If I Had $1000, I Would Have Visited Batanes... Solo

in #hive-1637727 days ago (edited)

Hello Hive!

This is my entry to @pinmapple's "If I Had $1000" contest as part of their 2000 Hive Contest to Celebrate Reaching 1000 Travel Digests. This is to mark one huge milestone of Hive's biggest and most engaged travel community. It is with great pleasure to join this contest not only because I have used pinmapple and been part of Haveyoubeenhere community for a long time, but also because I had considerable interactions with the people behind the community.

Last July, I made a post entitled Top Three Places in My List which was part of the 30-Day Blogging Challenge initiated by @tegoshei. In that post, I listed (1) Altai Mountains in Mongolia, (2) Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, and (3) Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland as the top places I wanted to visit. Those places are not easy to visit considering I'm from the Philippines, but I added Batanes as my ultimate destination in my own country. Batanes has been in my list since Darryll (@legendarryll) shared photos of Batanes in his Facebook page and it went viral. I dreamed that one day, I'll be able to visit Batanes.

This post took longer to form because I was torn between finding photos from pixabay and unsplash or request permission from Darryll to use his photos. I finally had the courage to message him and ask for permission. He was very supportive and allowed me to use his photos. All these stunning photos here are his and can be found on this Facebook post. A big thank you to Darryll for allowing me to his Batanes photos!

Why Batanes?

Those top three places I listed could easily be the destination of choice, but considering a budget of $1,000, I know it would not be enough. I also know that it would be enough to visit Batanes and stay there for a week. Converted to Philippine peso, it would roughly be around Php 48,000. I could do multiple trips in the places I have never been visited in the Visayas or Mindanao area, but if you look at the places I pinned on the map, they're mostly within a few hundred kilometers from where I live. I've been to Luzon when we had our plant tour, but I don't have decent photos to share.

If I have that money to spare, it would make sense to me to visit the northernmost province of the Philippines. I know it's always been in the bucket list of many travellers here in the Philippines to visit Batanes and only a few were able to visit there. It's far and only a few plane trips were available per week. Promo tickets often sold out in seconds. It's the rarity of transportation into the province coupled with the demand from tourists and travellers that made Batanes a sought after tourist destination.

They say that it's easier and cheaper to visit other Southeast Asian countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam than to visit Batanes. Airfares to Batanes are usually more expensive than visiting those countries. I've mentioned countless times in my posts that if there was no pandemic, I would have visited Singapore by now and probably visited two places in Luzon. Batanes is not yet in my plan this year and there were some agreements with my friends to visit next year. Because of the pandemic, all the plans this year were scrapped and we won't even be able to travel next year. This made me change my plans and I decided to visit Batanes on my own when the opportunity strikes.

Why Solo?

It's on my bucket list ever since I fell in love with travelling. I haven't done it yet because I hate planning and whenever I travel, it's usually my friends who will do everything related to planning and I'll just go with whatever they can come up. From itinerary to budget, I don't have any objections because I don't want to stress myself over those things. But I think I should do it at least once.

I was inspired by one of our chats with @hiddenblade when she said she really wanted to go to Batanes alone. It's undeniable that Batanes have those breathtaking views, but what makes the province unique is its simple life, quiet and laidback culture, and revitalizing nature. I already know that if I'll stay there even just for a few days, I will have a lot of inward retrospection. It will be one of those travels that will have a big influence on how I will face life moving forward.

I could have chosen to travel solo somewhere near Cebu or in the Visayas area, but I want my first solo travel to be very special. In one of my most vulnerable moments, I expressed that I wanted to stay in a place where no one knows me. I wanted to experience that at least for a few days and since Batanes is nearer to Taiwan compared to the northern tip of Luzon, that would be a perfect place.

It is said that Batanes has virtually zero crime rate because the Ivatans are the kindest and the most honest Filipinos. They even have an honesty cafe where you will just take anything you want to buy and leave your payment. No staff would attend to it. Knowing these stuff assured me that I'll be safe if I'll go there alone.

Places I Would (Probably) Visit in Batanes

It would have been great if Darryll did a post about Batanes, but he didn't so I'll just use his photos and the excellent post that could serve as a guide would be the post of @storiesoferne. A month ago, he made a very detailed post about his trip to Batanes and it was just the first part. He is yet to upload the second part and I know it would as epic as the first one. You can see more of @storiesoferne's pinned posts here.

The Philippines is known for its tropical islands, stunning white-sand beaches, and lush mountains, but Batanes offers unique destinations that could be at par with other countries. Amazing rock formations, picturesque lighthouses, and vast pastures where wild horses roam are just a few places in Batanes that I will surely enjoy.

Cielo Fernando listed the best places to visit in Batanes. Here are some of them:

  1. Marlboro Country
  2. Basco Lighthouse
  3. Honesty Coffee Shop
  4. Morong Beach
  5. Valugan Boulder Beach
  6. Savidug Stone Houses
  7. Vayang Rolling Hills
  8. House of Dakay

As what @discoveringarni had said, let's put it out there for the universe to open doors of opportunity for us to grab. We share this idea that once you expressed your intent to achieve something, whatever that something is, the universe leads you to opportunities that would eventually make you achieve that something you desire. It's free to dream and it's free to express that dream for the world to witness.

I guess that's all for this post. See you in the next post which is probably my entry to @pinmapple's second contest. I hope I can upload it in the next few days. Stay tuned folks!

