Batanes is the northernmost and the smallest province of the Philippines both in terms of population and land area. The province is actually more nearer to Taiwan than Manila. It is said that .the people of Batanes, known as the Ivatan, are of Chinese descent. Many would say that their facial characteristics and their dialect, Ivatan, have some similarities to the dialect being spoken in Taiwan.
And when an invitation as sent to me to join a Media Appreciation Tour of Batanes, a lot of things rushed in my mind. Images of Batanes that I usually see on television and books came like a bolt of lightning.
Batanes, being the farthest province from the Philippine capital Manila, I pictured it out as a place that is so isolated. A place where people get to enjoy the simplest of things. And getting contented with the bare necessities.
I still cannot forget what my elementary grade teacher taught me: that the houses in Batanes are made of rocks as a protection against the very harsh climate.
I also see Batanes in my mind as a place of perfect landscape scenery. Verdant pastures, wind-swept mountins, rolling hills, cows, carabaos and goats running freely on the hills. Oh, what a sight to behold!
And being an island, I know how important the marine transportation in this province. I can picture out in my mind, lofty lighthouses guiding the seafarers at night. Strong waves crushing by the rocks. And the strong wind whistling in your ears.
These are my impressions of the province of Batanes way before I set foot in this province. Were my impressions on the islands correct? Or is it really beautiful way beyond I expected it? What’s in Batanes that has kept thousands of backpackers go to this breathtaking paradise? More tavel tales here
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