Saturday, 16 March 2013

Batanes Fever After Two-and-a-Half Years

It's been two and half years since yet the fever remained...

I knew we were going to have a more than amazing tale the moment I saw beautifully lined-up hedges on top of never-ending greens and the dangerously-looking paved roads hanging by the edges of the rugged mountains from the window of the Dornier. We had one of the very smooth touchdowns in one of the smallest runways and  a very warm welcome by our host. Few steps from the airport is Basco town itself.

Our accommodation was nothing fancy just like its town. But I had that tingling feeling there's just something behind the quiet and simple community like a curtain waiting to be unveiled. And so the show began...

The Starex we rented hit the road through sharp and most of the time blind curves beside cliffs and the raging splashes of the waves . One false move, we'll fly to the oceans where big and mighty rocks await to turn our bodies into pieces. But hey, it's not as scary as it sounds, thrilling was the right word.

We made several stops along the way to literally stop, wonder and be amazed. In front our eyes were unimaginable natural creations of lush mountains and dancing seas putting up a magnificent show under the bright sun and clear skies. 

Our wheels kept rolling up to an abandoned lighthouse where the hedges that we earlier saw became closer and real. It was a very creative way of dividing the lots to its respective owners while at the same time accenting it. The eye-pleasing sights seemed endless. We climbed up a little hill to appreciate a beauty of another enchanting Mt Iraya, continued to a posh and exclusive by-the-cliff vacation house - Fundacion Pacita, got stoned by hundreds of the biggest boulders of Valugan sitting pretty on a beach, swung by the captivating Rolling Hills of unending green grasses and mesmerized when the sun kissed the sea while on top of Bunker lighthouse. It was an overwhelming day one...yet that's not it all, there are more.

Another marvelous sun and sky the next day. Starex transported us again to a world we never figured nor dreamed existed in the Philippines. We got into an unmanned Honesty shop where you buy your goods and pay rightfully with your conscience to haunt. Afterwards, we had the best buffet lunch ever with a total price equivalent to a buffet for 2 in a city restaurant...we were 8. We also had some bicycling around, a few hike to an intriguing Fountain of Youth and finally the infamous Marlboro Country. It's like a complete collaboration of nature at the grasp of your senses. A 360-degree beauty at its finest and untouched state. Unbelievably spectacular!

It's almost infinite. On day three, we sailed a bit and to another dimension we went. Sabtang looked plain as well - a port, a lighthouse by the sea, a school building, residential houses, some paved roads. Once again the place is more than its facade. After some minutes on a Canter from the port flaunted 'old' town Batanes. Ruins of Ivatan houses and other living proofs of the rich culture and traditions of the place. We had the chance to get into a casual conversation with the locals and they spoke nothing but the real life - simple, no complications. 

But Batanes is no complete without the beach - fine white sand and clear enticing waters.  It was all to ourselves. We may have had difficulties doing a relaxing swim because of the overjoyed swinging ocean but the fresh lobsters and mouth-watering banana in cinnamon and vanilla syrup lunch made up for it. 

The mountains and rocks in Sabtang were more aggressive and rough. Yet the feeling of tranquility while on the edge of it was more liberating, it's like you can actually fly. And you wanted to bring that state when you come back to reality, to the world of sky-rise and busy streets. 

But just like the addicting appeal of the illusion-like wonders of the place, it belong there, in the island and it shall stay that way.

Bottom line, as long as we keep up with our roles to bring stability and maintain (not improve) all these astonishing natural creations around us, an island like Batanes will forever stay and bring us that inner peace and solitude that a hounded city unfortunately may not be able to provide.

Dios Mamajes!

Visited: 2010 June

For more photos, please access here.

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About Dee

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I was born and raised attune with nature, grew up from the countryside and a strong believer in endless possibilities. I am drawn to adrenaline rush and was never a girly kind but I dig chick flix and plays some music. I started this site during a 6-month distressing/long sojourning away from the corporate world. I gathered all the travels I went and translated them into words. I am not fond of sharing details of my trip and thought looking at the photos I've effort-fully taken was enough. Yet to my amazement reading through it flashes back more wonderful memories like a gush of throwback Thursdays. This is also a good venue to practice writing and to connect. So, thank you for stumbling upon my corner. Sorry I can't update regularly but I hope you'd visit again as my journey continues, find some useful information here and most of all be inspired to go on adventures your own. See you on the road!