hi there Im a researcher of the eartquakes and there will be big
earthquakes in itbayat the 1 april 2013 at 20:00 PM time of itbayat I
dont know who can i contact to let your people know and be safe please
do something thanks
From: Asherah El<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, Mar 30, 2013 at 8:05 PM
Airline Increases Flights to Batanes
SEAIR flies from Manila to Batanes and vice versa every Tuesdays and
Saturdays, and is now increasing its flights. Flights every Thursdays
commence by October 16, 2008, Monday flights by October 20, 2008, and
Friday flights by October 31, 2008. SEAIR will soon have flights from
Manila to Batanes and v.v. every Saturdays, Mondays, Tuesdays,
Thursdays and Fridays. The flights from Manila to Batanes are from 0550
to 0725 and the flights from Batanes to Manila are from 0755 to 0930.
One-way airfares start at P35++ (as low as 2895.20 one-way all-in fare).
The flights use SEAIR's Dornier 328 planes which allow SEAIR to offer
the fastest flights to Batanes.
Island municipality of Itbayat
largest of the three inhabited islands that compose the province of
Batanes. It is also the northernmost municipality in the Philippines,
located only over 200 kilometers from the southernmost tip of Taiwan.
While the church and civil
government were already established
in Batan Island mid 1783, its was only in 1855 that civil authority was
officially established and the mission canonically founded in Itbayat.
A mere pueblo during the Spanish regime, it became a municipal district
when the Americans organized the province in 1909. However, in 1935, it
became a municipality and today it is a 5th class municipality
in the province
According to the 2000 census,
it has a population of 3,616
people in 719 households.
Island is actually a
giant uplifted coral reef, and research claims it’s one of
the world’s largest. Knowing this first time around made me
think how this was possible. I guess that explains how the island
doesn’t have a shoreline and the texture of the cliffs does
resemble a giant coral. Interesting isn’t it? So how is it
like living on a giant coral reef?
We Propose that "Daily Air
Airline" to Mount flights from
Airport into Basco so that Taiwanese Honeymooners, Taiwanese
Adventurists can visit Sabtang Island and Itbayat Island
or Taiwanese Adventurist can use Ferry trips to Itbayat or
Sabtang Island from Taitung's Fukang harbor.South Taiwan Itbayat
Island or Sabtang Island can be a Taiwanese Honeymoon
Someday a Six Star Luxury Hotel can be built in SABTANG ISLAND or
ITBAYAT ISLAND to Cater for
RICH TAIWANESE Vacationers, Rich Taiwanese Investor can built
6 Star Luxury Hotel in Sabtang Island
Hour by Jet from Kaoshioung Taiwan Airport arriving in Batan Island
Airport and Boat Ride to SABTANG Paradise or ITBAYAT Paradise
Itbayat is located on the island's west coast. Apart from extensive
garlic production, Itbayat also has a relatively large pineapple
harvest in June and July. They also have many more coconut trees here
than on other Batan islands. Consequently, one has a better chance here
to sample the coconut crab,
a delicacy that,
unfortunately, may be eaten into extinction in the Batanes.
"Vakul" Bring Some to Metro Manila
virtually crime-free. Despite relatively high alcohol consumption,
especially during the long rainyl season, the people remain basically "honest
are rarely locked except during typhoons, and it is safe to walk alone
at night. Most people are in bed by 22:00, partly because their day
begins at 5:00, and partly because outside Basco, there is electricity
only from 18:30 to 21:30, if at all.
fishing, raising cattle, hogs, other
livestock and some poultry are the main sources of livelihood for the
people of Batanes. Garlic and cattle are the main exports.
only a few can afford to export cattle, almost every family grows
garlic as a cash crop. The high price of garlic in the rest of the
Philippines has made it a very lucrative
the beginning of the garlic harvest, which runs from February
to April, the price of garlic
tumbles from a high of 195
pesos/kg to a low of 30 pesos/kg. The harvest is transported from
Batanes to Luzon by an LST (Landing Ship Tank), used for inter-island
production of garlic in
Batanes has so increased, that the
LST boat occasionally makes a special trip beyond the island of Batan,
to Itbayat just to pick up their garlic shipment.
