When in Batanes, a daytrip to Sabtang Island should be part of your itinerary. You'll see the locals, trees, villages, houses, animals, food, beach, lighthouses, cliffs, views (even fortresses) and many more! It's very accessible by boat then rented jeep from Batan Island (where Basco is). Check out Part 1 on how to go to Sabtang from Batan or Basco and some things to remember. Part 2 is about what else you must not miss which are two of my favorite parts of the trip - the palm trees and the village of Chavayan! We didn't stay there long but I loved every moment of it while I saw the trees all throughout the island =)
With the coming of the New Year, I've come across one overused (but true) piece of advice from one of my fav writers Jeff Goins. He posted "The best way to create new opportunities is to start saying "yes" to opportunities that excite you, even if you're not sure how you'll pull it off." This is very timely to this new post as I am going to tell you about the dreaded boat ride from Batan to Sabtang Island and how to prepare for a Batanes trip in general based on my experience. Surely, the circumstances will vary because of the extreme weather conditions Batanes is known for which you won't know until you get there but there are commonalities applicable to almost all kinds of travel that I'd like to point out. Preparing your travel gear (as well as reading up) and conditioning yourself mentally by taking note of special ordinary-looking things are just some of the things you can do before your trip to the most remote (northernmost) tip of the Philippines! I'll show you our Day 2 where we headed to Sabtang Island in 3 parts (picture-heavy) and what not to miss during the tour ;)
I was thrilled that I got to try my first Transitions Lenses and travel to Batanes both for the first time last month. I was introduced to photochromic technology at a time when I've conveniently forgotten that my eyes play an integral part in my wandering life. I cannot do OOTDs but I promise you a glimpse of some of the most useful (and comfy) travel gear I've collected over the past couple of years in this blog. I'm happy to say that my new pair of Transitions XTRActive adaptive lens eyeglasses (there are 2 types of Transitions Lens available in the Philippines, see here) made it to my travel staples packing list (you do have one of those, right?)! My short trip to Batanes was spent seeing what's in front of me and my lifestyle (from outside in) in a different light. We were able to cover a lot of places and have that chill island vibe in 2 whole days ;) Here's Day 1 where we toured the places in Batan (where Basco is located in the Batanes group of islands).
There are moments when I'm tired on a familiar trip home and I just take off my glasses to blur the bright billboards and night lights. They instantly turn into pretty dispersed bursts of color like a bokeh without the use of any camera trick. This is one of those few moments that I'm happy to have myopia or nearsightedness. I lost my idea that I have a perfect vision in my 20s and been wearing lenses ever since. In those many years, I must say, that I've never experienced a thorough eye checkup and eye care wakeup call like this one I had with George Optical. They helped carry out all the measurements and specifications needed for my new eyeglasses equipped with the latest Transitions Lens Technology! :)
I got to take with me my Transitions XTRActive lenses to Batanes (and my future travels)! ;) #LifeintheBestLight
We stayed at the newly opened Villa Hontomin in Basco, Batanes just this month (December 2015). It's close to the airport (around 5-10 minutes) and has a beach out front (after crossing the road, Chanarian Beach). It's a nice sunset area with a view of the Basco Lighthouse to its right and a good plane watching site! ;)
Planning to go to Batanes soon? Consider flying SkyJet Airlines! I've heard of SkyJet a few years ago prior to PAL's entry to the Basco (Batanes) route and so, I was glad that I finally got to experience it for the first time on this Batanes adventure. It's a dream for many of us Pinoys to set foot on this group of islands found at the northernmost tip of the Philippines. There never seemed to be a perfect timing for me though until this year to get here. Arriving by a jet-powered plane, as two of the seasoned travel bloggers in this trip said, had a higher chance that our flights won't get cancelled with the unpredictable Batanes weather. I was afraid the December "winter" season meant very cold winds and storms but (maybe we're just really lucky) there was none of that AT ALL...