Thursday, November 27, 2008

BATANES : Sabtang, where time stands still

Time does not exists out here

shelters from the storm
As I continue with my Batanes wanderings I went farther up north
of Batanes and crossed the ocean to another island destination which is Sabtang.

rider on board
I have read numerous stories on how the waves going to Sabtang can scare the shits out of even the seasoned mariner but i was lucky the swells I have experienced were quite tame although I have to admit that while on the boat you can still feel the large ripple of ocean waves hitting the sides and bottom of the faluwah.

the waves are tamer now
In Batanes the waves are different from the normal ones we see on familiar oceans. Out there the ripples are rippling far apart and it could go very high then drop down very low. If you are riding the faluwa you can feel the boat swaying in one direction as the waves carry it up high then you can feel it being lowered down as if a large forklift drops it like it’s hot.
Anyway, I could see that the boatmen were very calm, the boat ride even looks boring to them so I guess the waves that morning when i crossed the waters in between Sabtang and Batan was like a walk in the park for these mariners.
aboard the faluwa
Sabtang is one of the three islands of Batanes (Batan, Sabtang and Itbayat).
The island has its own way of life, its own culture and own sense of posterity for its heritage.
As the boat approaches the shorelines of Sabtang the first thing that I noticed were the white long buildings which I found out to be the Heritage Tourism Office, the School of Fisheries Building.The Sabtang Lighthouse also stands majestically on the top of a cliff.

Sabtang coastal town

Parola by the cliff
Sabtang light house

As I disembarked from the boat I observed how peaceful and isolated the place is.
The port is the only point of entry to the main town and I was greeted by an arch signifying the arrivals of any visitor to the island and by numerous faluwas currently tied down or anchored on the shores. One will not also miss the church of Sabtang as it stands facing the ocean towards Batan.
welcome for coming
Peaceful town

church of Sabtang
Church of Sabtang

hello again Batanes
Sabtang has maintained its old way of life.
In Chavayan and Savidug the houses are still in their original Ivatan designs.
stones on the walls
The landscapes on this island are very beautiful and enchanting it made me asked myself, "when was the last time i really got awed by a picture?"
God's country

road to the edge of the earth
heaven and waters
under a different light
enchanted island
sunrise for the dreamers
Dios Mamajes!
Romulus Rueda
Sabtang Island, Batanes
August 2008

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