Thursday, August 12, 2010

Around Batanes on the Cheap

Eight hundred pesos (Php800.00) for a 24-hour rental ain't that bad. Gas included.

This is not a motorcycle

This is not a bicycle either!

I have issues with chauffeured tours. Checking out the sights with somebody waiting or rushing me in every stop doesn't sit well with me. I'd rather take public transport than be at the mercy of the driver moonlighting as guide. I know, local information is vital to fully appreciate the back stories of an old house, church and what-not. In that case, I'd do tons of homework before the trip or hire the services of a licensed tour guide.

But each time I travel, its always on a shoestring, so that makes tour guides a non-issue here.Taking-in the view, having a down time in each stop, is.

So, in the rugged terrain of Batanes, the motorcycle will be my bestfriend!

I maneuvered the bike up to the many lighthouses that adorned the rolling hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean and South China Sea, the snaking roads, the coastal towns, Marlboro Country and Fundacion Pacita Abad Ecolodge where W and I had the best view of the hedgerows and Mt. Iraya.

Mahatao: at the crossroads to Valugan and Ivana

Ivana Town: the gateway to the island of Sabtang

Character Test 101: the unmanned Honesty Cafe

 It's actually an old-school vending machine.

A tsunami wiped-out the village in 1953

communal pasture: enter at your own risk (but be rewarded with the view!)

hands down winner as the best place to stay in Batanes!

There are bicycles for rent if you want to rough it up. Its available at BCTA or Batanes Cultural Travel Agency (it's beside M. Lhuiller pawnshop).

 The Bicycles

GT Aggressor – Reliable and offers enough gears to climb mountains.
· 21 speed mountain bike
· Aluminium frame
· 75 mm front suspension [to smoothen the ride]
· Relaxed geometry
· All Terrain Tires

GT Outpost – Same frame and suspension fork with that of ‘Aggressor’, but is equipped with 24 speed drive-train and disc brakes. This is ideal for customers looking for wider gear choices and better control on the descents.
· 24 speed mountain bike
· Aluminium frame with 75 mm front suspension [to smoothen the ride]
· Relaxed geometry
· Equipped with disc brakes
· All Terrain Tires

The Rates
Entry Level Bike: Php 200/ 4hrs or 300 per day
GT / Vision V Brakes: Php 300/ 4hrs or 500 per day
Vision Disc-Brakes: 500/ 4hrs or 700 per day

Basco, Batanes Office:
Barangay Kaychanarianan, Castillejos Street, Basco, Batanes,Philippines
Mobile: (+63) 916 7632763 or (+63) 906 3766778

A self-driven motorcycle-for-hire is available at Basco Petron Station at Php100.00 an hour or Php800.00 for 24 hours. The gas station, a short walk from Ivatan Lodge and Shanedel's Inn & Cafe, is located along the National Road. It should be easy to find since it is the only gas station in the whole of Batanes.

Next, the rough sea crossing to Sabtang Island


  1. congrats for the streak of published works Jordie! now, that's me envy! :)

  2. will petron ask for your license before they rent you their motorcycle?

  3. the attendant didn't ask for anything except the payment :))


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