South Batan Island Tour (Part 1)
Mahatao is one of the six municipalities of Batanes, next to its capital, Basco. For the 2nd day of our trip, we toured around Mahatao in the morning and the municipality of Ivana and Uyugan in the afternoon.
Here are the places we visited:
Photos by Abril Carpio & Aubrey Dela Cruz
- Chawa View Deck
Chawa View Deck is located along the mountainside on the west coast of Mahatao. It is facing the West Philippine Sea and offers a great view of the ocean and cliffs. There is a P50 fee for each tourist on top of the tour package, which you will pay to the tourism staff on duty. There are chairs where guests can sit and enjoy the sight.
You can also take the concrete stairs to reach the rocky coast below. Our guide said we can swim but no, we just didn’t feel like swimming at that time. Besides, can you see those rocks? They’re pretty sharp and rough, I was afraid I’d smash on those when the strong waves hit me haha!
- Mahatao Boat Shelter Port
This port was built to shelter the boats in the island during typhoons. Inaugurated in 2007, it is a necessity due to the average of 12 typhoons that pass by the province each year. The turquoise, serene blue water within the port is in contrast with the forceful waves outside.
- San Carlos Borromeo Church
Constructed in 1873, the church is declared as a national cultural treasure by the National Museum and National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). Also known as Mahatao Church, it was originally made out of cogon and woods and has undergone several modifications to withstand disasters. The interior is decorated with floral design and sunburst ornaments.
Outside is a miniature version of the church. I felt like Godzilla with this teeny tiny figures.
- Tayid Lighthouse
A lighthouse is an icon of Batanes;.The oldest one in the province was built in the 1700s near Mahatao Church. They used to put lamps, which serve as guide to seafarers at night. One of the 3 functional lighthouses in the province constructed in the early 2000s is Tayid Lighthouse in Mahatao. Nestled on a hill, it is facing the Pacific Ocean and on the left side is the active volcano, Mt. Iraya. The main tower is hexagonal and the top is painted red.
We had to make a few meters walk to the lighthouse from the spot where our van dropped us off. The place was windy and we were greeted with a magnificent view. There was a lady when we arrived who goes there regularly to water the plants and flowers and maintain the lawn. She was wearing a headgear called Vakul. Used since the early days to protect the Ivatans from heat and rain, Vakuls are worn by women and its counterpart is called Talugong worn by men. Made from abaca fibre and vucavuy palm, Vakuls are uniquely Ivantan and can only be found in Batanes.
More of South Batan on the next post!