Thursday, December 24, 2009
Batanes, The Ultimate Destination
Probably one of the least places visited by Filipino tourists is the Batanes Islands up north. What to blame? The exorbitant price of the airfare amounts to more than a basic package tour to HK or Kota Kinabalu. The water route can be quite gruelsome because the waters that separate Batanes from the rest of the Philippines are where the South China Sea and the vast Pacific ocean meet, the results are sea waves that do more than simply rock the boat (can be a little sea sickin' for most people to handle). The isolation of the island prevents a lot of people to experience what Batanes has to offer. In my case I needed to go see the island as more than 5 (which turned out to be more than I expected after being there) of the 80 trees included in my thesis comes from Batanes. When I finally saved enough to finally make the trip, I asked 2 friends, Pinky and Cathy, to come and not surprisingly they agreed. After all, the adventure is not easy to come by and to find willing companions to share it with is rarer.
We rode the only Manila-Batanes SEAIR plane that day to Basco, Batanes. We were disappointed only by one thing, that the 4 full days we were there, the sky was cloudy. But almost everything in our trip fell into perfect place. Basco is small with a rural charm, that everything is almost walkable, reachable in a day's time. The views are quite spectacular, a find in every turn. Other towns are reachable by a tricycle ride, going thru coastal roads with breathtaking sceneries. Ivana town was quiet but people are very honest and friendly. And Sabtang was very magnificent and unspoiled. Oh, I forgot we do have a second regret, the boat ride to Sabtang from Ivana was quite a pill to handle, a very turbulent roller coaster ride. But that would be a very small price to pay for the beautiful experience found in that part of Batanes. It was worth the whole ordeal and every centavo we spent for the trip.
Will post more on my next blogs.