|Mahatao gradients of greens and blues|
It took me two trips to Batanes before I was able to cross over to Sabtang and three trips before I was able to step on the northernmost inhabited island of Itbayat. Though it seems like my Batanes Three-Island Hop resembled an installment plan scheme that took five years to complete, I feel fortunate to be given as many privileges to visit. Truth be told, I never minded and with each trip, I discover something new.
|Imnajbu - where the local version of Wuthering Heights was shot|
Admittedly, Batanes is one of my most favorite local destinations. After all, what's not to like there -- the laidback vibe, the incredible scenery, the un-polluted air, the simple life, the friendly locals. I remember being mesmerized by the rolling hills of Viang dotted by grazing, nonchalant cows, entertained by the stubborn goats in Imnajbu, and hypnotized by the raw beauty of Valugan.
|Itbayat rustic scenery - green hills, blue waters, cloud-filled skies|
Over at Sabtang, I feel that an afternoon spent on Nakabuang Beach is simply not enough. Ditto, revisiting the stone house community at Savidug. A four-hour-boat ride away, I was fascinated by the vernacular grass houses of Raele which preceded the iconic Batanes stone house, the wilder coast of Pagganaman and the beautiful Sta. Maria Church.