Thank You, Roger

He climbed a tree and scaled the rocky clifts in flipflops just to get us the best shots from our trip. He made some of my unusual photographic requests possible even when it was not in the itinerary. People greeted him whether we were travelling along the national highway, walking around a village or an open field. "You could run for mayor and win, Roger!" I joked. He laughed hard but shook his head. "I have no interest in politics." he replied with his booming voice. Most of all, he was always ready to lend a hand to get things moving. 

If you ever need a tour guide in Batanes, I highly recommend Roger.

 

Portraits 10

"What are the kids up to these days?" I asked our guide, Roger. "Internet gaming." He answered. He knew of a friend whose son stole and sold vegetables from the farm so he could use the money to play games online. After hearing this, I asked him if there was an internet cafe we could visit. Luckily, there was one next to where we were having lunch.

Internet Gamers. Basco, Batanes. Philippines/ ©Stella Kalaw

Portraits 07

It was often mentioned during our trip that the crime rate in Batanes was very low. In fact, the police officers did not even carry firearms while on duty. After hearing this, I was curious to find out if this was true. I then asked our guide if we could visit a local police station to possibly take a few portraits.

Police Officers Oscar Velasco and Lucio Come. Basco, Batanes. Philippines/ ©Stella Kalaw

Police Officers Oscar Velasco and Lucio Come. Basco, Batanes. Philippines/ ©Stella Kalaw

Police Officer Oscar Velasco. Basco, Batanes. Philippines/ ©Stella Kalaw

Police Officer Oscar Velasco. Basco, Batanes. Philippines/ ©Stella Kalaw

Waiting at the Pier

Mechanical problems delayed our return trip to Port Ivana on the main island and we had to change vessels. The crew from the new boat helped unload passengers and then broke for an hour lunch break. In the meantime, I walked around the pier with my camera.

Portraits 05

We visited the home of the oldest man in Sabtang Island. His name is Marcelo Hosta Nero, 104 years old. His secret to long life?  He ate vegetables and some fish.  He also happened to be the grandfather of our tour driver, Emilio. Both of them are pictured below.

Marcelo Hosta Nero, 104 years old. Sabtang Island. Batanes, Philippines/ ©Stella Kalaw

Emilio H. Fidel. Sabtang Island. Batanes, Philippines./ ©Stella Kalaw

Boat Ride to Sabtang Island

Even though we were told that the sea was calm this time of the month and it was possible for us to make the crossing to Sabtang Island, the waves swelled so high at times that we could not see the horizon from the distance. Meanwhile, the boatman who steered us through the maze of currents was happily whistling tunes throughout the 30-45 minute journey.

©Stella Kalaw

©Stella Kalaw

©Stella Kalaw

©Stella Kalaw

Remote and Unplugged

There's a good reason for the lack of posts in my blog. We flew to Manila to spend time with our parents and to reconnect with old friends. We also made a trip to Batanes, a cluster of islands located in the northern most part of the Philippines. Being remote and unplugged in the province was a welcome change for us. We marveled at the landscape and savoured local vegetable dishes prepared with minimal ingredients. I'll be sharing some images from this trip as soon as I finish a pass of all my digital files into Lightroom and when I get my film back from the lab.

Traveling by Van. Batanes, Philippines/ ©Stella Kalaw

Traveling by Van. Batanes, Philippines/ ©Stella Kalaw