Posted by Lois on -
|Photo Credit: chemanyulo|
Those are the words that come to mind when I imagine Batanes. My good college friend Pam Castillejos, who is Ivatan, taught it to me 10 years ago and I haven't forgotten it since. I tried using these words when I visited Pam in her Quezon City apartment while her parents were there. It was our first time to meet. I greeted them with the only Ivatan words I knew: 'Sumdup kamu'. I was embarrassed when they both laughed. I had told them 'Come in, enter' as I was walking through their door!
My Ivatan vocabulary hasn't greatly improved since then. But my desire to witness the majestic seascapes and rugged terrain of Batanes has not waned and in fact has grown even more so in the recent years.
Chichi and I share the same passion (we're Sole Sisters after all). We have long been wanting to explore Batanes for many reasons:
The Sole Sisters want to see the stone houses with thickly thatched roofs and wear a vacul, the local headgear, to protect Ivatans from the unpredictable storms and typhoons.
|Photo credit: aileron|
We want to taste uvod, (deboned fish and core of banana steamed with local herbs), dinakdakan (cattle’s skin chopped up with vinegar) and pancit Ivatan. We would also like to sample Palek, a sugarcane wine that is unique to this island.
We want to hop on a bike and explore those dirt roads and rolling hills without a map like Ferdz did.
I'm not a winter person. I don't even like air conditioning. But I'm willing to brave the below 7°C temperature just to experience the only place in the Philippines that actually has 4 seasons. No snowfall though.
The Sole Sisters want to experience Ivatan honesty, hospitality and simplicity of life. We want to visit the famous Honesty cafe where no one minds the store. Everyone is welcome to the goods as long as you drop your payment in the box. You often hear stories of travelers who have been there and have been warmly welcomed into the homes of the Ivatan people. They were fed with the local fare of fish and edible ferns.
We want to see the empty jail cells and walk free on the deserted beaches and not be bothered by thoughts of safety.
|Photo credit: aileron|
And yes, we want to see the lighthouses where some scenes from the movie Hihintayin Kita Sa Langit (Filipino version of Wuthering Heights) with Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta were shot. (No snickering please)
Most of all we want to go because Batanes beckons.
We hear her say, Sumdup Kamu.
Until the next dream,
Sole Sister Lois
This post is an entry to the Seair Batanes Winter Bloggers tour. Please help the Sole Sisters experience Batanes for the first time by following these steps:
1 Go to Seair's fan page on facebook and become a fan by clicking LIKE.
2 Look for the Sole Sisters' entry and click LIKE.
3 Encourage your friends to do the same.
We promise to blog about the whole experience and take a million photos to encourage everyone to visit Batanes as well.