“One Wrong Step and You’re Dead”

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I don’t know where this goat passed to get there. One wrong step and she’s dead down the highway. She was looking for green grasses for food. Do you see the goat up on the side of the rocky mountain? Photo taken in one of the dangerous curves of the mountain in Sabtang island in Batanes going to the remote barangay of Chavayan in the Philippines.  We had a short stop to see this wonderful view. To the right side down is overlooking the ocean.

Writing Challenge : ” The Ten Commandments” ; Five photos, Five stories – DAY 01

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I don’t understand what these writings mean when I first saw it but, I recognized what these are. The writing at the bottom of the tablet,  “Thy Will Be Done” , which is in English would lead us that this is the Ten Commandments of God. I found this tablet outside the church of Ivana in Batanes Island, Philippines. This only proved that Christianity was being practiced even at the farthest places of the country and as such cemented its foothold that it is the only christian nation in Asia. Even if there is freedom of religion, Catholics dominate the populace as compared to the other religions that were established before and after World War II.



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It has been said that honesty is the best policy. But will it hold true in this shop where no one is checking for your merchandise and the amount you’re paying. Will honesty contribute to the success of the owners of this shop?

During my visit to Batanes island, my guide brought me to a store where no one was tending the place. As the name suggest, Honesty Coffee Shop, you have to be honest when you’re inside this coffee shop. Whatever you buy inside you have to be honest. So for you to fully understand how it works, my experience will tell you.

We, my guide and I entered the store and as a visitor of the place I started looking for someone to attend to us. My guide already knows the ins and outs of the shop. There was a notebook and a ball pen on the table. I looked for coffee, a cup, and a thermos bottle with hot water and some sandwiches.  My guide told me to list down what I bought and the price of each item, the total amount and the date. I dropped my payment in a wooden box. It was an exact amount.

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As we sip our coffee, I can’t help but admire this kind of innovation in this era where modern IT technologies are advancing for the safety of the public. CCTV’s are not needed in the shop  much more, someone who would look after the customers and the shop’s merchandise. Who need those? They are not needed anymore to have an honest to goodness business in this part of the northernmost island of the Philippines. It’s honesty that works perfectly.

But before you dip into the experience you have to bring loose change. No one will give your change if you have a bigger bill. No one will break it to smaller denominations so, be ready or just make your bigger bill  a donation.



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I had high hopes of making the flight to Batanes on the day hours after I arrived from the province but it didn’t materialize because it was  fully booked on that same day. I didn’t purchase a ticket  days before thinking that there were only a few tourists that would visit this northernmost island of the Philippines on that season.  I booked PAL for another flight but it was for the next day. It was a one way flight only because the number of days I will be spending there was still uncertain.The decision I’ve made of spending the night at the airport was not really an ideal choice but it served my purpose. I just didn’t mind the inconvenience of my sitting on a chair for longer hours in a place where people were converging all the time. But I have slept on my side with arms down occupying three chairs in a row alternating with the fetal position.  Sleeping on chairs kept me feel oppressive to others and as such I felt the oppression, too.

I have to admit that my sleep was not enough to support a day’s activity,but it was sufficient for an  hour and forty-five minutes flight to the island.

I’ll share with you some photos that lifted my heart with joy chewing the sceneries and the fresh air of the island.

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Basco, Batanes airport


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The hedgerow serving as fence for cattle and demarcation line of properties.

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Nakanmuan, Sabtang, Batanes


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This highway is up the mountain going to Chavayan. The arch is newly built and its being  nameless confirms it.


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This is the location  of a Dawn Zulueta-Richard Gomez movie.


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Mahatao Lighthouse, Batan Island, Batanes


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Sabtang Lighthouse, Sabtang island, Batanes


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Mt. Iraya at the background.


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Basco, Batanes as seen from the Basco Lighthouse


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Church of Sto, Domingo de Basco, Basco, Batanes


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At Barangay Chavayan, Sabtang island, Batanes


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The Batanes tricycle with one of a kind roofing.


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An old man tending his cow at Sabtang island.


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The Arc or the Nakanmuan Arc


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The Ivatan stone house


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The House of Dakay.


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At Chavayan Elem. School. I guess they were having a meeting outside the classroom when I took this photo.


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Faluwa boats, early morning at  Sabtang pier.


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Batanes children are courteous and very respectful to visitors. Together with a police officer who invited me for a very early San Miguel toast which I cannot refuse, these children just came by and got hold of my hand for a “blessing” from me. He,  the police,  gave me a tour of his place and the drinking lasted till night.


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Sun, setting in Batanes

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marking the end, of a busy day

the sun hides itself, further away

tiredness has claimed, of giving light to earth

its time to sleep, tomorrow is a rebirth


the lines are slowly rubbed out, to unseen oblivion

where the sea and sky meet, in the far horizon

though the two don’t touch, further and beyond

Night of darkness will reign, on the sea and land


burning the day, and spending energy

he has it all, and its all for free

the chance is his, of giving it away

awakening the earth, beyond the mountains and bays


center of the solar system, the ball that’s fiery 

he is the hated hell, the pit of impunity

he is the scorching heat, no one should be near

cause he will burn them all, without any fear


dreams won’t prosper, in the deepening trance

awakening the minds,  from the fantasy’s glance

it is always the truth, that there’s a setting sun

and  will always return, never will be gone.