Sun Star Bacolod - - Opinion -

WE JUST got back from what we can say was a work­ing va­ca­tion in Bo­ra­cay. We have never been to the place so we were ex­cited to ex­pe­ri­ence it. Let me not write about the work part but let me share the va­ca­tion. Here is a thought be­fore we be­gin. The word va­ca­tion comes from the word “va­cante” which as we all know means va­cant. And that should give you a clue as to what we should all be like while on va­ca­tion. Va­cant, empty.

Back to the story. First, the beach was a sight. A long stretch of white soft sand. I have al­ways liked beaches and Bo­ra­cay was awesome. It has a vibe. There were end­less shops, ho­tels, re­sorts, spas, restau­rants, cafes and of course the eter­nal stream of for­eign tourists. Filipinos are the mi­nor­ity in Bo­ra­cay. Kore­ans, Chi­nese, Kore­ans, Chi­nese, Euro­peans, Asians, Kore­ans, Chi­nese, Amer­i­cans, Kore­ans and more Chi­nese. Just an over­flow of for­eign­ers.

Peo­ple were in restau­rants and cafes. In bars. Peo­ple were swim­ming, snor­kel­ing, div­ing, get­ting mas­sages, get­ting tipsy, and danc­ing. And there was more eat­ing, more swim­ming and a lot of walk­ing. We had this amaz­ing break­fast buf­fet at a place called Chacha’s. You have to eat there to know what their break­fast is like. I am a break­fast eater so that was heaven for me.

Ev­ery­one was happy. They were smil­ing, laugh­ing, and danc­ing and eat­ing and yes swim­ming and snor­kel­ing. I asked one of the Tourism heads there what was the av­er­age stay of tourists in Bo­ra­cay and he said five days. I asked how many tourists ar­rive on a daily ba­sis. He said in the thou­sands. I be­lieved him. Our guide added that since this was off sea­son, the crowds we were see­ing was not even close when the tourist sea­son truly started. I also be­lieved him. He said that dur­ing the peak sea­son, peo­ple would lit­er­ally bump each other in tight spa­ces. I also be­lieved that.

But that is not the point of this writ­ing. Here it is.

Af­ter the three-day work­ing va­ca­tion, it was back to the same old grind. As one of the team mem­bers said, back to re­al­ity. I dis­agree.

Our re­al­ity is what we see in Bo­ra­cay or at least it should be. Our de­fault is swim­ming, snor­kel­ing, danc­ing, smil­ing and laugh­ing.

Our de­fault should be hap­pi­ness. It ought to be in the fi­nal sense, empti­ness. Empty of all de­sires and wants.

We mis­tak­enly iden­tify our na­ture as to strug­gle, work, the rat race, com­pe­ti­tion, selfish­ness, greed and vi­o­lence. That is not what we do nor who we are.

In the deep­est core we are danc­ing, swim­ming, sing­ing, and eat­ing. We are gaz­ers of sun­sets and sun­rises. We are walks along the beach. We are star seek­ers. We are as free as sail boats and pow­er­ful as the winds of Bo­ra­cay. Our true na­ture is the ec­stasy of the mo­ment and the joy of now. Our va­ca­tions are who we are.

The rest is made.*

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