How I got to be known as the Hero of Sabtang.
Taken with the Ricoh, photo before we left Batan and when we arrived in Sabtang.
“Ang tubig! Ang tubig! Mamatay ang makina!” was the frantic call by our boat’s captain. “Manong balik na lang tayo!” said our event coordinator. “Lumulubog tayo!” I heard a fellow passenger shout. “Kahoy po ito hindi tayo lulubog.”, reassured our tour guide but his facial expression betrayed what he just said.
Flashback 20 minutes earlier when I started to get that sinking feeling that all was not right. We just ended our tour of Sabtang island, one of the big islands of Batanes. The sea was rough, that is to be expected as Batanes is right smack where the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea meet. Because of the waves, the boat’s crew was finding it difficult to turn the boat to face the sea. It also seemed that there was a problem with the rudder as the boat captain ordered one of his crew to dive and have a look see. On our first attempt, one of the port hands released the rope early and we stopped halfway, parallel to the waves. A medium wave hit us which caused a few of those seated on the side to stumble. In all this the captain was barking out orders in Ivatan which made it difficult to gauge if this was a cause for concern. The captain decided to return to our previous position and had the diver swim back to port to tie the rope. The second try was as difficult as the first but the boat managed to make the turn.
Mimi, Joey and AJ were seated at the back of the boat while I was seated on the side next to Mimi. I was facing Mimi looking to see if she was alright when I saw fear in their eyes. I could see in my peripheral vision a wall of water approaching the front and I could feel the boat lift up to the wave. I remember I grabbed on the railing and curled up in a fetal position. As Mimi saw it, the boat rode the first wave but there was a second wave just as big and this time the boat rammed smacked towards that wave. In hindsight if this was the wave that hit us while we were just turning, we’d have capsized for sure.
When I looked up, the hull was a third filled with water. There was steam coming from the engine and what seemed like a water fountain, you know the one you saw in old cartoons which signaled a hole in the boat.
That’s when the captain shouted “Ang tubig! Ang tubig! Mamatay ang makina!”. Mimi saw a pail and gave it to me. I was still shocked and I knew I should be bailing out water with that pail but I only managed to scoop up probably around 200ml of water which Joey and Markku said was more like 10ml. Hahaha. But like Markku said… it was the first 200ml! One of the boatmen took over; but the thing is, in his confusion he threw the pail overboard! It would have been hilarious any other time but I was already thinking of what to do next if the boat sank.
They say your first visit to Batanes is spiritual and we have to definitely agree! Was it worth it? Yes absolutely! Batanes is bea-u-ti-ful! And the people we were with was an extra bonus. It was nice to share this experience with these guys.
Despite our scare I’d recommend Batanes as a must place to visit. Here are the reasons in photographs.
Mimi’s Bicycle series.
Markku and Hana at the Rolling Hills.
The lone bull.
Ricoh photo 1
Ricoh photo 2
It was Baguio cold in Batanes and the wind was relentless.
View from the Marlboro Country.
Ruins in the Ghost Village.
Sunset in Basco.
Time to go home.
Sabtang can definitely be a stand-in for the island in Lost the TV series!
Hana the giant.
His and Hers…
We would like to thank Epson Philippines and Geiser-Maclang team for the wonderful opportunity and for the printer Mimi won in the photo essay contest. Also please visit the Batanes blog entries of our travelmates: Markku, Joey, AJ, Juned, Ferdz,
Eric, Rain, Jayvee
22 February 2008 @ 11:35 pm
Great photos as always! I had so much fun traveling with you guys! Karl is our hero!
