Ivana Travel Guide

  • Front View of San Jose Obrero Church
    Front View of San Jose Obrero Church
    by cyndymc
  • Port of Ivana
    Port of Ivana
    by cyndymc
  • VT Flag at Vahay ni Dakay
    VT Flag at Vahay ni Dakay
    by cyndymc

Ivana Things to Do

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    Radiwan Port a.k.a. Port of Ivana

    by cyndymc Updated Jul 30, 2011

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    The first time we saw Ivana Port was when we went to the Honesty Coffee Shop and the San Jose Obrero Church. That time, we witnessed a beautiful sunset from the port. The second time we went there was when we had to get a falowa to go to Sabtang Island. (The port serves as the ferry station of the falowas plying the islands of Sabtang and Itbayat.) Besides offering a nice view of the sunset and being the jump-off point to Sabtang & Itbayat Islands, Radiwan Port has a milestone in Philippines history. Our guide said this was where the Katipuneros of the Philippine Revolution landed on September 19,1898...so when you set foot on Radiwan Port, remember the valor of the Filipino revolutionaries.

    Port of Ivana Port of Ivana
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    Meet Lola Ida At Vahay ni Dakay

    by cyndymc Written Jul 29, 2011

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    You probably remember the photo of an old woman sitting by the doorsteps of an old Ivatan stonehouse. That woman is Floresida (though some say it is Florestida) Estrella a.k.a. Lola Ida, claimed to be the oldest woman on the island; the house is known as Vahay ni Dakay (House of Dakay), declared a UNESCO Heritage Building. That house is probably the most visited and photographed house in Batanes, and in the same breath, Lola Ida is the most photographed person in Batanes.

    Built in 1887, the house was constructed out of lime and stone in the traditional Ivatan fashion. Our guide said it is one of the five structures that survived the fateful earthquake in 1918 and is now the oldest house in Batanes. Most of the components of the house are original parts; only its cogon roof is changed every 30 years (in 1917, 1947, 1977 and the most recent was summer of 2007).

    Vahay ni Dakay is being maintained by Lola Ida. She is not a native of Batanes, but was born in the Visayas. She spent her childhood with her family in Silay City, Negros Occidental. Their family went to Batanes in 1939, and the house was endowed to her father, Jose Dakay Estrella, the favorite nephew of Luisa Estrella, the original nomeowner. As years passed, Lola Ida became the caretaker. As the most photographed person in Batanes, she has become an iconic figure of the Ivatans. When we visited, she was not feeling well but still, she opened the door for us because she said entertaining visitors makes her happy and "strengthens" her. It was evident that her health is failing her, so when you see her, be kind and generous to her.

    Vahay Ni Dakay, UNESCO Heritage Building VT Flag at Vahay ni Dakay Lola Ida Opened The Door For Us Lola Ida Gamely Held The VT Flag Close-up Of Stone Wall of Vahay Ni Dakay
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    San Jose Obrero Church

    by cyndymc Updated Jul 29, 2011

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    The San Jose de Ivana Church a.k.a. San Jose Obrero Church is one of the best preserved churches in the region. The church faces the Ivana Seaport and due to its elevation, it offers a good view of Sabtang island, the sea and the surrounding countryside. Despite its proximity to the sea, the church has withstood the rigors of weather over periods of time.

    San Jose Obrero Church has a foundation dating back to 1795, but it was built only in 1814. It is regarded as an architectural gem, a fine example of Spanish and Filipino craftsmanship, the only one in the region that was not built in the espadana style, and the only church in Batanes with a separate belfry. The fortress-like belfry was built from 1814 to 1817 by Fr. Jose Fausto de Cuevas. The present façade was built by Fr. Fabian Martin from 1866 to 1869.

    As I explored the interior of the church, I couldn’t help but admire the beautiful intricately-laid Spanish tiles. I paused to pray on the last pew, then after a few minutes, I felt a tingling warmth on shoulders. As I turned my back, I was awed by an awesome view of the sunset.

    Front View of San Jose Obrero Church San Jose Obrero Church Viewed From The Road Historical Marker Looking Through The Church Main Door Looking Up The Church Facade
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Ivana Local Customs

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    Fresh Fish At The Port

    by cyndymc Written Jul 30, 2011

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    It is a common sight to see fishermen display their catch on the ramp of Ivana Port. Tourists coming from Sabtang Island, as well as locals gather around to check on what's available. The fishermen don't peg a fixed price on the fish. Interested buyers can offer a bid and haggle with the fishermen. Although the fish sold here are fresher than those sold in the market, they are cheaper.

    I tried to see if there was dorado or lobster, but there was none so I left with a heavy heart. My friend had another issue. As a diver, she was surprised and sad to see an endangered specie of fish being sold. My friend tried to request that the fish be thrown back to the sea but obviously, the fishermen are not aware that they have caught endangered species. Since it is a common practice for local fishermen to sell their afternoon catch there, nobody seemed to care to check if there were endangered species included ;(

    Fresh Fish At The Port Fresh Fish At The Port Pick Your Fish Fish For Sale At The Port Busy Selling & Haggling At Ivana Port
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