Sunday, January 7, 2024

Off to the sea


Over the weekend we reconnected with my dear friend, Renan Laru-an, now director of Savvy Contemporary in Berlin. He's in town for the holiday but is flying out early next week. We lived, among other mostly Ilonggo-speaking friends, in the same Quezon City apartment for many years. He was the last to leave, when he decided in 2020 to pack his bags and return to his home in Sultan Kudarat. 

We've known him for so many years that, each time he comes for a sleepover (his ancestral house is about 45 minutes away from Marbel), I don't have to fuss over because he can help himself to the fridge or find fresh towels in the cabinet. He's part of our extended family. 

He'd be cold in Germany when he returns for work. I had the grand idea of taking Toto Renan to the beach. He said it was a great idea.

I hadn't seen the sea in a while. I can cite the busy-ness of my schedule, the fact that it's out of my way. But isn't that what vacations are for—going out of your way to carve a special time for rest? As I think about it more deeply, my hesitation has been largely due to the recent earthquake and after-shocks, and, therefore, the rare possibility of tsunamis. (Since a decade ago, I've had a recurring dream that a tsunami chases after me as I run to higher ground.) As kids who grew up in the valley, the sea was—and still is—a treat, the very definition of a holiday. 

After seeing patients on Friday morning, Manong, Toto Renan, and I had lunch at Robata and we drove to Glan in Sarangani Province. The drive was scenic. For me, driving past empty roads, with the glorious view of the coast to my right, is therapy. We brought Toto Ren to Anvy Resort. It was empty and sleepy.  We were practically the only ones in the resort, except for a family from Surallah. We asked where they came from because we overheard the mother say to her son, "Daw bakâ ka na maglakát kay katambok na sa imo. Grabe ka gid abi pakaunon mo!" The son scratched his head and ran happily anyway. In our culture, when friends and family make comments about your weight, it's not discrimination but love. 

The staff said they were up to their necks in December. "Daghan guests diri!" January was a downtime for them. We liked downtimes. 

The sea was still. We were not swallowed by a tsunami. There were hardly any waves that it felt like we were in Lake Sebu. Or, as we were soaking in the waters, "Daw ga-swimming lang ta sa labador ah."

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Blogger tm said...

"As kids who grew up in the valley, the sea was—and still is—a treat, the very definition of a holiday." - still true to this day for me! Happy new year Kuya Lance. Love the new "old" layout of the blog.

Sun Jan 07, 10:16:00 AM GMT+8  

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