Mahatao: South Batan


Mahatao is definitely one of the most famous municipalities in Batan Island because of its several popular tourist attractions. It also is the town next to Basco when you’re going to the southern part of the island via the National Road. Mahatao is divided into four barangays: Hanib, Kaumbakan, Panatayan, and Uvoy. It is the smallest town in Batan in terms of land area but has the second largest population next to Basco.

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Batan Island on Motorbike

Batan on Motorbike

When Rowjie and I arrived in Batanes, we had no definite itinerary and basically had no idea on what we could do around the province. We were staying there for eight days and I didn’t do enough research because we wanted to just go wherever our feet take us. Or maybe I was just too lazy. Anyway, the only thing we knew was it’s cold. And true enough, it was indeed freezing. Brrr. Winter in Batanes!

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Itbayat in One Day

What to do in Itbayat

Half day tour in Itbayat, said someone. WUT? As in WUT in high pitch! After the death-defying three-hour boat ride from Basco,  after becoming a human pachinko ball, after you vomited all throughout the trip, you’re leaving again tomorrow? You must be kidding. Traveling from Basco to Itbayat isn’t a joke. If you need two days to see the major spots in Batan, what more with Itbayat being the largest among the three islands of Batanes.  There is so much to see in this amazing town! A whole day tour isn’t enough let alone five hours. So please, don’t cut your Itbayat stay short.

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Itbayat Island Budget Guide

Itbayat Budget Guide

Going to Itbayat, the largest among the three islands of Batanes, can be a lot expensive especially when you’re traveling alone because of its distance being the last municipality in the northernmost part of the Philippines, literally the last frontier. But hear me, it’s all worth it! Just the boat ride alone is one thing you cannot forget for the rest of your life.

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The day I called Saints and their Families

Basco to Itbayat Boat Ride

Rowjie wakes up at 5:00 AM. It is drizzling and still very cold. He wakes me up. I fixed myself and brushed my teeth. I did not dare take a bath because the water was too frikken cold. He calls the contact person of the MB Ocean Spirit at 5:30 AM; the person on the other line confirms that the 6:00 AM trip to Itbayat is pushing through this time. Yes! We’re sticking to our planned schedule. The trip the other day was cancelled because of the bad weather. At 5:45, we are on our way to the port, which is just a good 5-minute walk from our lodge.

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All the girls in our group were having fun as we rode a paddle board and pretended it was a banana boat. To make it more realistic, we wore life vests. Iggy was pulling the board into the deeper part of Banol Beach while Emma, who was seated in front, was rocking it back and forth. We were laughing as if there was no tomorrow; other visitors we don’t know were laughing too as we all fell off the board.

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You had her at Chori Burger: The Conspiracy

Me and Rowjie were never the sweet type. He doesn’t give me chocolates and flowers and I do not write him love letters. Our marriage was a mutual agreement and needed no proposal and engagement. So when our friend Boom informed us of his intentions to propose to his long-time girlfriend, Joie, we got stoked. Marriage proposal in Boracay? It’s the shiznit! He said he just wanted to plainly do it while they are parasailing in Boracay. Then off we went to Boracay!

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What to do in Siargao Island

Siargao, a laid-back town, has not fully succumbed to the wonders of technology just yet. There are no ATMs, no urban banks, stores open and close early, a ghostown at 7PM when residents are busy watching telenovelas, very rare jeepneys or any other type of transportation, decent restaurants are those that can be found in expensive resorts of Cloud 9, and a lot more. Given all these, what’s left to do in Siargao? Well, I came up with a pretty long list of the stuff you can do during your stay in the surfing capital of the Philippines.

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