Did you know
that United States Marines
landed on the island of Itbayat in 1991? The Marines
of the United States Armed Forces were
directed by the U.S. President following a request from the
PHILIPPINES President to assist during a pending
Except during the typhoon season, there are semi-regular boat trips
from Basco to Itbayat Island, several times a week. The trip takes
about 4 hours
at best, in a deep-hulled open ship
made of wood. Apart from April and May, when the sea is smooth, the
trip can be hell on swells for those prone to seasickness.
fare is 75 pesos one-way -(1989 Price)
There are no really good
natural harbors in Batanes, and in
Itbayat there is only an indented rock
the base of the island. The boats will not stay overnight if the sea is
rough or threatening as they would only be tossed at their moorings and
possibly damaged against the rock coast.
Sometimes during April and May, the LST
from La Union will continue on to Itbayat from Basco.
This Beach Located in Sabtang Island
From Basco, one may take the jeepney to Ivana where a wooden motorized
boat supposedly holding up to 25 passengers with cargo, makes the 30
minute crossing to Sabtang, at 10 pesos per head. Sometimes a bigger
boat is used. The first trip leaves as early as 6:00, or when there are
passengers. The next boat leaves at about 11:00, or waits for the
flight from Manila, or, again, for enough passengers.
If the number of passengers justifies it, the boat will continue to the
other side of Sabtang, to the barrio of Sumnanga.
Except during April and May, one can expect to get wet on these boat
trips. Locals often carry umbrellas, against the sea spray; and the
absence of piers means beach landings, which can be rough and wet.
Itbayat Sabtang Batan Flying
photos by Nonie Reyes
and widening of the Basco, Batanes Airport is now complete, spurring
hopes that this remote but progressive outpost in the
country’s northernmost part will enjoy economic growth,
especially seeing tourism boom, in the near future.
Endorsed as a priority by the National Economic and Development
Authority (Neda), the project that started on December 17, 2007, and
was finished in August 2008, cost P29 million.
The “new improved” airport is now
1250 meters long and 30 meters wide threshold to threshold.
Besides the improved airport, the once-sleepy place boasts a
zero-percent crime rate and honest people, substantial come-ons for
local and foreign tourists. According to provincial governor Telesforo
F. Castillejos, they want to concentrate on their Eco-Cultural Tourism
Industry, and having the runway of Basco Batanes airport repaired will
surely help their campaign to project a tourist haven.
The governor added that, “being a typhoon- prone area, they
prepared for any harsh natural calamity. Actually, typhoons could also
be part of the attraction of this province for some foreigners who
visits us and love adventure (typhoon watching).” Imagine
a tourist come-on: come, visit us and watch, not the dolphins or whale
sharks, but our typhoons. "TYPHOON WATCHING TOURS" Call Mr
Giovanni Deetan for itbayat Island Tours and Sabtang Island Tours
Tourism is an emerging growth sector that generates much economic
returns for the province, but, the governor explains,
“preserving our culture and new development is still the main
concern of the local government; that’s why direct people
participation is welcome in all development activities.”
The tourism industry has tripled from April of this year, but honestly
the governor says, “we are not yet ready for a big market of
tourists, we still have to develop our amenities and food
supply.” He says “80 percent of our food come from
Luzon and we don’t want our visitors” to feel
shortchanged in their expectations when they visit the province.
He said they have invited “the private sector to have a look
in our province for investments,” but the governor
doesn’t want the highlands to be casino havens, having turned
down a previous offer.
They are seeking the help of the National Government to evaluate their
contractors before granting them projects in the province.
He floated the possibility of having a Business Process Outsourcing
outfit to give jobs to some of the province’s 16,000
population—most of whom are asking for employment, not food
or education. Most of the college students are scholars, and when they
graduated, 70 percent leaves the province because the opportunities are
few. “But if there is an opportunity here in their homeland
they would think twice before they leave.”
