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The top 20 tourist attractions in Batanes of this article are the most sought after spots to make great selfies for travellers. Batanes is after all, almost everyone’s dream destination and this article is about the top 20 must selfie shots to take if you happen to visit this photogenic place. If you are looking for a serene, tranquil place, where you can pause, relax, appreciate nature, experience the splash of the sea waves, and the simple joys of rural living, then Batanes would be the best travel option.
My husband and I had been dreaming to visit this so-called paradise. We actually included this spectacular place in our travel bucket list. Who would have thought that such dream would become a reality when we finally set foot on Batanes on May 21 to May 23, 2016 with our dear Tita Edith and group of friends at the Supreme Court.
Ate Sarah, our tour guide, introduced to us the basic information about the Batan Island, deemed the most populated island of the province. It has four (4) municipalities namely Basco, Ivana, Mahatao and Uyugan. Basco is the center of commerce and the seat of the provincial government. The nearest inhabited island is Sabtang Island. Whereas, Itbayat Island is situated in the northernmost part of the region.
We are grateful and blessed to have explored and experienced Batanes’ breathtaking sights, bouldered beaches, centuries-old stone structured houses and churches, and other natural wonders and this article was prepared because we want you to enjoy them too. But of all the sights in Batanes, which particular sights should a traveler not miss to have their pictures taken with? We listed here the top 20 tourist attractions in Batanes you should include in your selfie bucket list.
1 Basco Airport Terminal
The unique Ivatan architecture of the airport will mesmerize tourists upon touchdown. The airport is a breath of fresh air because of its refreshingly different architectural structure, characterized by lime, stone, wood and thatch and constructed to withstand the harsh and unpredictable climate of the northern islands of the Philippines.
Upon arrival at the Basco Airport, Ate Jing Pacapac of the Father’s Inn welcomed us with a cheerful smile and showed us the unwavering hospitality of the Ivatans. She introduced us to Ate Sarah, our tour guide, and to Kuya Boy, the service van chauffer.
2 Chawa View Deck
We began touring the Batan Island at 9:00 in the morning. Our first destination was the Chawa View Deck. It usually is the first stop of the Batan Tour, one of the three most popular tours in Batanes — North Batan, South Batan, and Sabtang. The view, which overlooks the western cliffs of Batan and West Philippine Sea allows the traveler a glimpse of what to expect from the tour. The Chawa View Deck is located on the West coast of the town of Mahatao. From this vantage point, one can expect a gorgeous view of the western cliffs of Batan Island.
3 Diosdado Macapagal-Jorge Abad Sr. Boat Shelter Port
The next in the tour list is the Diosdado Macapagal-Jorge Abad, Sr./DUIRA Boat Shelter Port in Mahatao. This P130 Million boat shelter port was inaugurated in 2007 and was built to protect fishing and passenger vessels during inclement weather, which is frequent in the province of Batanes.
This port is the loading and unloading area for vessels going to and from Itbayat Island.
4 San Carlos Borromeo Church
Then, we visited the San Carlos Borromeo Parish Church, a Roman Catholic church in Mahatao, Batan Island, with St. Charles Borromeo as its patron saint. It was listed as National Culture Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines in 2001.
Within the vicinity are miniature stone structured church and houses where we took some photos with. Beside the church is the Blank Book Archive. It is a chamber of secrets where guests can write down their thoughts.
5 Alapad Pass/Imnajbu Point
We passed the very unique Alapad Pass also known as Imnajbu Point, a road cuts through a low-lying hill leaving a rugged sculpture by a road side. In Batanes, road passages with dangerous curves do have this signage – Blow Ur Horn. All motorists here in Batanes are disciplined enough to follow this for their safety. The site was also popularized by the famous 1990’s Filipino movie “Hihintayin Kita Sa Langit” by Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta.
6 Song Song Ruins
We also passed by Song Song Ruins, a ghost barangay which is a cluster of roofless shelter stone houses abandoned after a tsunami struck the Batan Island in 1950s. As narrated by our tour guide, Ms. Sarah, the residents of this barangay were relocated in Mindoro and Mindanao areas during the administration of President Ramon Magsaysay.
7 Valugan Boulder Beach
We loved the breath-taking view of the Pacific Ocean at the Valuyan Boulder Beach. Big waves welcomed us as we arrived near the numerous enormous stones spewed by Mt. Iraya in 400 AD. These igneous stones become smooth as time passes due to wave water flowing in the shore.