Around Batanes: Fundacion Pacita and Basco Town
The flight was fairly smooth considering iPhone’s weather app’s very windy weather updated.
The clouds slowly opened up as we were nearing the highway.
The glimpse of what is to come from gazing out the window was enough to make up for the bit of a rough landing. The airport was small but that was expected and didn’t matter because once you set foot you are transported to a place where all is good and everyone is nice.
Richard, the driver, who picked me up from the airport was very knowledgeable. He gladly answered my curious questions while I marvel at the calmness, largely due to the scenic view outside, I feel even if we were technically driving through a narrow road in between cliffs.
If heaven is a place on earth then I certainly found it in Batanes, more specifically in Fundacion Pacita. My room, located at the main house perched on top of a cliff, has its own terrace and anywhere you look, it is simply breathtaking. I spent hours just sitting there doing nothing, soaking in the view. When I feel like it, I read a few chapters or browse through the pages of the magazine I brought with me. Here, my past time is not people watching but cloud watching. The constant movement of the clouds, sometimes you feel like it’s moving toward you and other times it feels so close you can actually touch it, is much more fascinating. Sometimes I play with the wind. I challenge myself how long I can keep still despite its force. It was so much fun. One of my favorite parts of the day is eating breakfast, still at the terrace. I also write some notes in the mornings and before the sound of the waves lull me to sleep in the evening.
Another highlight of my day is biking around Basco Town. I had a long lunch at Octagon, which is facing the Philippine Sea. I got a taste of the famous Coconut Crab, called as such because these crabs are found on forests and feed off coconuts. It was mostly sunny every after lunch but if you’re lucky the shade follows you. While there are hints of advancements, they have a PNB, a Landbank and you see cable dishes on a lot of houses, life is still as simple as it gets.
I exchanged smiles with little kids dressed in Girl Scout uniforms on their way to school and chatted with local artists selling their artworks in their small co-op shop. On weekends, I stop by one of the courts to watch the men play basketball. After going to mass, I buy some dinner at Pension Ivatan and then finally find my way back to the bike shop. On the way back to the hotel, you can also drop by Tukon Church to say a prayer and make sure to look up so you can see the paintings of the six patron saints of the different municiplaities of the island. While the views are stunning, I found so much to bring home and take with me just by watching the Ivatans live their happy ordinary lives.