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

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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

Batanes Day 3: Back to Batan (part 1) – 12/10/09

I actually had a good night’s sleep in the Tourism Office in Sabtang.  This was unusual for me because I usually have difficulty sleeping when I spend the night in an unfamiliar place. It’s probably a combination of fatigue from the tour and the excellently filling dinner I had the previous night.

Batan island as seen from the Tourism Office veranda

I woke up at around 6 am and walked around Centro.  I tried to do my usual exercise regimen but my aching joints seemingly protested even the easiest warm-up routines.  From my conversation with Joaquin the night before, we most likely would not be able to catch the first trip going back to Batan so that means I have enough time to walk around Centro before the second trip.  I used this time to take pictures of people going about their daily lives, as well as the surroundings.

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