The site where the Provincial Capitol Building now stands. The original structure was built between the 16th to 18th centuries.
KENAN, AMAN DANGAT
PROTOMARTYR IVATAN CHIEFTAIN EXECUTED UNDER SPANISH RULE IN 1791 FOR DEFENDING HIS PEOPLE’S INDIGENOUS RIGHTS AND FREEDOM
Kenan, also called AMAN DANGAT, was MANGPUS (Datu) of Malakdang in Sabtang island, upon the establishment of Spanish rule in Batanes on 26 June 1783. He continued to govern his people in accordance with indigenous custom laws. Ordered by agents of the new regime to follow Spanish policies, he asked for explanation why he should, but he received none, when non-Ivatan Filipino agents of the Spanish government got supplies and timber from his people without just compensation in 1791, He protested, but his men were put in chains instead. Under his leadership, over hundred leading men from all over Sabtang joined him in revolt and killed seven Spanish government agents.
In the ensuing conflict, AMAN DANGAT and his men were overpowered by superior Spanish arms, and were subsequently convicted and their valuables confiscated. AMAN DANGAT, being the chieftain and leading champion for native rights and freedom, was executed by hanging in late September 1791. And the people of Sabtang were exiled for the next fifty years (1791-1841) in the districts of San Felix and San Vicente in the municipality of Ivana on Batan island.
DIPNAYSUHUAN JAPANESE TUNNEL
Located in the hills of Tukon, this five-door tunnel, complete with a series of chambers, a bunker that serves as a lookout spot, and a water reservoir, was constructed during the Japanese occupation as a defensive position.
MOUNT CARMEL CHAPEL
Located at Sitio Tukon in Barangay Chanarian in Basco, this chapel is the latest built worship house in Batanes. This is the only chapel in Batanes that adopted the stone house which is popular in the province. It is constructed on a piece of land donated by a local resident Isabel Cabugao-Algabre) who also owns parcels of farm lands in the neighboring hills.
The chapel is also the only one of its kind in the province located on top of a hill overviewing the Basco town proper, the airport, the boulder beach, and the Mt. Iraya.
The ceiling was painted by local artists showing the different patron Saints of the six municipalities. The faces of the saints in painting were modeled after a local resident of that municipality. The chapel was officially opened on May 3, 2008.
This is the northernmost station of PAGASA in Luzon, the reason why Batanes is frequently mentioned in typhoon storm updates being the northermost reference point.
The site provides a commanding 360-degrees view of the Batan Island, sandwiched between the Mt. Iraya and Mt. matarem. It is where one can clearly see the quilt-like hedgerows (liveng) of Mahatao with the Mt. Matarem in the background.
- MT IRAYA
Towering over Basco at approximately 1,009 meters above sea level, this dormant volcano is the first attraction you will see upon landing in the airport. To get a picture-perfect view, timing and patience are required since its peak is almost always covered by clouds. It is a challenging climb for mountaineers because of its abundant endemic flora and fauna. It is also the source of the spring water which supplies households in Basco.
OUR LADY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CATHEDRAL
The seat of the Roman Catholic Church in the province, this is the first parish church to be built in the province in the early 18th century, made up of cogon grass roofing. It was also the first to have galvanized iron roofing in the 1890s. The feast of its patron saint, Sto. Domingo de Guzman, is celebrated by the Ivasays every August 8.
CHANPAN/VALUGAN BOULDER BEACH
This place is locally known as Chanpan, but is popularly known as Valugan, which means East. It is a sacred fishing port of the Ivasay fishermen most especially those from Barangay San Joaquin.
The traditional fishing season called “Paypatawen” which starts in March and closes at the later part of May, has kept the culture of sustainable fishing practices governed by traditional laws and customs.
These boulders are said to be evidences of geologic forces from the volcanic eruptions of Mt. Iraya around 325 B.C. and two others around 286 A.D. and 505 A.D. This stretch of boulders and gravel, smoothed over time by the strong waves of the West Philippine Sea and the Pacific Ocean, is the habitat of a variety of marine crustaceans and molluscs.
The Valugan Boulder Beach has been a subject of a number of award-wining national photography contests.
