I felt the wind from the fan blowing through the mosquito net that morning. It was like an alarm clock waking me up. It’s 6 o’clock I guess, since electricity on the island resumes at this time. It was already bright when I looked through the window. We’ll be leaving the Island today but not before we do little exploration down south. I asked Nanay Gordo downstairs if the municipal truck was available and we were lucky it was. We got our things ready and headed for a quick breakfast.
I always like to trace back places I’ve been before and see how has time changed it. Walking from the plaza of Mayon Centro after taking shots of Sta Maria Church, I try to recall the steps we went through heading to Pagganaman Port. Just to be sure, we asked this nice lady who looked like a school teacher for directions. We were heading on the right trail. This is the 1.7 kilometers walk to Pagganaman Port.
I didn’t remember this road trek to be so exhausting. Or it must be the unrelenting mid-day sun bearing down on our backs as we walk the paved sloping road from Chinapoliran Port to the town Mayon Centro. It seemed so easy back then. Maybe because I was 5 years younger when we walked this path in a breeze back then. It seems so long and the thought of it make me feel old. But it’s nice to be back on this large rock called Itbayat. After walking half a kilometer and occasional stops where there are tree shades, a white pickup truck pulled over and offered us a ride to town. Nothing beats a welcome with kindness like this.
It was a little past 6am and there’s already a hive of activity at Basco Port when we arrived. We were looking for the person holding the ticket and found him sitting by the port ledge. “Punuan na po, me nakalista na wala pa dito. Malilista kop o kayo pero wag kayo magagalit kung di kayo makasakay (We’re full. We already have a list of people even if they’re not here. I can put you on wait list but don’t be angry if can’t ride)”. It wasn’t like this before last when I went to Itbayat. I can buy tickets at their office and that would assure me seat. After hearing that, I thought our chances were nil seeing all the cargo and locals pouring in. I was already devising a Plan B in mind if ever we can’t go to Itbayat. It’s a good thing Oggie decided to inspect the large M/V Misubi craft. It seems luck is still on our side.
I can’t believe it’s almost over. I woke up Sunday morning to see the group already up and ready to leave for the airport. Munching on their breakfast of tuna sandwich and a cup of coffee in hand, I also noticed their baggage clumped together at the reception area. I greeted them good morning. Everyone’s already prepared. I brought down the Selphy Printer for a last minute request to print. And as soon as we heard the Seair plane started to land, we hopped in our jeep and sped to the airport only a few minutes away.
Ever since the workshop started we’ve been waking up earlier than the sun. We were joking most of the time that we’ve managed to accomplish a lot before 9am (when one of the participant’s alarm would start ringing) than on a usual day. Even on the last day of our workshop, we had to wake up a tad earlier. We noticed that the days are longer here in Batanes, by 5am we could already see the sky light up. So by 4:40am, our jeep was already rolling towards Valugan Bay.
There were rain showers early morning before the sunrise, just as I was told. But I caught a glimpse of the full moon and the early morning light rays off the slopes of Mount Iraya through my room window. It is gonna be another great day I say. The group woke up early so we could catch the boat to Sabtang Island. Half an hour past 5, we dragged our sleepy heads to our jeep and rolled of to the port of San Vicente.