The charming village of Chavayan in Sabtang, Batanes

We spent the first week of our 2014 in Batanes, I wrote about our 7-day shebang here, Batanes trip 2014. Batanes is such a beauty in all its nooks and crannies that’s why each of them deserves a dedicated post. Let me start by showing you my favorite part of the trip, our overnight stay in Chavayan, a small charming village in Sabtang island where (most) stone houses are kept in their original state.

the small town of Chavayan as seen from the plane

Chavayan village is nestled against the mountains and caressed by the sea on the other side. Farming and fishing is the main source of livelihood of the Ivatans here.

at the entrance of Chavayan Village

At the entrance of Chavayan Village, there’s a small hut of their weaver’s association with vakuls that visitors can wear for a photo-op, just pay Php 20 to compensate for the “depreciation” of the vakul. A vakul is a headgear made from abaca fiber worn by Ivatan women that provides protection from sun, wind and rain when they go to their farms. Ivatan men wear Talugong.

Gwen doing the mano to a friendly Ivatan, Ate Fely

I was in awe with the rows and rows of stone houses while walking farther inside the village.

The walls of stone houses were made with powdered limestone and corals, the roofs were made from cogon grass. The thick walls provide warmth and protection against Batanes’s hostile climate. Each house are the labor of love of a group of people, the product of bayanihan. Now, some repairs to the stone houses were plastered with cement.

Sta. Rosa de Lima chapel, the only remaining church in Batanes with cogon roof

The charm of Chavayan Village doesn’t end with the stone houses, it also lingers from the hospitality of the locals.

one of the Ivatans beside his home

Ivatan kids run freely in a small plaza, inside the multi-purpose hall, more kids are playing lutu-lutuan and puzzles. No electronic gadgets like DS, Ipads or celphones.

PS: that kid in yellow shirt is not an Ivatan, hehe

Gwen with the Ivatan kids

At night, they pass time by playing chess.

I was surprised to see plenty of solar panels being used here and also in their town proper, Basco. To think that it’s far from Manila, this simple town is slowly catching up with the modern times.

charging their solar panels

Despite the vernacular houses, inside these are modern appliances too, TV, gas range, fridge, etc. However, electricity is still rationed, no electricity from 12 midnight until 6 am.

Tourists can stay for the night in one of the stone houses for just Php 150 per pax, you have to pay additional fees for dinner because your host will also cook for you. We were given pillows, blankets and banig by our host. Gwen immediately took a nap after we settled inside our house, we’re just waiting for dinner time.

As I gazed at the sky at night, I noticed that stars are bounty and shining mighty against the pitch black cloud-less sky. It’s so beautiful and serene. By the time midnight strikes and electricity was shut down, it’s one of those moments that I thank God for this opportunity to appreciate the simple things in life: a roof for protection, food on the table, and love from family and friends.

Comments

  1. Great post! Nagbalik sa aking alaala ang pagpunta namin sa Batanes 3yrs ago. πŸ™‚

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    Badet Reply:

    Nakakamiss no? I still want to go back too.

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  2. Nakakatuwa naman si Gwen, game na game lagi sa gala at bakasyon, hehe! How I wish I could travel as often as you do, sis. Makes me wish I had traveled more when I was still single. πŸ˜‰

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    Badet Reply:

    Malaki na si Yue sis, pwedeng pwede na rin mag-travel. South Korea? :p

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  3. kaaliw si Gwen nakipaglaro agad sya sa mga kids sa Batanes.Reading from your posts seems like enjoy talaga kayo gusto ko din pumunta sa Batanes

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    Badet Reply:

    Go na Leirs!

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  4. That village looks great but the ‘vakul’ is really crazy. πŸ˜›

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  5. Nice to know this village, in my whole life, this is the first time that I encounter such village. Thanks for your article.

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    Badet Reply:

    Welcome!

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  6. Kelan kaya ako makakapunta sa Batanes? Pinakamalayo na napuntahan ko sa North is Pangasinan and Baguio.

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    Badet Reply:

    Go plan your trip to Batanes, it will be worth it πŸ™‚

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  7. Ang ganda nang mga picture you po ate…ang galing at ang ganda ng pagkakuha…heheh…

    Good to your daughter na makipagkaibigan at makihalubilo sa ibang tao…siguro ang saya saya niya…at sigurado aqng hindi niya makakalimutan ang experience na ito…

    Thanks for sharing po πŸ™‚

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    Badet Reply:

    Thanks for appreciating Rhoze πŸ™‚

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  8. the place is nice , i didn’t experience pa to visit this kind of place sans paguwi ko ng pinas πŸ™‚

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  9. I always wanted to go to Batanes, its one of the places in the Philippines that fascinates me.

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  10. I was also able to visit Sabtang and it’s nice seeing the old houses as well as the natural attractions in Sabtang.

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  11. This place is a good retreat house for a serene vacation. Without expensive and luxurious food, we can still enjoy the scenery and be happy. πŸ™‚

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  12. oh wow! love the photos and the place really reminds me of probinsya hehe

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  13. Such a solemn place! It very nice to learn the people and culture in Batanes. I have watched several videos about this place – I remember a self- service sari sari store there where customers are trust-worthy. This province is very low in crimes or I think zero crime.

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    Badet Reply:

    Zero crime nga Jem. If meron man, petty crimes lang.

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  14. I also like how simple their life is there and how happy they are with what they have.

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  15. I like to visit that village too. They don’t have electricity at night? Then the night sky night is definitely a must-see. I bet the stars are so bright and the scenery is ethereal.

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  16. I love it!! Always have wanted to visit Batanes. I love how very local, uncommercialized and exotic the place looks. Definitely on my travel bucketlist

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  17. I never visited this place before and hopefully – in the future, I will be able to get the chance to do so – there is just so much things to see and learn in our own country that you get to really just learn and appreciate it when you experience the adventure yourself. πŸ™‚

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  18. OMG ang ganda ng mga houses. Please post your itinerary and expenses pag punta dito. I hope we can visit Batanes soon.

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  19. Ang gandaaa dyan!! Inggit ako. Gusto ko din Mag-Batanes!

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  20. Batanes always fascinated me! I want to go backpacking to Batanes one of these days.

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  21. Makeda "Grim" De'Jene says:

    Wow you’re really making me want to get a passport and visit! Beautiful pictures!

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  22. Lovely batanes stories. Post more soon! I really enjoyed your photos and reading your posts.

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  23. ang ganda naman dyan mukhang very peaceful. Sana makapag travel din kami like you. Ang sarap tignan ng simpleng pamumuhay lang. =)

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