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Lessons in Batanes: Ship’s Grounded and White Sand Beach

What happened last Friday, February 21 in Basco to a cargo ship reminds me of a famous quote from Pilosopong Tasyo of Noli Me Tangere wherein the old wise man said “… hindi kaduwagan ang pagyuko sa dumarating na punlo. Ang masama ay sumalubong sa punlong iyon, upang hindi na muling makabangon.”

It was Day 5 of our 7D/6N Batanes vacation. The day before our guide / tricycle driver Eugene showed us a promising strip of a white sand beach tucked below Naidi Hills. We did not descend to the area but just marveled at it from the top of the hill as we were on a Basco Tour / North Tour and we were not ready with beach wear so we marked it for the following day.

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This secluded, private cove is unknown to most tourists and we were lucky because Eugene was really proud of this beach strip he enjoyed during his youth so he took us for a bird’s eye view. It’s a short walk, just one hill after the famous Naidi Hill and Eugene showed us where to go down. It’s easy, he says.

This patch of white sand beach is away from the tourist trail and from our guide’s words ‘napaka-private po dyan, parang sa inyo ang buong lugar tsaka malapit lang sa town center’.  So Kenneth, Titus and I planned to come back the following day to enjoy the waters.

Please forgive the girl on the pic, mahangin po sa labas hahaha. This is the only decent bird’s eye view pic I have of the beach area, it’s not even decent as you can hardly make-out the white sandy beach I am talking about because of the smoke but this will have to do for now.   :mrgreen:

White sand beach in Basco


We woke up around 8 AM, it was extraordinary windy day, so different from the warmth of the previous day. Uh-oh!  Will we pushed through to the beach? Yes of course! We will sit-out and wait for sun to do it’s magic.

We were wearing summer beach wear under our jackets lol. My get-up was scarf on top of jacket which is on top of a t-shirt on top of sleeveless shirt on top of another sleeveless shirt and I have my head buff covering half my face hahahhaha. I did not bring any pants for this trip, just shorts so well suffer I must! lol.

After breakfast in SDCI Canteen, we trudged to Naidi Hills. The wind was so forceful we have to hold on to our jackets closer, and murmuring this is the coldest in Batanes we’ve experienced waaaaah. When we got on top of the hill, we decided to take shelter in the Basco lighthouse first because we were getting chilled to the bone. While waiting for weather to improved, we took tons and tons of pics in the lighthouse area and in Naidi Hills itself.

Dashing to the center with our ‘costume’ then dashing back to the comfort of the lighthouse to put on the jackets and layer of clothes lol.

Buhis buhay picture picture

Bikes and Tourist Basco


On top of Naidi Hills

Basco lighthouse

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View from the hills, more tourists arrived

Naidi Hills Lighthouse


Watch this video of Kenneth’s trying to hide behind the bushes to escaped the wind, lol.


We’ve noticed the two boats swaying in the forceful waves. Our eyes were also reverted to the crashing waves on the first beach area  visible from Naidi. Those waves were huge and coming one after another, layer upon layer of frothy white completely covers the jutting rocks. The waves slams like there is no tomorrow.


Basco Ships


In my mind I was already processing if it would be wiser to push on to the white sand beach. Titus has been saying that we might have to cancel but I was adamant, ‘NO, we sit this out. we will wait. we will go to the beach.’

Like a petulant child I was acting irrational, ‘I want to go to beach!’ ‘ We will wait.’ The beach, I want the beach’.


crashing waves basco


We were already an hour there and looks like the wind will not let-up, it’s still howling. We can’t even put our bags on the cemented sitting area because the wind might sweep it to sea and yonder. I can’t even take videos without my tablet almost slipping from my hands because the wind was like a giant hand that wants to take everything in its path.

Despite all these,  I was still holding on to slim hope that there might be a ‘sunny’ window to the day, a respite for tourists who wants to maximize their vacation. But nope mother nature was more powerful and must be heed.

Checking out the situation at the hill’s edge

Hill's Edge

While we were sitting on the grassy slope of Naidi Hills, I noticed one of the ship, the red-lined one, was turning, then it starts to moved to port. We could not see the harbor from our vantage point but we know that the red ship was moving to safety haven. I pointed the ship to my companions and that’s when I finally caved in, told my sister and boyfriend that we are cancelling our sojourn to the beach.  If the huge cargo ship can’t take the waves and takes shelter, then it will be folly if we will push through ith our planned swimming activity.

Boat moves to safe harbor


Gloomy day, No luck, No beach. There will be a next time!

windy no beach


The following day, our last full day in Batanes we were exploring Basco town proper on foot. We got to the port area and were amazed at this little boat moving closer to the huge green ship. The small boat was being tossed around by the still-huge waves but still it persists on going to the big cargo boat. We wondered why?

Port of Basco

Port of Basco Batanes

Ang Barko. Sadsad, Sumadsad

boat grounded in basco


As we were about to leave the harbor area, we got to chat-up with one of the Philippine Navy personnel who hails from Itbayat. Our get-up screams ‘Tourists Alert!’ hehehhe . In the middle of the chat, we learned from him that the huge ship was pushed by the huge waves from yesterday to the shallow, rocky area and can’t navigate away. Sumadsad sila.  On-board the little boat were Philippine Navy personnel checking the situation.

‘They have not reported that they are grounded yet but they are.’

‘A master mariner would know how to navigate the waves, and when to choose safe harbor instead of staying in the middle of the sea’.

‘It could be that they are avoiding expense of docking at the port so they stayed out, now they will incur more cost. We’ll be reeling them in to port.’

This is why I quoted Pilosopong Tasyo above. =)

Had we pushed through to the beach that extraordinary windy day when there is drizzle off and on and the path’s slippery, our day may have indeed not so well like the grounded ship.


Lesson learned:  When things don’t go as plan, don’t fret. It maybe the universe wants you to enjoy adventure elsewhere. 🙂


basco barko sumadsad

By the way, yung sumadsad na barko was the talk of the town in Basco, maybe the whole of Batanes on our last day. =)

Enjoy your vacation! 🙂

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About Cille Anne

This blog is maintained, written and edited by she - who likes to travel a lot, more like wishes to travel a lot, doesn't want to miss a photo-op, loves the rain, certified chocoholic, coffee keeps her sane - it runs through her veins, she doesn't know how to swim, but wants to dive in Tubbataha all the same haha

~Come share with me, my travels, my stories, my life.

My name is Cille. AND THIS IS PENFIRES. :)


  1. Imelda Rodriguez says:

    Salamat! I can receive your blogs again. Pagpalain ka Cil!

  2. Imelda Rodriguez says:

    Thanks so much”

  3. Hayz, Batanes Batanes Batanes! I’m wondering what’s beneath the on the so called “white beach” hmm.

    • Waaaa sky I just saw your comment from the spam box and rescued it, sorry for the late approval.

      Yahhh nakakaintrigue talaga yung hidden white beach.

  4. alain tuyco says:

    ok ra bisaya i-comment?hehe…dugay nko cge pangita blog nga batanes, nga cebu jud gkan.I hope mka kuha pud ko ug promo fare same sa inyoha.hehe..gnahan njud ko mka adto dwa batanes,sa mga pics lang daan mka suya na.hehe..btw, ni like nko sa imo fb page.:)

    • thanks alain! hehe

      gapa-abot sad mi, if naa karong October/end of 2014 for 2015 travel mo alert nya ko ug PAL promo fare to Batanes sa Penfires FB page, watch out nya. Salamat sa pagbasa diri! =)

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