Almost out of the country

I got this line from AiL " Best sculptures are made with the harshest of blows and the prettiest of flowers grow in most fragile places" so true in this far away island of Batanes...the highway of typhoon in the Philippines. Been wanting to get here since I heard of this place, good thing my awesome God granted my prayers and not only that, hassle free trip this is coz our tour guide is our friend, good friend Nelzo, a true blooded Ivatan.

welcome note from Nelzo's mother, posted at their gate

pineapple like but it's's called uhangu

courtesy call at the Batanes Provincial Capitol...hehe

the Basco cathedral

our first stop just after taking our breakfast after a not so long flight from Manila, going around Basco. At first in every sight I see I would utter "WOW", "NICE", "AMAZING", "LOVELY" as in all the words of praises coming out ....

isn't this awesome?

then after awhile I couldn't find the words to express how lovely the sights I'm looking at anymore...I am in awe, really in AWE!

the house on a hill in Tukon, owned by a Filipino artist Pacita Abad

inside the homey home of Representative Butch Abad, Pacita's brother. If not for Nelzo's brother we would not be inside this place, thanks Big brother Warren=) I'm even signing his friendly friend's book.....along with his foreign friends, politician friends, tv personalities such as Dawn Zulueta

the hacienderas and hacienderos

our service truck on going around Basco with Kuya Mel and Ate Arming as our tour guide/driver/entertainer/all that we need =)

big jack stones .... lined up on our way to the famous coffee shop

Honesty is such a lonely word.
Everyone is so untrue.
Honesty is hardly ever heard.
And mostly what I need from you.

I think Billy Joel should go to Batanes to find what he really need

the Batanes trippers : (front row-left to right) Alice, Christine, Bing, and Ipe
(back- left to right) me, May, Nelzo and Vee

remains of "Song song" a Barrio after being swept by big waves, they now call this "Ghost town"

inside Japanese tunnel used in WWII

view on top of the hill outside the tunnel

they have a lot of watch's scattered all over the island

Diura beach, the fishing village

going out of the crystal cave...

Lobster (or payi in Ivatan) galore, YUMMY!!! I wish I'm with my whole family coz they love this but it's expensive here in Laguna so I just ate for them. You can have more than one, how's that for a lunch?

Valugan Beach....rocky beach with big waves


buco break, fresh from the tree

Marlboro country or "Payaman" the common pastures of wild cows and horses

kid's natural pool at White Beach

adult's pool where you can play with the big and strong waves =P

conquering Mount Iraya on a holy Friday with guide Philip Cardona, Nelzo's childhood friend

hantak, fruit of a big tree, on the way back from Mt. Iraya

May showing papaya also fresh from the tree...our snack after climbing the mountain

face to face with the onions, one of their many root crops

Batanes special occasion food: yellow rice called supas, the round shaped called uvod and white yam

boat ride to "Vojos" uninhabited island near Sabtang

our accommodation

our transport service

demo on catching fish, kinda different from what they do here but can't explain to you how...hehe

smell something fishy...the catch!

enjoying our private Island, it's amazing we went to Batanes during Holy week and the news on the television says that people are crowding Boracay and Puerto Galera while our group have our very own big island in "Vojos"

our guardian angels in Batanes preparing our dinner, Nanay Nellie and Tatay Zolio Ereful, Nelzo's parents

lights off in the island

breakfast by the beach....

ready for boarding and on for the next destination....Sabtang island

the whole gang going around Sabtang

topload trip to the UNESCO World Heritage, the home of the famous Ivatan stone houses

May wearing Vakul, it's like a hat that women use for protection from the sun and rain as they farm

after going around Sabtang, we headed back to Basco on our very reliable boat....never minding the big waves .... Diyos Mamajes!!!

back at Nelzo's place...preparing for a french breakfast is our french friend Ipe

Christine trying out the rocking chair

Bing resting after days of going around

we miss tasting this, the coconut crab or tatus....i'll be back for you someday!

doesn't want to go home yet =( so sad, we had to leave...hopefully I could go back here
Diyos Mamajes!!! Ivatan greetings it can mean welcome, thank you come again, God bless you!

going back to Manila


nelcaster7 said...

Mer, thanks for capturing glimpses of our place. 'really like them. really nice. 'hope you come and visit us again.
nways, i'm going back there next year. I already have with me my e-ticket, March 29- April 5, just a week before the Holy week. I'm inviting my friends out there to join me. hehehe

Sonia Asilo said...

Hi mary, thanks for sharing these lovely pictures with me. Seems like a pro took it…. Batanes is amazingly beautiful. I’ve been longing to go and visit the place ever since I’ve seen it on TV. The place must be really really beautiful as it has been featured on “living Asia” and trip na trip. I did plan to go with Nelzo this summer. Too bad I wasn’t able to, perhaps this November or next year… If I remember it right, you told me you wanna go back to Batanes. Would you like to go with me next year? I love being around happy people, really did enjoy your company in Davao…. I am looking forward to visit more places with you.

Er said...

Thanks for visiting my our province. you are always welcome to visit us again. Dios mamajes