The Tragic Trouble that Happened in Itbayat, Batanes

8/31/2016


They say that a trip to Batanes will never be complete until you traverse Itbayat, the last inhabited island in the northern part of the Philippines.

And since we were already there, we decided to just go for it.

Little did we know the tragedy that would soon happen.

Well, if you all don't know yet, I'm the frail one in the family. I have poor eyesight. I have stomach issues. And I have crazy allergies. Let alone, motion sickness.

The trip from Basco to Itbayat requires a three and a half hours of Faluwa boat ride. Which means, I'd have to endure the sea sailing, with the waves, undercurrent and all.  Itbayat is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, by the South China Seas on the west, and by the small uninhabited island in the north such as Siayan, Matarem, Misanga, and Mavudis island.
The boat and one of the boater.
I thought I was strong enough to endure the ride without eating too much breakfast. Unfortunately, 3 hours on the seas in the small boat with the waves crashing and rocking me to nowhere, messed up my whole balance-sensing system, that almost an hour later, I was throwing up like crazy!
This is a photo of me in the boat. Locals said the best way to ride without getting sick was by lying down. But when I tried it, it just made me worst. 

At first, I felt like I was just having a gastroenteritis attack, but then, my stomach started to really turn upside down. You know the feeling? Take the pain and multiply it by two (or three)! Aside from that, I could not help the swirling in my head caused by the motion sickness. I threw up uncontrollably so many times until I had nothing to throw up but those yellow bile substance in my body.

I know it sounds gross. But that's how worst it was.

When we eventually reached Chinapoliran Port in Itbayat, I was so weak to even pull myself out of the boat that people around me had to help me up and out. It was embarrassing to even think about it now. But what does a helpless girl do?? I think I was already half unconscious at that time so I didn't really care.

Take note, we only had 1 day to explore the island. Can you guess how I managed it?
Chinapoliran Port, Itbayat Batanes

This was our home-stay at Itbayat. To be specific, we stayed at the second floor. Even I, couldn't believe how I made it up the stairs with the condition that I had. We were welcomed warmly by the people there, even though, there was an on-going commotion downstairs due to an event to be held there later on. Perhaps they really know how it felt like to ride the Faluwa to their island.


As I remember, I was fighting not to go upstairs because my stomach was still painful and my world was still spinning. So they let me stay downstairs for awhile. Eventually though, they had  to helped me up because the event was about to start. I was still feeling unwell even after lunch, so the rest of the group decided to just go to the tour without me and my mom and a friend.

Here are some of the beautiful sceneries that I missed. (In no particular order, since I didn't see them myself and I really had no way of describe them better, other than how the rest of my group described it.)


Spot my sister? She was helping them pull up the boat, although I'm not sure if her effort did help. Afterwards, she was given a couple of fish as a token of gratitude. She said she honestly felt guilty in accepting it because she knew it could be their dinner later on. But of course she did accept it, because it would be rude not to. 



Just why is the water so blue here!!?


I call them the survivors. Even after, the tumultuous boat-ride, they were able to recover fast and still hike up the caves! When can I ever be a true adventurer like them??!!!
The Tragic Trouble that Happened in Itbayat, Batanes
My dad. Oh the cliffs and beauty I never get to see!
As you can see, my friend, I have missed so much beauty there. Right after they finished the tour, it was decided that I be sent to the hospital to be treated and dextrosed. I, of course, agreed because we would be leaving tomorrow and I didn't want to feel the pain anymore going back.

The doctor confirmed that I, indeed, threw up so much bile. He said that we should have decided to go straight to the hospital right after we docked. But since we didn't, he just advised us not let it happen again. 

Once you throw up thrice, go to the doctor.  That's the piece of advice he gave us, and that's what I'm offering you if you ever plan to visit there. And let me just mention that the resident doctor there didn't charge us for anything! It was completely free!!! They accept donations though, so that's completely fair enough. Because you totally would feel really guilty after all the kindness and hospitality that they've shown.

Even though, this tragic event happened to me, it didn't lessen the fact that I enjoyed the visit there. I didn't only learn about the warm kindness of the people there. I also learned something about myself that I've never realized before - that I could be stronger, mentally and emotionally, no matter how weak my body could be.

Because going back to Basco, we had to ride the boat again. The plane ride that they used to have was closed down at that time so we obviously had no choice.

Yes. I threw up again. And yes. It was painful. But I recovered quickly this time. However, who would want to throw up again right after being hospitalized??

But if you ask me if I ever want to go there again after this, I would say YES! I know my family would laugh at me, but I tell you, even if I didn't get to enjoy it myself, just by looking at the pretty photos, a trip to Itbayat, Batanes is totally worth the experience!

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