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The Unexplored Side of Sabtang Island, Batanes - a guide

This is part 2 of 2 of the Batanes series. 

The Unexplored Side of Sabtang Island, Batanes + Stories and Tips

Foremost, I would like to thank everyone who read and shared my first blog! In this post I will share to you my Day 2 experience under BISUMI TOURS. Sorry! Medyo natagalan puro OT kame. HUHU!

You can access Part 1 of the series here: Traveling Solo in the breathtaking Batanes + Stories and Tips

On our second day, everyone decide to sleep in Sabtang Island (Clingy kame besh! HAHA!). We paid an additional P1,000 per person for the side tour including dinner and accommodation.
Here is our itinerary for Sabtang Island (side trip not included)
  • San Vicente Ferrer Church
  • Malakdang Lighthouse
  • Sinakan Stone Houses
  • Brgy. Savidug Stone Houses
  • Sto. Thomas Chapel
  • Lime Kiln
  • Savidug Idjang Viewing
  • Refreshments at Chamantad-Tinyan Viewpoint
  • Brgy. Chavayan Stone Houses
  • Souvenir Shopping/Picture taking (Ivatan headgears)
  • Sabtang Weavers Association
  • Sta. Rosa De Lima Chapel
  • Nakabuang Cave
  • Ahaw (Natural Limestone Arc Formation)
  • Morong Beach
I know! The itinerary looks tiring (HUHU!) but the tour is only half day. I grouped the locations that are relatively adjacent to one another.

Day 2 tour starts really early! I remember waking up at 5:00 in the morning because the van would pick me up at Nanay Cita at 6:00 AM to travel to Radiwan Port, Ivana. It took us 30 minutes from Basco to Ivana.

Solo traveler tip: I know 5:00 AM is early for some of us, but try to stay awake while traveling from Basco to Ivana because the view is really amazing.

Once you reached the Radiwan Port you will board the faluwa (boat). As per ate Juliet, Faluwa has a U-shaped body as compared to other boat which is V-shaped. Additionally, she told us that it was designed to endure the strong waves of Batanes. Here is what it looks so you know what to expect:

Radiwan Port, Batanes

Solo traveler tip: Waves were really strong during that time, so bring medicine for nausea just to be safe. You don’t want sea sickness ruining your stay in Sabtang Island. Hehe!

Port of Sabtang, Batanes

After the 30-minute faluwa ride, we arrived at Sabtang Island! (YEY). Our transportation that time was not air-conditioned which was nice because we were able to enjoy the fresh air of Sabtang Island. It was like a multi-cab but bigger! (HAHA) Sorry I don’t have pictures anymore. *sad*

Sinakan, Savidug Stone Houses and Sto. Thomas Chapel

Sinakan, Savidug Stone Houses

We started our walking tour in Sabtang Island. Yes you read it right -- "walking tour", since the multi-cab can’t go inside the streets of the said barangay. (Okay lang yan Bes, konting lakad lang naman at mahangin din! :D)

Fitz Balba in Sinakan, Savidug Stone Houses

I was in awe when I saw these stone houses. It was so lovely and amazing.  The feeling is really different seeing these houses in real life. I can still remember the days when I’m just dreaming and looking at the photos online telling myself that one day I will be in Batanes. (HUHU SO MUCH DRAMA! Huhubells)

Sinakan, Savidug Stone Houses and Sto. Thomas Chapel

I also noticed that the streets were very clean. They have these trash cans everywhere which I think was a nice idea in maintaining the cleanliness of the place.

Streets of Sinakan, Savidug Stone Houses and Sto. Thomas ChapelStreets of Sinakan, Savidug Stone Houses and Sto. Thomas Chapel

Can I just say that these stone houses were so charming? I was like.. “Ate Juliet please take a photo of me. Dito pa, dito, ay yun ganito na pose maganda ata, ate lagay mo ko dito sa side na to sa picture” and she was like “Saan pa? dun pa? Sige talikod, ngiti, tingin sa taas” and then she walked away. HAHAHA!

Fitz Balba in Sinakan, Savidug Stone Houses
Fitz Balba in Sinakan, Savidug Stone Houses

Anyhow, I got hungry after that walk (REASONS HAHA!), so I bought this food:

Bukayo in Batanes

They said it’s Bukayo, a Filipino dessert made from coconuts. It was really good! Try it in Sabtang Island. Lol! I ate all the bukayo that I can during that day! (Hahahuhu!)

Batanes -  Sinakan, Savidug Stone Houses and Sto. Thomas Chapel

Lime Kiln & Savidug Idjang Viewing
Nothing much happened here. They said that it was a fortress a long time ago. I’ll let the tour guide discuss more information with you! Also, You’ll have this view along the trip.

Lime Kiln & Savidug Idjang Viewing

Chamantan Tinyan Viewpoint

Chamantan Tinyan Viewpoint

This was probably one of the highlights of Sabtang Island Tour. I just can’t believe that we have this kind of place in the Philippines, Or maybe, it is just me being used to traffic and pollution here in Manila. When someone would ask me the question, "Aside from beaches, what else can we see in the Philippines? I would now respond “BATANES”. (Walang halong eklat or anything! Haha)

Solo traveler tip: In the photos, it looks like an easy trail but please wear at least rubber shoes. It is difficult to climb up if you are not wearing the correct footwear.

The place was quite high and the wind was strong during that day, so you need to be careful when walking! When I said strong, it's something-that-can-knock-you-off kind of strong.

