Fishing season is marked by a festival in mid-March called Kapayvanuvanua. Visitors are treated with fresh fish delicacies from the Pacific Ocean. Within the area is the legendary Spring of Youth and living cave with crystal limestone formations. The bay is nine kilometres from Basco proper.
  • Nakabuang Cave is 5.5 kilometres from San Vicente Centro in Sabtang.
  • Mt. Matarem is an extinct volcano 495 metres at its summit. It is eight kilometres from Basco.
  • White Beach at Vatang, Hapnit and Mavatuy Point all in Mahatao.

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Weather

Batanes has a tropical climate. The average yearly temperature is 26.0 °C, and the average monthly temperature ranges from 22.0 °C in January to 28.5 °C in July, similar to that of Southern Taiwan. Precipitation is abundant throughout the year; the rainiest month is August while the driest month is April while having November–February as the coldest months. There is a misconception that Batanes is constantly battered by typhoons. Batanes is mentioned frequently in connection with typhoons because it holds the last weather station in the north of the country. It is a reference point for all typhoons that enter the Philippine area.

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Getting There

By Plane

The island province of Batanes is accessible by air via the Basco Airport and Itbayat Airport. There are 3 flights per week from Manila by SkyJetAir, and from Tuguegarao (Cagayan) by small local airliners (as of January 2013). PAL Express flies to Batanes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday since May 1, 2013.

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This is version 1. Last edited at 7:18 on May 17, 16 by Utrecht. No articles link to this page.

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