Tuesday, December 31, 2013

D'Project 4: Diura Fishing Village

I started D'Project year 2012. I wanted to have it on my birthday but since dad died I had to delay the first project a week after. This year 2013, I spent my birthday in Batanes. Since I had some left overs (kid's t-shirts and pencils) from D'Project 3: Sagada, I thought of bringing them to Batanes with me.
 It was only good for 10 to 15 students.

My guide, Ryan, brought me to the Diura fishing village. I wanted to do something different on my birthday. Fishing was crossed out when we saw the waters were a little rough. Then we saw a school in the village. Guess what? They had only 12 students.

They are children of fishermen.

I had shirts for the boys and pencils for everyone.

Look how excited they were.

The shirts were big for them but according to their teacher, 
the kids will be wearing the shirts whether they are knee-long 
because they are excited to have received these gifts.

The teacher said that this is the first time that someone came and gave out gifts. 
I wish I had more to give.

I tried to get them to do wacky poses but they didn't understand.
I did not push it as they might be conservative and the teacher my not like it. 

With Teacher Toots.

I forgot her name but she's the one in charge of registration in that area.
There was an extra shirt and so I gave her one and pencils for her grandchildren.

"Dios Mamajes" to our sponsors:
Jhun A. for the t-shirts
Ruchard S. for the pencils.

For more of D'PROJECT, click here.

Hapao rice terraces and hotspring

One of the must see places in Ifugao is seen in Barangay Hapao.
When you reach Banaue, they would offer you to visit this place.
Though this is not in Banaue but in a nearby municipality of Ifugao, which is Hungduan.
I reached this place by a motorcycle but any means of transportation can reach it.

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This view greeted me at the start of my trek.

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The Hungduan Rice Terraces

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Hapao Rice Terraces is in Hungduan.

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Trek was easy.
I can't say how long we did it because it was a leisurely walk
while enjoying the beauty of the place.
Going down.

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Going up.

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Walk way on the terraces.

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I wonder what happens if there would be people on the other side?

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Be careful of what you think he he he
I really don't know the rule on who should give way.
My guide said to go to the side.
So I gave way. 

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On the way to the hot spring.

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It was a breath taking view.

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This is by far my favorite rice terraces from all the terraces I've seen.

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Hapao Rice Terraces are low and wide.

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The resting place.

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We didn't have lunch and we didn't have any trail food. 
I got hungry. I could eat the other tourists.

Reaching for the "cha long"
Cha longs are plants that the locals use as marker for their lands. 

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Getting hungrier ha ha ha

It's nice trekking in Ifugao because the weather is cold.
The river is not really that inviting to dip in.

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Anyway, this was not our point of destination.

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We kept walking.

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and walking . . .

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It is, like I said earlier, an easy trail but there are very minor challenges along the way . . .

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Finally, we reached the hotspring.
The guide said not to expect much on the hot spring as it is really tiny.
We got there I think around 4 in the afternoon.
The locals would go here in the late afternoon to take a hot bath.
The rest of the day would be for the tourists.
I did not take much photos to give respect to them as some of the old women were topless.

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I love this place. 
My favorite rice terraces.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Basco Lighthouse

If you research about Batanes, the most number of photos you'll be seeing would be the Basco Lighthouse. Guess where our first stop was? *;P

Note: You can go to this place on your own if you like walking and exploring. You can reach this by rented motorbike, bicycle, tricycle or anything that has wheels. But this is usually part of the "North Batan tour". If you want to have your tour facilitated, contact Sir Ryan at 0915.803.4582 or 0919.279.5963 Internet and Cellphone signals are sometimes a challenge in Batan. He might be out in tours or signal's really weak, so be patient)

I laughed as soon as we arrived there. The photos you see on the internet of the lighthouse and the cow . . . well, you won't get disappointed because it is just like the photo you've seen on the internet. The cow was already on its place  near the lighthouse as if it was ready for its photo shoot. Though, I did not take a photo of them as I did not want to be one of the many who has that concept.

I saw my guide talking to two women as I walked around, enjoying the breeze, the view and just taking photos.
Then I noticed . . . he was already doing something.

Which he made me do too and I willingly did it to experience what they were doing.

They were trimming the grass.

They said if I did not do it, I won't be able to get inside the lighthouse.

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Of course, they were just teasing me.
I did try but I suck at it.
I am here with the two lovely women of Itbayat (another island in Batanes) who are maintaining the greens of the Basco Lighthouse.

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Inside the lighthouse.
See the cow.
By the way, I had this tendency to name the cows in Batanes.
This one is Sal.
You'll find out why later.

The view from the top of the lighthouse.
Sorry, not familiar with my N S E W *;P

These were barracks of the Americans. Abandoned ones.
The white one is a restaurant that they call "Bunker's Cafe" which operates during peak season and this is by request. Coordinate with your guide on this.

This interested us while we were at the top.
We saw them doing something on the hills.
They were collecting the cow manures and they will be using this as fertilizers.

Me from above.

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Enjoying the sun up there.

And a more intimate shot  .... ha ha ha
(credits to my guide)

You know me . . .  I tend to be a tour guide at times. I chatted with these tourists while I was up there.

And I was not able to get their names. tsk tsk
Meet the German couple.
They were struggling to look at the camera because of the sun.

Outside the lighthouse, I found this.
The locals were asking why I wanted to have a photo of this.
It was something different. he he he
According to my Ivatan ex-colleague-friend, Olet, the leaves of the "Uhango" plant are dried and woven into bags. The trunk or roots areused as paint brush. Neat, huh? 

You'll see a lot of the lighthouse around Basco.
Don't mind me he he he But I promise the lighthouse is in this photo.

A closer shot.
View from Octagon Restaurant which has a gorgeous view of the sea.

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Coming from Vayang.
Mountain background.

Still from Vayang area, with the shore background.
I was already up the hills here.

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I went to the lighthouse, 3 times.
They bragged about a nice sunset view here but clouds were thick that day and we did not see it.
This was near to dark.

Everyone has their photos of Basco Lighthouse during the day.

I wanted mine at night. Just to be different.
The light in the lighthouse is not working since 2010 as per guide On.This is under maintenance. Something to do with the bulb being too expensive.   

We stayed here until it was really dark. We had a mini picnic . . . just enjoying the breeze.

I still took a photo of Sal on my second visit. 
Just not the usual photo with the Basco Lighthouse.
I call it Sal for "Salpicao" ( a Spanish beef dish)

Operated by a solar panel, the Basco Lighthouse was built 2002 and finished 2003.
Around 66ft. high and under renovation so don't be sad
if the locals tell you that you can't go inside.
Don't offer to do labor in trimming grass. *;P

Yes, that's me, my jumpshot and my experience of the Basco Lighthouse.