Province of Batanes Local Customs

  • Hedgerows in Verdant Hills
    Hedgerows in Verdant Hills
    by cyndymc
  • Rakuh
    by paolodecastro
  • Me taking my picture in  the oldest Ivatan House
    Me taking my picture in the oldest...
    by paolodecastro

Province of Batanes Local Customs

  • Learn more About RAKUH

    Did you know that the Ivatan house is called.............RAKUH...:)An Ivatan house as they said is built with limestone or corals as walls, reeds and cogon grass for their roofs which can withstand earthquakes and typhoons which frequently visits the Island of Batanes.Did you also know that the Ivatan House only has three (3) walls which has...

  • Be curious with the Nakamaya

    I haven't seen it in Batanes......I just read this on a magazine.......They said that this is the site of the boat-shaped burial markers of the ancient Ivatans. They can only be found in Batanes and is said to be like those in Europe where Viking Kings once dominated.........If you happen to visit Batanes.....Please make a research and have a...

  • Brush Up a few Ivatan Language

    The Ivatans language is Chirin nu Ibatan.......or simply Ivatan......did you know that?When you plan to go here....much better if you can say a few of their can see it their Welcome arch...but do you know what does that mean?...It simply means....."God will repay"...but this is how the Ivatans...

  • Get to Know the Ivatans

    Mingle with the Locals........they are very kind...and pure-hearted....I can attest to that....;)As they said the Ivatans are peaceful (one proof is that there is a ZERO crime rate in Batanes),friendly...(very...I have seen that) and hospitable people (very true). Many of them are farmers and fisherfolk (visit the fisherman's village) and their...

  • definitely the best POLICY

    The Honesty Shop...whatelse......I once saw it in TV before.......and it is very different now...maybe has become the most famous shop here in Batanes....a tourist they have Upgraded...;D their store......The shop without the vendor/owner this is one of a kind shop in the whole country.....;DThis just shows that the...

  • Honesty Prevails

    Ivatans are generally honest people and they expect the same from others. They are very trusting, leaving the doors and windows of their houses open while in their workplace. Even with the presence of tourists walking around their village, Ivatans leave their homes open, trusting that nothing will be lost when they come back. This is the very...

  • Multi-Purpose "Tangkal"

    From the Japanese tunnel, I was intrigued by the sight of a unique sled on the road. I asked our guide what it was, and he said it was "tangkal", a utility sled that Ivatans use primarily to carry water containers for their animals. The sled is designed to be easily pulled on the roads and the slopes of pasture lands. Sometimes, a small child who...

  • Unique Ivatan Cuisine

    Though you might not be used to the ingredients or the cooking method, the aroma, food texture and taste will tempt you to try their unique but healthy Ivatan cuisine. Some of the native food we tried were: Yellow Rice: It is rice (usually the sticky variety) cooked with the extract of turmeric (yellow ginger that abounds in Batanes) and pork...

  • Simple, Good-natured & Hardworking...

    Ivatans live a simple life and can do away with material comforts usually accompanying modern living. They are gentle people, friendly, peace-loving and polite. It comes natural for Ivatans to greet strangers/tourists with a warm "Good morning" (or afternoon/evening as the case may be), often with a smile. They say goodbye wishing the visitors a...

  • Ivatan Stonehouses

    Don't be surprised, but the traditional Ivatan houses in Batanes are not only for show. Many locals still live in well-maintained old houses built with lime and stones, using thatched cogon grass for roofing and reeds for the ceiling. Our guide explained that the grass roofing needs to be changed every 30 years. Some have roof nets as protection...

  • Iconic "Blow Your Horn" Signage

    I wondered why our friend (who had been to Batanes only last year) wanted so much to take a picture of a "Blow Your Horn" signage. She explained that it is iconic; anyone who sees it associates it with Batanes...and so, I appreciated it more.The iconic "Blow Your Horn" signage along the Mahatao cliffside roads is an evidence of Ivatan ingenuity and...

  • "Kapayvunung" and "Kabaya"For Special...

    When we had a special birthday dinner for our friend, as well as when we had a picnic by the Kabuangan Beach in Sabtang Island, I loved the food presentation. I learned later that it was a common practice to serve food on the big leaf of the breadfruit (locally called "Kabaya"). This custom is called "Kapayvunung", usually done during important...

  • Traditional Jacket, "Kanayi"

    As protection from rain and cold weather, male Ivatans wear a native jacket called "Kanayi". Like the "vakul", it is commonly made out of "voyavoy" (Philippine date palm) leaves which abound in Batanes mountains. Some are made of dried abaca stalk.

  • Amazing Hedgerows in Batanes

    Nowhere in the Philippines have I seen such beautiful landscapes with labyrinth-like hedgerows except in Batanes. According to our guide, Ivatans use the hedgerows as boundaries of their farms. They are typically tall rows of reeds, trees, cogon grass or piled stones that help prevent soil erosion. Hedgerows also serve as some sort of windbreaker,...

  • Ivatan Traditional Headgear

    One of the things tourists never fail to do is try on a "vakul" at Chavayan, Sabtang Island. The "vakul" is a headgear used by women made from Voyavoy (Philippine Date Palm) which grows freely in the mountains and roadsides of the island. "Vakul" used by women to protect them from rain, wind and sun, while "talugong" is worn by men. Tourists, not...

  • To Market, To Market

    Unlike most towns in the Philippines, there is no public market in Basco. Vegetable/meat stalls, and other shops are normally found on the ground floor or infront of the residences. While there's an abundance of locally grown crops & vegies, and pork meat is available daily, beef is a different story. I saw a sign one day announcing the slaughter...

  • Photographing People

    I noticed that Ivatan kids, especially in the villages, are timid and camery-shy. Some oldies show their disdain if you point a camera at them. But of course they are the exceptions rather than the norm.To be on the safe side, ask first before you shoot or go for it when they're not looking.

  • Vakul

    The vakul is the traditional headgear of Ivatan women. It protects them from the heat of the sun and the rain. It looks like a blonde wig when worn. Ivatan men on the other hand wear a traditional vest along with a salakot (hat).

  • Respect the Spirits of the Sea

    Batanes are known for Dorado--Dolphin Fish (no not dolphin, like flipper, its a type of fish and no relation to dolphins other than being a sea dweller). We were excited to try it during one of our meals. HOWEVER our guide informed us that the residents, and many fishermen around Batanes, will not sell any dorado during the fishing season as they...

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