Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Everything Else In Batanes (Food, Lodging, Souvenirs)

It was a very early morning flight going to Batanes. I've read that rides can get bumpy. Fortunately, my flight to Batanes was pretty smooth, minimal bumps. The place was bigger that I expected. 

Stone-building airport. Cool.

I stayed Palangud House, which is also managed Ate Fe of the famous Marfel’s Lodge. Palangud House was cheaper at Php 350/night for a single-bed room, common bathroom. It has its own honesty shop, where you can buy food (instant noodles, coffee, junk food). Prices of this in-house honesty shop is actually quite reasonable.

Humble rooms

Pretty basic type of accommodation. Ate Fe charges minimal fee if you cook something complicated like rice or viand. Since I just heated water and fried eggs, she didn’t charge me at all.

Water is available during certain hours of the day so there are drums of water for storage. 
I also left most of my stuff when I spent a night in Sabtang island. I was charged half the normal rate to store my stuff in the room (Php 175.00).

Ate Fe also extended her generosity and invited us to her home because it was fiesta during that time. We had free lunch! Pretty good because food in Batanes is expensive!

Met some awesome people here too who kept me company during some parts of the trip.

In Sabtang Island, I stayed at the dorm of Heritage House, located at the Tourism Office for Php 300/night. If you want their private double rooms (which I recommend over the dorm), better book your accommodations immediately once you land in Sabtang.

I was actually scared to spend the night here because I was the only person in the dorm. But I had no choice.

Food is costly. A normal carinderia food in Metro Manila will cost you Php 40-50 will cost you Php 80-100 in Batanes. There are eateries and restaurants around. But most of these cook “just enough” for their customers. In Sabtang island, a meal of three viands, rice, a drink and dessert will cost you Php 300. Whether that’s breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food is very good. The thing is, you don’t have to eat like a king all the time. Minsan, ang pagkain, laman lang ng tiyan.

Lunis, veggies, rice
Given the accessibility of the province, the locals are very good in managing their resources. They are not wasteful. 

Php 70.00/L

For breakfast, I had instant noodles and instant coffee as my staple meal.

There’s always the de-lata option. Here’s my sisig and fried rice with egg. I bought plain rice from a carinderia nearby. Then I bought a raw egg, then sauteed them in garlic that I found in the kitchen. Awesome with a bottle of Coke.

Most restaurants I Googled needed pre-arragements. I had limited options for walk-in. 

I had dinner in this panciteria near Palangud. For Php 75.00, I had this huge serving of pancit with a very bland taste. I had to ask for some soy sauce just so I can eat it.

Bland-tasting pansit

A housemate recommended STIC canteen. It is located in a school. I got cheap and tasty meals for around Php 100. Because it was so good, I ate here thrice. Twice for dinner and once for merienda. Although this was 20-25 minutes away from Palangud House (per way ha), it was a very reasonable and affordable option.

STIC Canteen

Pansit, sponge cake, boiled egg and pineapple juice for Php 115. Mura na yan.

 Pension Ivatan served some okay food. Probably a good option if you are with a huge group, not if you are a solo traveller. I did like the staff there. They were friendly and chatty towards me. I think it puzzled them that I was travelling alone. 

 Vatang Restaurant is a reasonably-priced restaurant. This resto is near the port of Ivana, so this fits your itinerary if you are doing the South Batan Tour or you are coming from the port of Ivana. Viands cost Php 200-300 per dish. Dishes are meant for sharing so I invited Kuya Dale to join me. Hindi ko rin kaya ubusin lahat nyan.

Lunch at Vatang Restaurant

A stonethrow away from the Port of Ivana is the famous Honesty Coffee Shop.


I ate dinner in Sabtang for Php 300.00 which included rice, a meat viand, a vegetable viand and dessert. The cook/owner of the place chatted with me and she said food was expensive because almost everything is sourced from Batan Island. And Batan goods come all the way from other parts of the Philippines. Cooking gas is also very expensive. She also mentioned that most restaurants keep the prices at Php 300.00, but they make it a point to serve 2 viands and include dessert in a meal. Nice, but for me, I don’t have to eat 2 viands at all times. Minsan, laman lang ng tiyan ang pagkain. It  doesn’t have to be craftwork-sy all the time. 

Food experience in Batanes can be awesome if you 1) have money to fork over a complete set of meal and 2) you've chosen a good restaurant and made pre-arrangements. 

As nice as the province is, I wouldn’t want to retire here. Food prices will likely eat up a huge chunk of my retirement fund. 

Dale – in Basco - 0929-341-0941
Michael – in Sabtang – 09184370551. Contact Kuya Michael for the boat rental going to Ivuhus/Vuhus island.


I saw some “Blow Ur Horn” shirts worn by some tourists at the airport. 

That sign on a shirt.

I got shirts for my parents from a shop I passed by. Reasonably priced at Php 190.00 a piece.

Bucayo at Php 10.00/pc in Chavayan village. Yummy. Got these ones as pasalubongs in the office (no photo). I also got these...bars of some sort, which are yummy as well (photo below).

Was lucky that there was an ongoing art exhibit in the lighthouse. The exhibit featured paintings and sculptures of artists. Some were really amazing. They were selling unique Batanes maps for Php 150 a piece but they ran out of stocks. Oh well, that was probably okay, since those, even though they are pretty, will be “dust collectors” over time. 


 But I think the best souvenir from Batanes  are the memories that you make and the photos that you take.

Pig on the beach. Roaming freely.

A cattle traffic sign.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...