Sabtang Island Stone Houses
Sabtang Island Stone Houses are traditional houses that are found in Sabtang Island, Batanes, the northernmost province of the Philippines. They are made of limestone, coral, and wood, and have roofs thatched with cogon grass. They are designed to withstand the strong winds and typhoons that frequently hit the island.
The stone houses are part of the cultural heritage and identity of the Ivatans, the indigenous people of Batanes. They reflect their simple and harmonious way of life, as well as their resilience and creativity. The stone houses have been preserved and maintained by the local government and the community, and some of them are still inhabited by the Ivatans.
The stone houses are one of the main attractions in Sabtang Island, where you can see them in different villages, such as Savidug, Chavayan, and Sumnanga. You can also visit the Sabtang Weavers Association, where you can see how the Ivatans weave their traditional hats and baskets from cogon grass and nito vines. You can also try wearing their traditional costumes and pose for photos with the stone houses as your backdrop.
To get to Sabtang Island, you need to fly from Manila to Basco, the capital town of Batanes. From there, you need to take a tricycle or a private van to Ivana Port, where you can board a traditional Ivatan boat called faluwa to San Vicente Port in Sabtang Island. The boat ride usually takes around 30 minutes and costs P100 per person. From San Vicente Port, you can hire a tricycle or join a tour that will take you around the island and make a stop at the stone houses. The tour usually costs P1000 per tricycle (good for 2 persons) and lasts for about 4 hours.
The best time to visit Sabtang Island Stone Houses is during the summer season, from March to May, when there is less rainfall and more sunshine. However, you should also be prepared for the cold and windy weather, as the island is exposed to the open sea. You should also bring some food and water, as there are no restaurants or stores on the island.
Sabtang Island Stone Houses are not only beautiful structures for relaxation and rejuvenation, but also symbols of the natural beauty, architectural heritage, and historical significance of Batanes. They showcase the rich culture and resilient spirit of the Ivatans, who have lived in harmony with nature for centuries.