BATANES: The Perfect Escape From Urban Inferno

My "Hopefully" Next Destination

Its not a dream anymore. I have already awakened. This time I need to be serious about it. After the Boracay tour I had a lot of memories to ponder. I’ve met a lot of strangers who now became my friends and travel buddies. I’ve been to places which I haven’t thought I would be. How will I forget the first time I ride a plane? Thanks to SEAIR, a great airline company that sponsored our trip and took us to our destination very fast and safe. It kind of erase my imaginations of fear of riding a plane, like those of what I have seen in movies showing crazy crash, explosion and hijack. SEAIR had helped me erase my paranoia and let me experience my first ever flight worth-remembering.

During our tour in the white sand beach, its kind of weird to know that most of us are still dreaming to experience Batanes even if we were already in one of the most popular island in the world. Well perhaps Batanes has its own natural encouraging beauty, that no traveler can refuse or take for granted its God-made charm. Stories of experiences by some travel bloggers even inspire us more to one day set our foot in that northernmost part of our country. We even asked and teased the “smiling man of SEAIR”to give us a Batanes Trip as our prize after winning the games in the team building activities.

BATANES: Travel Henyo word, Go! Brenna (philippinetravelogue.com)


Batanes, perhaps is one of the most dreamt destination of every traveler, locals or even tourists. Im sure about this because as I have said during our previous trip in Boracay, most or all of us was suggesting Batanes as the next blogger destination.
I’m not sure if they will still accept my entry in this tour. But I still want to give it a shot. I dont know what words to be used just to please the judge to encourage them all to choose me as one of the lucky participants in BATANES Winter Bloggers’ Tour. Its crazy that I am forcing myself to think of adjectives, form some thoughts and write the best composition I can create just to get the panel’s attention. Its crazy that I am forcing myself again to finish this entry even if I still have a lot of backlogs of previous travels.

Basco Lighthouse in Naidi Hills


I failed to go up in Patar Lighthouse, maybe not in Basco...


While I was in one of our trip in Bolinao, after seeing their lighthouse and being amazed with the great rock formations I begun asking myself, what if I am in Batanes while taking pictures of this breathtaking wonders, Am I going to feel the same or I can get more than these? Who wouldn’t love to see the romantic sunset, as I chase it while walking the grassland and climbing the rocks just to get a picturesque shot? I felt a bit sad after knowing that we cannot go up the Patar lighthouse because the stairs are weaken by time and typhoon. Our tour guide told us that it might be too dangerous for us if we try. After that very disappointing moment in Patar,I just realize, maybe a trip to Batanes lighthouse will give me the chance to experience the feeling of being at the top, as if floating softly in the sky, watching freely the views of rolling hills, green pasture, and raging sea waves.

On my way alone going back to Manila which took me almost six hours inside the bus, seeing the sunset reflects on the rice fields, as the dark covering up the mountain, the rain started to fall, my body started to chill. I can’t sleep for I dont want to miss everything in the road, I started thinking where my foot will set me next. Then all of a sudden SEAIR‘s contest, BATANES WINTER BLOGGERS’ TOUR popped out in my head and I started to think how can I create a unique idea. Just any other poet’s/writer’s style, a rhyme of words started to come up and a draft for a narrative poem was created, It took me so many weeks to gather and finish all the information I need about Batanes. And here it goes…

*********************************************************************
Things are getting kind of heavy these days…

tryin to figure out what road to take
there are many decisions to be made
and the only time I feel ok
is when I’m in a perfect escape

I have a complete faith
that everything will be fine
As I move away from homeland
Leaves are waving me goodbye

Wondering while wandering…

One good thing about the road
is that it opens up my eyes
to realize what things I will miss at home
and everything that lies behind

Still thinking where my foot will bring me
As I chase my dream, as time passes by
When Im feeling lonely, hopeless
then I wonder how imagination brought me…

Overlooking the neighbor; Formosa, Taiwan
SEAIR carried me to the land of Ivatan
Batanes is the name of the outcast island
only inhabited, lil’ lands of Itbayat, Sabtang, Batan

And then I hear, an inviting sound…

I saw Mt. Iraya beyond the blur,
and I beheld the sight so pure
Below the misty mountain clouds,
a spell binding magic made me vowed

There’s a lovely shining silver bay
“Falowa” floating almost everyday
Raging waves of South China Sea
Hugging Pacific Ocean so incredibly

There I met living epic of “Malakas and Maganda”
Names are Marcelo Hostallero and Florestida Estrella
Both survived the test of nature’ wrath and time
living safely in a house made of cogon and stones of lime

Or perhaps they drink the water from the alleged “Fountain of Youth” in Diura?

House of Dakay warmly welcomed me
they treated me like a God whole-heartedly
they served the guest with “tatus” and “Palek” wine
the taste I felt that life is like so divine

Before I leave I vowed with respect
they answered back with love and a gift
they crowned me with a nice “Vakul”
to protect myself from weather so hot or cool

Most noted for its zero crime rate
amazingly til now, no heinous record update
best example, Cafe that oblige your honesty
try to lie and be punished by invisible fairy.

For so many years…

Naidi sacrifice to hold the guiding light
Basco lighthouse shining bright at night
haven that attracts lovers to hangout
to witness romantic beauty without a doubt.

