Ever since the workshop started we’ve been waking up earlier than the sun. We were joking most of the time that we’ve managed to accomplish a lot before 9am (when one of the participant’s alarm would start ringing) than on a usual day. Even on the last day of our workshop, we had to wake up a tad earlier. We noticed that the days are longer here in Batanes, by 5am we could already see the sky light up. So by 4:40am, our jeep was already rolling towards Valugan Bay.
The sky started showing its colors when we got to large boulder rock beach of Valugan. Everyone got into their preferred positions while we remind them to be careful navigating through the rocks. The morning light was good but a bit cloudy as well. I shot a few videos and photos here for documentation and proceeded to check on the participants and be on standby in case anyone needs help.
I think that was a good morning run. When the sun was little higher, we proceeded to the end of the beach where the boats are parked and the stones smaller, smoother and colorful. If you stay still and listen closely, you could hear the sound of rocks sliding under the seabed akin to the sound of bowling pins falling. After some posterity shots we head back to DDD Habitat for breakfast then we roll off again for a tour of Batan Island’s southern attractions.
Our first stop was Raku a Payaman (popularly known as the Marlboro Hills) where we enjoyed the slopes descending into the magnificent views of Mt Iraya and the South China Sea. The nearby Mahatao lighthouse was our side-stop before proceeding to Diura Fishing village where we had another sumptuous lunch and a little time to shoot.
Driving down south we then proceed to Imnajbu for the wonderful rock formations of Alapad. There were a few additions there now like wooden fences and roof-less shed. One thing I like about having a large group as this is that I also learn a lot from them. We have a plant-agriculturist expert with us identifying some plants only seen and growing in Batanes. We also have a mining engineer equally amazed at the sediment formations and layers of Alapad. How interesting that it made me appreciate the place more.
I realized that I overshot our afternoon sched but we did stop by the Ruins of Song-Song, Mahatao Church and finally the Chanarian View Deck for the sunset. Squeezing only a couple of hours of free time left for the group to do their own thing.
To formally end the workshop, we had a nice dinner setup at the roof top of DDD Habitat where we could dine under the lunar eclipse clearly seen that night. Kudos to the staff for that very nice setup and great dinner. Souvenirs are given along with their certificates.
We also gave away a few items from our sponsors. We had another Packable Eagle Creek Duffle Bag which Cat won, a notebook from Blackberry Abie gotand Canon gave out a Lonely Planet Travel Photography Book as well which Miake won through a raffle. After dinner, participants were also able to print their photos through the portable Canon Selphy. The conversations, printings and laughs went on until pass midnight ending day 3 of Backpack Photography Batanes.
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.