There is a good and tasty side to being stranded in a remote island in a typhoon while on a writing assignment. All you can do is roam around the small fishing village in Sabtang in Batanes at the northernmost tip of the Philippines with award-winning photographer George Tapan, who happens to be a creative sashimi carver (well, to be fair, these photographs spread here don’t deserve his second look… I am not so worthy George, so not worthy!), having a chat with the locals and simply allowing nature to wash over your stressed out soul. In the afternoons, you could see fishing boats bravely coming back from a hurried stint out into the sea, boats filled with dorados and flying fish.
It is this scenario that paved the way for us stranded souls to immediately rush out to the shore to where the fishermen were hauling in their day’s catch. Three pieces of flying fish for a song and before we knew it, we were rushing to the nearest open kitchen, gutting and washing the fish, and slicing the meat tenderly that would make a professional sushi chef nod delicately. Once done, off we went to the balcony with a grand view of the angry and dark sea, the newly sliced flying fish sashimi now arranged not-so-neatly on a plate. Wasabi paste and soy sauce appeared out of nowhere. Somebody magically produced red wine and feta cheese, of all things, and voila, a perfect late afternoon snack to top all afternoon snacks that this island had ever known. — B.C. Lee