Bantayan Island: Stamping Passage into Each Other’s Lives. Almost!

We were supposed to go together and ultimately stamping an official passage to our blossoming relationship, which as far as I could remember had its innocent start years ago when we were both fifth graders. Years have passed by and we both headed somewhere and weaved our own threads of life. We reconnected during the midst of an onslaught on my personal life; you were in your own words “flowing along a current” and mine was "awashed with distortions"

We first met in 5th Grade

We planned this trip together to time with your homecoming from a long arduous emancipation from slavery in a foreign land known for its desert, manmade island and excess of fast and gas chugging automobiles. Things happened in between that until now I wasn’t able to comprehend as much as I wanted to believe that things do happen for a reason.

The day eventually came and I found myself alone on the plane from Manila to Cebu. Like a ghost wandering from this life into the afterlife, I boarded a cab from Mactan straight to the bus terminal heading to Hagnaya Port. I wanted to get lost as possible, away from things that will remind me of what I was missing that moment. A place like Bantayan Island seems like the kind where I could get lost for a couple of days.

After almost a quarter of a day of traveling, I finally set foot on Bantayan Island. I was half fooling myself that I was not alone. The air at the island and the scent of the ocean didn’t help at all. All my senses were screaming for your presence, the surroundings of the place seem to ignite the loss I was partly grieving that time. As I settle in my room made of nipa hut near a beach I decided to just make the most of my trip there. Bantayan Island, after all seems to be a fine place to explore and explored I did.

I rented a motorcycle and its driver for 300 bucks to drive me around the small island. I rode at the back and off we go. With motor running and a seemingly endless highway we zipped fast and steady. The wind blowing against my face and the hissing it produced sounded like whispers coming from your mouth. The backpack where my camera was, kept pulling my back as if re-enacting your embrace. The scenic fields of Bantayan reminded me what kind of relationship we could have, Endless. The long shoreline where all I could see are blue waters stretched across as far as my eye can see, seemingly points to what life would have been with you.  A blue colored life without any patches of darkness.

I went to St. Peter and Paul Church, founded in 1580, making it as one of the oldest in the country; its gigantic doors almost ruined by time, its rustic walls and ceilings still standing as a testament to its survival through countless natural disasters. That could have been us, if only fate didn’t played the role of a macabre ruining our budding romantic alliance.

Bantayan Visita Iglesia

Soon after, I ended up at “Fort of Madridejos” – it served as a fortress to defend from the numerous onslaughts of brave Muslim fighters who keep on resisting the Spanish religious conversion of Filipinos at that time. Guess what?, we had a love about to kick-start but we forgot to build our own fortress to defend from life’s assaults on our heart’s desires.

I returned when the sun was about to set and give way to the darkness of the night. The moon showed up in full making it a romantic night. The sight of it fueled my desire more to be with you. By night time, the tide has risen and some people went out for a night swim in the beach. I went to the town to have dinner and was greeted by smiling people hanging out in the few rows of restaurants adorned with blinking Christmas lights.

Jennifer Booc

I felt the cold December wind glowing against my skin, everything about this place I thought to myself paint a romantic place. For the first time during my trip, I felt great and delighted to be in such place at a moment when I was feeling a lot worse lately. The romantic setting of Bantayan Island proved almost perfect. All that it’s missing was you.

Like the boat, I was on my own and only the tides of time will tell if we will sail together again. 

Jennifer Booc

The next day I went out for another walk by the beach and I was greeted by the people living in the nearby fishing village. They were busy gathering clams and what haves that can be found in the shallow waters.  The beach seems endless like life, and unlike a candle burning. Nothing yet is definite. At that moment I decided to look forward to life with zest and just betray all feelings of sadness. I walked a few more yards, and then a kilometer then I looked down on the sand. I saw myself buried in the sands waiting for you.

"As clear as an azure sky of deepest summer" I have learned to hope and hope I shall.

This is my third entry to the "Pinoy Travel Blogger's Blog Carnival" with the theme "Most Romantic Places" posted on Aleah's blog Solitary Wanderer