Sunday, October 5, 2008

Blown Away

View of Puraran from the hills leading towards this fantastic, hidden paradise.

A soothing scene at dusk.

Rainclouds and sunshine. Puraran, Baras, Catanduanes.

I just came from my short adventure in the Land of the Howling Winds - Catanduanes. I've always wanted to go there. It's the westernmost island in the country and there's something about its winds that made me want to be caught right smack in the middle of it. An indeed, my recent tryst with that island got me captivated and literally blown away.

I read that it rains everyday in that land. When I found out about it, I knew it was an added charm, another reason to visit the place. I've always loved the rain. As a child, I was scared of oceans and all kinds of bodies of water, but I've always welcomed the rain. If all of the raindrops are lemondrops and gumdrops...

The place did not disappoint me. I ended up in Barangay Puraran in Baras town, said to be one of the best surfing areas in the country. October is supposed to be the beginning of the surfing months. I was thankful I found the ocean tranquil. Despite my love for the ocean, I never really learned how to swim. Whenever I find myself by the ocean, my closest contact with it is a quick dip, more as a gesture of veneration for Mother Nature than an act of great pleasure in itself.

Balancing on driftwood. Amenia Beach, San Andres, Catanduanes.

Puraran is a paradise well-hidden by the mountains. It took me almost 2 hours to get there by tricycle. The road leading to the place was rough. The only jeep that goes through it, plying the Virac-Gigmoto route, has only one trip a day. I was at the mercy and the kindness of the locals. The way they treated me only reaffirmed my faith in the Filipino people. Yes, there is hope for this country.

After the long journey to Puraran, I was not surprised when I was greeted by an almost deserted place. There were only two other guests in that rustic resort: a foreigner who never spoke a word and a poet invoking his muses. The poet I was able to have a great conversation with. Looking back, I realize finding Puraran on my own was a great adventure. Getting a glimpse of a poet's solitude was another.

As always, being in a strange place renews me. It heals me in a way that I cannot define. What is it about the strangeness? Why do I have this urge to get away from it all, to momentarily disappear from the rest of the world as I know it? Why am I so drawn to being alone? What is it about new faces in new places? Why do I yearn for new things so much?

I love my solitude. Yet I keep on praying for that day when I can finally share it.

Shell, pebble and seaweed. Puraran, Catanduanes.

There is something sublime about being alone, with only the entire world around you as your company. I relished my moments with the stars. The night sky was like black velvet, studded with sparkling jewels of varying sizes and shapes. Laid before me was the howling sea, unseen in the night, but magnificent in its unpredictable but certain existence. The fireflies, though few, brought light almost as beautiful as the ones above me. Sleep, under the heavens, can never be more restful.

The time I spent journeying to Catanduanes was much longer than my actual stay in the island. But as the cliche goes, it's the journey, not the destination. My few hours in that place prepared me for yet more arduous battles in the city. The soldier has rested well.

Next destinations: Masbate, Siquijor, Palawan. And then... Batanes. Sigh...


dr_clairebear said...

inggit ako. someday! :)

patwixey said...

in that order, ma'am? therefore pang-wedding anniv na ang Batanes (since [pang-honeymoon ang Palawan] hehehe :)

Walking on Water said...

pats, travelling is easy. finding a good man is hard. keeping one is impossible. too bad... hehehe