What We Ate at Batanes Resort

Ivatan Salad - steamed pako or fiddlehead fern
With our flight delay we arrived at Batanes Resort just in time for lunch.

Lunch was pre-ordered for us. That was how it was done on packaged tours in Batanes. The tour operator tells the restaurants how many people to expect and they prepare the same food for everyone. We wanted to order the food ourselves since the lunch served was way too much and there was lots of food we didn’t finish.

This was some soup that was quite forgettable.

Turmeric rice was an Ivatan specialty. Since I couldn’t eat rice I asked my friends if I was missing anything. They said it didn’t taste anything great but the slightly sticky texture of the rice was good.
Ivatan turmeric rice
Ivatan turmeric rice

chicken afritada
chicken afritada

The Ivatan salad was everyone’s favorite. Typically pako or fiddlehead fern salad is served raw. The Ivatan way was steaming the pako until soft and topped with tomatoes, onions and spices.
Ivatan Salad - steamed pako or fiddlehead fern
Ivatan Salad - steamed pako or fiddlehead fern

The thick tanigue or Spanish mackarel steaks were cooked just right. Quite tender and simply seasoned. This was a common fish in Batanes since we had it several times on our short trip.
grilled tanigue steaks
grilled tanigue steaks

fried squid
fried squid

My first meal in Batanes while on a diet and I was already cheating by eating veggies and fish that weren’t allowed. At least the portion was correct. I cheated by trying a couple of fried squid. Yummy too!
my lunch



We also had dinner at Batanes Resort one night. Since we sat at our favorite table outdoor we were swamped with salagubangs or June beetles. The kids were freaked out and kept running when a salagubang would go near them. Us adults were pretty calm since we all remembered playing with salagubang when we were kids.
salagubang or June beetle
salagubang on Jennifer’s back

The waiter recommended another Ivatan specialty, seaweed soup. Very bland but not too bad.
Ivatan seaweed soup
Ivatan seaweed soup

We were happy to eat another kind of fish.
stuffed steamed fish
stuffed steamed fish

We had to order the Ivatan salad again.
Ivatan salad

Stuffed bell peppers seemed out of place in Batanes right?
stuffed bell pepper
stuffed bell pepper

We were really excited to try lonyes or crispy fried pork, an Ivatan dish. The flavor was good, salty and sour, but the pork was over fried and it was so HARD.
Ivatan lonyes or crispy fried pork

We asked for knives and they didn’t have any so they gave us this huge kitchen knife that was so dull we had a hard time cutting the pork plus we couldn’t stop laughing.
dinner at Batanes resort

We had breakfast there every morning. They served the typical Filipino rice meals for breakfast. You had a choice of plain or garlic rice. Each plate cost P100.
daing na bangus breakfast
daing na bangus

The kids chose Spam. For non-Filipinos have you ever eaten Spam with rice?
spam & rice breakfast

beef tapa breakfast
beef tapa

I actually brought my own pre-weighed veggies and asked them to cook it for me. They didn’t even charge me! I ate a healthy breakfast of sauteed mushrooms & spinach with a fried egg.
spinach & fresh mushrooms w: egg
fresh mushroom & spinach

Suffice it to say the food at Batanes Resort won’t win any culinary awards. But the people there were so nice even when the service was slow so we didn’t mind so much. At least our bellies were full and it kept us going for whole days of touring around Basco and Sabtang islands.



  • Ron Park


    When you ask “have you ever eaten Spam with rice?”, who are you talking to!?! As a Korean, I’m offended!!! We’ve had Spam in our diets too!!! Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Our seaweed rolls, kimbap, go best with spam!

    Just playing around, but every Asian I’ve come across is a believer of Spam. I was shocked to find that white people are afraid to even touch the luncheon meat or they’ve NEVER had it in their lives. It’s because they’ve never had Spam fall from the sky with parachutes on it.

    My favorite way to enjoy spam and rice would be the Guamanian (Chamarro) way. They have a sauce, finideni sauce, which is half soy and half vinegar/lemon juice, very similar to cinnemak. But they put in chopped tomatoes, onions, peppers, and sometimes cucumbers and other crunchy veggies. Oh my god, I can eat cans of spam and rice with finidene.

    Going to PHILs in August. Bought the ticket. I am heartbroken I cannot try Mercato Centrale as I’m not in Manila during the weekends, but I find hope in other destinations.

