The island-province of Batanes was created by a series of volcanic activities and other geologic forces millions of years ago.
The province is home to the famous Ivatans who are nationally acclaimed as the “True Insulares.” The Ivatans are of Malay stock, tracing their roots to early immigrants from Formosa, Taiwan as well as Spaniards who came to the island in the 16th century. Being an insular people, the Ivatans have kept the purity of their gene pool through time.
Batanes lies at the northernmost tip of the Philippines, where the Pacific Ocean merges with the South China Sea. It is composed of three major islands, namely: Batan which contains the capital town of Basco, Sabtang, and Itbayat. Close by are seven islets including Amianan, which is the closest to Formosa. Thus, Batanes has been identified as the country’s potential gateway to East China.