Virtually untouched and unspoilt by the ravages of time and man-made technology, the province of Batanes in the northernmost tip of the Philippines, is one of the country’s well-kept wonders.
Each of its ten islands offers dramatic cliffs and amazing rock formations overlooking wide terrains of grass fields. Houses are built using limestones rocks to guard against the onslaught of several typhoons.
Main attractions include the Chavayan Heritage House, the church in Sabtang, House of Sakay and the ruins of Sungsung among others.
Batanes also attracts tourists thanks to the rich Spanish influence that is still visible in the province’s many churches including the San Jose Obrero Church in Ivana, Sabtang; San Carlos Borromeo Church in Mahatao (1873); Sto. Domingo Cathedral in Basco (the oldest built in early 18th century); and, Sta. Maria Immaculada (1845) in Itbayat.
As a province isolated from the mainland Luzon, the people of Batanes called the Ivatans live peaceful, simple lives with farming their main source of livelihood.
But despite its natural wonders, Batanes remains a far less popular destination among local and foreign travelers mainly because of the lack of available flights flying from Manila to its capital city of Basco. At present, local airline Seair flies to Basco but it could not completely accommodate the growing demand for flights to Batanes.
All that is about to change as another flight service commences its flights to Basco beginning this month.
Starting April 8, Skyjet will operate flights to Basco, Batanes three times a week at affordable rates in order to boost the tourism industry of the province, while catering to the demands of local and foreign travelers who wish to experience a combination of natural wonder and rich cultural heritage that Batanes offers.
Joel Mendoza of SkyJet and the director of the Batanes Cultural Travel Agency (BCTA), revealed that the Skyjet planes purchased from the United Kingdom “are built for short and unpaved runways like the 1,200 meter airstrip of the Basco airport.
Skyjet manufacturer BAe Systems, is a British-registered company that also produces the air crafts for use of the British Royal family, British airlines, Lufthansa and other Europe-based airlines.
Meanwhile, BCTA is also offering affordable packages that cater to various classes in order to further boost the tourist arrivals in Batanes.
Here are their packages