As we set foot in the idyllic and laid back municipality of Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island, you will feel at home with the friendly dispatchers who will direct you to the next available tricycle or “habal-habal” drivers in line. You will never suspect any of them to be something dubious that will fix high fare rates. This is plus factor for me in going to destinations. The honesty of the locals whom you can ask questions about directions, and places to go.
They are friendly and will only demand for what is the actual fare going to the beach. They know anyone who manages room accommodation as you will be ushered to the vacant rooms nearby.
Places frequented by tourists are just 15-20 minutes away. But in terms of safety, there’s nothing to worry. From Poblacion to our cottage room we bring our market supplies walking past in dim lit areas unharmed or not to mention the barking of dogs as we tried to navigate the shortest route while bringing our plastic bags.
In Sugar Beach, I am my own skin. I like the idea of having my own veranda or sitting in a wooden bamboo chair with good conversations and whisked by cool air under the shade of palm trees. When talking about beach it may sometimes be tantamount to drinking beer, but not all the time. It could mean good breakfast on the wooden table, buoyancy for life or scraping off the coconut meat as your snacks and a refreshing drink at the same time.
It wasn’t the typical Sugar Beach the day we went there. It was sometime in November, on a rainy season. It was demographically unpeople unlike during Holy week where the beach is normally streamed with hippies and surfer looking dudes flocked at the the beach front with tents and alcohols and never ending disgusts. Nowadays, lying on a beach is a mainstream necessity for the restless to unwind from the humdrum of demanding life. I am one of them but going to a beach with only a handful of people is what I prefer.
That’s one of the sweet things things I could remember in Sugar Beach, or even in travelling to places I like. I want to immerse just like one of the locals. Walking on the streets while wearing house clothes and slippers. I don’t want to feel regal in a rustic place just because I am new and I looked different and that locals would treat me that I am a tourist with lots of money to spend. The feeling of being transported to another unfamiliar place is what excites me to travel even more. Less peopled, unknown and not in your Top 10 lists of to go places.
Being in a new place, you will scoop pictures and images of reality. There are stories more than the Facebooks posts of our bare clad bodies on beach. They are not tourists that spend time leisurely. They hop from one cottage to another to earn a living. They don’t have Facebook accounts but their faces deserve more likes and shares.
Aside from the picturesque sceneries, travel offers us a real picture of life we rarely include in our own album. Our flexibility under certain circumstances is manifested in our mass transportation that everything can be extended beyond the limits.
This is the joy of commuting wherein we are enjoined to a common goal: destination. We are a community of transients, a one big family.