Chamantan Tinyan Viewpoint - Lake View
Fitz Balba in Chamantan Tinyan Viewpoint

I discovered during this time that I don’t like high places + strong wind. I was really scared. My knees were literally trembling! I was happy and scared the same time. I was like, "Ano tatawa ba ako o iiyak?" Ayun iyak tawa na lang!

Fitz Balba in Chamantan Tinyan Viewpoint - Batanes

I was in that spot for a long time because I was so scared! 

Chamantan Tinyan Viewpoint - Batanes

Sadly, I was not able to reach the top of the hill. You can see that steep climb. I was not able to overcome it. It was one of my biggest regrets! 

I was almost halfway, but I started to think scary things like how I’m going to go down? What if I fall? And so on. I guess it’s a lesson for all that sometimes we just need to stop overthinking and just enjoy and savor the moment. (Next time babalik ako ng hindi naka tsinelas! SWEAR!!)

Fitz Balba in Chamantan Tinyan Viewpoint - Batanes

There’s also a store where you can borrow Vakul (headdress), Kanayi (jacket) and Talugong (hat) for a cheap price and have this National Geographic-ish photo (May word ba na ganun?!). If I can remember it correctly, the rent costs around P100. Vakul are for female, and Kanayi for men. (Pero syempre, me, the bida bida that I am, tried the Vakul. Hindi lang talaga bagay saken besh! Hahaha)

Sabtang Weavers Association 
We also visited a small community in Sabtang Island

Sabtang Weavers Association

Sabtang Weavers Association

Brgy. Chavayan Stone Houses

Brgy. Chavayan Stone Houses - Batanes

Brgy. Chavayan Stone Houses - Batanes

Ate Juliet gave us a walking tour and discussed some information about the community as well.

Fitz Balba in Brgy. Chavayan Stone Houses - Batanes

Sta. Rosa De Lima Chapel

Sta. Rosa De Lima Chapel

Morong Beach - Batanes

We had our lunch at a restaurant in Morong Beach. I don’t have a photo, but it was quite festive (Of course, it was fish!). I can also see my tour mates enjoying the food. 

PS: They also served bukayo during that lunch so I ate as much as I can again. HAHA!

Morong Beach
The cave and the arc are also located in the Morong Beach, so my tour mates and I went for a photo shoot session after our lunch.

Fitz Balba in Morong Beach - Panoramic Shot
Fitz Balba in Morong Beach

We didn’t swim during that time, but the beach is also nice just a little bit rocky. Moreover, Ate Juliet showcased her creativity again by directing these photo using panorama. I was so amazed!

Panoramic Shot with Fitz Balba in Morong Beach

For the normal tour this is what Sabtang Island offers.  You need to get back at the wharf at around 2:00 pm (last trip) to get back to Basco. Then you can have your rest and enjoy the city for the whole afternoon.

However, that was not the case for us, since we decided to stay at Sabtang. After Morong Beach, we had some free time.

Solo traveler tip: Always bring extra cash -- in case of unexpected side trips! (Syempre hindi pwedeng hindi tayo kasama dyan! HAHA!)

Oh I forgot to tell you -- we slept by the lighthouse (YES! It was like the lighthouse was ours during that time).

Fitz Balba in Sabtang Lighthouse

Side Tour
After some rest we decided to continue on our journey. We went to the far side of the island which is Sumnanga. We had this fantastic view along the way.

On your way to Sumnanga you will see a lot of goat. Sometimes you will just wonder how do they get there.

Solo traveler tip: If you don’t have anything to do in the main island, you can ask your tour guide to have a side tour at Sabtang Island to get to know the community more. 

Fitz Balba in Sumnanga Fishing Village Batanes

Sumnanga Fishing Village BatanesSumnanga Fishing Village Batanes

Sumnanga is a small fishing village. I think visiting this place will give you a picture of a normal day-to-day life in Batanes. Stone houses were present in this area, but not as grand as compared to the stone houses that you will see in the city. However, there is something serene in this place that will make you appreciate its beauty.

Fitz Balba in Sumnanga Fishing Village Batanes

You can also buy fish for pasalubong!

Sumnanga Village in Batanes

Then we had some good time at the beach. Talking about each other’s life in Manila, talking about Batanes and talking why we all choose to go there.

Then I realized that I decided to go there not just because of its amazing views, but there is really something in the photos that makes me calm. I know it might sound cheesy but it’s actually true!

Afterwards, we went back to catch the sunset at the top of the hill.

Fitz Balba - Sunset in Batanes - Panorama
Sunset in Batanes - Panorama

It was memorable! It was cloudy, but during the sunset the sun showed up. Everyone was in awe again. This is why if you have enough resources, I URGE you to visit Batanes! You'll really not regret the budget you'll allocate for this.

Lighthouse silhouette photo - Batanes

We then headed back to the lighthouse. It was a great night, I remember us using the karaoke machine and everyone having fun. We then woke up early in the morning to catch the faluwa going back to Basco.

As of Day 2, my expenses were as follows:

Particulars Cost (in peso) Cost (in USD using $1:P50)
Bisumi Tour P5,000 $100
Homestay (Day 1) 200 4
Tricycle to Pacita Fundacion (round trip)* 300 6
Dinner at Pacita Fundacion* 700 14
Breakfast 50 1
Other expenses 200 4
Additional Tour 1,000 20
Total P7,450 $149

*These costs can be avoided by just cooking and eating at the homestay. (Kaartehan ko lang talaga yan. Minsan lang naman beshies! HAHA!)

On to the next and final chapter -- South Batan. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog! Feel free to provide feedback and suggestions. And if you do enjoy it, please don’t forget to share! Thank you so much! I enjoyed making this blog! Follow our page as well for updates.

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