Basco the capital of the Batanes Islands of the Philippines is located at the Batan Islands in the northernmost island of the Philippines. It is divided into six barangays namely; San Antonio, Coral, Hago, Tuva, Diojango, Canalaan, Honaan, and Dimnalamay. It houses the domestic airport, Basco Airport, as the gateway access from Manila or Clark for its local and foreign visitors. Batanes Island is known as one of the beautiful places, one of the smallest in population and the smallest area in the Philippines. Its beauty is overwhelming and vulnerable because of its semi-temperate type of weather due to its location so it is called “Home of the Winds”. The nice, honest, and hospitable Ivatans led a very simple life. Inspiring visitors that a simple lifestyle plus the beauty of nature without the internet and social media is possible to achieve the so-called perfect life. You’ll know once you get there that simplicity is the answer to everything.
1. Fun and Culture Learning at Kulay FestivalFiesta in the Philippines is always something to look forward to and Basco wouldn’t be last on the list as it celebrates its week-long celebration of the lively Kulay (anything fried) Festival in the month of June. These festivals highlight the culture and history of Ivatans through parades, preserved food fairs and bazaars, sports competitions, beauty pageants, traditional games and cultural presentations plus amazing shows for everyone. If you happen to be there at Christmas, you’ll get an extra bonus due to its perfect Christmas cold weather. They have a lot of events during the holidays and it’s the place to have fun and learning too.
2. The Charming Life of the IvatansThe people of Batanes are called Ivatans. They are an Austronesian group and related to the Ilocanos on linguistic similarity. The Ivatans have adapted strategies to conquer the harsh weather conditions especially during the months of the rainy season. Their stone houses are designed to protect them against the adverse effects of typhoons. They study the behavior of animals, the color of the skies to predict the weather. They mostly plant root crops for survival and preserve meat that will last for months. The iconic grass headgear protects them from severe weather conditions. The Ivatans are so self-sufficient that even without electricity they can still fry their amazing dishes. They are known for being honest and it’s such an admirable human value.
3. Best Foods in the Paradise of the NorthIf you happen to be in Basco, Batanes during the month of March to April, do not miss the flying fish or “dibang” and the dolphinfish or “arayu”. This fish best grilled with lettuce and tomatoes grown organically. You must and you should try the Batanes Coconut Crab or “tatus”. It’s one of the best cuisines of the Ivatans. It is mostly cooked with coconut milk making it a creamy dish that will surely delight your taste buds. After eating the main dishes, a sweet dessert such as the native delicacy of Batanes will surely perfect your sumptuous meal. Try the “uvod” made from banana stalks and mixed with ground meat.
Basco Tourist Spots
1. Starry Night at Basco LighthouseThe Basco Lighthouse is just 1 kilometer away from the center of Basco. The lighthouse is well-preserved and its a guide to all the passing ships. It offers a magnificent view of the West Philippine Sea, the northern part of Batanes. The place is full of natural sceneries and it is the best spot to watch the breathtaking sunset. Visitors can freely go inside and climb the lighthouse for a panoramic view. It’s simply breathtaking. It has been said that this is the perfect location for spotting the best night sky and to have a glimpse of the starry milky way.
2. Behind the Photos of the Vayang Rolling HillsGet ready to feel the fresh air and roll! The hills can really make you roll, but it won’t be a problem since the place is very clean. The endless wave of green hills, natural landscapes, panoramic view, cool sea breeze, and dramatic seascapes, are a perfect combination making it possess an extraordinary beauty. Perfect for all photography ideas and just be prepared to be windswept, relax, stroll around the hills, and commune with the wonder of nature. It is one of the most photographed places in Batanes Island so its a must that you should compare it with the photos and being there personally.
3. Fun and Challenging Trails with the King Mount IrayaUpon setting your feet in the land of the Basco, King of Batanes will welcome you happily. Oftentimes, he gets too shy and he covers himself with clouds. Though he is shy, he is already admired by many and you can spot him anywhere in the Basco Town Proper. The King is worth seeing through hiking the mountain for 2-3 hours to reach its beautiful summit. You must be in good shape and you should have a guide to get to the top. It’s pretty tough and challenging for some, but it will definitely reward you with the windy views of the Islands of Sabtang and Batan, South China Sea and the Pacific ocean. The excellent view is majestic. You will surely be glad you take the challenge and climb this majestic mountain. The climb may not be for beginners due to its extremely difficult trail.