I just sprinkled my post with Darryll's stunning photos. It's to give you an idea of how beautiful Batanes is. I hope I can take photos that are half as good as Darryll's when that time comes. Anyway, here are more photos:

Kim Ybañez

Welcome to Kim's small corner in Hive. He is a chemical engineer by profession, but a blogger by passion. He is a wanderlust and an adventure seeker. Join his quests as he visits secluded destinations, climbs mountains, tries new and exotic dishes, and explores his country (The Philippines). He's also a trying hard photographer so stay tuned as he shares his photos and his thought process while creating them.

If you like his content, don't forget to upvote and leave a comment to show some love. You can also reblog if you want to. Also, don't forget to follow him to be updated with his latest posts.


Wow! Superb choice Kim for an exotic destination to travel by yourself! As you said, Batanes is indeed a safe haven for solo travelers and I can absolutely guarantee that with my previous experiences there. Not only is the province secure from crime but this remote location is also a Philippine cultural gem - something that you can be certainly proud of.

Thank you so much for featuring my Batanes story! (Well at least the first half of it as I still have to post the concluding half). I hope and pray that you get to go there someday. It’s definitely a travel legacy worth achieving! 😊

Thank you! I really hope it will happen soon, but we're still on quarantine. I will not give up on dreaming about it though. I want to experience what you have experienced there.

It’s definitely a travel legacy worth achieving!

This! I want that travel legacy. I mean not all people would dare to go there. Some are just contented with the photos they see online. I want to see it firsthand.


Thank you for your engagement on this post, you have recieved ENGAGE tokens.

Omg, if there is one place I haven't been to and would dream of going to in the Philippines, this would be it! I agree with @storiesoferne, Batanes is an excellent choice. It's the ultimate escape! Thank you for the mention, I'm sending all positive vibes and juju that it will happen soon. 😀

Soon! Thank you! I hope that the energy of the universe is directed for this to happen. 😄

Since this is a collective dream, I'm also sending all the positive vibes for this to happen to you soon! I bet it would happen to you sooner than mine.

Haha, maybe we can all go for a Hive field trip lol

Nice! But not in Batanes. 😂
Somewhere. Maybe Ilocos.

Anyway, when are you planning your diving excursion? I really wanted to have mine by December. 😂 I need to save more. Can we have it on the same date so that I won't be too anxious? Haha. But if you're planning to have it early December, it would be difficult for me considering my savings. Disclaimer: If you have plans already, just push through with it.

Oh, yes of course, solo travel to Batanes.
Trip to Ilocos sounds fun, all the bagnet and empanadas we could eat 😁

I have no fixed dive schedule yet so I could join you if you plan to do it end of December.

😱 Okay. I'll notify you by second week of December if I'll push through.

I remember @storiesoferne post! I just didn't click that is was this island that is so near to Taiwan, I heard you can listen to Taiwan radio from here.

Definitely looks like a good place to go for a solo break and soak in all the tranquility.

btw, contest rules say you must post on the map. Read the rules!!!!!!

Yes! Audible radio frequencies are from Taiwan. It's nearer to Taiwan compared to the northern tip of the Philippines.

I've read the rules thrice and I didn't see that I should pin it on the map, but it should be a given so I already pinned it on the map. 😂

Congratulations, your post has been added to Pinmapple! 🎉🥳🍍

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Join the raffle and check the 1000 contest post

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And here it is...
... long awaited entry!
I can say it was worth waiting. You didn't let us down and presented new destination for many of us, travelers. I have to admit I didn't know anything about Batanes, but looking at the photos that is not fair, as the views are simply breathtaking...

What a great iniciative as I got so many new travel ideas and added so many new destinations on my travel wish list. When will this Covid madness end that we will be able to live our dreams again...
I wouldn't want to be in the skin of the judging team for this contest. Good luck!

Wow! You really waited for this? Thank you! What stopped me from living my dreams is money. 😂

When this madness ends, I'll be hustling again to let me live my dreams.

Sure man...
You said you will enter and there were just few more days of countdown.
I was anxious to know which is your destination and how will your presentation looks like. You didn't let me down :)

Awweee! I'm really happy this presentation didn't let you down. It keeps me going!

Wow, Batanes looks and sounds really amazing, the photographs are stunning! Mountains and sandy beaches in one destination certainly is a recipe for a perfect break.
This pandemic has certainly damaged the tourism industry in a big way, we can receive travelers again here in South Africa but obviously still impossible for some overseas visitors to leave their countries!
But at least it gives one time to do careful planning on stretching the budget not so;)
Hope you get to the stunning Batanes one of these days.

It's really unfortunate that the hardest hit by this pandemic is the tourism industry. I thought I'll go crazy because of the lockdowns so I can imagine the feelings of those travellers who live a nomadic life. It would be a lot of adjustment for them. For now, we will just dream. Eventually, things will get better and we will be able to travel again. Batanes will be the first in my list. 😄

You're so right, our happy wanderers must be finding it really hard!
I can see why you chose Batanes. Enjoy the rest of your weekend:)

You too! Enjoy your weekend! Thank you for stopping by!

I loved this place, thank you for sharing one of your next destinations, with your writing and the photographs you leave much to be desired and inspire to visit.😊

I see Batanes as a place to meet oneself through each landscape, perhaps that is why you want to live the experience of going alone, I, on the contrary, would travel accompanied by a love to this beautiful place that falls in love. ☺️

Batanes is also a great place to go with your loved ones. I'm sure they will also enjoy. I just find it a place to look inward and just be with yourself.

Thanks for stopping by!

very perfect photo

Thank you! See @legendarryll's profile. He has the most awesome photos.

what a beautiful place.

Thank you! It's indeed beautiful.