Introductory tour of Batan Island
Introductory tour of Batan Island, The Philippines
Today you will embark on a short tour that highlights the hidden beauty and nature of Batan Island. Your first stop will be at Diura fishing village, a small fishing community three kilometers from the town of Mahatao, facing the Pacific. The village is best known for its gorgeous landscape and the Kapayvanuvanua ritual. The ritual is performed at the start of the fishing season (March) when they will butcher a pig and make offerings to the spirits in the hope of a bountiful catch and safe journey. While you walk through the village you will see freshly caught dolphinfish (arayu) and flying fish (dibang), both common in the area, hanging out to the dry.
From here you will continue on to the village of Itbud where a number of Ivatan style houses still exist. If you are lucky you will find Ivatan's joining together to build and repair damaged houses showcasing the community spirit the islands are famed for. Afterwards you will proceed to the town of Ivana, home to the House of Dakay, Built in the 18th century, it is a traditional structure with thick walls made of stone and lime with a roof thatched using native cogon grass. This Ivatan house is one of the few structures that survived the frightful earthquake on September 13th, 1918 which literally leveled the whole town of Ivana to the ground. It was then declared a UNESCO world heritage building.
One cannot leave Batanes with experiencing the honesty of the Ivatan people, most evident in the town's own honesty coffee shop. Here there is no standby seller and instead they rely on the honor system when paying for goods taken from the store.
Your last stop will be at the Chawa view deck affording you wonderful views of the island's western cliffs and West Philippine Sea.