A “marriage” of nature and culture in Batanes

On Friday night, after stumbling home from a party with an open bar, I opened a package from the fine folks at The Kitchen Bookstore. The next morning I saw a box ripped into four pieces. I’m pretty sure that’s not how they meant me to open that. But excitement surpassed the desire to nurse my hangover, and I dove straight into “A Delicate Balance: Batanes Food, Ecology and Community” by Corazon S. Alvina and Marian Pastor Roces.

This book is reflects so much of my thoughts on food these days. As I flipped through pages filled with Neal Oshima’s photographs of astoundingly beautiful landscapes from the northernmost islands of the Philippines – I mumbled to myself, quietly at first, in agreement and admiration. Several times I stared at a page for some time – I could imagine myself looking over those same hills and out into the coastline. I got really excited over this book’s Table of Contents page, with words like “Anyin”, “Chinavules” and “Uvi” listed as chapter titles.

I will definitely have to visit.

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