February 25, 2011

More 'Read Aloud in Ivana' Photos

Ivana Elementary School, where participants of recent Batanes Photo Safari (18-21 Feb 2011) read aloud and distribute books to schoolchildren in cooperation with Gig and the Amazing Sampaguita Foundation Inc. (GASFI) and Books Across the Seas.

Photography mentor Mandy Navasero (in sky blue jacket) and some of her Batanes Photo Safari participants with school librarian, Yolly H. Elica (in navy blue blouse) and school children posing with their new books courtesy of GASFI and Books Across the Seas.

School children of Ivana waiting for 'Read Aloud' program to begin.

Batanes Photo Safari participant Rex Drilon reading to Ivana school children.

Batanes Photo Safari participant Hans Muelinghaus reading to Ivana school children.

Batanes Photo Safari participant Edwin Sy reading to Ivana school children.

Group picture once again with the Ivana kids to preserve cherished memories with them.

February 24, 2011

Clear pair of Eyes: Amazing gift from the Highest Power

Ivana Elementary School Family

Immersion Read-Aloud to Ivatan children in different public schools has been a part of the Mandy Navasero Batanes Photo Safari, as well as distributing books to each pupil.

Shown above seated from left to right are:  Annabel and Rex Drilon II (reader), Rebecca Rarallo, Edwin Sy (reader), Annaliza Barrera, Hans (reader) and Barbara Muelinghaus, Ms. Yolly H. Elica, librariran of Ivana Elementary School who wish to have a second hand computer and printer  in their school (0999 3897 587), photographer Mandy Navasero, and tour guide-reader, Rojer Amboy with 31 pupils (Grades 6 and 3) who attended the GASFI READ-ALOUD at their school yard. The school has 150 pupils from kinder to grade 6 and recently was the recipient of 5,000 books from Gig and the Amazing Sampaguita Foundation in collaboration with Books Across the Seas.  They also lend their books to their neighboring school, the Uyugan Elementary School in Batanes.

Email mandynavasaero@yahoo.com if you wish to donate books.
Visit http://mandy-navasero.blogspot.com or call 8991767.   

February 23, 2011

Read Aloud: Batanes Photo Safari Immersion

Edwin Sy enjoying coffee at Fundacion Pacita

On 20 Feb 2011,  Batanes Photo Safari participants engaged themselves in  “Read Aloud” program where they read stories to schoolchildren,  in collaboration with Gig and the Amazing Sampaguita Foundation inc. (GASFI) and Books Across the Seas.  GASFI shipped 5,000 books for 150 pupils of Ivana Elementary School who share with neighboring school, Uyugan Elemenetary School. The books were received by Ms. Yolly H. Elica, Librarian.  Readers  were Rex Drilon II, Hans Muelinghaus, Edwin Sy, and tour guide Rojer Amboy explains the English stories in Ivatan.   Photos by Edwin Sy

February 17, 2011

Jumpology in Marlboro Country

MANDY NAVASERO of Batanes Photo Safari teaches participants the art of Jumpology. When you jump, you unmask yourself of all pretensions and land on the ground your own true self.

February 9, 2011

Beautiful Batanes Isles: Like the Scottish Highlands

Beautiful Batanes Isles is a special  destination for eco-tourism.  The land’s  unique qualities makes it incomparable to any other islands in the Philippines.  Batanes is like New Zealand, Ireland and the Scottish Highlands.  The climate is semi-tropical.  The inhabitants are peace-loving; in fact, it is a crimeless place.They speak Ivatan, English and Filipino.

Going to Batanes for adventure  with  mother nature is  not a luxury, it is rugged, unless you stay at the luxurious Fundacion Pacita Museum Resort  that  gives the best view of both the emerald hills and the deep blue sea. Other hotels are decent and clean with hot and cold showers.

Mandy Navasero at Tinguian in Sabtang, wearing vakul, Ivatans' 
headgear protecting them from heat and rain

 Fundacion Pacita Abad Museum

Valugan Beach covered wuth andesite stones spewed during the
eruption of Mt. Iraya

Ivatan Delicacies and Natural Attractions

Food in Batanes is native and deliciously prepared.  The Batanes Seaside  Lodge  and Restaurant  prepares its own recipes, most of which are not found elsewhere.  Batanes is famous for its coconut  crabs cooked with coconut milk, paco,  and lobsters— much loved Ivatan delicacies.  Beef and numerous species of fish  and other kinds of seafoods and indigenous harvests are served to complete  the visitors’ unique experience in these beautiful isles.

At Naiidi Hills, eating corn in colorful outfits
Batanes’ natural attractions include rolling hills  lashed by green meadows and hedged-lined fields where cattles graze and  root crops are  cultivated.

 There are two mountains-- Mt. Iraya,  a thickly forested volcano standing at 1,517 meters at its summit that spewed huge rocks when it erupted and covered a  beach cove with boulders; and Mt. Matarem,  standing at 495 meters.  They are the favorites of mountaineers and trekkers.
Batanes boasts of caves and rock formations along the coastlines.  Road cuts through high rocky cliffs and passes along sandy beaches,  winding at various points, and zig-zagging at every hill it passes.

Tukon Chapel
The architecture of Ivatan house features meter-thick stone and lime walls, as well as foot-thick thatched cogon roofs, which are cool in summer and warm during winter months.  Climate from November to February is considered mild winter; while March to July is breezy, cool summer. As  a general rule, the best time to visit Batanes is from February to early part of October.

