Thursday, April 21, 2011

BATANES: Start of Nature Exploration

DAY1: I was standing in massive green cliffs rising from 50-70 meters above sea-level and as I stood still, it’s like I was at the top of the famous cliff of Moher in Ireland. Taming the cold easterly winds and enjoying the panoramic view of the 35 km² Batanes Island. Wow! Yes, I thought I was only dreamin’ but no, it’s not. This is real. I am here, with my newly found friends, enjoying the serene beauty and breathtaking landscapes and seascapes of the northernmost tip of the Philippine archipelago — Batanes.

I have been so lucky that I have made it to join Mandy Navasero's Photo-Safari Tour in Batanes last April 1-4, 2011. (My gratitude to the Almighty for allowing me to see His wonderful creations. This is an experience that I won’t forget.) This trip is another treat for me and an escape from a hard day’s work. A fun and nature adventure courtesy of my boss Madam Nila. She and her husband Ronnie joined Mandy’s photo-safari and for reasons that I share same passion for photography, she decided to tag me along. hehe

Mang Roger conducts his tour briefing 

As I have said in my previous post, I almost didn’t make it to the airport but fortunately, as my boss said, I was meant to go there. So, here I am making notes again to share a bit of info about this once in a lifetime nature adventure in Batanes. 

For almost two hours, we were traveling. We arrived at the Basco airport via Sea Air around 7am. But prior to that, for some reasons, management announced that our luggage will be withheld till the following morning.

After staying for a while at the airport, a van brought us to a restaurant for breakfast briefing headed by an eloquent resident tour-guide Mr. Roger Amboy. Mang Roger as many called him, is a familiar face among Ivatans (natives of Batanes). He’s been doing this for 20 years and that’s the reasons why he knows every corner of Batanes. Then he moved us to the famous Batanes Seaside Lodge-our official home for our 3 nights and 4 days stay. Everyone was so excited already and we hop-in to our designated 12-seater jeep.

During our trip, he is giving us a brief lecture about the history of Batanes. He even cited personalities who went there. He told us lots of stories as we moved from one location to another. I saw how Mang Roger managed the tour, how he made his guests comfortable during the trip and got them to enjoy every destination that they visit. Participants like me

Batanes21 group pix at the entrance of Japanese tunnel
Bulacan beauties prepare their gadgets as they move through the tunnel :)

Our first stop is the Dipnaysupuan Japanese Tunnel. It served as hideout for Japanese soldiers during World War II. The tunnel is pitch black even during daytime and as we passed by, we had to turn on our flashlights. As we dive into the tunnel, 10-feet vertical drop, Mang Roger simultaneously narrated to us some events that had transpired during those periods. From what I see, this underground passage has five chambers, one leads to a cliff and the others are exits to the road. As we walk, we had to be watchful because the passage is a bit narrow and the ceiling is inches away from the head.

30-minutes of tunnel spelunking is an experience that really excites every tourist who visits the place. Though its not as famous as other tunnels, this Japanese-made tunnelscape made you realized how it feels when you are virtually being squeezed by the earth's mouth..tremble yourself as Americans bombarded this island during the World War II.

( Watch out for my next post soon..)

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