Batanes (and Batanes, the movie)

      16 Comments on Batanes (and Batanes, the movie)

When it comes to local showbiz scenes and Who’s Who?, I am totally clueless. Local Filipino movies just don’t interest me at all…unless I get invited by a friend or I know the people involved in the production. There is the movie The White Lady which we watched only because the director was Butch’s classmate in Law School. Then the last movie I watched was I’ve Fallen For You directed by Lino Cayetano because he is a family friend. This afternoon was a bit different. Together with some bloggers, I attended a grand press conference for Batanes, a love story co-directed by Dave Hukon and internationally acclaimed young indie-director Adolf Alix Jr. Written by Arah Badayos, the film is a love story between a Filipina and a Taiwanese and circles around how the waters of Batanes test their love and individualities.

batanes_movie.jpgThe film stars Ken Zhu of the Taiwanese boy band F-4 fame and Iza Calzado. At the press conference, I felt really out of place amidst the showbiz reporters. Haha, I was laughing at myself as I embarked on this latest adventure as it is so out of character. But wait, I attended the Press Conference as my way of helping promote Batanes Islands. The fastest route to Batanes is through Asian Spirit which is the only airline that flies to Batanes and other remote islands in the Philippines. [tag]Asian Spirit[/tag] is also the major sponsor of Batanes which is really nice gesture on their part to support an indie film.

As I watched Batanes, I could not help but gasp at the beauty of the island. Here is where the Pacific Ocean and South China Sea meet in a majestic clash of waves that surrounds Batanes. From the cold northern winds that plow through the famed Marlboro Country, the 155 steps of the Chawa Viewdeck all the way to the romantic view of the cliffs and waters from both the Sabtang and Basco Lighthouses, Batanes gave me the impression of being in ““another place and time.” The island is composed of ten islets but only three are recorded by the National Statistics Office as inhabited namely Basco, Sabtang and Itbayat with other cities like Mahatao, Ivana and Uyugan. No wonder Adolf Alix and Ignite Media Inc. CEO Dave Hukom shot this full-length feature film aptly called “Batanes”- a first for the company, with the island as one of its “characters.”

love_will_prevail.jpgAside from the love story and the breathtaking beauty of [tag]Batanes[/tag] Island, the script was well-researched especially in the grief aspect. Pam (Iza Calzado) lost her husband in a sea accident. Naturally she goes through the grief process which is shown without too much melodrama. There is the initial denial. Her holding on to her husband’s shirt hit me hard. I had a similar scene myself when I rushed to my son’s bedroom, got his clothes and cried while hugging Luijoe’s shirt. Life can be like a movie sometimes.

batanes_grief.jpggrieving.jpgThe showbiz writer beside me kept saying nasty comments that she was getting crazy and acting stupid. But of course, she is so fresh in her grief. Maybe this writer has never known grief. Like in the movie, I have met a lot of bereaved family members who often leave a seat in the dinner table or bring a clothing item to bed. Each person has their own way of grieving at his own pace and time. Eventually, Pam moves on without forgetting the memory of her husband because that part of her life is in her heart. That’s when she meets Kao (Ken Zhu).

Alix entices his audience by saying that the “unpredictable weather or ocean was similar to a woman,” and that people should watch to see how this “man versus nature” relationship unravels.

Batanes promises not only to highlight Batanes’ beauty, but also share a tale about how love could overcome any language barriers or cultural differences. It will be shown on theaters on Wednesday, the 5th of December. Support our local indie produced films.

Here is the trailer:

I plan to visit Batanes on January 2008 to experience winter in the Philippines. Not really—but in Batanes, it’s close enough, where temperatures dip as low as seven degrees. And there’s no place on the face of the globe where the possibility of winter is more enthusiastically welcomed than in the tropics.

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1388 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

  • I’m not really a fan of Filipino movies but I’m kinda looking forward to Batanes. It’s a breath of fresh air from the usual “fantaserye” and the usual formulaic love stories that’s been crowding the movie houses lately. Also, I have my eyes on a visit to Batanes too next year! =)

  • I am pretty interested with the film because I am not really aware on the natural beauty of Batanes. I’ve seen the trailer and I just loved it! Another plus points is Iza Calzado whom I believe is one of the prettiest and one of the best filipina actress ever. Ken Zhu is a plus because of obvious reasons 😀

  • Didn’t read much (just in case there were spoilers, hehe), but I’m definitely watching this. I’m a big fan of Alix’s work. I totally loved Donsol.

