Batanes: My Last Days

How do you face death? How do you face the day that you know would be your last? To some effect I ask these questions to my self when I am on the last day of my trip. If I were to die today what would I do. My answer? I always say I’d  like to go slow.Savor the moment, the place and try to feel and remember the feeling, the things that matter to me most and those that I would cherish when I get back to the urban jungle.

I started the day just lazying around my hostel, ate breakfast, spark a smoke and just chill and breath the fresh air.  I try to collect memories of the things that happened over the past couple of days, how I somewhat fulfilled my dreams of going to the northern most point (y’ami island) and the southern most point of my country.

The hot choco that I made from the honesty store at the gazebo of my hostel was just awesome as I sip it through the crisp morning air. It was something that I’ve always pictured my self of doing. sans the awesome view because I was beside the airport.

I did nothing special this day, wait everything was special, this is Batanes.

After having breakfast I took my rented bike and pedaled my way to Vulugan Boulder Beach. Again the terrain was very challenging but crossing with locals pedaling up hill with loads and passengers on their bike made me a bit embarrassed to get down and push my bike uphill. But I gave up, it was just too difficult.

I thought that I got lost at some point but there was just one road leader to the sea. I left my bike at the shed and walked doen the beach.

It seemed like I was an insect on a small pebble as I sat down on the huge rocks lining the beach at no particular rhythm. I felt peace as I try to feel the wind .

I stopped by the Airport for some photos but ultimately the bike ride around the town and chavayan may be the best part of this trip. To see the locals live their lives in harmony and contentment gave lessons I may not learn from books and the internet, that simplicity and contentment play an important part of our lives.

The following morning I took my bag with a heavy heart and walked to the airport the experience is about to end but the lessons are forever in my heart.

Batanes is a place for pilgrimage, a place where you commune with God, Nature and Humanity. A place where you can see the paradise that God created for humans. It is a place to be respected, left unchanged like the mountains we climb as they say Leave No Trace Behind.

When you come to Batanes, do not be the tourist that you usually are. Try to learn and respect the ways of the locals, trust me, they have more breeding than most of us urbanites.

Again respect.

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ian dela pena

iandelapena, the person behind the blog brownmantrips is a yuppie living in the metropolis who believes there is always something good to see everywhere in the world. This is his depository of travel memories for his not so good and maybe soon to fail memory, thus the travelogues in this blog.