Prelude to my biggest journey

So I’m getting hitched.  Yaaay!  I suppose my “About Me” page has to be modified soon to reflect my new status as a happily engaged man.  Nothing much to say about the proposal itself.  I just thought I’d pop the question in the most beautiful place in the country that I’ve ever been to.  It was a private and intimate affair.  Luckily, the weather cooperated and the timing was right.  (There was a bit of comedy involved, but that only made things more memorable.)

For the travelers out there, you will certainly recognize where that photo was taken.  Yes, I proposed in that exact same spot.  🙂


Batanes is not anyone’s private playground

In terms of travel and tourism, there is only one issue that can make me flare up and hound an opposing opinion (and beat it down to a bloody pulp long after it has stopped having a pulse.)  I am talking about the widespread belief that high air fares are necessary in order to preserve whatever is beautiful about Batanes. Continue reading

Everyone’s kinder in Batanes (even the tourists).


(Sorry I haven’t been posting for a long time.  I’ve been busy cramming all my reservations for my Vietnam/Cambodia trip and this has consumed my online time.  This is the last entry in the Batanes series, and hopefully, I’ll finish this one before I leave for my trip to Vietnam & Cambodia.)

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

I’ve once said that no matter where I go in this country, I never really feel too far away from home because there is a certain familiarity when encountering fellow Filipinos even when they speak a different local language.  Generally speaking, and from my limited traveling experience, I find that no single group of Filipinos occupying a particular geographic area is much kinder or more unscrupulous than all the others. Continue reading

The 2-lie system of SEAir’s Manila-Basco flights (a warning)

When I created this blog, one of my resolutions was to make this new blog as free as possible from rants, sarcasm and writings made in the heat of extremely angry moments (which are things that characterize most of my social networking output).  This is why I held off for more than a month before writing an entry about something that made me absolutely furious at the time it was happening.  I was hoping that the passage of weeks would somehow diminish my anger and allow me to deliver this warning in a calm and reasonable manner, without resorting too much on unduly negative language. Continue reading

In search of Batanes’ prehispanic past

When the subject of Ivatan culture and heritage is discussed, the attention inevitably gets focused on the most tangible manifestations of such, i.e. the traditional stone houses and centuries old-churches, among others.  These are buildings that have withstood the test of time and the elements in the harsh Batanes climate.  While those Spanish-era structures themselves capture one’s interest, it does obscure the fact that the Ivatans have a much richer prehispanic past, traces of which have survived to the present day. Continue reading

Stuck in Batan: New Sites & Sentimental Favorites

The visit to faraway Itbayat did not materialize.  It was a bit disappointing considering that it was the single most significant destination I was looking forward to in this return trip to Batanes.  But I’m glad that it didn’t take place, and here’s why: Continue reading

Mahatao’s Lighthouses: Setting the Facts Straight

(This originally was part of another blog I was making, but it began to have a life of its own and I thought it best to put it in a separate entry.)

When one says “Mahatao Lighthouse”, this is probably what most of those who have gone to Batanes have in mind:

…which makes sense because it is a lighthouse and it is in Mahatao. Continue reading