There were rain showers early morning before the sunrise, just as I was told. But I caught a glimpse of the full moon and the early morning light rays off the slopes of Mount Iraya through my room window. It is gonna be another great day I say. The group woke up early so we could catch the boat to Sabtang Island. Half an hour past 5, we dragged our sleepy heads to our jeep and rolled of to the port of San Vicente.
I have always thought that going to Sabtang is a gamble. You’re never really sure if the boat would sail of that’s why I have this first on the list for the next day. In case we don’t make it the first time, we have another day to try. But I think with the full moon, the water was a lot calmer now. And as soon as we reached boat capacity we ventured off the channel. The ride wasn’t even splashy. The group was all ready with their dry bags. Boy are we lucky. Some were trying to snap in some snooze on the ride.
It’s great to see breakwater in Sabtang Port already finished. Now it’s a lot easier to alight and I have no fears of being capsized here again for the group. We had our breakfast at the Sabtang Guest House as I suggested, in case there were rough waters on the way to avoid fish feeding. After breakfast, we had a quick lecture about People and Architectural Photography before moving on our tour.
Our first stop was Savidug Village known for rows of Old Stone Houses. But I was aghast seeing some modern house constructions being built along the line of Old Stone houses. It was an eyesore and I asked our guide Joaquin why would the local government allow this. He said the landowners own the property and they have the final say on what to build there. It was disappointing. If those new structures are built, I hope it would blend in with the stone houses.
We made a stop at Tinan, the viewpoint and cliffs before the village of Chavayan. I think everyone had a grand time there. Our guide though was nervous for us since we were standing near the edges of the cliffs.
Chavayan Village, the southern-most village is one of my favorite places in Sabtang and I breathed a sigh of relief not seeing any modern constructions being built there. But there is a new Theater there which I haven’t seen before but it fits perfectly with the village. Not only that, there were kids there who gladly entertained us with a few songs while we stay under the shade sipping some fresh buko juice.
Driving back up north, we finally headed to Nakabuang Beach where the famous natural arc can be seen. There were some stone houses there now, built for the purpose of serving lunches for groups. Again we feasted on Ivatan food like last night but I thought the lobsters and tatus crabs here were a lot better with its lemony and butter flavor. A quick photo op there then we made way back to the boat and headed to Batan.
The waters were still calm but we could certainly feel the humidity. A stop at Honesty Coffeeshop and Ivana Church. A visit to hear Lola Ida tell tales in the oldest stone house in the region, House of Dakay. And finally speeding through the road to catch the setting sun at Basco Lighthouse where everyone was clamoring for.
We had an impromptu dinner at Pension Ivatan. Impromptu means we have to wait. We wanted Pizza but Casa Napoli changed venues now and they weren’t answering the phone. We had another lecture on Landscapes and seascapes this time in preparation for tomorrow. We also awarded our first raffle prize of a special Packable Eagle Creek Duffle Bag. It’s so cool I tell you. It’s so small and handy but expands to a duffle bag. The winner for this was Maria.
Power was out again when we got back but good thing the generator was running and power went back a lot earlier giving us a lot more time to rest this time. We have a very early wake up call again tomorrow. Ending Day 2.
Backpack Photography wishes to thank Canon for lending the Selphy Printer and Lonely Planet Travel Photography Book prize, Eagle Creek for 2 Packable Duffle Bag Prize, Olympus for the participant caps and Sony for the Bloggie
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.