it’s been three days since our supposedly relaxing 4-day beach holiday and I’m still recovering from exhaustion.
I’ve been looking forward to this trip with friends for months. I had visions of lying on white sand, of blue skies overhead, of catching up with friends. it would be roque’s first major out-of-town trip and I was excited to watch him discover and explore sand. I imagined him playing by the water, absorbed by the wonder of the waves, the sun gently turning his fair skin golden brown.
well, let me tell you, none of these things happened. none.
the resort we stayed at had a small strip of white sand right at its doorstep which appeared for a few hours each day during low tide, and it was all the sand I ever saw during those four days. you can bet I never once laid down on it.
other than traveling and staying in one house together, our friends and my family might as well have gone on two very different trips.
they went island hopping everyday and did all the things I looked forward to –clear skies, white sand, blue water.
alvin and I, on the other hand, stayed at the resort and made sure our 10-month-old took his naps and drank his milk, which sounds very responsible and commendable until you’re the one left behind while everyone else worked on their tan.
and nappies, we changed a lot of nappies.
so, no, it wasn’t the best holiday I’ve gone on, thank you for asking.
the little boy, on the other hand, seemed to have had a good time.
captain hook’s red parrot inn. kaputian, samal island – http://www.redparrotinn.com/
bahay ni tuding. davao city – http://www.bahaynituding.com/
i had a bad wanderlust attack a couple of weeks ago and tito junet and tita melanie came to the rescue by lending us their beach house for the weekend.
the house was gorgeous, the food was yummy, and roque met the sea for the first time! 😀
before my ever-growing belly pops, alvin and i flew to boracay with friends (family, really) where we proceeded to do variations of nothing for six days.
lsm square residence, station 1: +63 36 288.1907, +63 918.559.7289
i would be the first to admit that i am neither the most sociable nor the friendliest person in the world. put me in a room full of strangers and, barring some sort of emergency, i would leave that room without having talked to anyone. don’t get me wrong, i’m fine with this, especially since the mere thought of having to come up with something delightful to say to someone i do not know is enough to make me nauseous.
despite my lack of social skills, i think i must’ve done something right in a previous life because i’ve been blessed with a wonderful set of friends. we’ve been in each other’s lives for almost twenty years now and will hopefully continue to be in each other’s lives forever. 🙂
…because i’m too exhausted to go through everything that happened in complete sentences.
and for the third year in a row, the sunios spent holy week in the small, sunny town of cabugao, ilocos sur. somehow though, we still managed to find new things to do, like visit the ilocos norte museum in laoag and the baluarte in vigan.
staples during the annual homecoming are:
- cheap, fresh seafood(!)
- *the* ilocos empanada
- *the* ilocos longganisa
- lazy afternoons on the veranda
- trip/s to the nearby public beach
- visit/s to vigan
the cheap seafood alone is enough to convince me to pull my manila roots up and re-plant them in cabugao. i can still feel that piece of tuna melting on my tongue!
it was 2006 when i first set foot on el nido, palawan. arlie had just died and i had tagged along with a group of artist friends who were there for an arts festival because i needed to be somewhere new.
back then, el nido was a small, quiet town whose streets were filled with friendly locals. there were a smattering of resorts and restaurants in the town proper but tourists who found their way to el nido mostly stayed at the expensive resorts offshore. the few foreigners we ran into were either backpackers or those who were married to locals and actually lived there.
the place has always been special to me; it was there where i first grieved freely and deeply, where i realized that the future wasn’t as desolate as it seemed, where i had gotten my tattoo and with it the start of my recovery.
six years later, i was back, the circumstances of my life as different as it could be from my initial visit. i was excited to show alvin the streets i had walked on, the mountains i had stared at, the quiet i had reveled in. to my surprise, el nido town’s transformation rivaled my own: the once-lazy streets were now filled with people of various races, resorts, restaurants, kayak rentals, travel and tourist centers; anything to help and amuse your everyday visitor, basically.
i felt a bit sad to see the el nido town of old gone, but i guess in the name of progress this was a good thing. after all, all these tourist activities should contribute a lot to the town’s economic development. what bothered me though was that most of the ‘local’ businesses seemed to be owned by foreigners. some would argue that without these establishments, locals wouldn’t have jobs at all, but, naive as it sounds, it would be nice to actually have filipinos own businesses on philippine soil.
while the town changed, the islands surrounding it remained as gorgeous as i remembered. the waters as deep blue, the sands as powder fine, the mountains as majestic.
marina garden beachfront inn – brgy masagana, el nido, palawan. http://www.mgelnido.com/ +63917. 624.7722 or +63908.884.3711
fort wally shuttle service – puerto princesa, palawan. +63917.276.2875
marj salvador the tour guide – +63920.642.3744