BASCO MARINE SANCTUARY
Marine Sanctuary is a protected heaven of a rich marine ecosystem. It stretches from Tamulong point to Kural, Vavayat, Harund and Malatanyud towards the tip of Chahahas area. Declared in 2005 as a protected area by virtue of a municipal ordinance, this marine sanctuary has one of the best, yet undiscovered dive sites in the country.
The beaches in these areas used to be the hatchery of some species of marine turtles locally known as “seksekan” and “hindug”. Kural beach used to be an alternate fishing port for local fishermen from Tukon, a sitio of Brgy. Chanarian. Fishing boats lined up on the beaches. Each banca, in its own berth, was protected by a rahwung — a local shelter made of cogon and other native materials.
Whether it is to swim, snorkel, camp-out, and picnic or simply to sun-bathe, the Basco Marine Sanctuary is absolutely the perfect place to commune with nature.
This area is managed by the Municipal Local Government of Basco (MLGU-Basco) in cooperation with MLGU-Basco Employees Association (MLGU-BEA).
BASCO LIGHTHOUSE AND NAIDI HILL
Next to Mt. Iraya, the Basco Lighthouse is a popular landmark in Basco. Standing at 66-feet, this lighthouse was constructed in March 2003 to serve as a navigational facility for local fishermen and at the same time as a tourist attraction.
The Basco lighthouse stands on Naidi, which means a former human settlement. Pre-colonial Ivatans lived sporadically in small communities all over the islands which was headed by a chieftain known as “mangpus”. Naidi was the abode of an Ivatan chieftain named Boyas. In June 6, 1782, Boyas received a message from the King of Spain, asking the consent of the Ivatans to embrace Christianity and live under the protection of government laws. Boyas was later baptized as Don Carlos Abad. The elevation of Naidi and its landscape is a strategic location for town chiefs as it overlooks the town of Basco on the east and the Basco bay on the west.
During the American regime in 1920, a wireless telegraph tower and station was erected on top of Naidi Hill. This major communication facility was bombed by the Japanese Imperial Forces upon their arrival in Basco on December 8, 1941. The footings of the tower and other remnants are still visible in this area.
BASCO ROLLING HILLS
This undulating picturesque green meadow on the west side of Basco is an ordinary pastureland to a lot of Idiptan (residents of Diptan or Brgy. San Antonio) farmers. It encompasses several farms from Mahedhed, Maluyuluy, Vayang, Sakaan, Mayahaw, Mayawyawen, and Mapia’s Katakey.
A big part of this rolling hills used to be a public land covered with cogon grass which communally shared by the people of Basco for house roofing. Later on, the government through the agrarian reform program, distributed some tracts of public land to qualified beneficiaries.
The extraordinary beauty of this site was promoted largely by widely distributed photos and much-loved photo shoots. These rolling hills boast of a perfect combination of landscapes and seascapes and what appears to be an endless wave of rolling hills. This is the nearest site within Basco proper where the three major island municipalities (Batan, Sabtang and Itbayat) can be viewed all at once.
Vayang Rolling Hills is also an “overlook” for everyone, especially for nature lovers.
Basco Ijang is located at 20°26’15” north latitude and 121°58’14” east longitude. It is approximately a 3 km trail distance southeast from the town of Basco. It was visited by Japanese Archaeologists in 1981-82 (Sharikahara and Koomoto 1983. It may also have visited in 1986 by Ogazawa.
The geologic formation of Basco Idjang is actually a molten volcanic magma which acted as a plug on an extinct crater. It has an elevation of approximately 100 meters above mean sea level.
NAKAMAYA BURIAL SITE
These boat-shaped grave markers are testimonies to the beliefs of pre-historic Ivatans who believe in life after death. The general direction of the burial graves point towards the sea which man’s final resting place, according to Ivatan folktale. The radiocarbon tests on the human skeletons place it to be somewhere between 355-70 BP.
The most ancient dwelling place in Batanes, believed to be the first landing place of the Austroneians from Formosa in 4000 BC. The Torongan Hill is an area where stone boat-shaped burial markers are found and is believed to be the burial ground of the cave’s ancient settlers.
KUMAYASAKAS CAVE RIVER
It is an underground stream which flows to the sea and is a newly-developed water source for the community.
NAHILI DU VOTOX
It is an ancient settlement with boat-shaped burial markers. Its Idjang has a spectacular view of Dinem Island and eastern Itbayat. It reflects the material cultural remains of ancient maritime people.
