Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sleepless In Batanes

In some parts of the Philippines, the world barely exists at 4:15 AM. Definitely not in Manila Domestic Airport. Its departure area's already a frenetic scene of foreign backpackers poring over guide books and business travelers surfing via mobile web.

The air smelt of coffee. I longed for a cup.

I had no sleep at all. The previous night I sang my lungs out with fellow bloggers Monette and Marky (this guy's more of an audience though) at some cheap karaoke joint. I reassured them, I'd rather be up all night than sleep through my alarm. I've never been late for a flight, and I make it a point that it stays that way. Forever.

On the brink of slumber. Exhibit A.

I was bound for Batanes. It was an all expense paid trip by SEAIR, which I won from a blog writing contest (I almost didn't make the cut, click here to find out why). There were seven lucky winners. All but two of us, who extended their stay at their own expense, already flew the day before.

I scanned faces among the waiting crowd, but didn't see anyone who came close to how Michael looks like in his photos. I haven't met him so I uhm, kinda stalked his Multiply account.

Upon boarding, I glimpsed at my fellow passengers (glimpsed too many times, I think I kinda scared some people) but still didn't spot him. No sign of Michael in the plane either. I actually thought he didn't make it.

Exhibit B. Laid on this bed in the House of Dakay after photo was taken.

The flight was a comfortable one hour twenty minutes. Pinay Travel Junkie Confession: I was terrified of SEAIR's small plane at first (but hey, that's way better than the 8-seater I took from Laoag to Basco years ago). Another confession, I'm scared of flying, period. And I got Nat Geo's Air Crash Investigation to blame. After reading from the in flight magazine about the awards SEAIR won, I relaxed a bit.

A few minutes past 7, Batan Island came to view. Excitement was obvious on everyone's faces. It was a thrill to land on a short runway, with a postard-esque view of cows on vibrant green pastures.

Groggily, I stepped out of the plane. I jolted as the cold breeze bit my skin. Then I remembered I didn't bring my jacket. I rushed to the arrival area to take refuge. I saw a guy holding up a cardboard with my name and Michael's. I introduced myself to him and he told me to just wait outside and that he'll just take my luggage.

Exhibit C. Don't ask, cannot remember where!

And then, I saw James. One of the winners who submitted the funniest entry to the contest. That's not just my opinion. That is a fact. I hid behind a post and contemplated, is my sleepy self ready to have a chat with his hyper self? He seemed very awake and he looked like he already had a long day.

After taking a deep breath, I stepped out of the post's shadow and shouted, "James!". He coolly strode toward me. First thing he mentioned was, he ran from the accommodation to the airport. No "how was your flight?" or "you look younger than 40 something in person (he actually told the group I'm already in my 40s!). He asked about Michael.

That's when we found Michael, by the arrivals exit. He looked at us when James mentioned his name. We exchanged shy hellos, then walked to the van which took us to Hiro's Cafe for brekkie.

Met the rest of the group there: Leon, Izah, Bless, and our guide Engr. Joseph Dy. They were all happy, shiny, giddy people at 8:00 AM. Armed with cameras and armored with jackets, they looked so ready to battle a Batanes winter day.

I, on the other hand, was about to crash. Yet contrary to the photos here, I wasn't able to take a nap, even for just a few minutes. Someone (*cough* James *cough) actually snoozed more that afternoon. Find out how I survived day one as a zombie on the next installment!

A shout out to kompanyero Leon, my paparazzi.


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49 comments:

nathalie said...
April 4, 2011 at 3:46 PM

love the 1st photo... Astig! :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 4, 2011 at 3:49 PM

2 dreams fulfilled... 1. To be able to revisit Batanes 2. To have a photo taken habang nakahiga sa kalsada!

The Wandering Lion said...
April 4, 2011 at 4:03 PM

thanks for the opportunity to take your photos Gay Backpacker :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 4, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Leon, sana may next trip!

journeyingjames said...
April 4, 2011 at 4:05 PM

hahahahahahahhaha! iba ka gay backpacker.
nag-start kana ng series... ako next week pa. dami pa back logs.

Tripadora said...
April 4, 2011 at 4:09 PM

panalo talaga ang mga sleeping photos mo. haha. meron pa akong mga shots mo na natutulog/nakahiga. haha

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 4, 2011 at 4:11 PM

James, I have a feeling that the next installment will be posted weeks after. Lol.

The Wandering Lion said...
April 4, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Oo nga, next trip, next trip, next trip! :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 4, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Izah, wanted to ask for some of those photos sana pero excited nako ipublish yung post. Haha!

Cedric said...
April 4, 2011 at 4:24 PM

Snoozefest! My cup of travel tea. Haha. Inggit naman ako sa inyo. Haha. Hope to see you guys soon!

Markyramone said...
April 4, 2011 at 4:28 PM

no sleep and tired from singing - straight to Batanes, just how each day should be. Ikaw ata una ng post about Batanes nyo? preview pa lng yung kay Izah and James

Karla Stride said...
April 4, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Ang kuleeeet ng sleeping positions mo gurl! hehehe I love the 1st photo. Ganda!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 4, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Ced, heck yeah... hope to meet you soon. Hopefully travel with you too.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 4, 2011 at 4:45 PM

Marky, Leon posted a couple of articles about it na. Dunno about the rest. Hehe. Dami kasi namin backlog!

