“Come over and experience the peace and quiet, see the pristine beaches, just be”, he enthused.
And I said, “I wish, I wish, I wish.” I wish I have wings to fly and visit this wonderful place and enjoy what nature has to offer.
My priest son and I were in a long, long chat a few nights ago and he reiterated his invitation that we go visit him and see Calayan Island while he is assigned there in one of their Dominican Missions in the North. I am writing this from memory, from what he shared during our occasional but lengthy phone conversations. You’re right, I spent a few nights searching for videos on Calayan and visiting some blogs written by travel bloggers who’ve been to the place. I still dream of visiting Batanes of course but Calayan offers the same lovely, unexplored places which make my soul dream of it more.
“We’ve just harvested corn”, he continued and “enjoying the cold weather now”. I jokingly answered “Send some via LBC”.
Unfortunately, they don’t have LBC there. Every day, they only have electricity from 12pm to 12am but they don’t complain, they are used to it. I love the idea of fishing when you need food to eat, growing vegetables on one’s backyard and they come fresh everyday, planting rice the traditional way (and Lovell tells me that he will try using it – the plough hooked at the back of a carabao), breeding chicken and pigs for meat. I was so surprised when he said that they don’t have a public market in Calayan. The people peddle their produce from house to house. Sometimes, the parishioners give lobster, fresh veggies or live chicken to the parish.
Children walk to school and they have the luxury of time to just admire the sunrise and the endless blue sea an hour before classes start. You could never do that here in the city. Tricycles and motorcycles are the popular means of transport. The best time to go there is during the summer months of April or early May. Twelve-hour bus ride, (unless you take a plane to Cagayan) and four to six hours boat trip to the island.
Here is a Wiki description of the place.
Calayan (Ibanag language, meaning “where laya (ginger) abounded”) is a municipality in the province of Cagayan, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 16,200 people in an area of 49,453 hectares (122,200 acres).
It is located in the South China Sea, in Luzon Strait north of Luzon Island. The town is composed of four of the five major islands of the Babuyan Islands namely: Calayan, Camiguin, Dalupiri and Babuyan Island. Calayan Island is the largest of the Babuyan Islands. Fuga Island, the fifth island within the Babuyan Islands, is part of Aparri municipality.Calayan is home to the Calayan Rail, a flightless bird identified as a separate species in 2004 and endemic to Calayan Island.
Lovell says, you cannot appreciate it enough through pictures. The best thing is to go there and see the island for real.