This is not really about me, but about the people I meet, the places I visit and the stories I want to share.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Happiness in Batanes

Meet Nanay Trinidad and her son – Ivatans from the town of Mahatao in Batanes.

It may be hard to believe but Nanay Trinidad and her family just lost their five cattle worth 150 thousand pesos because of the prolonged dry spell that hit Northern Luzon. Not to mention the additional losses from their rice and rootcrop farming also because of the drought.

Yet she and her family can still smile in front of our cameras. Talk about happiness in Batanes. Perhaps we should credit the Ivatans for helping put the Philippines in the middle of the “happiness index” at number 84 out of 177 countries surveyed by the World Database on Happiness.

But the crisis in Batanes is not something to be taken lightly.

According to Batanes Gov. Telesforo Castillejos, the drought caused an estimated 100-million peso damage to agriculture in his province – 40 million for crops and 60 million for their livestock.

Worse, the governor says they only have around 6 million pesos as calamity fund and obviously, this is not enough to save the province from further damage.

He says they will be needing additional funds from the national government but ultimately, only rains can save them from the drought.

Continuous rains is important for Ivatans who practice upland farming since the province is mostly hilly and mountainous. It may be too late for their rice farming, but the planting season for onions and and garlic is just about to start next month.

Rainfall can also save their surviving cows, goats and carabaos that are actually getting dehydrated because of the drought. If the rain gods won’t listen, more families like Nanay Trinidad will have no recourse but to bury their dead livestock.

But then again, Nanay Trinidad and the rest of the Ivatans of Batanes remain optimistic. Just like any fierce typhoon, they are thinking, this drought too, shall pass.


Blogger Richard Lionheart said...

Hello Kuya! Nice one... Bago na namang adventures...

From SUlu... Nasa Batanes ka naman ngayon.

At least marami kang nagagalaan...

4:52 PM

Blogger Deaconess Rhiza said...

buti pa kau, narating n'yo na ang isa sa mga gusto kong puntahan...

kuya, pwede po bang magamit itong story mo sa batanes bilang illustration sa gagawin kong sermon? maganda po kasi...salamat...God bless you!!!

2:17 PM

Blogger Adrian Ayalin said...

sure, no prob!

9:33 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello big brother!!! thanks for visiting our province... hope tou could come again....

God speed...

2:49 PM

Blogger bianca said...


if matt lauer has 'where in the world is matt lauer', you can have 'where in the philippines is adrian ayalin'! hehehe.

i bumped into rg today and he asked if ako talaga yung nagcomment. sabi ko ako talaga! hahahaha. sorry super busy lang kaya i haven't visited your blog in a while.

nice photos. :)

1:38 AM

Blogger Cesar Doroteo said...

nanay trinidad (or auntie ining as she is popularly known) is from ivana, batanes instead of mahatao. thanks for sharing. nice.

1:28 PM

Blogger Adrian Ayalin said...

hi bianca! kumusta naman si big brother hehe.

thanks for the info cesar, nalito na ako sa mga towns sa batanes e hehe.

9:11 PM

Anonymous bleue said...

one day, someday mapupuntahan ko din itong lugar na ito, i dont know exactly when, pero i hope it will be in the very near future, sana makita ko din si happiness sa batanes

11:18 PM


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