Tukon Chapel (Mt. Carmel Church)

The Mt. Carmel Church which is popularly known as Tukon Chapel is most probably the most popular church in batanes as it always get featured in television and movies. ‘Tukon’ is an Ivatan term for “mountain” which is suitable for the church as it has a picturesque scenery  that manifests solemnity and tranquility as it perfectly sits on top of a hill, overlooking the lush greenery of Batanes, as well as the Pacific Ocean and the West Philippine Sea. 

The design was inspired by the traditional Ivatan stone houses.  Architects Joven Ignacio and Tina Turralba helped complete the design. The project  was spearheaded by the influential Abad family and nearby communities so they don’t need to travel far away to go to a church.  The church was officially opened on 3 May 2008, in time for the wedding of Rep. Abad’s daughter Julia, who is also the  Presidential Chief of Staff, married Englishman Andrew Parker.

The roof of the chapel is made of concrete red bricks and on its ceiling, one will be amazed of the prepossessing painting of different municipal saints which are painted by scholars of the Pacita Abad Center for the Arts and other well-skilled Ivatan artist. The stained glass windows and the hardwood pews are contributions from the Abads’ friends and family.

Unfortunately, a strong typhoon hit Batanes in 2016, and Mt. Carmel Chapel was one of the churches destroyed. During our visit the chapel is under construction.

 Mt. Carmel Chapel hold Sunday masses for the community at 4:00 p.m. 

The mountain behind be is the Mt. Iraya.

Visit to Tukon Chapel is included in North Batan Island day tour. Batan Island tricycle tour costs PHP 1,000

How to get here?

  1. Travel time from Manila to Basco Batanes is roughly an hour and 45 minutes by air.
  2. From the airport or your inn in Basco, Tukon Chapel can be reached by tricycle.

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