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Bantayan Island Experience | A Reflection of Life and Freedom

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Being waken up by the morning rays in Bantayan Island is one of my best mornings ever that could really boost a positive mood for another inspiring day to appreciate God's gift of life. The soothing sea breeze of the Visayan Sea could put you in total calmness relieving all your worries in life, a sought after feeling wished by everyone who'd been bugged and psychologically harassed living in the cruel concrete city.

Taking an early walk at the almost ghostly town of Sta. Fe revealed to me the simplicity of life. If you were born and raised from the busy concrete jungle of the metro, you wouldn't believe that uncomplicated life such as in Bantayan Island is not far to reach. To dwell in this isolated paradise would make you realize that living is possible even without the far cried innovations of convenience through electronic and other born out-of-metal technology.

You won’t find much open establishments and people early in the morning especially tourists who must have had too much party the night before. With a growling stomach James and I were lucky to find a machine that dispenses coffee using a Php 5.00 coin. Well, that’s enough to warm our stomach and tossed over while strolling the paved street of Sta. Fe. 

Roaming around we found the church of Sta. Fe that was currently on rehabilitation. The church has a dome that was somewhat not common in most parishes I have seen in the Philippines. The morning solemnity of Sta. Fe would just bring you the sought after peace and we were glad to find it here. We took the opportunity to reflect by just looking at the biggest building in the area, while praising the unique architectural design of the church.

After we finished the silent murmuring in front of the church, we traced the road leading back to our hotel and invited the rest of our company to have our breakfast. Though it took a while for the restaurant to serve our orders, the sumptuous local food was enough to satisfy our growling stomachs. Served with the authentic crispy danggit and fried rice was just gastronomically satisfying, making me missed the ultimate 'probinsya' life I had when I was a kid back in Samar.

When the sun started to rise, we decided to take a dip at the beach and enjoyed swimming into the crystal clear water. The long and wide beach of Sta. Fe has fine white sand that you won’t be able to resist the temptation to get wet and perform your wildest acrobatic water stunts. That was the perfect moment to be boastful and uncaring with what others would say.

After the tiring yet fun soaking in the water, we gratified ourselves with bottle of cold beer. That was totally refreshing and gulping it to the last drop  in a paradise like Sta. Fe, Bantayan was simply incomparable.

At noon my friends decided have to leave Bantayan to prepare for another island trip to Coron,Palawan. I decided to extend my stay in Marina Resorts for another two days just to be with myself, relax and enjoy the things Bantayan can offer.

Meditation and Reflection

Yes, I decided to be left alone in Bantayan with no one else with me. I just wanted to be with myself. Walking alone in the white sand beaches of Sta. Fe was just too therapeutic to reflect and find the soul that I was missing.

As the sun kissing my skin reminded me of how active my life was when I was still in Mindanao and how I cherished every moment cheering with the locals even without much richness on hand. 

The beautiful paradise in Bantayan reminded me of how beautiful my second home was in Surigao del Sur, and how life can be free and soaring, untainted with modern civilization; on how life can be forgiving and welcoming despite of your mistakes you've done in the past.

There was a soft voice that continuously whispering on my ears saying "Losing 'you' gave me an incurable guilt and that only isolation in distant places can give me the morphine I needed."

Without you I am a weak. Without you my life is a mess. But leaving you thought me to accept change and  learned to welcome a  new chapter. You raised me to face unforgiving challenges this cruel destiny has prepared for me. And the best about knowing you is setting me free and accepted the man that I will forever be. 

In your loving arms, I found my peace, banishing the  pretentious life that continuously playing in my  mind. Your welcoming smile warms my heart and gave me immeasurable strength to fight for life.

And so I did.

This moment of isolation made me missed more the place that kindheartedly welcomed a changing man, who is willing to make one step forward towards a new journey.

I shall forever keep the life and knowledge shared. Keep in mind that it is not a farewell, I am just moving on to share your freedom to keep your fire burning and let them know what's deep in the heart of Mindanao.

In Mindanao I am somebody’s friend. 
In Mindanao I am leader, a teacher and a lover.
But most of all in Mindanao I am someone’s son, 
and that made me truly a beautiful man.

Mindanao gave me life and so I'm cured...

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