Our SEAIR flight to Basco was scheduled at 5:45 AM. My mom and her friends straight from Naga via bus were already there at 2:30 AM. We left the house in Cainta at 3:30 and made it to the domestic airport at 4:30. (We paid the taxi driver who was nice enough to drive through the shortest route in the fastest possible time P300.)
After a relatively long time checking in (a party of 11 plus infant), we were inside the waiting area – where a Travel Factor friend, Maya, was already waiting.
I tried to keep my mind off the possibility that our flight to Basco was going to be cancelled, like it did back in October 2008, and tried to keep my spirits up. I silently prayed for good weather. Another Travel Factor friend, Jerome, had just been to Batanes the week before though. He came back all sunburned. “Summer in Batanes!” was what he said.
While waiting, I told Maya about the great big fiasco with Pension Ivatan (Note: DO NOT ever book this place.)
Soon enough, it was boarding time.
I had no idea what places we were flying over but I managed to keep my eyes on the window, in the middle of keeping our 16-month old daughter occupied and flipping through the InFlight magazine.
It had been cloudy, with scattered rain showers in Manila, but true enough, when we arrived in Basco, a full twenty minutes ahead of schedule, it was sunny as sunny can get!
We weren’t able to get good shots at the airstrip simply because that’s really not allowed. 😉 It was especially hard since my mom and her friends loved getting tourist shots of themselves everywhere.
The Basco airport is very pretty. It is truly a welcoming sight.
Despite the fact that it was very sunny when we arrived on the morning of September 27 and days were very, very hot, our nights in Basco were characterized by drizzles in the wee hours of the morning. (It was therefore important not to leave laundry hanging out overnight).
It began to rain intermittently during the day on the last two days we were in Batanes so on the morning of October 2nd, we found ourselves in a cloudy, bordering on dreary, day.
The plane from Manila was also delayed for a few minutes. By eight o’clock, the sun peeked through the clouds and afforded us some sunshine that made for nice little shots here and there.
Finally, the plane arrived and we all rushed to the windows to get a look.
The SEAIR plane to Batanes is a 32-seater turbo-propeller Dornier plane. The cabin is pressurized and snacks are free. The plane is big enough to have a one-seater row on one side and a two-seater row on the other, and have enough aisle space for a flight attendant to walk through to distribute snacks and attend to the passengers’ needs in flight.
I have been on an Asian Spirit flight before but do not remember how big the plane was. The ITI planes to El Nido were smaller, only 19-seater and not even pressurized. There isn’t even a restroom inside the plane and no one is allowed to stand or walk around during the flight.
Regular roundtrip fare Manila-Basco is about P14,000+. We got ours during the Independence Day sale at P2,400+ RT. That’s basically the reason why we were able to go. If the tickets were not on sale, we would not have been able to afford it. 🙂