September 2015 musing: Touching base

JUST like old times. That’s how I am summing up September.

Traveling and not minding the red eye flight schedule because I was heading to a place I haven’t seen in ages. I wanted to see how things have turned up for this destination.

 It's been a while. Waking up to the morning sun on a Red Eye flight

Revisiting a place I went to fifteen years ago and making it “just like the island back home” and spending most of my time along the beach, laying on sand to catch rays, sipping on cold beer (and getting addicted to it) while watching the waves reach the shoreline (okay, watching the surfers on it as well).

Chasing sunsets and catching sunrise.

Chasing sunsets & catching sunrises

Exchanging travel tales of success and mishaps with wanderlust-stricken friends over one drinks.

Same characters, same vibe, different island

Making new friends, chitchat over a bottle of the local brew.

Just like a pajama party, before bedtime topics of people, fashion (who has moved on and who got stuck) and on the more personal level, deciphering current relationship status—(why still) single, (why still not) taken or (why make it) complicated—with a good friend met during the EDSA Revolution days.

The taste buds saying hello again to pork (for the sake of “cultural immersion”), making rice a staple with every meal and coming up with lame excuses to skip the diet.

Re-orienting the taste buds to pork, & rice with every meal, in the name of cultural immersion

Cultural immersion also meant seeking out a museum. It seems that this institution is not a priority in an island destination setting where sun, sea and surf rule. Maybe because artistry is everywhere in the island—on every street corner, along the road, in every shop and even the place they’re staying in—and the visitors don’t see the need to see art in an enclosed environment? That makes sense.

Diving into culture thru local art

Awestruck with the holy places and structures until I got “templed out”.

Exploring holy sites until getting templed out.

Staying to myself, “You don’t need anything”, before hitting the market to take photos for a story, but not able to resist buying one item to remember the place by. I will never learn.

Standing in the center of a club thick with cigarette smoke, my inner self rocking the robot dance to the retro tunes I would pout at in my disco days. If you must know, my robot dancing is equivalent to the current generation’s expression of “ewww”. The reason why the music drove the fair-skinned race crazy eludes me. But “walang basagan ng trip” and good vibes rule, so be it! Their movie star looks can make up for the way they move on the dance floor.

So retro- the music & the club (disco in my days) thick with cigarette smoke

Walking for kilometers, refusing to hail a cab because the pocket map showed how close the destination was. Here’s where the adage “it’s not the destination but the journey” will hold water, the path showed surprises- good ones.

I'm not so far away from home. Kalesa ala Bali spotted while walking (for miles)

Getting stuck in heavy traffic while rain is pounding heavily on the vehicle’s rooftop and nodding to an affirmation as to why I don’t like the place and love my hometown so much.

It’s always good to touch base with what yourself and do things you love doing most. Keep it alive and say “just like old times” and never let it turn into “those were the days.”


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Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 27, 2015.