The Solace of Painted Doors and Windows | Batanes, Philippines

Batanes is undeniably special in its mountainous landscape, genuinely honest and kind-hearted locals, and quiet and simple way of living. Located in the most northern part of the Philippines, it is easily one of the must-visit provinces. But maybe a thousand other destinations qualify in the list with the mentioned, sometimes abused, adjectives. I asked an Aussie guy which destination he considered to be the most fascinating. He has traveled 80 countries so far so he had a bit of difficulty answering as he said that all places are unique in their own flavors. But I insisted that if he could choose one, only one, what would it be? He responded with Israel. However this is not an elaboration nor a justification of how beautiful and captivating the country is. Because in a heartbeat, I will agree that all places offer its magic to everyone who is willing to see and appreciate. In the quantity of it all, we have to take a step back and meditate and let rawness shed its beauty before our unjudging eyes. Sometimes, or in our generation, probably most of the time, we take for granted the everyday. What appears repetitively may lose some of its charm. Yet when traveling comes to play, it instantly illuminates our sense of wonder and expands our presence. All explorations become adventurous without trying to be.

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More than a thousand flowering reasons, I am most charmed by the unassuming Batanes because of its emphasis on the ordinary. Take a (visual) walk with me along the streets of Basco and Sabang and together let’s find both adventure and solace on the painted doors and windows and the bare walls of houses in the north.

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Let the daily elements heal our daily grind. Let creativity infuse balance into productivity.

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Beautiful things don’t ask for attention. –James Thurber, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

9 thoughts on “The Solace of Painted Doors and Windows | Batanes, Philippines”

  1. All explorations become adventurous without trying to be. I love this and the whole idea of simplicity. I love that in frames, doors, and windows you can peer into something profound full of wonder and awe. The art of travel is the art of being where you are. I think most people try to go somewhere without recognizing there already in a special place. We move at such a pace that we lose our place in the now moments. We’re super excited to go here one day 🙂 Would love to hear more about your trip sometime!

    1. I totally agree, Mark! I remember a dear quote from Pico Iyer, “Anybody who travels knows that you’re not really doing so in order to move around — you’re traveling in order to be moved.” This blog is much inspired by this message. The amount and speed of distraction and the hunger for convenience in our modern setting is quite alarming, travel might just save the world.

      You will love Batanes! I’m sure you’ll find something profound there too, as with all places that you’ve been.

  2. […] Finally, we found a temple where we could settle in. The sun was still high up so we decided to circle the holy place and take pictures in all possible angles. When we were satisfied, we held our cameras and phones down. We sipped our freshly bought cans of Coke and sat side by side. It was an eternity of serenity. If you were to ask me if I have ever been in love, I would say yes. No human voices emerged. There was only the faint sound of trucks and motorcycles moving in the vast plains. I could make out the tiny bodies of people across nearby temples also trying to find a good spot to view such widespread spectacle. My body sure had ached from all the the driving and the falling, and the concentration in between. But this, I can say, with no hint of proving to anyone, that it was worth it. It was an exploration that was adventurous without trying to be. […]

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