Here are pictures from two favorite places — one that I never outgrew and one that I grew to love.
From almost two decades of going there with my brothers and nieces, I noticed that most kids eventually outgrow this particular beach in Calatagan because it’s not nice in a resort kind of way. It’s not powdery smooth. It’s muddy and swampy in some parts and it’s too shallow to swim. You’d have to walk a distance and still it would be too far. When you’re small as a toddler or a few years after, you could swim and you have less of an awareness of icky. You haven’t developed that instant “ewwww” reaction. Then eventually, the experience that was once sublime becomes boring because you’d rather play with an ipad or wish you were with friends in the city.
I’ve seen children who used to love coming to this beach grow up into teenagers and adults refusing an invitation to this outing. I hope my children will be like me and never outgrow this place of perfect sunsets, never taking for granted the imperfect beauty of its shore in “all it’s perfect imperfections.” I hope they don’t get tired of collecting tiny hermit crabs, snails and starfish. I hope they never get grossed out sinking in the mud.
With the introduction of the stand-up (or sit-up in our neck of the woods) paddleboard, that may never happen.
The other favorite place is Singapore. Almost two decades ago when I first stayed there for what seemed then like a longish time of one month, I couldn’t imagine myself living in such a limited area that could make one feel claustrophobic in its smallness. At that time, the island was too tiny and there wasn’t enough to do, not enough choices and two weeks tops was the max for me. However, going there regularly these past five years, I’ve grown to love the island nation and discover new hidden treasures each visit. Either I must have been a cynical youth back then who didn’t know how to appreciate life as much as I do now, or Singapore has grown in leaps and bounds in hipness and vibrance, developing into a designers’ and urban planner’s tropical urban paradise. Oh, and I’ve fallen in love with the variety of food from the hawker stalls to the restaurants in the malls and everything in between.
If I didn’t have a plane to catch, I wanted to linger at the Lasalle College of the Arts, snoop around the studios and see what the young artists are up to. Perhaps in the next trip. Always a next one.
In the next one, I better watch a play. I tried catching a performance this trip but after rushing to the National Gallery, I found the Tony award-winning play, Art wasn’t on that day although the brochure said it was. So I will just have to content myself imagining what happens when “the friendship of three men is turned upside down when one of them buys an expensive piece of modern art – a white canvas crossed by barely visible lines. Serge buys the painting but Marc hates it and Yvan is caught in the middle between his two friends. This contemporary comedy about friendship, creativity and the complexities of human relationships has become one of the most successful plays ever written.” Uhmm. Nope, imagination doesn’t work. I need to see it.
I’m just missing theater in my life. No, not the personal drama which is more than enough, thank you.