A look into traditional food in the Batanes is an exploration of many relationships. It begins on the surface with a taste of uví, lunyis, arayú; but as one goes deeper in field and published research, a bigger story reveals itself. Present and past, nature and culture, architecture, weather and wind, farming, fishing, community - all are intricately connected. As the natural environment changes from place to place, so do the other "surroundings" : language, ways of living, food. This volume is only a starting point: there is a richness of learning to gain from this delicate balance of so many parts and elements in the Batanes alone - and in equal measure, in the rest of the Philippines.
A Delicate Balance: Batanes Food, Ecology and Community
by Corazon S. Alvina and Marian Pastor Roces
Photographs by Neal Oshima
Published by the Museo ng Kaalamang Katutubo, Metro Manila, the Philippines
The Batanes Islands are the northernmost reach of the Philippines, where the Pacific Ocean merges with the Western Philippine Sea, and whence 10 islands were uplifted millions of years ago. For thousands of years, the various micro-systems of these islands have sustained the Ivatan and the Itbayaten, Filipinos of the Batanes.
Even as it looks into traditional food in the Batanes, the book is more significantly an exploration of many relationships there, and verily, in the rest of the Philippines: present and past, nature and culture, architecture, weather and wind, farming and fishing, the community -- all intricately connected.