  • I’m looking forward to watching this movie. Mukhang maganda. I’m not a fan of either of the stars but the trailer was interesting. And the breathtaking scenery was so captivating.

    Batanes is on my “must go” list. My uncle spent an entire week there with the Camera Club of the Phils. just taking pictures. Ganda daw talaga.

    Btw, I saw you on the news. It was for this movie too. Premier ata. The camera was panning tapos…boom…ayun ka!!

  • do you know that judy ann santos and jennylyn mercado are the first and second choices respectively, to be the leading lady?

    the producers of this movie is my husband’s company’s client, so i was informed of the concept prior to shooting. i have to admit that i thought it was going to be so cheesy when i first heard of it, but when i saw the trailer, i began to have hopes that this is going to be a nice Pinoy movie. will watch it too 🙂

  • @niki- oh yes those fantaserye. I guess a lot of Filipinos just want escapist movies.

    @micamyx- Ken Zhu ‘ look is not extraordinary. He acted well naman

    @Benj- no spoilers. I just followed what the trailer showed.

    @kongkong- yes that was the press conference that we attended. We just finished the preview that time. Hehe.

    Btw, if you’re going to Batanes, Asian Spirit has a holiday promo

    For three days and two nights, twin-sharing rooms are only for P16, 481 while triple-sharing is at P 16, 128. For those who want to bask in the beauty of Batanes a little bit longer, say four days and three nights, twin sharing rooms are only P17, 657 while triple-sharing ones are at P17, 304. Prizes are inclusive of 12% VAT and 5% commissionable to travel agents.

    The package includes round trip airfare, hotel accommodations, three full meals, an island tour of both Sabtang and Batan, transportation, airport transfers and souvenirs to remind you of your trip.

    @ladycess- Judy ann santos would have been an ideal actress too. It isn’t too cheesy. Loved the metaphors. The only thing I dislike as in all Filipino movies is that the camera tends to stay or focus too long on a scene or emotion.

  • Hi Noemi. I saw you on the Channel 7 news. I think it was last night. 🙂

  • This sounds like a must-see movie and Batanes a must-visit place.

    I know there was a movie filmed there many years ago … featuring Dawn Zulueta. Mala Wuthering Heights daw ang story.

    I failed to see that one. I hope I get to see this one.

    Bravo for this new dimension in your many-splendored blogging career, Noems.

  • we’ll be watching the movie this weekend. this is the second movie made by Alix that was shot in Batanes, his first was “Kadin” or goat and it was shown at the Cinemalaya and won the Best in Cinematography. it has this i-want-to-go-to-Batanes effect because of its amazing sceneries and spectacular natural beauty. summer of 2008 is our target date for batanes…

  • I could so relate to that scene in which she takes her husband’s shirt to bed (I’ve done that so many times–it was like watching myself).
    I agree: Each of us has his or her own ways of dealing with grief. Some may take a lifetime to heal, while others take a year or two. Some may seem a bit overacting, but that’s just how others are, I guess.
    I loved how the story had that hopeful tone to it.

  • Hi Noemi,

    When I saw the trailer of this movie, I really got intrigued. After reading your post, I think I must go and see. Kudos! to the Filipinos promoting the beauty of our country!

  • @rach- caught in action taking photos of iza

    @annamanila- i heard about that film too. I want to watch it din

    @zherwin- i didn’t know it’s his second film. I hope with the promotion of Batanes, the beauty will remain unspoilt

    @karla- The hope was so good. I like how it wasn’t too sappy or cheesy too.

    @Sherra- You have to watch. Support our local indie films.

  • Wow, seems like the movie is good, based on the comments. Haven’t seen the trailer yet, will try to see what you have here. Last Pinoy movie I saw was that of Rico Yan and Claudine Barretto eons ago, lol!

    Batanes is one of our dream destinations where nature is wild but the people are kind. I know a family from that place so I guess going there would not be difficult. Thanks for sharing this, Noemi 🙂

  • wow ganda asteeeg tlga ang wakay hahahha

  • JOY


  • Hi Noemi, I hope I can still catch this movie in the theater. I promised a college classmate Bunny (Dave’s wife) that I will watch it. She emailed all of our classmates to support the movie and I’m supposed to blog about it but been busy at the shop… Now that you’ve posted it, I just remember…Hope to visit Batanes too by next year.