Information about Nakamaya Burial Grounds
Nakamaya Burial Grounds
Located up in the northern area of Basco near the Mt. Iraya foothills of Batenes, these ancient burial grounds are said to house skeletons that date back to AD 1600, which date before the arrival of the Spanish colonizers to the Philippines. The place is inside the jurisdiction of Brgy. San Antonio, which includes the area that covers northern Batan island.
The word Nakamaya comes from a fruit bearing tree called the Kamaya, which is said to be similar to that of the Mabolo tree. The burial grounds is currently used as grazing ground for cattle.
This fascinating archaeological artifact is not usually part of most Batanes tour itineraries, given that the grave markers are not easily accessible, hidden from the main road and buried behind thickets and tree bushes; you’ll need to walk past forested areas to find it.
The markers are made up of smooth stones arranged in the shape of the “tataya” a traditional Ivatan boat since the Ivatans are a sea-faring people. Some of graves have larger stones that are said to denote the boat’s the bow and stern.
Best time to visit
It is best to drop by this historic and cultural site in the summer months of March to May when there are fewer chances of rainfall.