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Showing posts with label Central Luzon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Central Luzon. Show all posts

Sabtang Island, Batanes

Sabtang, officially the Municipality of Sabtang (Ivatan: Kavahayan nu Sabtang; Tagalog: Bayan ng Sabtang), is a municipality in the province of Batanes.

The southernmost island municipality of the Batanes island group, Sabtang comprises primarily Sabtang Island, as well as two nearby smaller and uninhabited islands: Ivuhos and Dequey.

It is composed of 6 villages, namely Chavayan, Malakdang (Poblacion), Nakanmuan, Savidug, Sinakan (Poblacion) and Sumnanga.

Picturesque landscapes and breathtaking views makes Sabtang Island a must visit destination when in Batanes. It’s also home to the most well-preserved villages and culture among the three inhabited islands.

It is 25 mins away from the main town of Basco. Ivana Port is your gateway to the beautiful island of Sabtang. I strongly suggest to come early so you can catch the 7:00 am boat ride for a smoother ride. Boat fare P200 per way.

Faluwa is the boat that is built without an outrigger or katig which is capable of riding the waves instead of going against them.

Depends on the weather the boat ride will take roughly around 30–45 mins.

When you get to Port of Sabtang you have to pay a P50 environmental fee at the nearby Tourism office.

Depends on your tour arrangement you can have a van or a tricycle with cogon roof tour you around the island.

I strongly recommend to have an overnight stay to Sabtang to fully indulge the beauty of of this island and its people.

San Vicente Ferrer Church

Locally known as the Sabtang Church and officially a National Historic Landmark was built by the Dominicans  as a small chapel in 1785, the current church is made from stone and lime in 1844. The national Historical Institute declared the church, convent and the site of the beaterio as a nationl Historical landmark in 2008.

Savidug Village

A small barrio located beside a stony beach.  Savidug is home  of streets and to the Sinadumparan type of stone houses, one the three types of traditional houses in Batanes. Sinadumparan stone houses have two sloped cogon roofs and most of them have identical stone walls.

There are 3 Types of traditional Ivatan stone houses.

  1. Matuab
    • A one-storey house with thick walls made from stones and lime. It has 4-sided thick cogon grass roof (cuatro aguas) and a partially submerged basement that functions as a storage area.
  2. Sinadumparan
    • A one-storey house with thick walls made from stones and it has 2-sided thick cogon grass roof (dos aguas)
  3. Jinjin 
    • Walls were made of woven cogon with bamboo or wood framework instead of stone walls.

St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel and Old Beaterio

It is the smallest chapel in the village. Beside it is an old beaerio or a priest house that has been abandoned.

Chamantad Cove and Tinyan Viewpoint

A stopover and viewpoint for tourists, which showcases Sabtang’s very own rolling hills and rocky cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. You can trekked the slopes of Tinyan to experience the stunning view of Chamantad Cove. There is a small cluster of the shops by the road selling different kinds of souvenirs, food, and products.

Chavayan village

Built inside a cove and surrounded by jagged mountains, this ancient fishing village is probably the most well-preserved village in the whole Batanes region. Famous for its rows of old stone houses, narrow streets, and not to mention having no signal at all, Chavayan village made us experience how it felt like living back in the old days. With no cell signal and commercial buildings, the quiet people of Chavayan live a very simple life. You can find some weavers of "vakul". A traditional head-and back woven gear for women made from stripped leaves of vuyavuy also known as Philippine date palm.

Chavayan Chapel

Also called Sta. Rosa de Lima Chappel is the only remaining church in Batanes with cogon grass.

Morong Beach, Nakabuang Cave and Mayahaw Arch

Located in Barangay Malakdang well-known for Moring Beach and the natural rock formation called Mayahaw Arch. Morong Beach where tourists can get up close and personal with a long stretch of white sand calmer waves, the place is ideal for picnics and camping. There is a canteen near the beach where you can eat or have some refreshments.

