“Batanes in June!? You gotta be kidding? You might get stranded when a storm comes.” Was some of the common reactions I get when I say we’ll be holding a Travel and Outdoor Workshop at the end of June. I couldn’t blame them since Batanes do have a reputation as a stormy region but that was true a few years ago. These last couple of years we noticed the change in weather patterns. Even Ivatan locals there say “Official storm season now starts sometime October” So early morning 24th of June, 2010. I along with 16 other people flew from Manila, braving whatever weather yet eager to set foot on the northern-most region of the Philippines – Batanes.
We’re rescheduling the Backpack Photography Batanes Outdoor + Travel in the festival month of June. Join us from June 24-27, 2010. Details below:
This is not your usual tour of Batanes. You’ll be spending 4-days and 3-nights capturing the rugged beauty and sweeping landscapes of Batanes in the best light. Prepare to wake up in the wee hours of the morning to capture the first light and stay up late to see the islands after dark. Learn how to engage people and take home meaningful portraits during the Town Fiesta on the 26th of June. Get the angles right and capture amazing architectural structures. This photo safari will refine your skills in outdoors and travel photography so you can take home stunning photos that will make your friends and family wish they were there.
“You have to be on your own mettle with fishing, but you don’t really succeed at it until you calm down, accept what the weather’s going to give you” – Charles Rangeley, author
I’ve always thought that Batanes is rich in underwater life but it has never been really exploited. It’s remoteness (and pricey flights) really prevented a lot of people for coming here to gamefish. It’s really fortunate that on one of my assignments on Seair Inflight, I was able to observe what it’s like to fish here. Here are some excerpts from writer Chip Childers taken from his article “Desperate Angler”.
Aside from finding the range of accommodations in Basco and also discovering places to eat, I spent a lot of my time in Batan Island just chilling out and wandering around. It was after a 4 day of assignment so I didn’t really want to pressure myself to produce as many photos as I needed. I decided to be experimental this time and set my camera to monotone mode and capture Batanes in monochrome hues. At different times of the day, I go to these places walking distances from Basco center and just sit there for at least an hour and just be amazed at this wondrous creation.
With more time to roam around Basco Batanes, I was able to see what has changed since last time I was there. Nothing much really aside from some re-construction of some buildings. What I noticed though are some changes and additions on accommodations in Basco. With the rise of tourist in Batanes, it’s a good thing there’s a growing number of places to stay in Basco. Here’s a nifty guide on where to stay in Basco with personal comments and impressions on each of them.
After a three day photo Assignment in Batanes, my companions left me on my lonesome in Basco. Learning I would be going to Batanes again, I asked if I can extend my stay there to explore. So I have around another 4 days to spare there. Oh I was originally planning to go back to Itbayat and explore that northernmost region of the Philippines but I chickened out when there was a heavy downpour that Friday morning that I have to postpone going there by boat and since the air strip there is being lengthened no planes could fly there. Not a good decision actually since the next few days became bright and sunny. More than to chill out, I decided to go around by biking Batan Island. Never knew that I would be biking at least 40km of Batan Island’s cliff side and coastal roads for at least 10 hours.
2008 has been blessed with so many travels. I actually had a very very hard time deciding the best-of-the best on all the destinations visited on 2008. While each destination offers something unique on its own, each decision is based on my deep experience which characteristics resonates most on the place. So this ‘best-of’ is based on my personal opinion but feel free to share what you think. So here goes….