Boracay Bounce, Day One

I guess the confusion was imminent. As far as I can recall, Boracay didn’t have an eponymous airport. In the first place, it’s a misnomer to even call one such. Much as the island went through major overhauls recently, there’s still not enough room to accommodate commercial aircraft, much less house an airport. But for purposes of association and brevity, I assumed, the moniker earned a pass. So, Caticlan, Aklan remains the gateway, with arrivals now directed to this tiny new wing. On the other hand, the more-familiar Godofredo P. Ramos airport, while still very much utilized, now serves mainly as the exit point.

I flew in with my second cousin, Andrea. Her sister, Noelle, arrived with her boyfriend Karl the day before. All three are based in San Francisco and it was their first trip to that diminutive northern speck of Visayas. As for me, it was my first visit after seven years, and, more significantly, my first since 2018’s six-month closure and 2020’s pandemic lockdown. Inevitably, it wasn’t just a reunion with the bone-shaped island paradise. It was also a reorientation.

Saltwater Therapy

When we arrived, our room wasn’t ready. Our only recourse was to spend the remainder of breakfast hours making up for the sustenance we missed in transit. And since the café was situated right across the shoreline, the lightbulb moment came.

In a theta healing session I attended virtually in 2021, I was advised to get myself into a body of water. Obviously, I couldn’t back then, because I live nowhere near one and the restrictions inhibited me from taking that risk. Chlorinated swimming pools weren’t an option either. Two years later, the long wait finally ended.

It’s been three long years since I was came in contact with seawater – a dry spell that began with the onset of COVID-19. That made the energy dip feel like a milestone, just like many of my post-quarantine firsts. Notwithstanding the algal bloom, it was the clearest I’ve seen Boracay’s waters – so clear, in fact, that I managed to locate and retrieve my camera lens cap minutes after dropping it.

As I treaded further away from shore, the sky looked increasingly endless. That’s when I felt my anxieties wash away, together with the excess sunblock. And with no “tourist-y activities” in the pipeline that day, I felt, even for that hour, that I had all the time in the world.

+++++ TO BE CONTINUED +++++

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