Batanes Is Unequalled In Splendor
By Erlinda Castillejos Ladan
San Diego, 92126 CA. USA
(From the 217th Batanes
Day Anniversary Souvenir Programme)
in Radiwan, Ivana
I have come twice to revisit the land of my birth, a tiny dot in the globe…but
my memories of it are big and each time I come home the urge to come again,
grows even stronger.
The cold breeze that have always greeted my coming has made me realized
that Batanes has remained unspoilt despite visible developments that are
taking place already.
As I moved around the aura of the capital town Basco, fume with more people
in the streets…transients who have probably come for the same sentimental
reasons I have. Though the houses are more dense and modern in architecture,
every "Kaydian" I met was as cordial and warm as before (like the 1980's
when I first left the Islands). And Ah! The streets have names and houses
have numbers and I know I will not get lost. The postman really has an
easier job now.
My tour on my foot did not stop there. I discovered that some government
offices are located within the community whereas before these were clustered
in the capitol.
My motorcycle ride brought me to the mystic of nature in Mahatao "Diura
Fishing Village", Ivana, Uyugan and distant but breathtaking Imnajbu.
But a lifetime opportunity took me to Sumnaga's "little Hong Kong"…and
I held my breath as I behold. Ivuhos in all its solitary but unwritten
beauty. I was here in an Island so unpolluted, peaceful, yes so pristine…spending
only a few cents. In the States, I cannot quench this communion with nature
without driving miles and miles, spending hard earned dollars.
I know I am not dreaming. Our hills and Mt. Iraya are wonderful…their
splendor unequalled and stories live on.
I know I will come back and trek the other beautiful places of the islands…dear
Batanes despite my hectic schedule.
Through the years, our Ivatan mark as a people steadfastly survive amidst
the changing times.
Dios mamajes as kapian kamu pa nu Dios atavu!