Batan. Batanes Group of Islands (Part 1 of 2)

Our tour of the northern section of Batan Island started with a lunch at a nearby restaurant. The tour van brought us to Octagon Bed and Dine Lodge which is just a few meters from where we’re staying (Marfel’s Lodge – Annex). The restaurant is an eight-sided hall adorned with wood carvings, some depicting the Ivatan way of life. The restaurant has a viewing deck which offers a great view of the Basco Jetty, the lighthouse at Naidi Hills, and the town proper. It also offers a perfect view of the the Batanes sunset.

Entrance to Octagon Bed and Dine Lodge
Entrance to Octagon Bed and Dine Lodge
A wooden carved signage
A wooden carved signage
Wooden carved decor of an Ivatan woman with a Vakul
Wooden carved decor of an Ivatan woman with a Vakul
Basco sunset as seen from Octagon Restaurant Viewing Deck
Basco sunset as seen from Octagon Restaurant Viewing Deck

Octagon Restaurant serve popular Filipino dishes. It is open to serve breakfast and dinner as well.

After lunch, we continued off with the tour. The pictures below capture some of the spots included in the North Batan Tour.

Tukon Chapel

The lovely chapel of Mt. Carmel at Tukon Hill
The lovely chapel of Mt. Carmel at Tukon Hill
A chapel with a view of the Pacific Ocean
A chapel with a view of the Pacific Ocean

Tukon Radar Station

A view at Tukon Radar Station
A view at Tukon Radar Station

Fundacion Pacita

Colorful Signboards
Colorful Signboards
Fundacion Pacita
Fundacion Pacita

The lodge was fully occupied that time. Non-guests were not allowed to enter Fundacion Pacita. We just content ourselves with a photo of the lodge from afar.

We then went off to the Japanese Tunnel.

A Second World War Tunnel and Hideout for Japanese soldiers
A Second World War Tunnel and Hideout for Japanese soldiers

It has an awesome view of Mt. Iraya and the Basco air strip. Eastward, the van took us to a wonderful beach in Valugan. Far different from other beaches, Valugan Boulder Beach is a bed of big smooth rocks which came from Mt. Iraya during one of its eruptions, several hundreds of years ago.

A beach of smooth colorful volcanic stones spewed by Mt. Iraya
A beach of smooth colorful volcanic stones spewed by Mt. Iraya

This is one of the best spots to capture the sunrise in Batanes. From Valugan, we headed back to Basco town proper. We passed by the Basco Cathedral.

Also called as the Church of the Immaculate Conception or Basco Cathedral
Also called as the Church of the Immaculate Conception or Basco Cathedral

Basco Cathedral is also known as the Sto. Domingo Church or the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The Basco town fiesta is celebrated every August 8 in honor of Sto. Domingo de Guzman.  The highlight of the fiesta is the cultural presentation and the Palu-palo Festival.

A few kilometers from the town proper is the Vayang Ranch.

Lovely Rolling Hills of Vayang. Grasslands with hedgerows are common sights in Batan Island
Lovely Rolling Hills of Vayang. Grasslands with hedgerows are common sights in Batan Island

It is a stretch of green rolling hills, a pasture land at the foot of Mt. Iraya.

At Naidi Hills
At Naidi Hills

Near the lighthouse are several ruined structures built during the American period. The structures were telegraph facilities before. Some are converted into dining places,the nearest of these to the lighthouse is Bunker’s Cafe which is open during peak season only.

Almost sunset silhouettes
Almost sunset silhouettes

Naidi Hills offer a spectacular view of the sunset in Basco. The light house itself is the most photographed among all the spots in Batanes. Naidi Hills can be reached by bike or foot as it is only a little more than 1 kilometer from the town proper.

Open the door and explore the world
Captivating Sunset at Naidi Hills

The sunset at Naidi Hills is a perfect way to end the North Batan Tour.

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