June of next year will be a big event for the Ibatans (locals of
Batanes) because they have launched a campaign called “Come
home Batanes 2009.” This is meant to open opportunities for
the Ibatans outside of Batanes to come home; and also an opportunity to
join their municipal festival that will showcase the best of the
province’s songs, poetry and culture.
WATCHING TOURS" Please Call Mr Giovanni Deetan for itbayat
Tours and Sabtang Island Tours - We also encourage Taiwanese to spent
Weekend in Itbayat Island and Sabtang Island, we hope to see a
PARADISE ITBAYAT SABTANG GOLF COURSE constructed -
Taiwanese Food Entrepreneur are also encourage to Open Taiwanese
Cuisine in ITBAYAT ISLAND and SABTANG ISLAND -- Itbayat.COM
You don’t ever really leave Batanes By Karla
ON my last day in Basco, I rose before the sun did, and almost bawled
as this soft, orange orb swelled over the landscape, revealing all that
I would, in a few hours, leave behind.
I’d leave behind the most beautiful splodge of earth
ever set foot in; a way of life I never thought could still exist.
Even more astounding, aside from its beauty, is that Batanes rouses in
you the ancient, forgotten life core—one free from modern
untroubled by the cold dictates of currency.
Batanes, with its green fertile belly, fuming, fish-filled seas and
massive cliffs, at once stuns and reminds people how the world once
was—and how far from it we have gone.
Of course. The island is 200 km away from Manila, separated by oceans,
winds, legends and typhoons, so no people are perhaps as unfazed as the
Ivatans are by capitalism, and its malls, money and Mickey Mouse.
A hand-written sign on a small town’s wall reminds people
gasoline is sold at “P57/ liter,” and please,
amount only.” In Sabtang, a smaller island 45 minutes away
Ivana’s port, only a couple of stores sell cooked
request. After all, everyone grows and raises his own chickens, cows
and crops for their own consumption.
“Others still find it embarrassing to sell their vegetables;
find it strange to have to ask for money for what grew on their
fields,” Auntie Cielo said as we dug into the escabeche she
placed before us, minutes after we knocked on her door, lured by the
sign that declared it a Food Hut. Her restaurant was not open, so she
kindly set before us her family’s fish dinner.
Even in the island of Batan (where capital Basco is the most citified
in Batanes archipelago), people hardly grew crops for profit, so plots
for each family remained just the right size. Livestock freely roamed
the fields; the abundant fields make up a communal pasture owned by
There are no barbed-wire fences in Batanes, no gates prohibiting entry
in any of the beaches. At the most, there are hedgerows: labyrinthian,
shoulder-high shrubs that are more tourist attractions than property
delineators. They also serve as windbreaks, habitat corridors and a
means to prevent erosion.
Centuries before sustainable development could become a buzzword, these
people had been practicing it.
My theory is that if the rest of the Philippines were as isolated and
as regularly taunted by ferocious typhoons—hurtling at 200
or more—we’d be as civilized as the Ivatans.
In the rural arteries of Basco, near the foot of Mt. Iraya, whose
volcanic ashes once spewed into the island of Batan and turned it
fertile and brilliant green, a neighbor discovered an old man squatting
alone in a tiny hovel. She immediately assembled her own limited
resources to build him a decent house, nothing, not even credit, asked
for in return. However, the island’s perennially salty air
since then eaten through the roof.
We went to visit the old man, and found out he was hard of hearing, and
didn’t completely understand what was happening, except that
the second time in his latter life he was surrounded by strangers
fixing up his home. We were about to introduce ourselves when we heard
there was a yaru happening a few meters away.
In these parts, whenever disaster strikes, people do not sit around
blaming the government. People voluntarily get together and start
rebuilding—a gracious Ivatan practice known as yaru.
When the Spanish missionaries came to Batanes near the end of the 1600s
and exchanged the Ivatans’ gods with theirs, they also
the Ivatans’ wooden and thick cogon houses with the famous
and stone wall structures Batanes is famous for today.
