History of the Batanes Islands

batanes-island
Photo via Islands of the Philippines

The inclusion of the Batanes as part of the Philippines was only effected in the 1935 Philippine Constitution with the addition of the clause in the article on national territory: “all territory over which the present Government [1935 Commonwealth of the Philippines] of the Philippines exercises jurisdiction.”

The Ivatans were able to re-establish the Commonwealth of the Philippines in Sabtang from April 25 to May 18, 1945. They declared a Commonwealth of Sabtang and raised the Philippine flag, permanently signaling the end of the Japanese Occupation and American regime.

HOW TO GET THERE

You are compelled to take the plane when you visit Batanes from mainland Luzon. Daily flights from Manila Domestic Airport to Batanes are available.

The pre-War 1,250 meter-long secondary airport rests at the foot of Mt. Iraya. You will walk towards a one-floor terminal that houses both the arrival and pre-departure areas. You can cover any town on foot in an hour. Most sites to see in any of the islands may be covered in a day.

In Batan Island, three of the four 200-year-old churches are found. A visit to the local Roman Catholic churches should always be included in visiting every town with a reminder of wearing wholesome/conservative clothes

Sabtang is best enjoyed at least with an overnight stay and leave early the next day. It is the closest you can get to experience the old Batanes. Chavayan is probably the most pictured village in the entire province. It is not difficult to see why. It seemed time stood still in Chavayan with the entire village of old well-preserved Ivatan houses neatly huddled against the foot of a majestic mountain. The waves lull you to sleep here. No cellphone signals here.

To go to Itbayat, you can either take a 12-minute plane ride or enjoy a three to two and a half-hour motorized banca ride crossing the West Philippine Sea.  Expect to do lots of walking here since there is no public transportation within the island. Either you rent a motorcycle or hitch in one of the privately-owned or government-owned vehicles passing by. Water in Itbayat is not potable. Tourists are advised to bring mineral water or buy one in town center.

THINGS TO DO

Photography, Hiking, Diving/Swimming, Island Hopping, Fishing, Biking, Birdwatching, Trekking Wedding

Get that once in a lifetime wedding experience in Batanes as you unite not just with your love one but with God’s wonderful picturesque creation.

Batanes
Casa Real-The site where the Provincial Capitol Building now stands. The original structure was built between the 16th to 18th centuries.
Batanes
MOUNT CARMEL CHAPEL-Located at Sitio Tukon in Barangay Chanarian in Basco.
Batanes
CHANPAN/VALUGAN BOULDER BEACH
Batanes
MT. IRAYA, THE BASCO LIGHTHOUSE
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