Sabtang Lighthouse

The most prominent structure in Sabtang. The lighthouse sits opn the rocky cliff overlooking the rough sea. It can also be seen while you are on the boat going to the port of Sabtang.

Sumnanga Barrio

A small fishing village located at the tip of the west cove.

Lukoy Beach

Lukoy beach is one of those great beaches that people often pass by when doing a tour. For this reason it is called the Secret beach of Sabtang. This is one of those untouched spots. you can view the entire white stretch from a cliff. This isolated and unexploited place is a hidden gem.

P.S. I didn't ge a chance to take a lot of photos due to time strains. I hope to come back here soon and will surely take more photos.

How to get to Sabtang?

  1. Travel time from Manila to Basco Batanes is roughly an hour and 45 minutes by air.
  2. From Basco Airport, take a tricycle to Ivana Port (P220-250/ride).
  3. From Ivana port, take a passenger boat (faluwa) to Sabtang Port. Travel time is about 45 minutes. Boat fee is P200/way
    • Note: The boat leaves between 6:00 AM and 7:00 AM and returns to Ivana Port between 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM.
    • Once you get to Sabtang Port, go to the tourism office and pay the environmental fee of P50. After paying, start your tour. There are a lot of tricycle in Sabtang that can take you to a tour.

Raimer’s Beach Resort & Hotel

Raimer’s Beach Resort & Hotel is the only resort located in San Salvador Island Masinloc, Zambales. A four hour drive via private vehicle or six hours commute via public transportation from Manila.

I got the chance to visit the place when Judith (Punch & Judy) invited me to join their team building.

We left Manila by 2:30 in the afternoon and got to the Port of Masinloc at 9:00 PM. Roughly 20 mins of boat ride going to the island of San Salvador.

When we arrived at the resort we were welcome with a peaceful cozy ambiance. It is tranquil hideaway for someone who is looking for a quick escape from the stressful busy city life.

When we were greeted warmly by the resort owner Miss Merly . Even though we arrived late at night she was still there and waited for us. She gave us a quick orientation and set proper expectation about the resort before lead us to our rooms. The hosts of the resort are very courteous and attentive to our needs.

The food was great. While you are having our meal we felt so at home. The host never left us and made sure that we enjoyed our meals and very attentive to what we need. We really felt that we are valued guests.

The ambiance and t he soft music is just perfect to make you feel relax especially coming from a long road trip. The place was surrounded by art pieces that was personally made by the owner. From colorful lampshades, painted shells and more.

The relaxing sound of waves and wind will surely help you unwind. The place is so quiet, not to mention that the we were the only one in the place. It looks like it was exclusively for us.

Perfect getaway for a stay-con, family outing, barkada getaway and team-building.

In the morning we visited the Bacala rest house and sand bar. The Bacala rest house is a house in the middle of the sand bar. Shallow waters are in some parts of the sandbar where you can lie and enjoy the waive gently massaging your body. You will also be teased with the school of tiny fishes all over the sand bar. Be careful as you walk to the sand bar cover with shallow waters so that you won;t step on bunch of starfish scattered allover the place.

Our Itenerrary

Jan 29 2019 Tuesday

02:00 PM Meet up at Waltermart Muńoz, QC.
02:30 PM Departure
03:30 PM First stopover at Shell station Tabang Exit
06:30 PM Second Stopover at Iba Zambales
09:00 PM Masinloc Port
09:20 PM Arrival at Raimer’s Beach Resort & Hotel
09:45 PM Dinner
10:00 PM Socials

Jan 30 2019 Wednesday

07:00 AM Wake up time
07:30 AM Breakfast
8:00 AM Arrival at Bacala Sandbar and Rest House
11:00 AM Back to the Resort
11:30 AM Wash Up
12:30 PM Lunch
03:00 PM Departure from Raimer’s Beach Resort & Hotel
03:00 PM Arrival at Port of Masinloc
07:30 PM Dinner at Rico’s Fastfood and Restaurant, Olongapo City

Jan 30 2019 Thursday

01:30 AM Arrival in Manila

How to go to Masinloc via Private Vehicle.