The town’s highest point at about 280 meters above sea level, its historical significance is being the other pair of Mt. Riposed, one of the island’s foundations being an old settlement for the early settlers.
One of the two volcanoes considered to have been the foundation of Itbayat, it affords a breathtaking panorama of the different parts of the island.
A natural park comprised of forest, cliffs and rocky hills where bonsai Arius trees abound along a grazing area for goats. A unique formation is a flat stone which lies naturally upon another stone, which, when you strike with another stone produces a bell-like sound. Accordingly, it served as an alarm for the ancient inhabitants against approaching enemies, and a signal for community meetings and for gathering goats.
Acknowledge as one of the most beautiful spots in Itbayat, this is an 87.63-hectare island surrounded by beautiful white beaches. It is surrounded by a rich coral reef which is sanctuary to lush marine life.
A sinkhole serves as the town’s giant drainage, it was explored by a German doctor named Gechard Schmith in 1993 and was found to be around 45-meter deep and has two big chambers with a narrow passage in between. Manuyuk is found to be a haunted sinkhole because it is where the ancient Ivatans threw witches as punishment according to the old justice system.
STA. MARIA IMACULADA CHURCH
Built in 1845, it took more than 40 years to complete and be blessed in 1888 by Fr. Manuel Blasco.
These are combinations of European and Itbayat architecture with thick walls of stone and lime and several layers of cogon for roofing. These Ivatan houses are adapted for strong typhoons, earthquakes and other calamities, and can withstand the hardest winter winds from December to February.
HOUSE OF DAKAY
Probably the most photographed Ivatan house, it was built of lime and stone in 1887 and owned by Luisa Estreslla who bequeathed it to her favorite nephew, Jose “Dakay” Estrella. A survivor of the destructive earthquake of September 13, 1918 which has destroyed much of the town, its shutters and floor have never been changed and has retained much of its authentic look through the decades.
TAMPAN BURIAL MARKER AND IJANG FORTRESS
This boat shaped burial marker is so far the most accessible among those found in the province. It is located a few steps away from the Ijang in Vatang. Its stone design which includes an elongated stone on one end which is the present fishermen’s boat is the Pilot’s seat.
SAN JOSE EL OBRERO CHURCH
Built in 1784 by Fr. Jose Fausto de Cuevas, it is the only church in Batan with a separate bell tower constructed 30 years later. The present façade was built by Fr. Fabian Martin in 1866-1869. Located by the coastal area, it is here where Katipunero revolutionaries commanded by Captain Perea landed on September 18, 1898 to liberate the province from the Spaniards.
HONESTY COFFEE SHOP
An unmanned refreshment store which has become famous worldwide for showcasing Ivatan’s honesty. There is no standby seller, the owners rely on the honesty of its customers when paying for goods taken from the store.
Located in the heart of the town, this was constructed and formed part of the main road of Ivana during the Spanish period as the road leads to the doorstep of the church. It is still being used to date by people and trucks alike.
A cove with multi-colored rocks and white/cream colored sand, which is ideal for picnics, beach combing and beach sports. It is located along the national highway about 9 kilometers from Basco and is being maintained by both Mahatao and Ivana Local Government Units (LGU’s)
SAN CARLOS BORROMEO CHURCH
The first church of Mahatao was a small chapel of light materials built in 1787. When the people of the place were put under the patronage of St. Charles Borromeo in 1798, the church was already stone, it was modest size, and its construction was not impressive, and in 1872, a very strong typhoon destroyed this first stone church. A new and beautiful church was built on the same site by Fr. Crescencio Polo, O.P. in 1873, its design and ornamentation was in the baroque style. Its cogon roof was changed to galvanized iron in the 20th century.
Because of its beauty and excellent state of preservation and maintenance by the parishioners, the church of San Carlos Borromeo of Mahatao is now a National Cultural Heritage Treasure, a designation conferred by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) on 31 July 2001.
SPANISH LAMP POST
Situated just a few steps away from San Carlos Borromeo Church, it is composed of two vertical structures about 30 meters apart which were manually lighted with fire for local fishermen during the Spanish Colonial period.
