Monday, February 5, 2018

A hurried visit to Sumnanga

Upon arrival at Sabtang Island after lunch,  our guide tricyle took us to Sumnanga, a fishing village at the other side of the mountains from Sabtang Centro. It was through the north side. We did not go there during my first 2 visits. Roads to Sumnanga are more difficult than other roads in Sabtang Island. The roads are more narrow and steeper, and there are also some roads under construction.

We did not have the usual itinerary so we can tell the guide where we want to go. We actually have only 3 hours to spare before it gets dark, so we were actually hurried.

Above is one of the steep rockies on the roadside to Sumnanga.  Tricycles there now have cogon roofs that entice tourists. That is ours, i rode at the side car, while my buddy rode at the back side of the driver. My travel buddy has a penchance for a little extreme, she is not scared of depths nor heights, and she wants these feats documented. I do not share such, so i normally do the photography. 

 She likes high places. At her left is a very steep wall to the sea, and my phobia will not
 allow me to stand on that ledge. Sometimes when she does that, 
my knees want to buckle down and I actually feel them weaken !

After about 40 min. we are in the fishing village of Sumnanga. There are the typical legendary stone houses of Batanes. Only a few houses are in this village. Above is another group of houses at the other side of a hill, and they call this Little Hongkong. I have been to Hongkong, but i don't see the comparison. Maybe it is in a part of Hongkong that is far from the tourists usual destinations. Actually it is a small cove. 

This is the view immediately catching one's attention in entering the village. Those rockies are very typical hardened lava from some volcanic eruption. I think Batanes in the past are under water, just emerged by some volcanic eruptions and tectonic movements. Those white patches on the rocks are drying cuttlefish backbones. That is a small falowa boat for fishing. 

Most men from this village are also cattle raisers at the Vuhus Island, which is only devoted for cattle grazing. It is about 30min from Sumnanga Island by smaller falowa boats.

 A small red falowa boat; and a very big papaya that fell off the tree because of its heavy weight. It is almost as long as the cart, at 2 ft long.

My travel buddy tried pushing the cart of the local resident.

 typical stone house in Batanes, but this one is smaller than those in other parts of Sabtang

 those are flying fish being dried; one-day old fish like these are preferred by the Ivatans

This is on our way back to Sabtang Centro from Sumnanga. There is still an hour before dusk so we can still have some photo opportunities.  The width of these roads are only wider than a tricycle so they cannot be on opposite sides at the same time. There are some wider lay-by portions where one has to stop to let the opposite one go ahead. 

The nice thing about Batanes Islands is that most of their roads are cemented even if they are in the remotest barangay. Even some roads to the fields are paved. 

 This mountain has to be cracked at the middle for the road to pass through. The road is a bit steep but still manageable by the tricycles, although we hear the engine complaining.

 It is after sunset when we finally reached Morong Beach and Nakabuang Arch on our way back to Sabtang Centro. It is cloudy and we did not sea a nice sunset. I remember having our lunch of lobsters, fresh fish and turmeric rice during my first trip here in 2008. Our guide then joined the three of us to a group so we can partake of the famous Sabtang Arch lunch. That time there are no huts or restaurants here in this area, in contrast to what they have now. A few resto huts are already built above this area.

 the expanse of Morong Beach

my fascination in expanded beaches, documenting the lacey waters


  1. That looks like a very interesting part of the world, Andrea. It reminds me a little of the west coast of Scotland and the buildings are very similar to old European buildings. I bet it is a little warmer, though!!

    1. Oh yes Nick, know what? Batanes is always called the little Scotland, by some more informed people, and it gets to people's minds. So even if I havent seen Scotland, my dream country to visit, I am pretending that I just did. lols.

    2. PS. Nick, because I've seen the lovely landscapes of New Zealand, I call Batanes as Little NZ.

    3. I also see the stone crofts of the Scottish islands.
      Lillian Beckwith wrote The Hills is Lonely.
      A similar life on the other side of the world.

  2. This is a beautiful place - I like how you captured the local lifestyle ...

  3. Jealous much. I truly want to see these and the stone houses or cottages are very charming.

  4. Ooo -so charming and pretty! What a lovely place.

  5. Looking at one of you (I suppose it is your companion) standing on one foot on top of a stomach hurts when I think of it! I would love one of those big papayas, however. Maybe my favourite fruit, although I grew up in an apple-growing area of British Columbia, and didn't see a papaya until I was an adult.
    Your photos are fascinating, because everything is so different from Western Canada.
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

    1. Oh thanks Kay for your visit and kind words. We shared the same feeling looking at my daredevil companion, haha! I confess i cannot go to even near the spot she stands on, in many scenes! So my shots are hurriedly done just to be done with as if it really is my big obligation to shoot her stance. Anyway... Papaya is a tropical crop so it is always here with us. You are fascinated with ours and we are fascinated with yours at the other side of the world. But i might not be able to live in very cold countries like Canada, though my friend-college batchmate now lives in Alberta where temps get high negatives sometimes.

  6. Looks like a wonderful place to visit and explore...

  7. I am astounded at the size of the papaya. Here we pay a small fortune for a papaya less than 30cm and sometimes they are not even juicy. I guess that is the problem when dealing with fruit that has to travel a long way to get here.

  8. Thanks for sharing your travel with us, Andrea. I loved the fishing village, the stone houses and the rocks and sand and sea.


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