I can’t believe it’s almost over. I woke up Sunday morning to see the group already up and ready to leave for the airport. Munching on their breakfast of tuna sandwich and a cup of coffee in hand, I also noticed their baggage clumped together at the reception area. I greeted them good morning. Everyone’s already prepared. I brought down the Selphy Printer for a last minute request to print. And as soon as we heard the Seair plane started to land, we hopped in our jeep and sped to the airport only a few minutes away.
It was 3 days of photographic tour and 3 nights stay in Batanes. From the 6 core group attendees in Backpack Photography Banaue we had 9 more individuals who equally had the same passion for travel and photography. It was amazing the group geled together. For me who is used to traveling either alone or in a small group, it was a pleasure to be with these guys who gives a lot of character and color not only to the destination but the journey itself.
We wished them well back on their journey to Manila as I and my friend/co-facilitator Lagalog stayed behind for more exploration and possible destinations to bring people. Things got a little quieter back in DDD Habitat where we moved to a bigger airconditioned room this time and saw a new group checking in as soon as majority from our group left.
I had to give big thanks to DDD Habitat for helping us coordinate this Batanes Workshop as well. It’s really hard to coordinate the logistics from a very remote place but we managed to pull it off. I was glad to have stumbled upon them a year back while the establishment was still on the midst of setting up their operation.
As much as I wanted to roam around more in Batan, come mid-day, I succumbed to the temptation of just lying in bed most afternoon to sleep under the cool temperature of the room. I even forgot about lunch and just woke up late afternoon. It’s like my battery was set to recharge for a few hours.
We went to the Basco Port for the afternoon setting sun. It seems that life continues here as usual. There were lots of local kids and teens enjoying the beach. Some were jumping off from the port platforms and boats while some playing around with the waves. We also noticed a large Shipwreck M/V Legaspi stuck on a rocky shore. We soon learned that large waves pushed this vessel to where it is now just a few months ago.
Leaving the port, a small pickup truck pulled just beside me and driver said “Kamusta? Bumalik ka! (Hey how are you? You’re back!)” I didn’t recognize him before since his hair was different but he was also our driver last year when I was here with Seair Inflight. “So you’re finally going back to Itbayat tomorrow!” has asked. “Yes, I’m excited. It’s been 6 years when I last visited the place”
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.