I especially liked the views from Radar Tukon just outside of Basco and Ruins of Songsong, ruins of a barangay, abandoned in the 50s after a tsunami struck with disastrous effect. Songsong is a bit farther from Basco on a beautiful beach that would be otherwise dreamlike, but has a ghostly feel thanks to the roofless, empty homes.
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While waiting for the start of our tour (11 am), we had a walk along Abad Street, where the wet and dry markets are situated. The only fresh fish available during this season (February) are these Flying Fishes. Some dried fish hanging in the market, with some local produce: fruits and vegetables.
Vayang Rolling Hills
These are seemingly endless waves of rolling hills. It boasts of the perfect combination of landscapes and seascapes. Riding straight pass the Cathedral, we drove up to Vayang Rolling Hills - where the view is simply breathtaking. The site provides the best vantage point where you can see the three islands of Batanes.At the same mountain range, we went to Basco Lighthouse in Naidi Hills. Naidi is an old Sitio derived from the Ivatan words, "Na" meaning Past, "Idi" which settlement or community. Climbing up the lighthouse, it is where we see the view of the whole town proper.
DDD Habitat Inc - Basco Batanes
Upon arrival at around 8 am, we checked in at DDD Habitat Pension House, its a typical hometel in Basco, nothing fancy basic facilities. Only good point is its cheap price (as low as 600 php per pax per night), and its location which is walking distance to the market.
Next, we visited the - Basco Idjang - a rock formation on a hill which serves as natural fortress, since its facing the West Philippine Sea (aka South China Sea). A few miles down the Idjang Hill, is the WWII Japanese Hideout or Tunnel. At foot of mountain, we stopped by the Boulder Beach in Valugan, this side of the island has spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean.
For dinner we were brought to Pension Ivatan (opposite Basco airport). we ordered their specialty Ivatan Platter - combination of supas (turmeric rice), tamiduk (pako salad), Grilled Beef, Squid, Flying fish, Uved, Luñis, Vunes (dried gabi leaf), Shrimps, and Tatus (Coconut crab); and Dukay salad for dessert. This ends our second day in this cinematic haven of Batanes.
Mount Iraya offers incredible trekking opportunities. I’ve climbed my share of dormant (and sometimes not-so-dormant) volcanoes, but something about the remoteness and simultaneous accessibility of the summit makes this one of my dream hikes. It’s not exactly huge at 1517m, and from Basco you can be at the top in just three hours, but the experience is unique and the fact that not many people have been there can be felt.