Saturday, May 19, 2012

VirtualTour: Batanes

These are 360 images, hit the pictures then click and drag the image in any directions after loading. 360VRs produced by Firefly Digital Designs Services.
The Batanes group of islands is situated some 640km North of Manila, comprising a total of ten islands for which only Batan, Sabtang, and Itbayat are inhabited. Geographically nearer to Taiwan than Manila, Batanes enjoys the four season climate as that of the countries in the northern hemisphere.

The landscape is predominantly rocky with hills and mountains, very few plains, with gazing animals spread out in the rolling terrains. It is not unusual to see cattle perched high above your head mooing in Batanes. Mt. Iraya, now considered being an active volcano, rises 1000 feet above the main island of Batan.

Ivatans, the native people of Batanes are called; share the same linguistic and cultural history as those from the Babuyan Islands in the south and the Tao people of Orchid Island, part of Taiwan in the north.

Being situated in an area of high wind and rapid weather changes, the Ivatan houses are mostly made of stones held together with lime. They can withstand fierce storms as well as occasional tremors.

An often misconception about Batanes is that it is frequented by typhoons as mentioned in most weather reports. The truth being the capital Basco holds the last weather station in the north and is only a reference point for atmospheric disturbances that enters or exits the Philippine area of responsibilities.

Picturesque Batanes is a favorite place of photographic enthusiasts. Among the attractions are the lighthouses (2 in Batan, 1 in Sabtang), heritage churches (San Carlos Borromeo, San Jose Obrero, Sto. Domingo, etc.), beaches (Valugan, Nakabuang, White Beach, etc.), Radar Tukon, Naidi Hills, “Marlboro Country”, the many idyangs or fortified old settlements, Diura fishing village, honesty cafĂ©, Sumhao wind turbines, the “Spring of Youth”, Chawa viewdeck, WWII Japanese tunnels (Batanes was occupied by Japanese forces from December 1941 to early 1945), Nakamaya (Site of the boat-shaped burial markers of the ancient Ivatans), and many others.

More Virtual Tours. Click this.

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