The Marlboro Country of the Philippines
Warning: This is where you marvel about God’s creation. When you’re in this spot, a visitor oftentimes silently stands in awe and whisper a prayer. The endless rolling hills, windswept communal pasturelands for cattle and horses. Perfect scenery for nature lovers & photographers.
Racuh-A-Payaman is a protected location in the island of Batan in Batanes. The breath-taking view from the hills makes it a photographer’s dream location: even the most inexperienced photographer can probably come up with awesome photos just because the place is incredibly beautiful already by itself. Dubbed as the “Marlboro Country” of Batanes, Racuh-A-Payaman makes you wonder that such a place still exists in the Philippines.
Janyl and I were fortunate enough because the weather was agreeable that day— the sky so blue and the green hills vibrant with life. The fresh air from the untouched greens would make you appreciate the place even more. You can simply hang out there and watch the skies and the sea, not knowing how much time has passed. Either the air was so fresh, or I was just so taken by the scenery and busy taking as much photographs as I could that I didn’t notice I was already climbing up and down a hill.
Though you can get better views from the lighthouses scattered around the island, Racuh-A-Payaman gives a unique perspective of the shores, hills, and cliffs of Batanes.
It’s best to stay on the trail for your own safety. Protection of the environment is also strictly imposed: littering, extraction without necessary permit, and vandalism are not allowed under the NIPAS Act and Batanes Protection Act of 2000.
And this is what I got on my clothes after visiting the Marlboro Country of Batanes. It took me hours to remove the thorns, so be warned!
It’s great to know that the government is doing its best to protect the beauty of the hills. The remoteness of Batanes has long protected it from the bad effects of industrialization, but with the government actively taking part in its protection, we might be able to keep Batanes the way it is: simply splendid.