travel

The world just got smaller

4:48:00 AM

Hannah and her family brought me to Sipalay Beach in Negros Occidental. To say that the beach was picturesque is an understatement. The sand was powdery white, and the water was so clear you’d think it came from a bottle. The shallow coastline made it an ideal spot for non-swimmers, but it was equally fun for me.

On the other side of the Negros Province
(image from the internet)
I got stung by jellyfish! Good thing vinegar is sold in sachets here in the Philippines. After rubbing some of the acid on the affected area, I was good as new and I was ready to swim again. If you read my previous entry about my Apo Island experience, you might think I’m the most accident-prone person in the world. I like to think I’m just brave.

We also tried skimboarding, and I have to say it’s nowhere as easy as it looks. Our learning experience was cut short by some locals who said they needed to practice for a competition, so maybe next time I’m at the beach I’ll give it another try.

Sipalay Beach is far from the rest of civilization; it’s a four-hour drive from Dumaguete City. The place is quite secluded, so imagine my surprise when I bumped into Rocky, a dorm-mate from college! He lives in Bacolod City, a six-hour drive from Sipalay, and he went there to enjoy the last stretch of summer with his friends.

Rocky and I spent some time talking by the beach, and he reminded me of my crazy days in college. He told me one time that I sold him a copy of Katipunan Magazine, an independent journal I was briefly part of back then. He said that I told him he looked good and then I begged him to let me keep the change because we needed the money to publish the next issue.

We talked in length about our evil landlord, Tita Cora, who fed the dormers with expired hotdogs and pancakes, and her senile husband (can’t remember his name), who always mistook Rocky’s perfume as his. He told me about the things that happened after I left the dorm, and it made me long for the days when my biggest problem was how to pass Math 11.

He also had to remind me of the one time I smoked weed in the lanai (garden). He laughingly recalled that I told him and the other dormers that that was the age for us to get high and drunk, because we couldn’t do those things anymore when we graduate and become corporate slaves.

Just when our conversation was about to come to a close, Rocky told me that I’ve changed so much. He was quick to point out that it was a positive change - that I was more mature, reserved, and calm. I guess a part of him couldn’t believe that I wasn’t the same Ate Isay he knew from college. So I guess that means I grew up.

When people grow up, they leave behind a part of their old selves, and this doesn’t stop until they choose to stop growing. I suppose people are like snakes in this respect - when they grow bigger, they shed their skin. The process of shedding may at times be painful, but it’s a necessary evil. After this, the snake is bigger and hence stronger - the same thing with people. I guess the only difference is that snakes can’t help growing up, whereas with people, it’s a choice they have to make.

(Forgive the analogy. Most people would use the caterpillar to butterfly analogy, but that’s a one-time thing as opposed to snakes shedding skin.)

Before I left for Dumaguete, I wrote an entry about choice. I said in the post that I was at a proverbial fork in the road and that I needed to make a decision on which path to take. To be honest, I actually made the decision already before I left, and I’m glad to note that it felt - and still feels - right. Although the experience of being stuck in the middle, weighing my options was nowhere near fun, it was still worthwhile because I know that I’m right where I should be.

isawisay

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