Monday, December 20, 2010

SABTANG: 02 – A Quick Stop at Savidug


The twin towns of Malakdang and Sinakan are the most accessible from Centro where the church, town hall, and the school are located. An arch greets you as you enter the town center. The Tourist Information office is on the left and is within walking distance from the port and from the entrance to Sinakan. The road from Sinakan going south is the one leading to Savidug and Chavayan. The one from Malakdang heading north would lead you to Nakanmuan and Sumnanga, the fishing village where you would be coming from if you intend to visit Vuhus or Adekey. Can you go to Sumnanga from Chavayan? No. The road to Chavayan ends in Chavayan. The only way to reach the other side of the island is to go north.


Tourist registration is 100 pesos. At first I believed that this was based on honesty since you could easily slip past them and go island hopping. Or so I thought. With the exception of the two by the port, the other towns of Sabtang are far from the vicinity of the term walking distance. Not the entirety of the roads is paved, which means your legs might just contemplate suicide if you insist on a bike tour. Walking could probably get you to Savidug before sundown if you leave the town center early. Walking all the way to Chavayan is advisable if you want to get fried under the blazing sun then fall off a cliff amidst the darkness because that same sun bailed out on you. It is probably another story if you are a runner, but this is a vacation, not a Timex marathon. Masochist much?


Go to the Tourist Information Center. Pay the 100-peso fee. Ask for a tour guide. This is so not the time to be cheap. Remember the puke-inducing boat ride? You have gone this far, make the most out of it. The people there are very kind and informative. You ask. They answer. You smile. They smile back. Bonus? I saw at least three rooms in there. YES, you could stay there for 300 pesos a night per person. Not one of the handful Sabtang travel guides I have read mentioned that. Perhaps, it is fairly new. Nevertheless, this is good news especially if you want to spend a night or more on the island. You could actually consider it as guaranteed accommodation since there are not too many tourists lurking around. There are NO ho(s)tels on the island. Your only other option is home stay, which might not be that hard to negotiate given the hospitality of the Ivatan people.


So I ended up on the back of a motorbike and 800 pesos was well worth it. Too bad I forgot the name of the tour guide. He basically drove and talked about every landmark. I listened and took videos/pictures while trying to maintain my balance. It is a skill. We reached Savidug after 20 or 30 minutes. Savidug is a little town full of stone houses, some inhabited and some in ruins. The tour guide happily pointed out the house where scenes from the movie Batanes were shot. We then entered an area and stopped at a basketball court, behind which was a little church replete with images of San Lorenzo Ruiz inside. Our stop at Savidug was quick. I just took some pictures and a video and we left after ten minutes or so.
SABTANG: 02 - A Quick Stop at Savidug

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