“This is where I want to get married!”
That’s the thought playing on my head when I first saw the chapel on the hill of Tukon.
It is one of the icons of Basco and the even the entire province of Batanes. A picture we often see in social media sites, blogs, magazines and promotional materials of the place, a proven eye-catching and curiosity invoking sight because of its captivating aura. But seeing it in real is a different thing, because it is more beautiful in real life!
Surrounded by verdant rolling hills of Basco, the chapel on the hill of Tukon is also known as Mt. Carmel Chapel. It was a dream turned into reality by the family of former Congressman and current Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad for the people of Barangay Tukon, a highland village of Basco. Built in late 2007 and publicly opened in 2008 in time for the wedding Julia Abad, Secretary Abads’s daughter.
Mt. Carmel Chapel was designed by premier architects Joven Ignacio and Tina Turralba, inspired by the traditional Ivatan houses with its stone walls and facade. The interior is filled with local wood works while the ceiling is decorated by beautiful frescoes of saints painted by the art scholars of Fundacion Pacita.
The chapel on the hill of Tukon is a romantic and captivating image of Basco, beautifully standing on top of the rolling hills and against the northern winds that Batanes is famed for. It is as if a grand location for a fairy tale wedding, and everyone that sees it unparalled charm falls into a dream of walking down its short aisle to say “I do” to the very person they love.
Tukon Chapel is one of the stops in North Batan tour, it is near Basco PAGASA Weather Station and Fundacion Pacita. Getting there from Basco town proper on a DIY, contact Batanes Trycicle Operators and Drivers Association at +639297038404 and ask for a tricycle to take you there for P120 one way. You may also rent a bike and pedal your way up there, quite steep climb though but on a good road.