These houses were built, stone by stone, painstakingly carried from the
sea, cooked and stacked and left to dry over extended periods.
To this day, community works, without expecting something in
return—just kinship, and perhaps a hearty meal of native
stewed in vegetables with steamed uvi (white kamote, the more common
food staple before rice came along).
Lust for money
The Ivatans do not lust for money, hence they are uncorrupted by its
effects. In Sabtang, the former mayor was wheeling around in an old,
rusty bicycle—his burnt, robust face seeming content, with
full white moustache and a safari hat on his head. It was sent to him,
he said, by his son working in a hotel in the Carribean.
The provincial governor, we discovered, lives in a modest, unassuming
house, absurd anywhere else in the Philippines.
Public schooling and hospitalization are free. Student-teacher ratio is
at 1:12. The people leave their doors open, their bicycles on the sides
of the road. Gidgeon, a fellow traveler I met on the trip, told me he
had lost his wallet on the streets the last time he was in Basco. The
people announced it over Radyo ng Bayan, and within minutes, he had his
wallet back, everything intact.
One only needed to visit Honesty Café, a tiny store
the road in Ivana to understand the tremendous faith the Ivatans had in
Here, there are no storekeepers.
Instead, there is a cheerful sign on the wall telling people to simply
take what they wanted and drop the prescribed amount in the cash box.
The owners worked in the fields, and did not have the time to man their
Now that direct flights have opened up Batanes to the mainland, it is
disquieting to think of what full-blown tourism could do to upset this
“You must be careful of tourists,” Señor
Spanish painter traveling with us, warned Sabtang’s mayor.
“They are not always good for a place.”
Robert Bastillo, himself a proud Ivatan, is doing what he can as
Batanes Eco-Cultural Tourism consultant to preserve the
“The trick is to get the right tourists. Those who will come
respect Batanes’ heritage, its deep cultural roots and how
has shaped these people to become what they are—people who
marvel not only at its astounding landscape, but at the Ivatan way of
Their best project is the concept of homestays: apart from checking in
a hotel, a tourist lives in a traditional Ivatan house, the
centuries-old limestone abodes built in the Spanish era, and be deep
into the genuine, beating heart of Batanes.
But modernism has set in many parts. Already, more people are
abandoning their 18th century limestones and tough cogon grass for
cement and paint and galvanized iron roofs that the harsh sea would
inevitably corrode in three years.
The idea is to build a tourism industry that would strengthen the
Ivatan culture instead of obliterating it.
Lola Fiorestida, 88, understands this well. She is the occupant of the
oldest stone house in Batanes, the “House of
relatives now live in concrete houses beside hers. I asked her if
she’d ever want to move in with them.
“No,” she said,
her gracefully-lined face resolute. “These walls keep me warm
during cold days and cool during hot days. I wouldn’t change
She welcomes visitors to her humble, little home, speaking to us in
Filipino, English and Ivatan.
I had decided to spend a night in Sabtang, where a good portion of the
houses remained impervious to the more contemporary designs of their
neighbors. I sat down on a low, stone wall and watched the sun slowly
set over the stone streets and hedges, the dark grays and blacks
contrasting sharply among the lush green of the grass.
Chickens strutted everywhere and children played unmindful of
strangers, wearing tiny sweaters, coats and caps to ward off the late
afternoon chill. Fathers pedaled by, their little ones hugging them
The colors, the wind, the ancient windows, the voices. I must have
stayed there for hours just watching, in awe of how everything just
And I knew, the next time I come, I would never leave again.
To be one of the
world’s heritage places does not
only mean preserving historical and archeological treasures but to give
meaning to life, culture and the environment amid the challenges of
modernization that often lead to materialism, environmental destruction
and loss of one’s identity as a people.
