I still have an hour or so before I join Babal. I went back the lodge to get some more of my documentation stuff, I don’t want to miss anything with this experience…when I got back he was already preparing for his surfing lessons. He then told me that we just have to make one stop before we head on. Then a guy approached him and asked him if he can get a ride, he said his friend will be with him and asked if I can take him instead. since I left one of my bags at the lodge I’m free to take on a passenger, so it took him.
At first I thought it was just a short ride, it took us almost 30 mins to get there. The road turned from concrete to beige powdered limestones that went through mountains, swamps, and small forests. I was told by my passenger that the local government is looking into finishing the concrete roads all throughout the island in hopes to further boost tourism.
Babal and his friend were just amazing took look at, it’s like being in a summer movie wherein the main character meets two free spirited individuals who take him on a journey of a life time. I usually condone riding motorcycles without a helmet, but I will let this one pass. Both of them were just cruising the wind going through their long curly hair and from time to time Babal’s friend would extend his arms as if he was flying. I do that too, when I feel just ridiculously free and I bet that’s exactly how he is feeling. That short ride was just really meaningful for me, it one of those rides that seem to celebrate freedom, adventure and going into the unknown, cliche as it may sound.
We got to our destination, if not for the parked motorcycles with surf racks you wouldn’t think that this is surf spot. There are no resorts like it was on Cloud 9, not even a sari-sari store nearby. My passenger alighted from my ride and signaled that I could just park beside the other motorcycles. I asked him if it was possible to get the motorcycle in. He said yes, but it’s going to be difficult.
Then it started to rain…. Babal and his friend already left me as they still have to attend to their guests so I was left to ride to the spot alone. At first, I thought it was going to be easy until I dropped my bike twice in 10 mins. It was not overly difficult to get there, but the mud and rain made sure that it would give me a challenge. Everybody was surprised when finally got the spot, who wouldn’t. I was the only guy there wearing a two piece motorcycle riding suit while everyone else is either on board shorts, bikini or wet suits.
Everybody’s eyes were on me, I just gave everyone an awkward smile as well as a nod. The beach was nice but there was hardly a shore there a very small sand bank and then its open water. Damn, there were a lot people surfing and they quite far as most of them are just black dots on the horizon. I really didn’t have anything else to do while I was there, after shooting a couple of photos. I just sat there and watched. Surprisingly most of the people surfing are foreigners and only a few of them seem to be newbies. Most look so sure of themselves and only a few look like they don’t know what they are doing. My guess is, they have been doing this for a long time.
Everybody there seemed busy, it’s either you’re surfing or you are assisting those who are. I did feel a bit out of place, but that’s ok. New experiences have a tendency to make you look like a fish out of the water. When Babal came back I told him that I’m going back to the lodge so I can have some lunch. Then he told me that I should come back to Kitya’s place later, someone has a christening and there’s going to be Lechon (roasted pig) and that I should come and dine with them.
I went back to lodge not really to have lunch, but really just to take a rest. Just to take a break from being out of place, when my tummy started clamoring, I remembered what Babal said. I went back to Kitya’s place and there I saw him, about to wear a shirt and signaled me to follow him. He said the same for the rest of the foreigners who were hanging out. When we got to the place where the feast is prepared, the host looked very surprised as if she was not expecting us. Then Babal said “Go, eat.” everyone just came from surfing so naturally, everyone was starving. So they all dug in, bare hands picking the Lechon bit by bit. I saw the host frown as she looked at Babal. He then just looked at her, mouth filled with lechon and smiled. I just shook my head and smiled… because I just realized, we weren’t actually invited there.
After the unintentional party crash that I did with Babal, I had this conversation with Babal. He told me that he is living the life here in Siargao, it’s simple uncomplicated and he can do the things that he loves in life. He has a lot of motorcycles which he purchases via financing and rents it out to surfers, which then pays for itself aside from that he also teaches surfing which is his passion.
His words sounded exactly like Kitya, you know the cliche of people chasing their dreams? These people are living theirs, everyday every hour and every moment. Their lives are not something exceptionally grand, they don’t have expensive cars, huge houses or a lot of money, but what they do have is a sense of contentment. I feel that vibe all throughout the island and through them, that’s probably what I can really take away from this experience.
As I left the island the next day, I kept on thinking about them. Most probably to them I will be just a fleeting guest, someone who they will forget after a couple of weeks, but I will never forget them. Probably in a persons lifetime, one can only meet a few people who have given up professional careers and instead choose to live out their dreams in island.
I went to the port early morning to catch the first boat out. I really wish I could stay here for a bit longer but, I only have a limited time in this trip and there’s still a lot of ground to cover, as I’m just starting to explore Mindanao. The sunny is out and the storms are over, but apparently were still in Signal no. 2. The boat will not leave until it gets the green light from the coast guard, to pass the time I lied down in the concrete steps of the port and reflected on the past 2 days. For some reason I kept on thinking about Babal and Kitya, most probably to them I will be just a fleeting guest, someone who they will forget after a couple of weeks, but for me I will never forget them. Probably in a persons lifetime, one can only meet a handful of people who have given up professional careers to choose to live out their dreams in island or find a person who has built a life and earning around their passion and I met them both here.
I have a feeling that I will be meeting a lot more interesting people with equally interesting stories, but for now I have to go. The coast guard just cleared to boat to go and I have to get myself ready for 3 hours of preventing myself from puking my insides out.