Early to rise, the dorm is quiet.
My last morning run in Malapascua. A little girl starts running beside me. She asks, “where are you going?”. It was a good question… one that remains unanswered.
Splashes of purple amongst the lush green foliage triggers memories of my Grandma. She’s everywhere. In the coral, on the wind, in these purple flowers… she smiles.. I can hear the things she’d say to me…. playing over and over, like a record.
Locals are going about their daily activities. Washing clothes, fetching water from wells, crafting boats and cutting wood… all with a smile!
The people of Malapascua know how to live, to take care of themselves and enjoy life… the simple things. Western society knows how to spend money, forever chasing more, chasing a “better life” in the form of whatever the media cultivates that to look like. It’s never enough, to have a home, a job, food and family. More, more, more, we want more and we’ll carry on pouring time, energy and money into the pursuit of it, only to die, feeling like we didn’t have enough, do enough… that we’re never enough, as we are. Smiling may as well be the new push-up…. What if someone told you, you have everything you need and everything you want, you could give to yourself?
The typhoon is coming in hot. Time to flee Malapascua (while I still can) and head to Moalboal where I’ll bare witness to the sardine run and potentially fulfil objective number two of the trip…
Waiting for the boat back to the mainland, I drown my sweat in the ocean one last time. On the journey back to Cebu City, I’m joined by Sandro (one of my fellow divers). On the mainland, we walk a short way to catch a bus back to the city.
Some buses in Cebu have aircon and wifi… The bus Sandro and I are on, does not have those features. Air flow pumping (when the bus is moving), I fashion a soundless wind chime out of my wet clothes hanging them from the bag rack above me. To dry my hair, I briefly put my head out the window. Turns out I’m some kind of backpacking McGayver (says the girl who hasn’t worn half the clothes she packed… who tf packs 3 pairs of denim shorts when they barely wear pants to begin with? Answer = Me). 2 hrs deep, the bus is at capacity… my personal space… violated… heavily violated, pressed up against a bus window by the guy sitting next to me… and not in the fun, sexy way either.
One boat, 2 buses and a motorbike ride later, I’m in Moalboal. No shoes, a blue, unevenly buttoned men’s shirt, and hair styled by native birds into some form of nest… looking hot af rn. Seriously, I’m still sweating.