Of Boracay and Beyond

There was something about Auntie’s burial last May 3, 2019 in Davao that got me thinking. Was this the way she wanted to be remembered? When I asked the small group of people (Auntie Lolits, Triunie, my 2nd cousins Noel and Carmela and their family, neighbors Ruth, Ferdie, Mam Buena, Aunts Fanny Yrasuegui Edna Sarenas, Mam Ching Lagare and batchmates – Boying Torrefiel and Elan Manulat) to share a few things about remembering my aunt, people got comical. They shared jokes, things that they and my aunt did and what not. It was a poignant end to perhaps a good life spent (95 year old plus) considering she was a chain smoker for 40 years. I do hope to see all of them again in the future. The ties that bind will always be in my mind forever.

My sister and I planned to go to either one of the two B’s after fulfilling Auntie’s wish to be buried in Davao, her hometown. It is either Bali or Boracay. After a little thought, we opted for Boracay because it was closer and less hassle. Well, it didn’t turn out that way because it took us almost 9 hours to go to our destination and I was just a little impatient and short fused (maybe from not enough sleep) yet since May 5, chillaxing was the best way to describe the mini vacay. It took us almost 10 hours to come to this world famous resort. The roads were atrocious though. It would’ve been a greater experience if the roads going from the ferry to the hotel was paved or at least leveled but no. I asked the guides, people on the streets about the Boracay roads and they point to the local government. I am not the least surprised.

The hotel didn’t disappoint at least to me. I had my own room with a kulambo cover, it was a few walks to the beach, the restaurant and the concierge. It is one of those old fashioned hut like environment with bamboo and wood everywhere and the ambience more provincial than a resort feel to it.

Oh, the sand. As I stepped out to the beach that afternoon after checking in, the sugary sand beckoned me to this beautiful vista that you see above. I had to take a note of the moment. The sunset was just spectacular. The water was warm and it was low tide that one could still see someone’s waist at least four hundred feet into the sea…. Of course, tourists of varying colors traipsed or sauntered along the vast seashore. It is supposed to be at least 30 kilometres from Station One to Three. We were in Station One. I preferred quiet over loud this and that though we strolled up and down the strip and bought trinkets to bring back to the US.

Yesterday, we had an island tour. We went to Puka Beach and all over the Boracay sea. We didn’t do any snorkeling nor diving (I’ll do that some other time) yet it was a fun-filled afternoon. Someone my age needs to take a few naps every now and then.

I wake up praying in the morning thanking god to be alive and that my day will be productive to the fullest. I pray that all my love ones will be healthy and happy. My future is about to change. There’s no Auntie to go to in the weekends anymore to play scrabble or to fuss over with. There’s no one in San Francisco to Bart and take the Muni to in order to bring soup and talk about family and other menial things. I’ve been thinking about just forgoing life in the US to live some of it in the Philippines, in Davao, or some town/city where I will enjoy and finish my novels and play tennis all year round. Wouldn’t that be something to look forward to. . .

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