From Manila take North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) heading north and Exit at NLEX Dau Toll Plaza (Exit 50) that leads to Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX).

Proceed along this highway towards SCTEX Toll entrance. Watch for the Hi-way Sign to SUBIC to your LEFT after the SCTEX toll.

Take the SUBIC TIPO Expressway to SBMA.Inside SBMA watch for the road signs to ZAMBALES.

You can refer to the Zambales map and take advantage of the short cuts (map triangles) in Zambales particularly in San Marcelino and Iba. You can bypass several towns like San Antonio, Palauig and Masinloc town proper and save several minutes look for Masinloc Mall and park your car within the area. And walk to Masinloc Port which is at The back of the Mall. Please follow our departure time for Free Boat Transfers.

How to reach Masinloc via Commute: 

  1. Ride a Victory Liner bus at Caloocan Terminal to Sta Cruz Zambales and ask for the Bus to Drop you off Masinloc. 
  2. Walk to Masinloc Port which is at The back of the Mall. Please follow our departure time for Free Boat Transfers. 
  • From Subic: Take the SCTEX Olongapo Station bus for fast travel and hop on a Van to Sta. Cruz. 

Notes about the resort 

  • Resort provide a promo of complimentary boat transfer from port of Masinloc going to San Salvador island for group of 10 persons above.
  • Corkage fee applies for bringing in foods & drinks that are not coming from the resort’s restaurant & bar.
  • Practice ClayGo. You may be fine of P1000.00 for each violation
  • Electricity is available but please conserve power. San Salvador Island is an eco-protected island and its electricity is minimal and powered by wires and cables directing from the town of Masinloc. In case of power outage generators are available for limited time.

How to contact Raimer’s Beach Resort & Hotel?
Cell: +09453902462
Facebook : Raimer’s Beach Resort & Hotel
Contact Number : 09453902462 /09088385314 from 10 AM to 7PM

Things to visit of Masinloc, Zambales

If you have spare time and if you are into nature, don;t forget to visit this palces.You can include this to your itinerary to make your whole travel experience worth it.
  • San Salvador Island – This island, locally known as “Pulo”, is one of the largest among the strips of small islands in Masinloc.
  • Bacala Guest House and Sandbar – another small islands in Masinloc, you will see this structure that sits in the middle of the sea. It also have a white sandbar that you Can explore during low-tide.
  • “Tridacna Gigas” – known as Giant Clam Farm or “Taclobo”. It is an eco reserve system has been a destination spot for adventurers . Perfect place for snorkeling. It caters the giant clams, different species of marine life and corals .
  • The Giant Mangrove Farm – This giant Mangrove-formed island known as “Yaha” in San Lorenzo, Masinloc is one of the two sites in the Philippines where rare hybrid mangroves can be found.
  • Coto Waterfalls and Kidz Pool – A nature designed swimming pool that lies within a mountain terrain in Coto, Masinloc. A good destination for camping and picnic in groups.
  • Pawikan and other Marine Species – For nature and marine seekers, you can have a sight of some of the endangered sea turtles abound in Sitio Longos, Brgy. Bani where these sea creatures freely lay their eggs. Among other marine species abundant in the area include yellow fin, skip jack, squid, octopus, lapu-lapu, Spanish mackerel, and seaweeds.


  • Masinloc is known for its abundant harvest of premium quality “Carabao” mangoes. Its quality mangoes are globally known for their sweetness.
  • The municipality of Masinloc is a smoke-free town making everyone who stays and visits the place enjoy fresh and clean air.
  • You to inform the tourism office for your visit. Echo tour package should have a minimum of 10 participants. They also discourage solo backpackers/travelers because of the expenses and environmental impact.

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