The sunlight glistens as it touches the water and the eyes. You can feel that you are heading to a territory where the sun holds its dominion. It is a place where bodies worship and revere the presence of that grand ball despite the physical and cultural differences present. You’ve read all about it before, and encountered the apt adjectives and glowing reviews. People around you swear about the effervescent qualities that can only be used for places of fantasy. It took some effort to get there. Tickets, boarding passes, and other necessities get tossed aside upon disembarkation. They do not seem to matter for you are here. You look again for the words that were thrown to your direction, or the articles you’ve read for a better way of comparing views. But they all get blurry as the scenes from the sea unfold before you. Your consciousness, for a moment, becomes a castaway.
She has been called many names. They call her the Best Beach in the World, the Philippine Hotspot, the Country’s Pride, and the list goes on. She has been showered with superlatives. With her fame came the markers of industry. Visitors from the 80s up to the mid 90s attest to a golden era of silence, solitude, and peace that reigned supreme on the island. But times have changed with the onset of progress. Now, as you walk along her main road and her stations you can find almost everything that the metropolis has— ubiquitous fast food, ATMs, bars of all kinds, ritzy restaurants, and all the excesses. It’s like you’ve never left the city. But then you are reminded why you came here in the first place. After a brief tricycle ride, the point is delivered home by the sight of White Beach. The sand and sea remain as forces of opposition to the presence of the commercial and artificial.
They really know how to have fun here. Activities are happening round the clock, well, for a price. Those with adrenalin coursing through their systems should go all-in and all-out for the myriad of activities in the water and on land. The nations of the world are well-represented here. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself talking in “sun-speak” with a total stranger from some cold region in Europe or sharing the shade with a contemplative Japanese. The lines of demarcation seem to have little effect here.
There are many prophets claiming that the bone-shaped island will soon suck its marrow dry. Will a hollow bone still look beautiful or serve another purpose? But for now, her beauty is still here. We should not wait for it to be a part of future talks about what left us.
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