Next Destination: Batanes

My weekends are usually boring – go to gym, then go around the metro, go home (or go to choir practice), do some personal/work/sideline stuff, and sleep. I have been doing the same old routine over and over again and thinking how can I change this “vicious” cycle.

When I was freeing up space on my portable drive, I reviewed some of the pictures that I have taken in my previous trip to Cagayan De Oro and some pictures that I never thought of having one. One of the pictures that I’ve found is the picture of my relatives up to my great grandmother. I was surprised to see a somewhat clear picture taken in the 1950’s, with my dad still a young lad.

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I then remembered the stories my dad told me that most of my ancestors came from Batanes, a group of islands located in the northernmost part of the Philippines (which is almost near to Taiwan). The place is famous for its wonderful people and breathtaking (no exaggeration) sceneries. I was thinking that it is popular in the Philippines to have holiday economics (that is moving national holidays to the nearest Monday), making it possible to have long weekends, why won’t I go to nearby provinces and enjoy the wonder of the Philippines. While the news around make Philippines appear a dangerous place, Batanes is such an exception and I think they still enjoy the zero crime rate in the area.

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(photos courtesy of Jay Tablante)

While the place is quite far from Manila (in fact they are much more nearer to Taiwan and they enjoy clearer Taiwan radio signals than that of the nearest Philippine signal), the place doesn’t lag in terms of technology. As of my last update on the place, there are already some internet shops in the area and it won’t be that difficult to connect with people even at a bit “isolated” area.

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Batanes is also one of the favorite destination of photographers as the scenery is totally beautiful. Face north and you’ll see Taiwan (a bit), go left, you’ll see South China sea and on the right is the Pacific ocean.

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While I don’t have the time yet of going to the place, I am already scouting for possible travel packages. The last time I checked is that the one way fare to Batanes (airfare) is around 5,000 pesos, almost the same amount that you’ll be spending if you’ll go to Mindanao on a full fare basis. While long weekends allow at most 3 days leave (Fri-Sun or Sat-Mon), I’ll try to make out the best of my leaves. Maybe I need to include in my New Year’s resolution (for next year) that I need to visit at the least 2 provinces a year to make the most out my life and enjoying the beauty that is of the Philippines.

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