23 February 2008 @ 2:15 am
Sama ko next time… Karl, para kang naka-pomada (70’s) dun sa “relentless wind” shot… he he
23 February 2008 @ 8:48 am
shucksss!!! Gusto kong pumunta ng batanes.. pero katakot talaga pumunta dun.. pag sasakay siguro ako ng eroplano.. single engine kasi kahit na mas madalas mag crash land.. lahat daw buhay pa.. eh pag twin engine.. mas konti ang recorded na nagcrash, pero lahat patay na! katakot.. hahaha
i miss our roadtrips together…
23 February 2008 @ 10:02 am
Ang ganda! Sana makabisita ako ulit ng Pilipinas. 😀 Soon I hope. 😉
23 February 2008 @ 11:53 am
nice! parang sarap pumunta dun!
23 February 2008 @ 3:19 pm
woohoo! hero! 🙂
beautiful sunset! nagpaalam ba yung mga kalabaw na pauwi na sila? hindi kaya sila night shift? hehe
23 February 2008 @ 5:31 pm
what an adventure!
ang ganda ng batanes!!! hmmm i think i’ll add it up to our must-sees 🙂
23 February 2008 @ 7:02 pm
Great pics mimi and karl!!! 🙂 natawa ako sa kwento niyo because my worst memory of batanes was the boat ride to sabtang naman. Medyo natrauma ata ako dun. hahahaha. But then again, batanes is really beautiful kaya worth it talaga 🙂
23 February 2008 @ 11:35 pm
grabeh kainggit! luffettt nyo talaga! galeng! ang gaganda ng pictures, so inviting!
24 February 2008 @ 3:42 am
OH YEAH no one really gave notice to that shameful photo of me being carried by Manong Rogers to shore.
Err, to submit comment or not…
24 February 2008 @ 10:24 am
Dapat ba matching ang shorts (and cap)? =) See you in Bora….
Bambi and Margaux
25 February 2008 @ 12:03 am
this got me teary-eyed! thanks for sharing all your adventures — sink or swim, kuha pa rin ng camera niyo at ng kuwento niyo yung experience. xxx hope we can plan a trip like yours in 2009/2010
25 February 2008 @ 1:08 am
bike shorts yan ha, at me bike series pa … balik na kayo at ng makapag-bike na ulit. 🙂
25 February 2008 @ 2:02 am
love the bikes!! im just asking john kung san pwde makabili ng vintage bike eh ^_^ hehe.. grabe adventure!!! ang sayaaaaaaaa.. 😀 gaganda ng shots ha, lurve the bull, ivitan lola & the fence shots 🙂 galing nyo tlga idol….!!!! :Dlav yu mimi & karl!!!!
Leah ni Marvin
25 February 2008 @ 12:49 pm
grabe nakakapanganga ang mga pics!
ang ganda ganda!! as in!
and shocks! ang payat nyo na talaga.. 🙂
Cheers to GREAT pictures! and cheers to “being BLOOMING!”
25 February 2008 @ 4:23 pm
GANDA NG PHOTOS!!!! GALENG!!!!
Mimi and Karl - Wedding Photographers » Blog Archive » Sunny Boracay
25 February 2008 @ 11:31 pm
[…] « How I got to be known as the Hero of Sabtang. […]
26 February 2008 @ 10:26 am
sooooooobrang ganda naman ng pictures na ito!!!
kakainggit ang talent, gusto ko na rin ng camera… pero may tripod… o kaya may kasamang m+k … meron bang nabibiling ganun? hehehehe kasi gusto ko ako yung nasa pictures eh! hihihi
seriously, mi, karl, pwede bang humingi ng kopya nung huling 2 pictures? I want it big and framed. help please, reregalo ko lang sa bahay ng mom and dad ko. PUNO kasi middle name ko eh.. perfect sya for my parents house, kelangan ng artpiece sa sala nila eh. these 2 pics will be perfect. Pakipirmahan nyo na rin ha. PLEEEEEZ? ever pretty please?
26 February 2008 @ 1:46 pm
galing galing sumalok ni karl haha! your pics are wonderful as always 🙂 captured talaga ang beautiful barrenness of batanes 🙂 will your bike series mimi be produced commercially? pag babalik kayo dun sabihin nyo ha para mabigyan ko kayong timba at madaming madaming pabango para kay inang dagat 😀 haha!
