Summer always arrives early in the Philippines.
Since a few weeks ago, just as soon as the cool winds stopped blowing from Siberia, my season in the sun has begun and my first stop was world-famous Boracay on the invitation of Nandana, the newest resort on the sugary-white, powdery-fine four-kilometer-long beach.
Nandana is derived from the Sanskrit word for happiness or joy, but at the resort so named in Boracay, the experience is also fun. There is serenity associated with happiness, of which I had plenty, drawn, for instance, from the quality of my sleep in my deluxe room on the top floor of the five-storey atrium-type building, where my room extended into a balcony that opened up to the blue of sea and sky. But when night fell, as the Nandana Boracay Resort is next door to countless bars and clubs, right there where the “action” is, the serenity would give way to fun. Even the dining outlet, Mecca, separated from the outdoors only by oversized vintage Americana-style jalousies, was for one night only—and with the blessing of chef, owner, and proprietress George Go Gabionza, who, newly uprooted from her life in cold, cold Vancouver, serves in the meantime as the resort GM —my friends and I turned into a dance club, after endless rounds of red wine, white wine, beer, and other beverages worthy of a night on the town, not to mention conversation, the most intoxicating, spirit-lifting of all.
It was a great time to be in the sun again, after many years of hiding in the shade of trees, the cover of city buildings, and the highest percentage of SPF available. I spent a lot of time outdoors late last year, but sensing my fear of UV rays, the sky would always be overcast, heavy with clouds, pregnant with rain, or washed in a slight drizzle. But this time around, in late January, summer came early and Boracay was bathed in all the sunshine I was lucky to escape from last year. At Nandana Boracay Resort, an indoor pool provided the opportunity to have your cake and eat it, too, but just a stone’s throw away, outside the doors, the long stretch of soft, sugary, powdery sand beckoned and, throwing all caution to the wind, except for the SPF-heavy lotion lavished on my skin, I went toward the light and basked in all its glory. Life is short and you can measure it by the number of summers you have spent. This summer, at least I could say, I did not miss.
TODAY’S WRITING TIP: KEEP YOUR SENSES ALERT. THE WORLD ON ITS OWN IS A GREAT STORY, BEAUTIFUL AND BREATHTAKING. ALL YOU NEED IS THE RIGHT WORDS.