Hello From the Other Side of Mindoro

3:26 AM

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“This is what dream feels like!”

I remember saying those words to myself when we were walking back to my aunt's house where we were staying. We just finished swimming in the ocean. Well, swimming isn’t the right term because it was low tide but me and my cousins decided to plunged in anyway. Under the unusually bright moon, we got to know each other. We have cousins, whom we just met because they live in the Southern part of the country, and of course, getting updates from those we deeply missed.

“I never knew it’s this fun here!” said one of my cousins from Davao. “Wow, we never knew we have a lot of cousins!” You see, that’s what distance does to people. It can make you think of who are still out there, whom you haven’t met yet. Just how many people whom you think are ‘just strangers’ but actually a relative or your soulmate exists?

I can’t remember the times that, I too, said to myself that I am feeling euphoria in my whole system. That I can’t believe that here I am, living in the now; not minding what steps I have to take tomorrow, what decisions I have to make and not questioning the present — just pure bliss of living in the moment.

Later that night, while others chose to sleep early, we decided to lay out a mat on the grass and continue telling random stories while eating too much watermelon our stomachs can handle. There were a lot of stars, big smiles and hearty laughs that engulfed the night.

Moments later, one of our cousins asked us for a walk to search for halo-halo. Every one of us knows this was a crazy idea because it was almost midnight but we tagged along anyway, making stops from time to time to pay respect to our elderly relatives and to take tons of pictures; much to my disgust because of my ready-to-sleep (a.k.a oversized borrowed PJs) look. We went back without halo-halo but another good memories to save.

We slept that night in a bare nipa hut. It won’t top the luxurious rooms in hotels because what I was facing was the sky, full of stars that are shining bright. I can't keep my mouth shut about it the next day because it was as if I was able to see through the entire galaxy.

This all happened in Talaotao, an island in Looc, Occidental Mindoro and my parents’ hometown. Plenty of beautiful landscapes and unspoiled beaches here, yet people seem too only know the famous island in the other side of Mindoro.

We stayed there for only two days; rather short but entirely magical days I ever experienced. Over those enthralling days spent — waking up just in time for sunrise and hurriedly going to the shore to witness its entirety, walking along a paddy field going to the lighthouse and taking in the golden sunset and the 360 degree view, the abundance of incredible food and inspiring conversations, reunions and a handful of hugs and kisses, sitting in the edge of the boat — I was immersed in the present.

Sometimes, what we really need is to let go of the anxiety of the ‘future’ and just live for today. It’s such a beautiful thing we all too often forget but it pays a great chunk of happiness if only we will listen to the whisper of the universe. “Look! We are in the ‘now’. Look how rich we are in it!”


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6 comments

  1. Beautiful photos! I also love playing with the sun rays! :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ms. Melai! Sun rays are too beautiful <3

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  2. Wow, awesome photos Elaine!!! :)

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  3. Love love love the photos! Ang dami pa talagang hidden gems dito sa Philippines! <3

    xx, Janine | Wandering Ella

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    Replies
    1. Such a beautiful country, indeed. Thank you, Janine! :)

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