I have been to a lot of places, rode almost every transport available and I’m in no way afraid of island-crossings. I enjoy the thrill of the waves until…
My Kompanerong Leon quipped, “Sabtang is heavenly but the ride was like hell.” Boatmen seemed relaxed and was telling us that the waves are just fine. It was normal (maybe for them).
Faluwa is a boat they used in transporting people and goods from one island to another. It doesn’t have a “katig” or balance beams as it would only be crashed by the strong waves while at the sea.
We took the ride from Ivana port, in front of Ivana Church. The 30-minute ride going to Sabtang was fine, I even joined others on the roof to have a better view. But going back to Batan Island was a different story. It was unforgettable and Pinay Travel Junkie would always make fun of my reactions on the ride back.
I was helping others to board the faluwa as we are to return to Batan, giving lifejackets, making sure everyone got one. After fifteen minutes of traveling, the waves begin to show its enormous power. It was as if it was ready to swallow the faluwa anytime the motorboat stop. I was even shouting to let go of fear only to realize that I was not wearing a life vest. I want to be brave and pretend that I wasn’t afraid but looking at the waves, I grabbed Leon’s vest. I was musing that if ever something happens, I will cling on his vest to be safe.
The 45-minute trip was horrible, I will never ever forget it. Thank God, I SURVIVED IT! Props to the boatmen who have mastered the brutal waves. They really know their line of work. Don’t get scared, don’t leave Batanes without experiencing the faluwa ride.
Will I visit Sabtang Island again? Definitely! I would even go to as far as Itbayat. I will ready myself for the longer hellish trip.
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Visit Batanes is a 9-part series that paints the unfading beauty of Batanes, her citizens, churches, culture and cuisine. Posts are filled with photos that will surely convince readers to be thrilled in islands ata northernmost part of the Philippines. Come! Explore Batanes!
Visit Batanes Series: Colorful Churches / Sabong at Diura Fishing Village / Lola Ida and the House of Dakay / Surviving the Faluwa Ride / Quotes & Reflections at the Honesty Café / Chill Time with the Ivatans / Snapshots from Sabtang Island / 10 Must-Try Foods / Accommodations in Batanes