    I will have to search your site thoroughly but if you can direct me to have the best, absolute best, Lechon experience in Manila, that’d be so appreciated. Me and my 2 friends, we’ve never had it before, and I only want the best. i want the first time to be epic you know!

    Very sad that you’re on a diet too. I know where you are… Remain strong.


  • http://www.shootfirsteatlater.com/ Shoot First, Eat Later

    Hi Ron! I didn’t know Koreans are also as obsessed with Spam as Pinoys. You also have pretty creative ways with Spam. Makes it seem so yummy. Do you also have many varities of Spam sold in Korea? I was surprised that there was no turkey, bacon, tabasco, or cheese Spam in the USA. 

    I’m not a big fan of lechon but I really like the conchinillo (young lechon) in El Cirkulo or Casa Armas.  Don’t forget to eat at Kanin Club for yummy Filipino food.

    Hope you have a great food aventure in August!!


  • Ron Park


    All asians are obsessed with Spam.

    Koreans have several varieties. I know they have lite, 25% less salt, tabasco, and maybe cheese.

    In the US… ??? Hormel is a US company, Leslie! We created the many variations, all of them! Each one you mentioned are all here, but it seems that they’re doing some sort of promotion where certain flavors are not in certain states.

    I had to get my garlic’s shipped from Hawaii and I am able to get tabasco and turkey here in California. Cheese has been missing from my pantry for a while.

    I visit your favorites in the Philippines alot, it’s just that I’m trying to keep them all in Metro Manila as much as possible.


  • Nino Jackson

    People from Hawaii are also obsessed with Spam. Is it because the state’s population consists of Asian Americans?  Ewan ko. It’s funny that your follower/reader Ron said, ” Spam fall from the sky with parachutes on it” because that was what the Americans did to the islands in the Pacific during World War II. Canned goods were “falling from the skies” and this “killed the art of Filipino cooking”. Americans also controlled the media back in 60s and taught the Filipinos that canned goods and flavor packets ( a lot still use these nowadays) were the best to cook. Pero, in the provinces, people cooked from scratch. And that is where “lutong bahay” was coined from.

  • Ron Park

    killed the art of Filipino cooking? That sounds a bit harsh, but if you tell me how, I’d consider it.

    Because with Korean cuisine, in certain dishes spam became a MUST. Kimchi chigae (stew)? Needs spam. Budae chigae? If it doesn’t have it, it’s not right! Kimbap (Korean rolls, not Korean sushi) gets exponentially awesome with spam.

    Corn beef hash also fell from the sky, and this is a food that my godmother will stay away from. Must be some connection with bombs falling all around her as she was eating it or something.

    Hawaiians and their spam. Musubi is so simple, but so classic. Plate lunches wouldn’t be right without spam. Spam and macaroni salad? Include in my last meal menu please.

  • Nino Jackson

    Ron, thanks for your reply. Just to give you a bit of a background, my country, the Philippines became an American colony in 1901. Americans thought that a Filipino meal of rice and fish was unhealthy and they decided to introduce dairy products, canned meats, canned fruits, canned veggies. All imported from the US and were literally dropped from their mighty helicopters. Philippine cooking classes also showcased American dishes like biscuits, doughnuts, fried chickens, muffins, ice cream, etc.. The Americans were very persuasive and the their influence affected all Filipino classes. The canned products were valued more than fresh fruits, vegetables and meats from local markets. Corned beef, Spam, Vienna sausage, Nestle’s cream, fruit cocktail appeared in many recipes. Our sense of ‘comfort food’ became uncertain and was replaced by what Americans believed was a better alternative which ironically, are now considered junk. I remember my Mom telling me she loved the days where they will pick tamarinds from the trees (sampalok in Tagalog was used to create a sour flavor of the soup) to make sinigang. Guyabano (soursop) were even made as desserts from scratch and was later integrated with Nestle cream. Back in the ’60s, whenever we visit family members, it was a must that they serve us meals (Filipino hospitality) and the host would apologize that they did not have canned products (called de lata) to serve us. How sad.
    Now, tell me, did Americans kill the art of Filipino cooking? I would still give you an overwhelming Yes. Harsh? Go figure.

  • http://www.shootfirsteatlater.com/ Shoot First, Eat Later

    Terrific writing Ariel! Very informative.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Reymedina-Fong/100001830895982 Reymedina Fong


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Reymedina-Fong/100001830895982 Reymedina Fong


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Yves-Saint-LeRon/100002438441768 Yves Saint LeRon

    No longer harsh. It’s a shame it turned out that way.