Marlboro Country (Racuh A Payaman)
Marlboro Country or Racuh A Payaman is a vast pastureland located in the island of Batan in Batanes, the northernmost province of the Philippines. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the island, as it offers a stunning view of the green hills, the coastline, the Pacific Ocean, and other islands. It is also a protected site where cows, water buffalos, and horses can freely graze and wander.
The name Marlboro Country comes from the resemblance of the scenery to the setting of a Marlboro cigarette advertisement. However, the locals call it Racuh A Payaman, which means "wide pasture" in Ivatan, the native language of Batanes. The site is located in the municipality of Uyugan, between Mahatao and Imnajbu in the east-central part of Batan Island.
The best way to get to Marlboro Country is by taking a tricycle tour from Basco Airport or Basco Town Proper. You can also hire a tricycle for a tour of South Batan, which includes a stop at Marlboro Country. The best time to visit Marlboro Country is during the summer season, from March to May, when there is less rainfall and more sunshine. You can also catch a spectacular sunset from Marlboro Country, as it faces west.
Marlboro Country is not only a beautiful spot for sightseeing and photography, but also a symbol of the history and culture of Batanes. The site was once a small community for pre-colonial Ivatans and home of the late Chieftain Boyas. It was also the site of the American period telegraph facilities that connected Batanes with the central government until it was destroyed by the Japanese Imperial Army bombings at the start of World War II. Some of the buildings survived and have been converted into businesses like a café.