Sun-kissed in Coron

[Originally published on aynbernos.net on April 2, 2016]

Note: This was the trip where I came up with the blog name "Sun-kissed Somewhere."

Sun-kissed in Coron.jpg

Coron was a game-changer.

Ever since 2016 rolled over, I’ve been living in Taft with my sister, taking the MRT-LRT route to Makati, and adjusting to the real (adult) world. I’ve been trying to work out my finances, and pressuring myself immensely to get my shit together. It was who I was, I guess – a fresh graduate with an end goal in mind but no direction quite yet.

Coron Boat Ride.jpg

So when I found myself sitting alone near the bow of a tiny boat, in the middle of a huge body of water, for roughly four hours, I was forced by the universe (and maybe the sea) to stop for a while and think. And think. And think.

The waves cradled my thoughts as my eyes pinned the foggy mountain range into clarity. The sky was open and vast; the salty air smelled of adventure and possibilities. This is the life I want, I thought silently, a smile painting itself on my face.

As a child, I was raised to embrace this life – weekends on the beach or on the road, bound for wherever. I have my parents to thank for that, but I didn’t realize my fortune until travel became a luxury of time – a luxury I could not afford.

Closing my eyes and breathing in against the gusts of wind, I told myself I would never take this for granted again.

I never want to forget this feeling, I wrote on a mental note as I stared into the panorama before me. This is something I don’t just want to write, it’s something I have to.

Otherwise, what purpose do my words have?

Coron Palm Trees.jpg

As I type these words from my Manila bedroom, I can see the palm leaves dancing above my head, feel the hammock embracing my body, anticipate the sand on the ground, and long for the sea at my disposal. But most of all, I yearn for the sun’s warm kiss on my skin.

Each day I spent in Coron – out on a boat to island elsewhere – I freed myself from the worries of the world, the world outside this bubble I crafted for myself. Before this trip, every moment was nothing but a brief episode outside reality and expectations.

“I’m going to hide under this sarong because after this I’m going back to work, and I don’t want to look too dark. I’m not going to wear this bikini because they don’t make my boobs look okay in photos. I’m not going to eat dessert because my tummy’s gonna bulge. I’m not wearing wearing sleeveless tops because my arms are huge. I’m not going to sit in front of the boat because the waves might get me wet. I’m not going to do what I want to do because, because, because.”

But now, every moment has a beautiful chapter of its own. And these are chapters meant to be remembered, cherished, and shared the way they were experienced.

I’ve since gone back to work, with a much better disposition in tow, and a deeper appreciation for seconds, hours, and days.

Thankfully, I’ve only seen so little of the world.

Because now, by the time I reach its endless corners and marvel at its full potential, these adventures would be received by new eyes, and retold by vivid, uninhibited words. No more holding back, no more taking for granted.

Ah, the magic of being sun-kissed somewhere.