Just the idea of staying in a forest town for four nights already excited me. It was one of the requirements for taking on this photo documentation project for an NGO on a small rural town known as Imugan in Santa Fe Nueva Vizcaya. It sits right smack in the middle of central Luzon in the midst of the Caraballo Mountain Range just between the Cordillera Central and Sierra Madre mountain ranges.
Island hopping is fun but beach hopping and let alone spending hours on a boat as well can take a toll. One moment I’m looking at those beautiful islands and in seconds I’m looking at the wooden paint patterns on the boat. I think I was bobbing my head up and down getting minutes of those micro-sleeps. While I enjoyed the tour in Ambulong and Ilin Island, I was also yearning to go back to the resort and rest up a little and check up what’s in store at Villa Paulina Gardens and Resort.
After a three day photo Assignment in Batanes, my companions left me on my lonesome in Basco. Learning I would be going to Batanes again, I asked if I can extend my stay there to explore. So I have around another 4 days to spare there. Oh I was originally planning to go back to Itbayat and explore that northernmost region of the Philippines but I chickened out when there was a heavy downpour that Friday morning that I have to postpone going there by boat and since the air strip there is being lengthened no planes could fly there. Not a good decision actually since the next few days became bright and sunny. More than to chill out, I decided to go around by biking Batan Island. Never knew that I would be biking at least 40km of Batan Island’s cliff side and coastal roads for at least 10 hours.
Making the most of our last morning in Tawi-Tawi, we decided to visit one of the more popular Bajau Villages in Bongao, but not having a Bongao breakfast at the Chinese Pier first after visiting Pagasinan. We told Kit and Sheva, that we’d like to see and possibly take home some native crafts from Tawi-tawi. It has been my practice when I go to different places to take but items unique or crafted from the place of origin.
Holy Week is the time of the year a lot of Filipinos are looking forward to every year. Aside from it being the time for a much needed long vacation towards the half of the year, it is a significant time for Christians as we remember Christ’s last few days on Earth before his resurrection. While I’m not really a devout Catholic, I share the celebration with millions on Filipinos in our country. One popular activity most Filipinos do during Maundy Thursday is the Visita Iglesia.
The sun has already shone high as we wrapped our morning shoot at Sanga-sanga. We then decided to venture into one of the villages situated by the the river we were taking photos off. Veering right from the bridge into an inner road, we passed by a village slowly waking up. We passed by rows of stilt houses first then we entered a road where lines of ships on varying conditions were docked on shore. We are now at the ship building town of Pagasinan.
It was already late in the afternoon when we started our way back from Balobok Cave. Our 4×4 vehicle roared through the uneven terrain of Barangay Lakit-lakit. On our right the sun was also racing down far by the sea horizon. We passed by a nice stretch of beach they called Pasiagan. This is where Christian Bautista shot the music video of “Tawi-tawi Beach”. When we reached Sanga-sanga, we stopped by a small quaint village by the sea.