Diura Fishing Village in Mahatao, Batanes: The Preserved Coastal Village of South Batan
With palm trees swaying softly to the tune of the breeze and a road lined up with homes made of cogon, Diura Fishing Village is a scene out of a historical book and is a serene settlement in itself.
Palm trees lining up near the shore
Coming from the term Yura, one of the four pre-Hispanic tribes that settled east of Mahatao, Diura Fishing Village traces its roots back to 1720 A.D.
The village, which was then inhabited by only 300 people, is currently home to boat-makers and fishermen, now called the Mataw. This is still evident today as you walk through the small coastal village.
Every home is in the style of Chivuvuhung or Jinjin, which uses cogon for its roof and walls. The walls are hung with fish, mostly dorado (yellowfin tuna) and flying fish, cured with salt and put under the sun to dry, preserving them for the rainy season.
Cured fish hanging to dry near homes
Although tourists may not try this at the village, the dorado may be found at Basco and other restaurants therein. Meanwhile, near their homes are their poultry, mostly chickens, roaming around the place.
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Docked on the beach facing the Pacific Ocean are boats called the Tataya, now made with fiberglass. The bigger boats, called the Faluwa, can also be found here. These are then used during the Kapataw season where fishermen catch the dorado.
Tourists may try riding the boats for a fee, only when its owners are readily available to guide you.
The village is scenic all in itself as the simple yet abundant life of the Ivatans can be seen here.
In addition, the Ivatans have also preserved their culture by practicing their age-old rituals and traditions.
How to get here
Diura Fishing Village in South Batan is a part of the 4 days, 3 nights tour with Batanes Travel and Tours, Inc.
Batanes Travel and Tours provides an all-in-one complete package with accommodation, eco-tours, and full meals guaranteed to make your stay hassle-free. They also offer private eco-tours or budget packages for solo or group travelers. All packages provide you with a local tour guide, driver, and a tour coordinator to help you get the most out of your stay.
Note that you will have to register at Mahatao registration area just beside San Carlos Borromeo Church. Here, a fee of Php 50/pax should be settled.
This first appeared in Philippine Primer magazines’ August 2019 issue.
Written by Chin Sanigan
Photos by JR Padlan