Tuesday, May 4, 2010
SIMPLE LIFE IN ITBAYAT
February 22, 2010
As we heard our alarms, we woke up and start to prepare for our sailing trip to another island called Itbayat. We had a nice Dasilong breakfast (Daing Na Dibang – local name for flying fish). The intention was not to overburden our stomach with food because of what lies ahead. At 7:00 AM, we headed to Basco Port to catch our Faluwa boat.
We will board M/B Intransa, together with more or less 40 people including the crew and lots of load. The cargo are diverse, from blue plastic drums, metal drums, metal sheets, commodities (liquors, canned goods, eggs), woods, cements, furniture, and I even saw an Epson dot matrix printer.
As the 60-passengers specified faluwa sailed out to the open sea, it was a highway ride for almost 30 minutes which was the time the crew is handing out meriendas (juice and bread). The next 210 minutes was an ordeal in some magnitude. As one local said, the waves are normal because of sunny weather above us but still we took our “sea sick pills” to counter the dancing waves. You will really feel the dizziness because of left-to-side and up-to-down motion of the boat as it sways with the big waves.
As we approach Chinapoliran Port, there was ship at the dock so the captain needs to maneuver his boat to align it to the left side for parking. The scene was astounding and you can really sense on how masterful these Ivatan boatmen are. People are first to be unloaded, you need to be careful and synchronized on the rising boat as the waves hits it. At the other side, locals will be catching you; this is a test of courage and no hesitation.
As we wait for our transfer to our home-stay place, we saw how the loads are unloaded and brought up to the top of the coral cliff port. This is one the places where you can see what teamwork really mean. As they catch every bag, boxes, drums and others, a missed second in the lane will falter the synchronized move. As these loads are brought to the loading places, a 45-degrees pulley system will be stretched back-and-forth by a truck to load/unload.
Finally, we wet with Mrs. Cano, our overnight host in the island. While waiting for catered lunch, she discussed and explains the history of the island and also our itinerary for two days. She also talked about how simple life in the island is and even said, “We have simple life here and in return we have simple problems” which is in the real sense true.
We are now ready to start of island tour; first stop will be the Torongan Cave, going up to the hill to see the panoramic view of the blue water. It was a combination of mild trekking and caving. At the hill, you can see Mount Riposed, magnificent cliff-sides and Dinem Island. Next stop is to the other side which is Mount Karoboban which is the highest point in this coral place. There is a view deck which you see the other four northmost islands of Batanes, (Maduvis-Yami), Misanga, Ditaram and Siayan).
We stayed and rest for a while at the view deck while taking numerous jump shots. There are others places to visit but it needs walking and trekking to be reached and you need two to three days.
As we went back to the house, dinner was almost ready. We were also amazed that our bed is covered already with mosquiteros. Our menu includes, shallot leaves, tortang talong, beef steak, fried chicken, and kamoteng maruya.
We have no more time to have a session because of the bumpy ride going to each landmark. Sleeping was our main goal that night.
Location: Itbayat, Batanes