This is one of the greatest legacies of the Ivatan tribes that have
lived for many generations in this province but are able to preserve
their culture and traditions, as well as nurture their history and
The province of Batanes is gearing up for the title of United Nations
Scientific, Educational and Cultural Organization (Unesco) World
Heritage Site for Cultural Landscape. It is preparing an information
dossier proving that its measures and programs will lead to
preservation of historical and archeological sites, as well as culture,
traditions and identity of the Ivatans. The province is expected to
submit the document to Unesco this year.
With a landmass of 20,300 hectares, or one-third of Metro Manila,
Batanes is the smallest province in the country. It is known as the
northern frontier of the Philippines, facing the Pacific Ocean in the
East and the China Sea in the West. Because of its geographical
location, treacherous currents surround Batanes and around 20 typhoons
batter the island each year.
Dr. Richard Engelhardt, director of culture and arts of the Unesco
regional office in Bangkok, nominated in 2003 to list the
island’s historical and archeological treasures in the World
When Dr. Arthur Chen, Unesco consultant to the World Heritage Center,
visited Batanes in November 2007, he was mesmerized by the cultural
landscape—meaning man living with nature to achieve the
greatest value for humanity is very much alive in the province. He
recommended that Batanes be declared as Unesco World Heritage Site for
Batanes Gov. Telesforo Castillejos said the Ivatan culture has remained
intact and has helped the island province survive the challenges of
modernization and the lure of huge foreign investments that they know
could destroy the environment and culture inherent to Batanes.
Turning down millions of dollars worth of investments has placed the
life of Castillejos in grave danger many times over. He survived an
assassination attempt in 2008. “…The moment we
change and agree to suit… the commercial wishes of the
investors, we would be compromising not just our environment but also
our culture and dignity as a people,” he said.
Those investors, mostly foreign companies, want to put up hotels and
casinos in Batanes, compromising culture and the environment.
“The Ivatan value system and culture are very strong among us
and we find no reason to abandon them because our sustainable way of
living has been giving us a higher quality of life,” said
Castillejos in an interview here.
The 16,000 people of Batanes are known as honest, helpful, resilient,
peace loving and hardworking. They live a simple and dignified life
amid a harsh environment—Batanes is also known as the center
of typhoons in the Philippines.
Among the outstanding features of Batanes as a cultural landscape are
its hedgerows and sustainable farming systems, as well as sustainable
fishing practices and cooperative traditions.
The Ivatans also exercise communal ownership to pasture and cogonal
lands, traditional settlements of vernacular houses and priceless
“Nobody goes hungry in Batanes because we nurture our rich
natural resources together and we don’t depend so much [on]
the outside world amid the challenges of materialism,” said
While the threats of the global financial crisis have crept into many
sectors in Manila and other key provinces in the country, the Ivatans
have remained isolated, as they prefer to lead a simple life in harmony
with the environment.
The Ivatans until now practice the cooperative system of house
construction or roof maintenance where community members contribute
free labor and roofing materials.
Castillejos said, however, the province continues to endure the
lingering problem of outmigration on lack of enough number of
universities and career opportunities.
He said 45 percent or 675 of 1,500 high-school students who graduate
each year leave mostly for Metro Manila in pursuit of higher education.
“But 90 percent of these people do not come back,”
Castillejos remains optimistic because those who do come back with
college degrees serve the province as public-school teachers and local
As part of its campaign for the title of Unesco World Heritage Site for
Cultural Landscape, Batanes will launch in March the “Visit
Batanes 2009” campaign to promote not only its breathtaking
landscapes and archeological sites but also its culture and arts.
Castillejos said the tourism program does not aim to attract flocks of
tourists and bring in huge revenues but, more important, to entice
cultural and environmental tourists who would appreciate the landscape,
environment, culture and traditions.
The province is targeting only 20,000 tourists who would be staying in
centuries-old stone houses and will be catered to by the Ivatans for a
firsthand experience of the island’s culture and traditions.
