Breathtaking. That's Batanes in one word. It's been more than a month but I can still smell the cool fresh breeze, see the magnificent view and feel the heavenly blessing at the islands of Batan and Sabtang.
|Vulugan Boulder Beach|
On our first day, right after the going through the Japanese tunnel and seeing the sea of hills surrounding the historical spot (you may read Da Best sa Batanes part 1 here), we immediately went to the Valugan Boulder Beach. Instead of sand, big stones cover the beach instead. Yup it's not the usual sea side we go to but seeing this is something I will cherish for a long time, if not for eternity. It's just so marvelous! In my eyes, I am flipping the pages of spiritual and inspirational books which have the same kind of images and pictures.
|Alex Acidera busy taking photos of the scenic Vulugan Boulder Beach|
Well, while basking on the beauty of Vulugan, we were treated to Batanes' fresh buko juice (coconut juice) and camote. The buko juice is not just refreshing and thirst quenching, it has a moderate sweet taste that we really enjoyed.
|Photo courtesy of Imelda Acidera|
|While eating, I just can't help to capture this view.|
After Vulugan, we then proceeded to the Sto. Domingo Cathedral or the Basco Basilica. Well, as told prior to the trip, the weather in Batanes is unpredictable. So while we were having our group shots at the patio of the church, rain drops started to fall. We then ran towards the church but as planned, we offered a prayer. Since it was still raining, we then went to the office of the National Commission on Indigenous People. Mang Rogers, our tour guide which I introduced in the first part of Da Best Sa Batanes series, said that majority of the people inf Batanes belong to the Ivatan minority group. And I just felt happy with that information. Why? I just feel happy if natives of a certain place are able to keep their ancestral domain and not pushed to live in far flung areas. I am happy to know that just like the Cordillera people, they are able to live on their own lands and govern their people. As you know, there are so many tragic tribal stories in the Philippines right? Anyway, going back to the trip, as soon as the sky got cleared, we went back to our hotel for lunch and quick change of clothes.
Next in our itinerary was Tukon where the Mount Carmel Church and Basco Radar station were located. Mount Carmel looks like a traditional Ivatan stone house. The Abads, a political family in Batanes, have this built for the old folks of Basco who find it difficult to travel several kilometers to get to the Cathedral. It is a beautiful church and it looks one of a kind.
|Mount Carmel Church in Tukon|
And at the Basco Radar Station, we were again mesmerized with beauty of the said place. As said, which I think I will be repeating on my Batanes posts, every look, every angle has a beauty of its own. The way the sky, hills and sea meet are perfected for the eyes, and for the camera.
|Basco Radar Station|
|The ladies of Tripolar Group dowing the Sex Bomb!|
|The men of Tripolar Group doing the Hagibis!|
|The hills surrounding the Basco Radar station|
|Unesco Heritage site nominee The Hedge Rows of Batanes|
We also passed by at Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge which looks like a big traditional Ivatan stone house as well.
|Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge|
It's late afternoon but Batanes is still not finished showing its beauty to us. From one picturesque view, we were brought to the Basco Light House which made me stop walking and keep quiet for a while. The view is just so perfect... it's a place I would want to go to if I want to meditate, pray or enjoy the silence. Thank You God for creating such a wonderful place. Batanes is truly blessed.
|The hills surrounding the Basco Light House|
|Of course, I should have a shot at this scenic view! :)|
I also went up to the light house to see what's inside and what's the view from above. It was my first time to enter a light house and I enjoyed walking up to the stairs. And when we reached the top, I was again speechless. It was slowly getting dark but the breathtaking view was put into still.
|Inside the Basco Light House|
|The ladies of the Tripolar Group|
Breathtaking. One word that says a lot about the place. This is just the first day so expect to witness more of God's marvelous creation called Batanes. And this for me is my Treasure Find 21.