General Information About Batanes
The province of Batanes has a unique culture and astounding beauty that can not be found anywhere else in the Philippine archipelago. Come to Batanes and experience what it is there to see, feel and savour.
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Language: Ivatan is the common language spoken in Batanes (with Itbayat having its own unique dialect), though most people can speak and understand Tagalog and English.
Climate: Weather is generally like the rest of the archipelago, but has its own cold season that occurs from the months of December to February. Visitors are advised to bring extra warm clothes. The temperature can go down to its lowest (ten derees celcius), and a wind chill that gradually cools. Tropical storms and typhoons occassionaly pass by from the months of June to October.
Fresh Food Supply: Expect that there is limited availability of fresh food supply in the months of July through November.
Water: Water pressure in most taps is not within the standard level - the water resource in the island is limited. Avoiding the over-use of water is very much encouraged and appreciated.
Recommended Number of Days to Tour Arround: Depending on your interest and goal, an itenerary of four days/three nights would be enough to see the islands of Batan and Sabtan; six days/five nights to include Itbayat Island. A whole week would be ideal to experience and fully enjoy the breathtaking views and relaxing atmosphere in Batanes.
SERVICES, RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT & PEOPLE
Telephone: Mobile communication is the only available service in the province. Expect some signal fluctuations and interuptions at certain times of the day, and at particular locations.
Internet: Expect that internet service is not fully functional in Batanes. The two service providers are yet to upgrade their system, though some parts of Batan Island have decent connectivity at certain times of the day. Villa de Babat has no internet at the moment, since its location is out of reach of Smart Communication's tower (the lone provider in Basco). Villa de Babat's connectivity is being managed at another location in Basco.
Payments: The only method of payment available is by cash, though bank transfers can be done if and when there is internet. There are only two ATM machines in Basco to serve cash requirements outside the banking hours - at the LandBank and PNB. Paying with credit and debit card is not available in Batanes for the time being.
Transportation: The only way to reach Batanes is by air. Available public transportation within the island of Batan, Sabtang and Itbayat includes jeepney, tricycle and PUV for hire (SUV/van).