The Awesomeness that is Batanes

Green Minded Me

Funny how Filipinos remark, “It’s like you’re not in the Philippines!” when referring to beautiful places. Like Batanes which is compared to New Zealand because of its rolling hills, and some areas are even dubbed Marlboro Country by foreigners. I’d say it’s the Bhutan of the Philippines, not because it looks like Bhutan but because this could be how it feels like being in Bhutan considering their environmental conservation efforts and how its people seem to live a simple, peaceful, happy life. Pretty much like how the Ivatan people of Batanes are.

Batanes is a protected area in its entirety which helped preserve the natural beauty of the place. It is also an organic zone, has high literacy rate, with low poverty incidence, and almost zero crime rate. Now who wouldn’t want to visit a place like that?

Last week, I was able to enjoy what the province has to…

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Inside a Windmill in Zaanse Schans near Amsterdam

Nes Felicio Photography

Round like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning on an ever-spinning reel
Like a snowball down a mountain, or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that’s turning running rings around the moon
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping past the minutes on its face
And the world is like an apple whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind
– The Windmills of Your Mind
(Michel Legrand, English lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman)


Interesting that such a beautiful song could be inspired by something so utilitarian.

In Zaanse Schans, just outside Amsterdam, one can find well-preserved windmills from the 1600’s still spinning, like “ever-spinning reels.” Though the site of the sails “whirling silently in space” looks spectacular, they served as sawmills, paint mills, oil mills and other industrial duties.


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