Our second day takes us to the island of Sabtang, one of the three inhabited islands of Batanes. First order of the day is an exciting (to others, maybe scary) boat ride to the island on a falowa, a boat designed and developed by the Ivatans for the open seas.
The ride took about 40 minutes to an hour, and it was raining when we arrived. But the weather is just so fickle in Batanes that when we finally reached Morong beach, the sun was already smiling on us and we had a fantastic time.
There weren’t a lot of people at the beach, and it really felt like we were at the tip of the Philippines. We all had an awesome time just looking around and soaking it all in.
On the way to our next destination, our guide pointed out what seemed like a huge rock formation. This is called an idjang, a stone fortress that the early inhabitants of the island built for protection in times of war. I’ve read in other blogs that you can actually go up close or climb the forts, but perhaps it wasn’t suitable for us as we had small kids and senior citizens in our group.
The next stop is Chamantad-Tinyan Viewpoint, which is Sabtang’s version of Batan’s rolling hills. But for me this was much more spacious and I kind of really enjoyed walking despite it being extremely windy.
Nothing much to say, actually, except that it’s really amazing to me that we actually have these kinds of views in the Philippines! 🙂
Next we visited the famous stone houses of the Ivatans. It was really more of a short walking tour, and we saw ruins, and some still completely intact stone houses. The houses are quite small, and the floors are elevated. Inside is an open floor plan, for living and sleeping spaces. The kitchen is a separate structure.
The walls of the houses are made of boulders and corals, and are really thick to be able to withstand the many typhoons that usually pass this province. The roof is made of cogon, and is also about about 0.30-0.60 meters thick.
Our last stop in Sabtang island was lunch at a small hut near the beach, which was a pleasant walk from the stone houses.
After lunch it was an even bumpier falowa ride back. We rested in the hotel and the tour guide picked us up for dinner. We thought that it was a shame that we only had half a day of tours, but turns out the Sabtang tour plus the boat rides can reaaaally tire you. Haha! Hope to write a review of the tour company soon!
Thanks for reading, and please feel free to leave your thoughts below! Coming up is Day 3, our last day, a tour of Southern Batan!