Ever saw that picture of a beach with an arch in Batanes.

Morong Beach
Morong Beach

That’s the famous landmark of the island Sabtang. But it’s not the only thing you’ll find in the nice island.

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“Nakakahilo”, these were the marking words to me by a friend over our seaside lunch in South Batan, “pero may binibigay namang throw up bag sa passengers”. They were in the island during the height of typhoon Maring and just came back a day before I landed in Basco. I was tempted to imagine disgusting trajectories but managed to divert my thoughts to the deliciousness of the coconut crab in the table. It is however unknown to me if that friend used it.

When next morning came and I found myself sitting in the faluwa, my Perfect Storm expectation was debunked. In fact the weather was perfect, the sun was out, the sea seemed normal, and the locals were mostly standing freehand in front of the boat. Mid way the boat stopped. “What’s going on?”, I blurted. “They caught fish”, pointing to the back. The boat crew was multitasking: navigating and fishing at the same time.

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Fiesta and Balance

An interesting concept to fiestas in Batanes. Fiestas usually meant food feast. But food rarely gets finished the first day. So when I was in Sabtang with some friends, we were treated to a Balance. Balance generally means feasting on leftover fiesta food. Until this day though, I still don’t get why it’s called that. Afterwards we had another lunch in Morong beach hence for that day we had a hefty double lunch.

Going to "Balance"
Heading to the “Balance”

Stone houses and Overnights

The staple stone houses of Batanes are I think most abundant in Sabtang. Plus sleeping in one is possible there too. I do recommend spending at least a night (probably in Chavayan town) cause past lunch time you can have the island seemingly void of day trippers.

Stone houses in Sumnanga
Stone houses in Sumnanga

Chamantad viewing deck

On the way to the town of Chavayan, you’ll pass a viewing deck. It’s actually one of the nicest things I’ve seen in the province. Definitely worth a stop.

Chamantad viewing deck
Chamantad viewing deck

Unexpected landscapes

As with all of Batanes, random sceneries are everywhere.

Lake which appears only during rainy season
A lake which, as I was told, only appears during rainy season
Sumnanga bay
A boy playing on top of a rock under a silhouette sky
An Ivatan at work
An Ivatan at work til the sun sets