Erected in 2002, this colonial-looking beacon offers spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean, as well as other parts of Batan Island and its rugged mountain facing the West Philippine Sea.
RACUH A PAYAMAN
Christened by American tourists as Marlboro Country because of its contour, the endless rolling hills, wind-swept communal pasturelands for cows, carabaos and horses are perfect sceneries for nature lovers and photographers.
DIURA FISHING VILLAGE
A sitio in the town’s eastern part where an association of fishermen called Mataw practice the traditional fishing for Arayu (dorado). They still observe the ritual called kapayvanuvanua signifying the start of the fishing season in March.
DISVAYANGAN BEACH FRONT
A row of private picnic houses with basic facilities, it is the best beachfront spot in this part of the town. This place is adjacent to a government-operated recreation building featuring two bowling lanes and a billiard rooms.
CHAWA VIEW DECK
A perfect spot to enjoy Batanes sunset facing the West Philippine Sea where one can descend more than a hundred steps down the adjacent cliff to fish, take pictures, or frolic in the waters.
MAHATAO SHELTER PORT
This Mahatao Shelter Port is a basic infrastructure that supports the twin goal of the fishing industry of the province namely: fish sufficiency and generation of employment. Both are intended to abate poverty and achieve sustainable long-term development in Batanes aside from these the project also sees the potential of feasibly enforcing maritime laws and safeguarding the marine waters and resources of Batanes not only from illegal local fisherman but also from foreign poachers that exploit the rich marine resources of the province.
RANUM NI KUMALAKAL/RACUH-A-IDI SPRING OF WELLNESS
A man-made pool with a view of the Pacific Ocean and Mt. Iraya, it is ideal for picnics because of the spring water which emanates and the cozy environs.
This quaint quilt-like patterns divide farm lots, protect crops from wind and animals, control soil erosion, host migrant birds and other species, and provide wood and reeds for domestic use. They constitute, together with land fallowing and organic farming, sustainable agriculture in Batanes. The reeds are also used as ceiling materials for vernacular Ivatan houses.
Mt. Matarem was created during the Pliocene Period (ca. 6 million years ago) around 1 million years after the Mahatao Volcano erupted. It is now a dead volcano. Its name “Matarem” means “sharp” or “steep”.
Its summit rises at around 495 meters above sea level. It is one of the sources of potable drinking water of Mahatao, also a home for endemic species of flora and fauna, home for the Ivatan delicacy forest snail, and the 2nd highest point in Batanes.
SAN VICENTE FERRER CHURCH
The Sabtang mission was opened in 1785, a small chapel was erected in an unspecified site on the island. In 1791-1841 the mission chapel disappeared and left when Isabtangs were forcibly resettled in two locations in Ivana. 1844 when Sabtang was reestablished and recognized as a mission vicariate. Fr. Antonio Vicente, O.P., was assigned there in 1844 as the first vicar. The same year, 1844, he began the building of the present church. He was there until 1863. The church as it appears today is as it was reconstructed under Fr. Rafael Carpintero, O.P., completed in 1984.
A village which abounds in traditional houses, it is the site where the endangered black face spoonbill was sighted years ago and continues to fly in the area.
Ijangs are ancient Ivatan settlements which served as fortresses against invaders. The fortification in Savidug is considered to be the most beautiful and perfectly shaped in the province.
A visit to Batanes is incomplete without immersing oneself in this village, the cradle of Ivatan culture and heritage. Famous for its rows of old houses, narrow streets, and old sites, Chavayan is likely what will live lasting memories on our visit. Its Chapel, the only church in Batanes still roofed with cogon grass, is a stone’s throw away from the shore and it makes you feel closer to God in this solemn remote place.
AHAO (NATURAL STONE ARCH) MORONG BEACH
One of the ironic and most photographed spots in Batanes because of its rock arch formation in a beach cove, and is an ideal site for picnic, snorkeling and camping.
Tucked inside Brgy. Sumnanga where remnants of Ivatan houses are being restored, this cove boasts of the most pristine corals in Batanes.
An uninhabited islet of Sabtang with a fine coral beach on the eastern side, and the shores on both sides of the channel are bordered by reefs. The islet is use as pastureland for cows, carabaos, and goats by the people of Sabtang.
Located between Barrio Savidug and Barrio Chavayan that offers spectacular view of nature.