Batanes Islands Philippines

I came across this video while looking at something else and was really surprised at how lush the lands were and the types of buildings reminded me of something more in keeping with Europe. At the same time also reminds me that here in Cebu I am still but a speck of dust in information compared to what is available to see in the Philippines and that I need to start getting out more. Ted Ramasola who took the video has done a great job of putting it together and its well worth watching. If your wondering where the Batanes Islands are they are the furthest North (higher than Luzon) and is the smallest province of the Philippines.
Map location of Batanes

seal of batanes







Ruins at Sitio Songsong

I sit and look at the photos and it reminds me of Wales in the UK. with its colours and full of farmland. Its just an amazing resemblance and ok Batanes does get earthquakes and Tsunami’s but it definitely looks like somewhere I could easily call home. I love the traditional buildings it just looks such an amazing place. Something I am definitely adding to the to do list.

Batanes Hills

People and culture


The people of Batanes are called Ivatan and share prehistoric cultural and linguistic commonalities with the Babuyan on Babuyan Island and the Tao people of Orchid Island.

This divided homeland is a result of the Dutch invasion of Taiwan in 1624 ( Dutch Formosa ) and Spanish invasion in 1626 ( Spanish Formosa ). The northern half of the Ivatan homeland, Formosa and Orchid Island which were formally part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, fell to the Dutch who were in turn expelled in 1662 by forces of the Chinese Ming Dynasty, led by the Chinese pirate Koxinga who then set himself up as The King of Taiwan.

The southern half of the Ivatan homeland, the islands of the Batanes, was reinforced and fortified by Spanish refugees from Formosa before being formally joined in the 18th century with the Spanish government in Manila.

The main languages spoken in Batanes are Ivatan, which is spoken on the islands of Batan and Sabtang, and Itbayaten, which is spoken primarily on the island of Itbayat. The Ivatan which is dominant in the province is considered to be one of the Austronesian languages. From college level down to elementary level, the dialect is widely spoken.