Monday, October 20, 2008
A quiet weekend at the beach
This was just what I needed, I thought to myself as I spent most of the day looking at the quiet waves lapping the shores of Natipuan, Nasugbu, Batangas. It was a weekend to celebrate my nephew's 24th birthday, and while he and his friends frolicked in the waters the whole day, I was content to be where I was, in the resthouse's terrace, reading, but mostly taking in the view.
When was the last time I went to the beach to chill and relax? Probably in 2004, to Matabungkay for my dad's birthday. Realizing how refreshing it is to not do anything but look at the waters and feel sand on my feet, I made a mental note to myself to go to the beach once a year at least.
It used to be that I was a beach bum. Back when I was about 8 or 9, my parents bought a parcel of land at San Diego Beach in Lian, Batangas. We would be there often, and I'd spend the whole day out in the sun, swimming with rubber lifesavers and building sandcastles with my nephew Jewel (see photo above; that's us at San Diego Beach!). Those were pre-Coppertone days, and I got so dark that just a year or two ago, my mom's old friend who hasn't seen me for decades could not believe it was me she was seeing. "Maitim ka di ba? (You are dark, right?)" And I answered politely, "Ah baka yun po yung time na lagi kaming nasa beach (Oh that was probably the time we were always at the beach)."
My parents even celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary at that beach in 1975, with two busloads of relatives and friends as guests, and we always joked that Boyet de Leon and Nora Aunor just copied them and had a beach wedding too.
Over the years, the trips to San Diego Beach became few and far between since the developer was not able to fully develop the area. The roads became increasingly less smooth, the beach became pebbly, and underneath the waters were more corals and rocky formations that hurt the feet.
But I remember other memorable beach trips after that: to Nasugbu, Batangas for a church youth camp when I was 16, to Balayan, Batangas for the summer workshops for The Varsitarian staff in college, to Montemar for an outing of reporters of BusinessWorld when I was working there, to Subic for a company outing when I was working as internal auditor, to Boracay with the family (where I braved a banana boat ride after being assured by my son's classmate in grade 1 that it was safe), to Santa Monica Beach in California with three college friends, etc.
And each time I would come back to the city refreshed.
Nowadays I don't like to stay out in the sun for long (keeping wrinkles and skin cancer at bay) and prefer to read quietly in a corner with a view of the beach. But I'll still come to the beach. There's nothing like seeing how beautiful God made this corner of the world, where the mountains kiss the sea and the sun rises and sets peacefully over calm waters.
VERSE OF THE WEEK: And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear." And it was so. God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "seas." And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:9-10