27 February 2008 @ 1:22 pm
ang hero ng Batanes!!!
it was a fun trip! next time naman! 😀
Closer [rebelpixel productions]
27 February 2008 @ 4:25 pm
[…] of the events; unfortunately there might be no way to completely re–tell our story. K-THOS (Karl, The Hero of Sabtang) though has a real and heartfelt account of what transpired. And who else is better suited to tell […]
27 February 2008 @ 11:22 pm
Ganda talaga ng photos ng mga idol ko! 🙂 Tara Batanes ulit, sa Itbayat naman tayo… Hehehe.
28 February 2008 @ 3:50 pm
great photos mimi! and yes, i was the one who cried “manong balik nalang tayo” hahaha. till next time!
29 February 2008 @ 1:57 am
may sakit kayo? bakit ang payat ninyo? bakit ako hindi? uuwian ko kayo ng maraming dark chocolate, at ipagdadasal ko na sana, SANA, kainin ninyo lahat!
1 March 2008 @ 1:30 pm
Nice pics! Super ganda ng shots! Love to go to Batanes na 🙂
3 March 2008 @ 8:53 pm
Beautiful photos!!! Love ’em all. 😀
4 March 2008 @ 5:37 pm
Just a short article that though sufficed for printing, captured neither the exhilarating trip nor the beauty of Batanes.
4 March 2008 @ 6:09 pm
This has got to be one of the best set of photos I have seen. hanga talaga ako sa inyong duo. Love the angles and colors here. Hail to the Hero of Sabtang! 😀
5 March 2008 @ 9:50 am
hangganda! i love how the 3rd to the last photo was composed. galing ng DOF saka perspective. also the texture and quality of the image. 😀
9 March 2008 @ 3:09 am
I agree with Ferdz. 🙂
10 March 2008 @ 9:33 am
ang ganda ng photos niyo! i heard muntik na kayong mamatay dun ah haha!
11 March 2008 @ 6:07 pm
inggit ako sa pictures… i will conquer batanes soon.
hi mimi & karl, it was great to finally meet you at markku’s bday bash.
Batanes: Surviving Sabtang | Ironwulf.net Ver 6: En Route
30 March 2008 @ 1:02 am
[…] may be one of the most memorable time here in Sabtang for most of us. You can read more about it in Karl and Markku’s entries. To make it short. I thought we were gonna be capsized again. Our boat […]
Benefits of Blog Events Revisited — A Bugged Life // Jayvee Fernandez
16 April 2008 @ 2:15 pm
[…] Photo: A dramatic snapshot of How Karl became known as the Hero of Sabtang. Shot in island tour at Sabtang, […]
Nestor, the ivatanhighlander
5 July 2008 @ 3:48 pm
Outstanding stories… exilirating experiences an beautiful pictures.
I grew-up in that province, raised by my father, mother, sisters and brothers, and the local elderlies on how to survive with what our native land and seas have to offer. I have been around the globe and have done this and done that. I have hurried-up and then wait. Been shot at, saved lives and also lost a few. But Batanes has been what I call home. It offers so much in so many ways.
Though I learned to go it alone sailing and deep ocean fishing, now-a-days I travel the seas with the most dependable motorboat with the best, most experienced and dependable crew members. Needless to say, when going to sea with members of my family and friends we have either go with two motor boats or a bigger boat with two engines plus crew ready to use their oars. My nephews in Basco (Shanendel) or in Ivana (Robert, Jericho or Marlu) have been dependable. If you depart from the port in Ivana which is near the Honesty Cafe my sister there (Lina or her husband Jose frm Chavayan, Sabtang) do give sound advice. before traversing the Mavien Channel. My brother Jack who lives in our old house next to the Dakay’s old house helps tourists and visitors, too.
Good luck to all of you.
26 January 2011 @ 11:31 pm
“Batanes, one of the places to visit before you die…” Mali intindi ko. Ayaw ko na pala yata pumunta. He he