Day 7 – Friday
I still woke early, 5am. What is it with this place?
It was our last day in Batanes. We had a scheduled luncheon at Uncle Dick’s house in Ivana so we made sure our bags were ready for the transfer to Basco. After Nessie and Lisa went through the basket, all the remaining shells were given to Linda. We paid for the house and waited for our ride.
Lito came with the jeep and we loaded our bags. We looked at the house a final time then rode to Ivana.
Uncle Dick and Auntie Jepong (weird to call them that since they were younger than us) welcomed us with their three kids. As usual, Auntie Josie was there. I could already see the liquor lined up on the table at the back of the house. That day also happened to be the birthday of their son, Butch.
While they were preparing the food, Jun noticed something in the house next door. An abandoned one, it had a lot of wood planks scattered and the interior of the house had smudges. Were you ever sent pictures of ghost-like forms or entities appearing on family outings or on a girls’ night out? Well, Jun saw something that looked like a couple by the doorway, dressed as in the time of the Spanish occupation. It was eerie. The first time you see it just gives you goosebumps. We all took pictures of it and showed it to everyone. Uncle Dick was disturbed, it happened to be right beside his house!
We walked around right after lunch. We were stuffed so we just wanted to let all the food digest properly. We went by the seaside and saw the island of Sabtang, which looked like a lady lying down. We then visited Auntie Susan and stayed for some chit-chat.
By 3pm, we were saying our final goodbyes to the Barcelona clan in Ivana. We will probably see most of them in Manila by December, where we have our usual reunion. We then boarded a public jeep to Basco.
We went straight to the main house and greeted Lola Celing, Linda’s mom. She was so happy to have us there that she had one of their pigs killed and to be served that night. Wow, that was a real treat! Jun and Lisa were amazed by it. That’s how it is with family relations here. Great, isn’t it?
We also found out that we were sleeping over at Lito’s house and not the main one. So we just dropped our other stuff and went around for some more souvenir shopping. I got extra shirts and also picked up the hat I had made a few days ago. We were also able to get some vunus (gabi stems). We visited Uncle Tasyo and Auntie Dulia Cabardo. We even had halo-halo for merienda. It was really hot that day.
We went to the park and just sat on the bench to recall the past few days. Linda, Nessie and I also started talking business, an idea on promoting tourism in Batanes. Hmm, something extra to do aside from my day job. Something exciting, too. J
The sun was already down when we started to walk back to Lito’s house. We then started to arrange the numerous garlands of garlic we received from relatives. We also packed our orders of day-old dibang and ube chips. The Adarme family gave us banana and wakay. To save on space, we had to cut the garlic from the garlands. That took some time but finished just before we were called for dinner. All in all, we had three boxes (of different sizes) to bring home, while Jun had only two.
We had dinner at the newly-added second floor of the main house. The atmosphere was subdued. We didn’t take pictures much, considering it was our last night. I guess we were just all tired, most specifically from the heat. We said our goodnights after a time and walked over to Lito’s house.
Linda and I did our usual accounting of costs from 1 May to tonight. After collecting the individual payments, I gave it to her. She said she’d meet us tomorrow morning before the flight and she was off to Mahatao with Dick and Mark.
Ness and I packed our bags and prepared our clothes for tomorrow. After our showers, we chatted a little. She dozed off after awhile and I continued reading my book. When my phone was fully charged, I closed all the lights and hit the bed.