Stalking the most beautiful places in the Philippines

Welcome, welcome 'o weary traveler... from where do you cometh? Are you seeking new lands to conquer, perhaps planning a visit to the Philippines? Or are you simply feeling home-sick and hungry for photographs of home? Whatever, feel free to look or share. An adventure awaits.

I try to post new images weekly from my travels across this beautiful land. If you like what you see, please leave a comment or two. Or write me a note, I'd love to hear from where you cometh. Enjoy. Bobby ( Join this group to receive new postcards weekly or become a fan of my Facebook page.

Monday, June 13, 2011

#123 A Humble Home in Mahatao

In the town of Mahatao in Batanes is a house of stone, the only one left behind by the steady march of progress. We stopped to take some pictures, but it was those taken inside that I thought were more fit to become this week's postcard.

The stone house is over a hundred years old, with a leaky grass roof that stained the walls inside. The floor still had some tarred planks, well worn by generations that lived there, but momentarily covered by modern vinyl. On one end of the room, a blackened round wok sits atop a stone embankment, with a crude grill nearby. There's a mound of coconut shells for starting a fire, as well as a pile of firewood to keep the flame going. They mostly grill or boil their food because cooking oil is a luxury. On one side is a small table where they keep everything they own. The center of the room is where they alternately eat, sleep, and live. You can tell some modernity has arrived: plastic pails, bottles, basins, chairs, and toys. Where the past meets the present, it's still out there if you look hard enough. Enjoy.

(Pixel-peepers: The stone house itself has been over-photographed. I thought I'd show you another dimension, one that showed the world its occupants lived in. Lit by available light from a nearby window, I metered off the floor and underexposed it by 1/3 of a stop. The rest of the dynamic range were revealed by the magic of Photoshop.) 

Where in the world is Batanes?
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But wait, there's more...
For those who've inquired about buying prints of my postcards, you may purchase them directly from master printmaker Arnel Murillo (, one of the country's foremost fine-art printmakers.  Arnel uses archival inks and museum-grade paper to ensure his prints will not fade. You will not be disappointed. (All my images are provided gratis to help showcase the beauty of our country. But if you feel generous, help me uplift the lives of the Children of Payatas.  No donation is too big or too small. Get in touch with Fr. Aldrin Suan at of the Vincentian Missionaries in the Philippines. As always, thanks and enjoy.)


  1. Sometimes, the feel of the far antiquated past in your surroundings can be relaxing. A stone house may not be as comfortable as modern houses, but it gets you somehow connected to its ancestral origins.

  2. I like how you described that house. It's very old but it looks nice. I should probably consider going there.

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  3. Thanks for sharing this photo of a simple stone house. You've never been to Batanes if you don't make the trip to Sabtang Island. In Sabtang, you get to visit the traditional villages of Savidug and Chavayan where you can have the chance to walk around the barangay (community) and marvel at all the centuries-old Batanes stone houses that comprise the village.

  4. Thank you for sharing this. This stone house though it is old it can last thousands of years.

  5. The photo shows how people live in a hundred-year-old house. It's just amazing how they were able to maintain the house for a long period of time.

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  6. That was a very long time. I can't imagine how they maintained that place. I'm glad I saw your blog. It's very inspiring.

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