The Home of the Winds

On Rolling Hills, Lighthouses and Stone houses - Batanes, Philippines  

There’s always a time when you’re not feeling good, heart’s heavy, burnt-out and shoulders drooping. This time, you just want to breathe in fresh air, relax, and release whatever it is that stresses you or that has pained you. I would suggest you visit Batanes, the “Home of the Winds”. The place is like a relaxing balm that will surely sooth your pain away and recharge you.

Batanes’ Rolling Hills

I experienced hiking in one of the hills. It was so refreshing. As the cold air touches me, I let the comforting wind wash away all my doubts and fears. The clear, blue sky reminds me that I’m a part of this wonderful creation.

Batanes is located in the northernmost province of the Philippines, 120 miles south of Taiwan. It has some of the most postcard perfect landscape, picturesque rolling hills, lighthouses and old stone houses which are made of limestone, coral and cogon grass for roofing.

One of the nearest lighthouse from the Capital of Batanes, a walk-away, around 2 kilometers from our accommodation is the Basco Lighthouse. We go in the morning to watch the sunrise and the views.

The people of Batanes are called Ivatans. They wear a headgear called the “Vakul”, made from a plant called Voyavoy (Philippine Date Palm), to protect their heads from rain. Below is one of the oldest houses in Batanes.

Ivatans are also called the most honest persons. It is in this Province that the Honesty Store was first established. You would buy and pay all by yourself. There’s no one to tell if you’ve paid exactly or not, just your conscience.

Their transportation is one-of-a-kind, as they have a centralized transport system. When you need a ride, you would send a message or text their hotline number, and voila, your ride would come to your place. This booking system has been on for many years in the island. And look at their own-styled tricycle that is made of wood braces and grasses as roof.

I would say that this place is best for retreat and self-reflection. And having this kind of experience is something that you can write as one of your, “Most Unforgettable” part of your life.

Hope the pandemic is soon over. Think of Batanes, Philippines when planning for a trip.

Published by Maria Cristina Gino Baroso

Education advocate and travel lover

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