Chances could fly me into the skies, land me into the roads not taken, and sail me through the seas. I never had a second thought after our boss decided to carry me on to Cebu for the year’s second leg of media literacy and video production workshop. I started bag packing and wonder how it feels to ride an airplane for the first time in my young adult life; stare over the clouds’ transformation into cotton pillows then scatter as of sea foams above the waters. I found out how God is watching over us this majestic at this viewpoint.
Day one to three: Bogo City
My first assignment in the field was to observe and assist in the workshop. I discovered the ease of handling this activity because of the experiences I had with the Young Women Organization conference and camping. I just need to initially give energizers among participants as a newbie in the Projects team, simultaneously document the scene, and to get familiarized with the media key concepts they are discussing.
People we met during our stay in Bogo usually forgot that we were local tourists in their mainland and the very solution we thought of was only to nod and smile back just to save grace; even the trash bins and billboard signs speak in their native tongue, too! Their language has been widely practiced by the fact that Manila is more than a hundred miles away and could no more influence them at-large.
Food and destination had played huge parts in my story line. I have tasted their cultures through their specialty Humba – fried pork or Lechon sweetened and thickened by sugar and soy sauce – a perfect counterpart of Adobo; the popular dried fishes and squids the locals are selling at Sta. Fe market; and the umami taste with their kind of rice cake – grind corn with cheese wrap in banana leaves. There were more to discover other than the famous Lechon.
Day four: Bantayan Island
We decided after the workshop to explore Bantayan Island and create such meaningful experience away from stressful traffic along EDSA and complexity of Metro Manila. It was also my first time to cross another land using a ship. There I could see the horizon and indefinite lanes toward our destination; pray hard for our transportation not to sink.
The simple island meant sophistication for me as I gaze the shoreline near our accommodation area in Budyong. There I saw varied walks of life. There I saw girls with sun-kissed skin tone and yellowish hair selling their hand-made necklaces and bracelets for around 20 Pesos each; people playing beach Volleyball; tourists with different swim wears; and our silhouettes on the refined sand. Our two-hour travel time has reserved a moment for us to gaze at the sunset without hassle, seizing that memory with a camera to preserve the feeling of amazement.
I considered this place a living canvass. It paints mixes and matches of happiness in bright and pastel colors. If you were here, you could brush away Earth’s impurities and think of it as a piece of your invigorated soul.
We have spent one night and one day on this island with a question, why Bantayan? The answer is simply because of, you got it, dogs!
Dogs here have an apple for beaches and sands. That is why there were scattered around the place, especially sunrise where they could walk, jog, and dig along the shore. Some of them spent their “dog days” relaxing on the Nipa huts and share seats with fellows while their masters are still sleepy. In our short-term stay in Budyong we found a pretty huge dog guarding our doorstep.