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Monday, December 19, 2016

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Traveling to Batanes: What every traveler should know

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There were a number of things I've read from blogs that were proven to be untrue when personally experiencing the place myself.  This post is not to focus on lambasting those bloggers but just to inform the masses what the real deal is.


Here are a list of things I would quick to tell any of interested visitors.

1.  About visiting Batanes on a rainy season as OKAY.   
If you think getting rained on every now and then is okay, then yes, it's okay.  But as a traveler I'd rather experience the place at its best.  My fault, I took my chances and ended up getting the brute of everything that could possibly go wrong in a trip.
- skipped South Batan trip because of the rainy season
- crossed the sea when the coast guard prohibited smaller boats to pass.  Our coordinator hooked us up with Al Joyner, a bigger boat believed to be the only boat that could survive the waves.  When they said that the waves are big, the waves are goddamn big.  Now we have expected this because we were warned, but we didn't really expected it to be really titanic big.  My senior citizen mother had a panic attack and was crying and all tensed throughout the trip.  If you have a heart problem and are afraid of waves and the seas, please for the sake of god and your godchildren, skip it!  The good thing here is that the Ibatan seafarers are accustomed to this and that they know exactly what they're doing.  The only problem is the tourists ability to endure the situation.
- cancelled flight due to strong winds and heavy rains.  My brother and mother had to cancel their flight going back to Manila and had to rebook for a hefty price.
- almost felt sick because of getting rained on most of the days.

2.  About walking around North Batan on foot.  
BS!  I am an advocate of walking it out, thus my blog name, but believe me when I say that some places are far.  There are parts of North Batan that you could walk on foot, but there are areas that are really far.  When we were touring that area, I really felt sad looking at a couple trekking up to Fundacion Pacita.  I'd rather ride on a tricycle or a van, and enjoy the place than drain all my energy just to visit one location.  This is not Holy Week that you need to walk kilometers people, this is vacation, and vacation demands for pleasure, and walking uphill for minutes isn't pleasurable.  I don't care if the scenery is great, I wouldn't see the beauty of it anyway when all I feel is pain... everywhere.

3.  About cycling around North Batan.  
Yes, it's possible, but I don't really recommend it as there are no railings on the majority of the pathway, I'm talking about the one going to Fundacion Pacita.  The railings are a bunched up twigs and shrubs that if you crossed it, you would go downwards to god knows what, possibly to your death.

4. About having to spend a lot when going on a tour.  
Let me tell you something that happened.  I contacted a popular tour agency in Batanes to inquire about their tours.  Finding out that it's too expensive, I stopped communicating with them and went on looking for a cheaper deal.  Thank God that our Nanay Cita of Nanay Cita Homestay offered me a price I cannot turn down.  She gave me a third of the price of what an individual would pay compared to the original well known tour that I first inquired on.  Talking about that travel agency, upon arriving at Batanes airport, I was surprised to see my name on a list of names that I assumed booked tours on the agency.  Of course I didn't approached them because I didn't have business with them.  To add more to my shock, a couple of their representatives barged into the homestay where I was staying and asked me, or more like interrogated me, if I was still interested on getting on the tour with them, and that I was missing on a great deal, all these in front of Nanay Cita.  Needless to say they were rude, shady and they're giving me all sorts of feels that I really don't need and deserve especially when I'm on a family vacation.  I just graciously declined their offer and they both went off, leaving me and nanay and my mom puzzled and shocked.  Let's just say that was the only time that I felt insulted for inquiring.

Now when I'm not for one who would destroy a reputation, I just feel that it's important for a blogger to tell the truth and not mislead people.  This is what I know as the truth and I hope people would have a better time and a memorable trip, memorable for all the right reasons.






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