Batanes Day 3 Part 3 – Marlboro Country, Imnajbu, Dinner at Pension Ivatan

Batanes - Marlboro Country-1
My favorite place in Batanes was Racuh a Payaman, more commonly known as Marlboro Country.

As soon as we walked on top of the wide and flat hill top I wanted to run around with my arms spread out and sing, “The hills are alive…..”

Batanes - Marlboro Country
Marlboro Country

Of course nobody wanted to hear me sing so we did the jumping shot instead.
Batanes - Marlboro Country-2

These pictures can’t relay the wonderment I felt while on top of that hill. I felt like a small speck on earth.
Batanes - Marlboro Country-3

Batanes - Marlboro Country-4

Remember the cigarette commercial with a cowboy on a horse? That’s how this place got the name Marlboro country.
Batanes - Marlboro Country-5

Batanes - Marlboro Country-6

I thought those were pineapples but Chris, our tour guide, said it was a native fruit called uhangu.
uhangu fruit

Uhangu fruit is eaten by coconut crabs.
uhangu fruit
uhangu

Next we drove to Imnajbu country.
Batanes - Marlboro Country-7

Batanes - Imnajbu
Imnajbu

I loved the natural rock formations on the water. It looked like works of art.
Batanes- Imnajbu Rocky Terrain

Batanes- Imnajbu

Batanes- Imnajbu

I patiently waited for a wave of water to crash on top of the small rock ledge.
Batanes- Imnajbu

Our van stopped at the exact spot to see what seemed like a big split in the rock. We actually drove through those rocks.
Batanes - Imnajbu road bend
Imnajbu road bend

Are you lost, little ones?
P1180385

We also went to the most photographed house and resident in Batanes. The House of Dakay was built using limestone in 1887 making it the oldest house in Batanes. It was one of the 5 structures that survived the earthquake in September 13, 1918 which almost wiped out the the town of Ivana. This house has been declared a UNESCO heritage building.
House of Dakay, the oldest stone house in Batanes
House of Dakay, the oldest stone house in Batanes

House of Dakay, the oldest stone house in Batanes-1

The owner of the house, Florestida Estrella or lola Ida as she is fondly called, is also the oldest woman in Batanes. She’s is now 85 years old.
Lola Ida, oldest woman in Batanes
Lola Ida (picture c/o Wilson)

House of Dakay, the oldest stone house in Batanes-2

At the back of her house was another building where they cook.
House of Dakay, the oldest stone house in Batanes-3

We drove by the Spanish bridge or Tuhel Bridge the oldest bridge in Batanes that is still being used to this day.      
Batanes - Spanish Bridge
Spanish Bridge

Batanes souvenir shop
souvenir shop

While we shopped for souvenirs our tour guide Chris waited for us in this public shed. He said there were several sheds like this in town. People use it as a respite from heat and rain.
Batanes waiting shed
public shed

For dinner we went to Pension Ivatan to try their popular platter of local delicacies. This is a “must eat” when in Batanes.
Pension Ivatan
Pension Ivatan

Pension Ivatan-3

We didn’t think we could finish this huge platter. There were 5 adults and 3 kids in our group.
Pension Ivatan platter
Ivatan platter – P1,550

Uvud balls were made from grated banana trunk and mixed with fish, pork or beef. Not our favorite. Next to the balls were atchara (pickled green papaya), bagoong (salted shrimp paste) and tomatoes.
Pension Ivatan platter- uvud balls
uvud balls

I loved the coconut crab and tender grilled squid.
Pension Ivatan platter- coconut crab & squid
coconut crab & squid

That’s lonyes or fried pork Ivatan style on the lower left corner. Yum!
Pension Ivatan platter- lonyes
lonyes

Pension Ivatan platter- lobster
lobster

The vunes or dried gabi stalk was interesting to say the least. We liked the grilled dibang or flying fish. And there’s the turmeric rice or supas.
Pension Ivatan platter- flying fish
dibang and vunes

Pension Ivatan platter-6

Pension Ivatan platter- before
Ivatan platter- before

We did a good job! Bow.
Pension Ivatan platter- after
after

It was an experience trying all Batanes specialty dishes all in one huge platter. At that time we really didn’t know what we were eating except for the fresh seafood. I’m glad we tried this famous platter.
Pension Ivatan menu
Pension Ivatan menu
Pension Ivatan menu-1

The gracious owner convinced us to go back for breakfast to try their famous sizzling pancit. And we did!
owner of Pension Ivatan

What a fab way to end our trip in Batanes.

Comments

comments

  • Laura

    thank you so much for sharing your Batanes adventure! Batanes has been a dream destination for me & my friends. we’re all artists & photography enthusiasts who have been dreaming of traveling to Batanes. you successfully captured the beauty of Batanes in all your photos! may I please know the name of your travel agency who handled your Batanes tours? thanks again :-)

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

    Hi Laura! You can find the information here. Thanks!

  • Kitkat

    my favorite view of batanes was the marlboro hills. :) breathtaking!!!