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HAIL SABTANG!

Erle Frayne Argonza y Delago

For a year Batanes was second home to me
In the early 80s upon the ascent of my first job
Building communities and spurring livelihoods
Packaging northern Cagayan & Batanes into one
Of Human Settlements ministry fame twas

So on one of my stays in idyllic Batanes
In a popular inn in Basco near my diva Love
Made usual rounds of Basco and Mahatao
Of Uyugan and Ivana round the highway built
So picturesque and grand is view of sea and hills
Of cows and carabaos going by their chores
Lush vegetation and farms spruced to charm

Till one day I decided to leave Batan for awhile
Waiting for a boat to cross the channel to Sabtang
Treacherous a channel ‘tis the world’s most dangerous
Quaffed half a small gin bottle to booze my fears down
As rivers seem to cross by the seas in both directions
And then upon arrival of the boat my knees still jerked
Motoring fast yet tricky a route we climbed waves
Upon waves as tall as seven feet each twas hard to see
The destination of this unholy sojourn till we arrived
I almost kissed this soil in Sabtang town
Privileged a young man I felt so great to be there

Hail Sabtang! Be thou challenge to the enthused souls
To marvel in thy land cross tough channel without repose
Hail Sabtang! Scion land of Mother Mu!

[Philippines, 24 March 2011]

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