Oh How can I neglect you in my mind,
island that looks like lost in another time
with your alluring and virginal beauty
I hope one day you’ll promise to again see me

before I bid goodbye to you lovely Ivatan
I’ll pray for the prehistoric Burial Cave of Turungan
Recall Radar Tukon before being abandoned by time
Capture the volcanic aftermath, the Boulders of Valugan

*********************************************************************

Philippines is 7107 islands, then Where is Batanes?

Our country is an amazing archipelago with seven thousand one hundred and seven islands. It so sad that some photos of Philippine map doesnt include these northermost islands of our country. How are you going to call it Philippines, if some islands are missing? More specially if you are neglecting/deleting from the whole frame one of the most magical and peaceful, the blustery islands of Batanes.

They said that being in Batanes is an adventure itself. As a travel blogger (in the making), who wouldnt want a unique and memorable adventure? But aside from this adventure, thrill and gastronomic voyage (coconut crab, uvod, and local variation of paella), I travel for a “purpose”. And if given a chance to be included in this tour, I will do my purpose.

As I’m learning more of Batanes, I found two things (or should I say, two persons) very interesting. The man whose age is more than a century named Lolo Marcello Hostallero and the popular and most photographed woman, Lola Florestida “Ida” Estrella (House of Dakay).

'The Great Ivatans

Lolo Marcelo is undeniably a healthy man. An inspiring man who can still work despite his age. A man who never complains of how simple or difficult life is. It made me think that I shouldn’t complain when I encounter heavy workloads because this Lolo never complains even if he is not as strong and as capable as me. On the other hand, Lola Ida‘s story even got my attention most. Being the photographer’s most favorite subject, she never fails to share her stories. She’s very hospitable and her kindness never expects something in return from her guests. According to what I have read, she rarely saw the photos of her. So I am planning to have our picture taken, print it and give to her as a remembrance of how unforgettable my “hopefully” Batanes trip is. I also read that some photos of her won awards and photographers even “get paid” for their photos of her and she, being the subject gets “NOTHING“. So aside from the printed copy of her photo, I would like to give her something in kind. It might be food like bread and milk, some sort of groceries. As we all know, she’s not rich, has no income, and especially she’s getting old. She needs someone who will show care and love even just for the moment you meet her. Lets be sensitive and show her some respect, talk to her, know her inspiring story, and treat her not just an object of photography. Remember, she’s HUMAN as well. But the main reason why I would like to meet and help her is because she reminds me of my Lola Mameng, which we havent seen for so long when they went to Pangasinan until we lost any contacts of her together with my Lolo who took care of my lost father. That’s one of my reason why I joined other bloggers in that Pangasinan tour, but unfortunately I failed.

Indeed, Batanes is a living museum, a real testament to the rich culture and history of a province that for many decades was left to develop on its own. Even if there
are possibility of howling winds, impenetrable fog and sometimes cancelled flight, these will never hinder a traveler who is eager and very much interested to learn and break the usual norms of wandering…

Thank for reading, Like my entry? Help me to fulfill this blogger’s dream by liking my entry. Please Click here!

Double Daily Flights For Batanes Winter Season

For feedback & concerns:
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Suggested Accomodations in Batanes?
Click here for information about SEAIR’s Flight to Basco, Batanes
Letters to Passengers to Basco, Batanes (An Important Reminder)
For inquiries or reservations please call (632) 8490100
or book online www.FlySeair.com
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The Treasure Tracker's travel habit (leaving a mark of his adventure)

*I want to do this in Batanes.

Note: Photo credits
Philippine Yearbook 2008 (Next Destination, Basco Lighthouse in Naidi Hills and Philippine Map)
SEAIR Website (Double Daily Flights For Batanes Winter Season)
Micaela Rodriguez (Patar Lighthouse)
Estan Cabigas (The Treasure Tracker’s Travel Habit)
Brznf Yu ( Lolo Marcelo Hostallero)
Marian Peralta (Lola Florestida Estrella)

darwin

darwin

a frustrated journalist-and-teacher-turned-engineer who is making his dreams into reality by following his designed style of traveling. Email me at thetreasuretracker@gmail.com.
darwin

18 Responses to BATANES: The Perfect Escape From Urban Inferno

  1. Brenna says:

    LOVE the poem! :))
    Di mo naman masyado ni-aral talaga yan nu!
    Galing, galing! Clap, clap! :))
    goodluck saten!

  2. darwin says:

    hahaha..matinding research yan..hahaha

  3. pusang-kalye says:

    good luck dude. I hope you nail this one….

  4. estan says:

    good luck darwin!

  5. Brenna says:

    ay PANALO TOH! :)) HAHAHAHAH!

  6. Mapanuri says:

    Hey Darwin! :)

    A writer’s poem – nice!

    Good luck to all of us!

  7. nice nice, galing nmn.. ftw!

  8. Milano Torres says:

    i love this blog (or web article)..really cool! the author seems to be so astonished of Batanes that made him metamorphosed into a artist in one-whole-packaged: writer-poet, painter, essayist, photojournalist….and many many more!
    keep it up and break a leg!

  9. chyng says:

    visited you back Darwin! ^_^

  10. Marco says:

    i wanna go in batanes too!!!

  11. MC says:

    Nice!you captured it well :)…I love batanes and will never be tired of coming back

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