Many provinces in the country continue to lure huge foreign investments
by the sheer number of tourists each year, but never for the Ivatans of
Batanes whose hearts and minds remain calm and composed as the solid
rocks of their houses that shelter them against the fiercest of storms Written by Estrella Torres
Balikbayan In Batanes
By Gene and Becky Villano
Many retirees follow their dream of travel in their golden
For Philippine-born seniors based in the United States, this dream
often includes traveling to Hawaii, South America, Europe, Italy,
China, Japan and recently, even Vietnam. A few include the magnificent
views of Antartica in their itinerary, while others look forward to
taking in the breathtaking sights at Machu Pichu and the Galapagos.
Having recently attended the class reunion of UST Medicine
of 1962, we had the rare opportunity to visit the North, touring Laoag,
Vigan and the Banawe rice terraces, and enjoying the cool breeze of
Tagaytay further down South. The visit made us realize how rich our
country is when it comes to tourist spots.
When we heard about Mandy Navasero’s Batanes Photo Safari, we
took it as another chance to visit a remote province about which many
memorable stories have been told. So it was with much anticipation that
we joined a group of total strangers and willingly lost ourselves in
this secluded paradise beyond the northernmost tip of the Philippines.
Words cannot fully express our joy not only at viewing, but also at
strolling through, the quaint streets of Batanes and exploring its many
rolling hills. The landscape of undulating green pastures which hosted
grazing cows, carabaos and goats also extended its welcome to a group
of young city dwellers as well as aging balikbayans.
The treacherous stony beaches, however, seemed to give warning that
although guests are welcome, respect for and protection of natural
resources and cultural heritage must also be observed. It was with deep
sadness that we bid farewell to Batanes after a brief three-day visit.
Like others who have come before us, we stored the parting words
“I shall return” in our mind, knowing that
memories will soon turn the phrase into promise. Indeed, before we
extol the virtues of many other places in the world, let us first pay
tribute to our country’s beautiful sites. Remember that list
1,000 places to visit before you die? If Batanes isn’t there
make that 1,001.
Batanes—With breathtaking sights of wide pastures, rolling
hills and idyllic mountains and the seas, there is no doubt that this
province is beyond compare and ready to welcome tourists who can
appreciate nature’s timeless beauty without the fancy
comforts of a hotel.
government of Batanes announced over the weekend the “Visit
Batanes 2009,” aimed at attracting some 20,000 eco-cultural
tourists each year to appreciate the rich history, culture and
traditions and the natural landscape of the province.
Telesforo Castillejos said the Visit Batanes 2009 program aims to
attract the right tourists who know how to appreciate breathtaking
sceneries, as well as the rich culture and history ofBatanes.
tourists whose ideas of fun and leisure are gambling in casinos and
nightclubs in high-end hotels and resorts offered in other tourist
spots in the country.
targeting visits of eco-cultural tourists and other tourists who may be
interested in visiting places still relatively untouched by
modernization,” said Castillejos in a media briefing here
over the weekend.
Visit Batanes 2009 include competitions similar to the famous Amazing
Race, which goads an adrenalin rush among participants while
highlighting the rich natural beauty of the islands. These include
tours and races in the hedgerows, caves and rolling hills.
government has invited national athletes, celebrities, and print and
broadcast journalists to participate in the string of events to be held
at the end of the month.
the province is the “Raku a’ Payaman” in
Mahatao town on Batan island. It literally means wide pasture, where
the Ivatan tribe of Batanes let livestock freely roam out in the open
Tourism Industry program encourages the Ivatans to be proud of their
cultural heritage and help in the preservation of the rich cultural
Visit Batanes program would not pave the way for the construction of
huge buildings for hotels and resorts just to cater to foreign
tourists. Instead, it will promote the community stay program where
visitors will live in the 15th-century stone houses of the Ivatan
tribes and be able to immerse in the local culture and traditions.
cultural landscapes to be highlighted in the Visit Batanes program is
the Idjang fortress on Sabtang island of Batanes. Idjang is a
castle-like structure at the summit of the hill that served as fortress
for an older civilization.
include the Torongan Cave on Itbayat island, which served an as a
dwelling place of the Ivatan ancestors who are known to have originated