Supertikoy said...
April 4, 2011 at 4:46 PM

wow! na miss ko na naman ang batanes. ang aga kasi ng flight papunta dun...buti hangin lang ang bumati sayo sa akin malakas na ulan pag dating ko. haha but i'll charge it to experience...the crazy weather of Batanes

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 4, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Thanks Karla! Love the paparazzi shots...

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 4, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Supertikoy, nung first time na pumunta ako ng Batanes years ago... there was heavy rain nung departure namin pabalik ng Laoag. "Drizzle" lang daw yun and on time pa rin yung flight. Scary!

Rizalenio said...
April 4, 2011 at 6:24 PM

The first photo is a winner. I was thinking of doing the same many times already. Can't find the right place...and the right time.

I love riding SEAIR, very comfortable (I don't feel any turbulence)...and they have patience to wait for you if you're minutes late.

Can't wait for more stories.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 4, 2011 at 6:31 PM

"Can't find the right place...and the right time." - The right time is important, scary pag may biglang parating na vehicle!

Gabe Mitra said...
April 4, 2011 at 7:04 PM

dahil sa picture mo, isa na sa mga pangarap ko ang humiga sa gitna ng kalasada!!!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 4, 2011 at 7:06 PM

Gabe, huwaggg! Magagalit sa 'kin si mama!

RON said...
April 4, 2011 at 8:09 PM

na excite naman ako sa mga susunod na posts!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 4, 2011 at 8:13 PM

Singit ko muna ibang posts before the next installment. Hihi.

Micamyx|Senyorita said...
April 4, 2011 at 9:05 PM

I love the first pic! Ako i rarely sleep before my flights. I was scared din sa first SEAIR flight ko, pero since wala naman silang bad history, naging kampante ako hehe. Can't wait for the next entries!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 4, 2011 at 9:31 PM

Yeah Mica. Me too. I wasn't as scared anymore aboard the flight going back to Manila.

rome said...
April 4, 2011 at 9:43 PM

I liked the first pic! fearless! looking forward to your next post. Im excited for the pics!!


The Cuisineuer
Romepedia
Cruiseuer

Earl (Suroy Pilipinas) said...
April 4, 2011 at 9:58 PM

looking forward to this series gay.can't wait for the next part!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 4, 2011 at 10:05 PM

Rome & Earl... Eek, pressure! Hihi. Sige, will post really soon. Won't take uhm, a month.

doi said...
April 4, 2011 at 10:55 PM

can't wait to read the rest of the series gay :D

docgelo said...
April 5, 2011 at 6:18 AM

amusing photos!

batanes is one of those in my list to explore someday.

ps : i just found another blog to follow. will link you up. thanks!

tina said...
April 5, 2011 at 8:21 AM

Wow, can't believe that you're scared of riding planes :) hehe.. can't wait for the next post! :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 5, 2011 at 9:13 AM

Haha! Yeah Tina. Imagine my ordeal every time we travel overseas. Hay.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 5, 2011 at 9:18 AM

Doc Gelo, you'll find your way someday to Batanes! Thanks for the link love... will add you also :)

Chyng said...
April 5, 2011 at 2:15 PM

looking forward to the day na makakainuman din kita pinay travel junkie! humanda ka! (chos, may pagbabanta? hehe)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 5, 2011 at 6:08 PM

Chyng, pwede ba sa bawat taon na mas matanda ako, bawas ng isang beer pag nag-inuman tayo? Hahaha!

Nonoy said...
April 5, 2011 at 8:32 PM

I like the first picture. hehe.:-) it's true that busy na talga sa mga airports kahit 4am pa.

I wish I can go to Batanes balang araw. Thanks for sharing your adventure.:-)

dong ho said...
April 5, 2011 at 10:13 PM

amazing Gay that you can actually sleep almost anywhere. i can do the same. i remember sleeping on a waiting shed in marinduque as we arrived dawn and homestays are still closed.

looking forward to this series. i love the room. rustic. my type.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 5, 2011 at 10:48 PM

Nonoy, believe it and it will happen! Yeehaa!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 5, 2011 at 10:50 PM

Dong, actually hirap ako mag-catnap. Hihi. Si Lakwatsera De Primera expert dyan!

Ed said...
April 6, 2011 at 7:00 AM

kwelang-kwela yung mga shots, gay! sarap humiga sa kalsada! post mo na yung rest of your series! -- pressure pressure? lol :D

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 6, 2011 at 9:58 AM

Haha! Nakakataranta naman sa pressure, Ed! Oo, sarap humiga sa kalsada. Marami pa akong ibang sleeping shots, di ko lang nacollect from the others.

Teng said...
April 6, 2011 at 9:25 PM

astig ng batanes! ganda ng pictures!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 7, 2011 at 12:33 AM

Hi Teng! I gotta thank my fellow blogger, Leon for that :)

adventurousfeet said...
April 7, 2011 at 4:23 PM

cool! ikaw na!

lifeisacelebration said...
April 15, 2011 at 10:35 PM

Love this blog. Batanes still in my bucket list, but I'd remember to bring a jacket when i get there. Sounds like you guys had a great time, sleepless and all ;-)

The Nomadic Pinoy said...
April 17, 2011 at 5:01 PM

I thought coffee was your best friend. hahaha!
Enjoyed reading this post!

Ian said...
April 18, 2011 at 2:03 PM

I love the first pic!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 20, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Marilil, we had a blast! No need for a jacket though if you go there summer time :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 20, 2011 at 5:01 PM

Dennis, in this case... beer. But we got a love-hate BFF relationship.

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