Essentials. Wipe the sweat off your sweaty cheeks, read through every item and remember it well.
Deodorant. Pick up a deodorant from your nearest seven eleven. You'll need it more than ever because I shit you not, you'll sweat like a mofo. You need to get those smaller ones because of that retarded rule airports have.
Shirts, lots of em. Remember when I told you about sweating like a motherfucker? A deodorant doesn't stop that. That logic is like thinking a band-aid can stop a bullet wound from draining your blood. Batanes is pretty hot, and you'll be doing a LOT of walking. Depending on your length of stay, the number of shirts can vary. My formula is NUMBER OF DAYS * 1.3.
Sunscreen. Did I tell you about Batanes being really hot? We don't want you getting yourself closer to having skin cancer. I can also say a joke about you being cooked but I think I just did.
Scarf. Remember when I told you you're gonna swe-
I'm gonna stop reminding you unless you have alzheimers or something.
Having a scarf is pretty sweet. You get something to wipe your sweat with, sun protection on your face and bonus points for being fabulous.
Watch your fellow traveller's faces melt with envy because you have that one item they wish they had.
Sunglasses. Don't travel like a plebeian. Get yourself a nice pair of sunnies.
Rubber shoes or a hiking shoe. Stop wearing your fancy boat shoes for once. We don't want your ass slipping when you're walking around the Rolling Hills. Let's face it, us fat guys, we're pretty heavy. We need those shoes to clamp us down and hold us in place.
Obviously, these aren't the only things you'll need when travelling. These are the things that are really easy to miss and forget. As for other stuff, go ask your mom or something.
Moving around Batanes is pretty easy. You can choose from motorbikes, bikes, trikes, jeepneys, vans, and good ol' walking shudder.
Trikes are hard to come by. The trick is to call them to pick you up and take you to your desired location.
One of our favourite drivers here in Basco is Dale (09293410941). He'll be your tour guide and driver all in one. His trike has a far superior ass-to-seat ratio compared to other trikes. Shit, you can probably fit a lounge and a minibar inside.
If you're a cheap bastard and don't mind bending yourself over to sit, this one's for you. But hey, at least you can rest your head in your belly while travelling.
Rates on getting to places can vary. But here are the most common ones that would probably be useful. Rates listed are good for two people.
North Batan Tour - ₱1,000.00
South Batan Tour - ₱1,500.00
Trip to Port Ivana - ₱220.00
Sabtang Island Tour - ₱1,300.00
Bikes. Being a fatass doesn't mean you need to act like one. Using bikes to travel around Basco is very practical and cheap! Rent one of those city bikes and always bring a bottle of water handy. Bike rentals are typically around ₱500.00 a day or you can get hourly ones at ₱50.00 per hour.
Van rentals are abundant and the true fatass way to go. Complete with AC and huge legroom, it's more than anyone could ask for.
ATV. Just recently, a new shop opened for ATV rentals. And holy fucking shit it was awesome. You can drive around the island for only ₱300.00 an hour or ₱1800.00 for the entire frikkin day.
I cannot stress this enough, you must, MUST, try this at least once. Give them a call at (09985519656/09085012288).
After a half day of walking and sweating, you must feel pretty hungry. Luckily, Batanes has a wide array of restaurants to choose from. Four to be exact. So many!
Pension Ivatan wins my taste buds. They cook pretty good food. You must try their yellow rice! One of the best things about this place is wait for it... They deliver. Game changer right there. Your move, other restaurants.
Their price ranges around ₱150.00 - ₱300.00 per dish. They open at 6am to 1pm. Then 4pmish to 6.
Foodie Score: ★★★★☆
Vatang Grill and Restaurant is quite far from the main town but they do have some good food. Their menu offering gives you a choice of grilled pork, chicken and fish. You can enjoy looking at pictures of celebrities while eating. Isn't that fun?
Their price ranges around ₱200.00 to ₱300.00 per dish.
Foodie Score: ★★★☆☆
Cafe Du Tukon. Holy shit this place is expensive. It's ₱400.00-₱500.00 per dish. The reason for this abhorrent pricing is they are owned by former Secretary Butch Abad's family. Your tax money at work here folks. Oh, and the awesome view. Their turmeric chicken is pretty delicious though.
Foodie Score: ★★★☆☆
Octagon Bed & Dine. Meh, although their view of the sunset is pretty sweet. Prices around ₱150.00-₱200.00 per dish.
Foodie Score: ★★☆☆☆
Bonus. Since you've got this far, I'm gonna let you in on a secret. There's a small store just outside the airport called Canteen Batanes. It serves the best nilagang baka in the entire group of islands for only ₱65.00 per serving. Each serving can feed an entire family of four. In fatass terms, just you.
Foodie Score: ★★★★★
Where to Stay
You must feel pretty sleepy after eating all that food. I mean, it's a stressful task. Basco is riddled with lodges and homestays you'll never have a problem looking for a place to stay. That rhymed.
But since this is a fat guy's guide to Batanes, I will be listing places to stay, other than the overrated Fundacion Pacita.
Timetravel Lodge is comfortably located a few frikkin meters from the airport and a few steps to a restaurant to boot. If this doesn't spell fat-friendly, then lern2spel, stoopid.
With two double beds, a TV, a private kitchen and bathroom, you have your own house in the centre of Basco for ₱1500.00 a night. Holy hell, that's kind of affordable!
Give ate Linda a call (09074335610) and send her my regards.
Were you expecting me to list more? I'm not your travel agent.
I swear on every food I eat, Timetravel Lodge is the best place to stay in Basco.
You'll probably lose a few pounds in the few days you'll be staying in Batanes. Partly because the food is expensive. You'll most likely gain them back in a few hours back at home anyway.
All in all, experiencing Batanes was one of the best things that ever happened to me. All the blogs and features about it, including this one, doesn't even do it justice. Ivatans are the most friendly and respectful people I've ever met. To me, this contributed a lot to the experience.
You may lose your breath along the way, you may shed a few liters of sweat on a daily basis but goddammit, go out and realise the dream that is Batanes.