Photo Safari in Batanes

Upon arrival of SEAIR at Basco Airport
My photo safari  participants enjoy to the hilt our trekking to the Fountain of Youth, cave exploration of the Japanese Tunnel with a 90 degree drop,  spelunking at Gig Crystal Caves in Batan Island, dipping in the cold water in Sabtang’s Morong Beach, and body surfing  with waves, the color of turquoise.  Tour of the villages in Sabtang like Chavayan and Savidug  show stone houses like frozen in time.  Photography is done everywhere and anywhere.  A stopover at Barrio Tinguian where one has the mountain and the deep blue sea is like being in Court de Azur in France.  There, we play with  the wind and our shawls, color of the rainbow.

Jenni Padernal with light crawling in at San Vicente Ferrer Church in Sabtang
Cynch Bautista doing a tricky stuff with photography
 Photo enthusiasts  are given tips on the   most successful way to execute architectural, portrait, fashion and glamour, macro and jumpology in Malboro Country and other destinations. Most photo students take surprising photographs-- luminous greens or seascapes framed with a sense of power and  beauty.  They take portraits under natural lighting , bathing their fellow participants in light, with hair like a glowing halo. Indeed, Batanes is a haven for photographers and nature lovers.

Join the Amazing Batanes Photo Safari  on March 18-21,  April 19-22 and May 6-9, 2011.  Email  mandynavasero@yahoo.com  or call 8991767 for details.  To know more about this exciting adventure, visit  http://mandy-navasero.blogspot.com  

February 7, 2011

The Lure of Reading According to a Handbook for Seafarers

  “Read to Bridge Oceans” (published by  Gig and the Amazing Sampaguita Foundation, Inc.)   is a curious book with many things going for it.   
 It is obviously aimed at would-be seafarers and the active ones including their families while giving an ordinary reader a bird’s eye view of a vital sector that keeps the maritime industry going. 

There are around 230,000 Filipino seafarers on various ships world-wide according to Marissa Oca, president of the Gig and the Amazing Sampaguita Foundation, Inc which published the book. She is also at the helm of the Seamen’s Village in Dasmarinas, Cavite where some 456 families of seafarers live and owner of the St. Pancras School where children of seafarers get their basic education. His father, Captain Gregorio Oca, also heads the 85,000-strong seafarers’ labor organization called the Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP). The family is also behind the  school for seafarers, the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP). It has since then produced more than 800 midshipmen and midshipwomen since it was founded in 1997.

 On the whole, remittances from seafarers contribute a staggering $2 billion or about 17 per cent to the total annual OFW remittance of $12 billion. The book notes that approximately 25 per cent of the world fleet’s seafarers are in fact Filipinos which confirms the country’s reputation as the Crewing Capital of the World.

 Noted MAAP president Vice- Admiral (ret.) Eduardo Ma. R. Santos in the book: “There is a shortage  of 10,000 officers overseas and the shipping companies want Filipinos. We can only graduate over a hundred each year and we cannot cope with the demand. Every MAAP graduate has a job waiting for him in a foreign vessel. We have 100 per cent employment rate.”

  For the most part, the book is a tribute to the seafarers and their families.

  Opines Captain Oca in the book’s introduction: “Seafaring is a profession and many have taken it seriously as a lifetime career, as ‘seafaring’ truly runs in the blood of Filipinos. I took the same route and sailed the seven seas, and for over half a century now, I have chosen to be passionately involved in matters concerning seafarers and the maritime industry. As they say, once a seafarer,  always a seafarer.”
 In the three chapters with beautiful photography by Mandy Navasero, the book proceeds to chronicle the maritime industry and its allies, their families and the maritime schools in other parts of the country.

    While it remains a fairly substantial documentation of seafarers and their families, the book has a bigger agenda which is to encourage reading among seafarers and their children.
    The result is individual testimonials of various personalities in the maritime industry extolling the virtues of reading with excellent photography by  Navasero.

    Says Marissa Oca: “In the context of the one-parent family or the distant parent set-up, it has become our fervent desire to see the reading habit infecting seafarers’ household. Our 476 families at the Seamen’s Village in Cavite are taking their cue from the African proverb modified, ‘It takes a child to raise a village’ – in this case, a village of readers. Embracing the value of quality time through reading together is an inspiring start. We know that a reading adult at home can producea reading child. Studies show that the bond between parents and children who read are remarkable. We are bent on making our seafarer’s children shine brightly in the future.”

  The book and the Foundation was actually inspired by Marissa Oca’s late son, Gig, who shared  his mother’s  and Navasero’s love for reading, photography and people.

  For its short but extensive documentation of people behind the maritime industry, “Read To Bridge Ocean” is a must reading specially for those mulling a career in the high seas.

                                                                     - Pablo A. Tariman 
                                         Munting Nayon News Magazine                                                                               http://www.mnnetherlands.com 

February 3, 2011

The Beauty of Batanes

Countryside scenery in Batanes

Jenni Padernal, a nurse from the USA, 
posed for students to show crawling light from window.

At Tinquian in Sabtang, the Court de Azur of Batanes--  
where the wind blows so hard...and the ocean is deep, deep blue.

The Basco Lighthouse

Winding road to paradise. .. Don't blow your horn!

Ces Mallari Tan, a study in glamour.

Ces Mallari Tan in fashion photography with the S-curve.

Jenni Padernal, portrait in Batanes

Lecturer Mandy Navasero riding  a motor bike 
with a vakul, an Ivatan head gear to protect one from heat and rain.

Playful at Valughan Beach.  
Huge  boulders from the eruption of Mt. Iraya cover the beach.

San Vicente Ferrer Church built by the 
Dominican priests in 1875.

At Saint Carmel Church, Tukon, the community 
where the Abads reside and where  Fundacion Pacita Museum 
and Resort  stand proud against the emerald greens 
hugging the deep blue ocean.

Participants in the Batanes Photo Safari taking architectural 
shots of the Basco Bassilica.