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*Image courtesy of SEAIR website

I learned that SEAIR is once again hosting a blogging contest as posted on the South East Asian Airlines Facebook fan page and this time they are planning to go way up North...Batanes. I'm a true-blooded South person (people living in Metro Manila cities in the South - Taguig) that both of my parents are born and raised in Southern provinces as well. I've never been to the northern provinces of the Philippines (even Baguio) that the northest province I have been is Zambales (Subic). Since I don't know about Batanes, I had research it on my Philippine map at my room to see where it is. I'm not that good at Philippine geography and the only thing that sticks to my mind about Batanes is the movie of my crush, Iza Calzado, and the F4 member Ken Chu entitled "Batanes: Ang pag-ibig ay walang hangganan". I never knew it was really that way north of our map that it is even closer to Taiwan as compared to Manila.

I am then curious what is really in Batanes. Due to my great impulse and low emotional quotient (EQ), I decided to fly via SEA Air to Batanes and not join this contest anymore. Good thing I saved up quite a sum of money for this trip and booked the earliest flight to Batanes.

*Image courtesy of SEAIR website

I lined up at the airport to get my boarding pass for my SEAIR flight. I even asked the lady at the counter to put me on a window seat, and fortunately the friendly staff granted my request. On board the plane, I was listening to my favorite Christmas carol (Winter Wonderland) as I look at the breath-taking view of the Philippine Islands. I'm really glad I experienced the best flight in town and seated at the best seat to capture this moment. The flight was very smooth and quick that I never knew we are already approaching Batanes. The pilot already announced our descent at the airport in a few minutes. The pilot is so great that I haven't felt we already declared touchdown. I tried checking the GPS of my phone and its reading 20.448407,121.975193 and it is really confirmed I'm in Batanes.
*Image courtesy of SEAIR website
*Image courtesy of Ria O.
Soon as we arrived at Batanes, I can already feel the winds from South China Sea and Philippines Sea converging and pampering my skin. My whole body is freezing and yet it felt hot with the warm greetings of the locals upon our arrival. I am amazed to see Ivatan native dressed on their traditional vacul (women's headdress) and kanayi (men's native vest). I never thought these things can still make fashion but seriously it looks good and I said to myself to buy one before I leave.

Since I have to be back at Manila the following day, I already asked a local guide to roam me around Batanes. Every single snap of my camera is like beauty captured in a moment. I cannot erase a single picture on my camera as even the blurry of all pictures created an effect so beautiful. The cold winds even added majestic experience on the whole experience.
*Image courtesy of SEAIR website
I visited the historical stone houses of Batanes. I am simply amazed by their creativity and the authenticity of these native homes still surviving amidst the different harsh typhoon that crossed this majestic place. As I'm taking picture of the stone house, I then notice an old parola (lighthouse) still standing at the seaside. I then asked my guide that we went to that place. As I approached the parola, I can hear the melancholy of the waves whispering to my ears pulling me closer to my destination. The splash of waters over the big boulders of smooth stones at shore create a unique set of notes. When I arrived at the lighthouse, my heart pounded even harder. I took every shots on every angle of it like there's no tomorrow. I even had a landscape picture that I liked with the waves rushing towards the enormous beauty of this parola. It was already almost afternoon when I finished my shot. A layer of fog begins to enveloped the place and good enough I was able to capture it. I then asked myself "Am I already in heaven?" as it seems the only thing missing are the angels and St. Peter around with the whole scenery that time.

*Video courtesy of apiong2007

My body is exhausted yet my spirit is still fully charged. I then decided to go to my residence and have some dinner. I am not that experimental in terms of food but it was great that the local cook at my residence prepared something so special and to remind me of the day ahead. He prepared a local dish named Lunes, which is a pork fried in its own fat. On the side they also have supas, which I regret to pass since I don't eat rice anymore but on the other hand tried their dish made of snails called Mirada and Ubud. There's also a mixture of salad made from the local fern found at the backyard. The cook even bought their famous coffee from Honesty Coffee Shop. At a distance, my dinner is more memorable as there a neighbor teens sing an old Ivatan song. I asked our cook the title of the song and he told me it is entitled Laji. The entire moment is really great and so sumptuous that I forgot to take pictures of the food and drinks. :|

*Image courtesy of Ria O.
I know a long day of work is ahead of me when I get back to Manila but the experience is really great. The entire cool breeze made it even more fantastic. I think this is the winter experience Filipinos will surely love. It might not have the white flakes of snow that we usually imagine as a kid but the cool breeze embraced by the warm and kind Ivatan of Batanes is incomparable. How I wish I have my closest friends with me during this time. I made a final picture taking of the folks around at night to feel the further the literally wind blowing experience of Batanes. I can smell the Filipino winter in the air passes over my shoulders as I concentrate and focus my camera on the shots I am taking amidst the darkness. I want to take more pictures but then the battery is already empty. I then decided to get back to my residence at Batanes and have a good sleep preparing for the work day ahead.

*Image courtesy of www.igma.tv
"KRINGGGGGGGGGGGG" - its the alarm of my phone. I then try to find my cellphone to put it on snooze. I am really lazy to wake up then something struck me...the sound of Izza Calzado in the background with the buzzing noise of our aircon. I then tried to stand up and look at the surroundings. I then noticed that my headset is still on my ears connected on my laptop with the VCD of the movie Batanes continuously playing. My mom was asking what's wrong with me having a strange look at my face. I then hurriedly looked for my camera to see what are the last pictures saved but it was all the pictures of the food from the last restaurant that I've been. It then made me realize that all the things I just discussed is nothing but a dream. My brain must have been so excited to see Batanes that it created a scenery with the cold wind coming from the aircon from my room and from the images of Batanes that I have seen as I am preparing my entry for SEAIR. For a moment, I felt sad that it was all in my mind. However, as I'm prepping for work my optimism strikes again and remembered of the on-going contest of SEAIR. I then know that it might be a sign that I should join their promo and all these memories will become a reality, Deja vu as they might say it. Hope it is really a Deja vu and I can be selected as one of the seven bloggers to be chosen. I've never been to Northern part of the Philippines and I want to experience what is way up there.

I hope you do like my entry. Please do like my post or leave a comment if you will. Hopefully SEAIR grants my wish and be part of the seven lucky bloggers to enjoy a Batanes Escapade...

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