Batanes group of island is the northern most land mass of the Philippine archipelago. It is made up of three major islands and several smaller island and islets. This island group is made from uplifted land mass from the ocean floor, or from volcano and coral formations. This island province is among the most typhoon prone area in the country. It receives all if not 99% of the typhoon that reaches the country.
Tourists both Filipinos and foreigners are familiar with this place, at least for the islands of Batan and Sabtang. The island of Batan is famed for its light houses, old churches and the towering Mt. Iraya. This volcano is northern most active volcano in the country.
We often hear about stone houses or cogon grass roof and local dress. Or sometimes they mentioned about the New Zealand-like view of rugged mountain side, as seen in Lord of the Ring movie or Marlboro country-like terrain. These descriptions all refer to a small island municipality of Sabtang. However there is one place in Sabtang that is barely mentioned also, this is a small community whose houses were erected atop stones and boulders at the eastern coast.
Unfortunately, less than 10% of the tourists that arrived in this province ever reaches the island of Itbayat. This is the northern most inhabited island of the Philippines. It is rich in culture and history and is among the earliest human settlement in the country.
Geologically the island is very unique in the total absence of seashore. It is like a protruding rock from the deep oceanic floor. The lowest ground is over ten feet from the coastline and in some areas it goes up to over 100 feet. The edge of the cliff that surrounds the island is bordered by sapphire water.