Anyone who has seen Batanes will become a poet, a film maker, or a lover. Fall in love with its enigma, its vastness, its roughness and perfection, its charm, and its ability to devour you and you won’t even mind. In fact, you will never want to see what lies beyond the landscapes, the wandering cows and horses of the so-called Marlboro country, of the waves in the distance edging the beach like chalk writings on a dark board of sea, of endless greens of mountain after mountain after mountain. In a word, you don’t want to be reminded of the city. If you could only sketch and keep it etched in your mind forever…. Here, you are a species of nature, like every thing else.

One saunters without an exact destination, without a map, and better yet, without mind. Stop by the road, hike up a little, and be surprised, nay, be without words, by the beauty before you — a panorama of mountains edged by pristine shores facing the Pacific Ocean, sound of waves hitting rocks in the distance, with a country song playing in the background from what seems to be the only electronic thing around—an old-fashioned radio — as if mimicking a real cowboy life.

Here and there, you see blooms on the sidelines, untamed — a thing of beauty in the middle of nowhere characterized by winding roads and cliffs only separated by a very fine line. What a delight it would be to any biker or runner to breeze through this island of literal ups and downs.

Anyone who has seen Batanes will see it again. Where people say good mornings or evenings to a friend or stranger on the road. Where one citizen could hold several jobs at once — as a vendor, an airport attendant, and a community police. Where history tells you of folks building houses and structures without pay.

Batanes — where the wind tells you it has a name. It blows at you and it can blow you away indeed. Where the waves teach you to be patient. Where nature commands you to go with its flow, to follow it. Where your feet smell of grass. And where you just lose your self and find it.

And if you’re the first tourist of the day to stand alone on these mountains, you can own nature, only if it could fit your cup, your life cup that is only some years old in this world and still an infant to understand what nature is all about.

As for me, I have become a writer, again.


Join the conversation! 7 Comments

  1. I always wanted to go here. I don’t know why people have no idea how beautiful it is there. Most people wants to go to Boracay.

    Is that near the house of the painter? I’m not sure haha.

    They say Batanes is the New Zealand of the Philippines because of its green sceneries 🙂 You’re lucky!


  2. Beautiful pictures. Looks like a wonderful place to be.


  3. Beautiful! One of the great features of WordPress – I am allowed to visit the world, view photo’s, read and learn of other cultures. Thank you for sharing.



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About hellopenville

Writing is my one true north. (The other is eating spaghetti. I make the best pastas in the whole world I swear!) I have been writing since age 10. I remember being in another school a lot because of Campus Journalism contests. I was a grade-school copyreader, headline-writer, and feature writer, who emerged to be a college editorial writer and eventually a TV news writer. However, I have always been an insecure artist. These constant condescending thoughts always stopped me from creating: “No one would read this.” “This has been written before and therefore no one would read this.” “This is not interesting enough and therefore no one would read this.” “This is not relevant, or factual, or trendy enough and therefore no one would read this.” But I learned to risk to write even if no one reads it, than not to have written anything at all. To resist writing is to resist truth itself, to betray that which comes freely to you when you do not allow it to be manifested through you. I didn’t think writing was serious work. But every time I thought about writing, it would make me nervous. It would rattle me and frighten me. I would shake the ground under me. Aren’t dreams like that too? Read more at


Asia, Philippines, Travel


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