Going Home (Batanes, Part 8)

Day 8 – Our Last Day!

The day we go back to reality. Sigh…

I was up by 4:30am. Our flight was at 8:10am but had to bring our entire luggage to the airport by 6am. This is so we can have our “extra” bags taken in, since it can be left behind when the full cargo weight has been reached. Lito loaded our bags in the jeep and Jun and I hopped in to the airport.

I met my cousin, Anchit, at the check-in counter. He’s the son of my Auntie Susan and works at Asian Spirit. The check-in went smoothly but the excess baggage cost was staggering. Whew! Must be all that garlic and shells. While waiting for the final costs, a fellow passenger mistook me for cutting in line at the check-in counter. She was talking quite loud that I had to glance at her and saw her pointing at me while talking to her friend. I stared at her, wanting to say something but just shook my head instead. She might have realized her mistake when my name was called for the excess baggage cost. After paying, I glanced at her again and she had her nose up in the air. Ooh, quite the snobbish one, aren’t we? Jun found it all amusing. I just wanted to face her and say, “so, what say you, b**ch?” Grrr!

We went back to Lito’s house for breakfast. Lola Celing and Linda were there to keep us company. While waiting for the plane to arrive, we chatted about the politicians running in Batanes. The frontrunners do not seem good, as I hear a lot of vote-buying involved. I just hope that the Ivatans are wise and conscientious enough on their choices on voting day.

Boying was the first to say that the plane was arriving. I strained my ears but didn’t hear it until a few minutes after. Wow, these people are used to it already. It was on time and I was glad- we had tickets for “Spiderman 3” that afternoon in Manila and I wouldn’t want to miss that.

We all boarded the jeep, waving goodbye to Lorna, who stayed behind. At the airport, we chatted with some relatives and acquaintances. When it was time for us to go in the waiting area, we said our goodbyes. I gave Lola Celing a hug, thanking her for everything. By the way, she gave us lunyes (fried pork) and uvud to bring home. I told Linda I’d be seeing her in a couple of years and she asked why not next year. I said it was more exciting to visit Batanes after a couple of year’s absence. I also reminded her that I wasn’t able to go fishing and she still owed me.

After a few minutes, we were allowed to board the plane. We were the last ones to walk out the building. I even saw Lilia and waved to her. At the foot of the stairs to the plane, I saw Anchit and Boyan Cataluna. I thanked them both and the latter wished us a safe trip.

The plane was not that filled up- Ness and I had the aisle seat empty, so were Jun’s. When the plane took off, I could not help but think of this vacation as the most memorable this year. Memorable in a sense that I touched base with never-seen and rarely-seen relatives, tapped into my Ivatan heritage, and was able to promote a little bit of the culture to non-Ivatans. Batanes- it truly is the paradise of the North, worth visiting again and again. Now, if only they could lower the plane fare…

Lighthouse at Naidi

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