Wednesday, 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  

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