We marvelled at the stars, shining plentifully at the sky. Something we don’t see in an urban night. We played around with the star-gazer on our phones figuring out the constellations, the position of the stars in the wee hours of the morning while waiting for our dump truck service to arrive. Despite the gizmos in our hands, there was no electricity in Itbayat at 4am as it runs from noon to 12 midnight only. We were headed to one of the mountains in the island, Mt Karoboboan. Usual program from tourism here is they take people to the peak at sunset. But since we didn’t have time the day before, we decided to go on a sunrise.
Mt Karoboboan stands only at
500 277meters above sea level. A dump truck would be able to take us to the peak. The ride took us less than an hour, enough to catch the sunrise at the summit. There was a fenced area that looked like a nice garden with a platform made of wood as a lookout point. There’s also a nice hut where people can have a picnic. It was really charming.
It was one of those places where the view looks really amazing but capturing it was another thing. We challenged our participants to look for a good foreground to lead the eyes to the scenic sunrise. We also had a breakfast with neatly packed meals wrapped in tipoho leaves. Inside was a hefty serving of rice with pork, fish and with egg. We happily ate at the hut with the cold wind and calming surroundings at the peak of Mt Karoboboan.
We got back at Cano’s Lodge and got ready to make our way to Chinapoliran Port for our boat back to Batan Island. Since there was still time, we made a side-trip to Paganaman Port. A favourite spot of mine as we could see the fishermen here lift their boats on and off the steep platform of the port. There were also fishermen just hanging by the cliffs waiting for their prey to take a bite at their line.
The ride back to Batan Island was a lot smoother than our first ride. We got a lot of floor space to lie around and sleep. It was also much faster that we arrived just ahead of time in the afternoon. Again, even after being in Itabayat several times already, I felt that there are still more that I haven’t seen. Like the islands seen north of the islands. Another excuse to go back again.
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.