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Batanes was everything we had expected plus more. It’s raw, unspoilt and gives a new meaning to the word laidback.

It was one of those ‘sperm of the moment’ decisions when someone ejaculated an idea after dinner that got everyone around the table excited. It’s all a blur now on how we managed to put together the itinerary for the trip. Before we knew it, we were boarding the SkyJet flight to Basco, the capital of Batanes. The flight was less than 2 hours from Manila on an 80-seater aircraft that navigated then landed on the small airfield with the grace of an egret.

Basco airport had a rustic and homey vibe predicating what was to come. We were picked up at the airport by the transfer service that we had arranged with the hotel. A cheerful fella beaming with pride and eager to show us around town. We had some reservations when he proposed to take us around town first before going to the hotel, but he was insistent. In less than 5 minutes we were at the heart of Basco, Batanes – quaint, functional, unassuming with an air of pride in its simplicity. Amidst the greenery I concocted images in sepia in my head like a scene from Peque Gallaga’s Oro, Plata, Mata.

We stayed at Martin’s Inn, a bed and breakfast right in the middle of town. From the inn we could see the Basco Lighthouse right atop Naidi Hill, Basco Port, Basco Bay, Batanes Athletic Field, Basco Elementary and Secondary Schools, Saint Dominic College, Basco Church,  Basco Municipal Hall , Batanes Provincial Capitol, Other Government Offices and the majestic Mt. Iraya. Getting to the Inn took less than 10 minutes from the airport, by car, and this included the trip around town already. Basco is a small town but not to be scoffed at on the richness of experience offered to visitors. Stay tune for the next blog in this series to read about our experience.

Basco Lighthouse gave a commanding presence, situated atop the hill, watching over us. A picnic at the lighthouse was put on the agenda for the week-long vacation.

There is so much of Batanes that we experienced that no amount of blog could possibly capture. The adventures and stories need to be told alongside the photos we captured over dinner or, better, over wine, cheese and crackers Batanes style. We will endeavour to tell some of these stories here, in future blogs.

For now, here is a glimpse of Batanes, captured on my iPhone.

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