Some rave reviews from the participants:
“We were awed and breathless with scenic wonders - high and ragged cliffs, splashing waves, huge rock formations, verdant green meadows and deep blue ocean,” began Therese Tuvilla-Borromeo . “Co-travellers and photographers met with Mandy at the airport for the SEAIR flight from
to Basco, Batanes. Our group of eleven was composed of couple William and Joyce from Manila Canada; William, Nanci, Ronald, Janine, and Donna, all from Manila, Joy from Cagayan de Oro; Yvette from Davao and yours truly from . Although we came from different walks of life, we shared a common bond: love for photography and adventure.” Bacolod
“Mandy made sure we filled all our days with activities. We only had 3 days to explore so it was go, go, go from day 1 to day 3,” Therese’s thoughts were surely echoed by others. “Our visit to picturesque Basco Lighthouse was a highlight. From the upper deck of the lioghthouse was an awesome view of mountains and sea.”
To Nanci Labares, the three day trek and photo shoots were an experience of a lifetime. Natural beauty and magnificent scenery, rolling hills, deep blue sea, vernacular stone houses, cobbled stoned pavements and most importantly, the Ivatans, have made BATANES truly memorable. “One touching moment was the GASFI READ- ALOUD program. The program really overwhelmed me as we personally delivered and handed books to the children, they were overjoyed with the gift of books,” Nanci added.
“The HONESTY STORE was a highlight,” Nanci thought. “The coffee break is a bit surreal as no “tindera” was inside the store and payment is placed inside a box, receipt written by the buyers themselves on a ledger. It is really fantastic as store lives up to its name. Post inside the store - GOD IS YOUR CONSCIENCE – could have made the difference. I guess Ivatans do have a way to handle things.”
As Dr. Yvette Barez sums it up. “As I looked back a month after that wonderful and memorable escapade, I realized the spelunking trip at Gig Rock in the Fountain of Youth not only boosted my courage from the trek. The whole Batanes experience gave me a new meaning of unblemished beauty from hospitality of island locals, to its magnificent and refreshing sceneries. I have not only discovered a real destination but found new friends as well. To Batanes 11 and Ms. Mandy, thanks for such a wonderful and meaningful experience.”