Casa San Miguel was home to Hero’s Journey for a couple of days and its theater hosted the camp’s shadow play-improvisation program. This time, however, our group grew too big to fit in the available rooms but we still wanted to take the campers to marvel at genius Coke Bolipata’s ever-evolving creation.
From Casa San Miguel, we drove to another Hero’s Journey home: Camayan beach resort in Subic where the kids could snorkel near the shore, see and feed fishes. It was our jump-off point to the Pamulaklakin Forest Trail where we do a jungle survival course with Marc and his team of outdoor adventurers. They taught the kids to make fire, cook a mean-tasting sinigang and rice in bamboo, eat heartily using bamboo plates and utensils. They taught them how to build an a-frame, lean-to and convertible shelters. The guides built animal traps that the kids played with, pretending to be clueless chickens walking into a trap. After that came the freedom we longed for: to hop from rock to rock, wade and swim in the water flowing through a dense jungle, swing on vines like a tamer Tarzan.
Society has taught our kids to be overly-cautious. Parents and grandparents might have passed on a finicky attitude. Sometimes kids don’t seem to be the kids that embrace what childhood is all about: jumping at the opportunity to try something new, exploring and having an adventure, gleeful at getting wet and dirty. Hopefully they carry that spirit all the way to adulthood.
Originally, I didn’t want to go to Ocean Adventure Park because I just wanted to stare at the sea at Camayan Beach but then Ocean Adventure also faces the same side of the ocean. The amphitheater and the whole park backdrop IS the mountain-sea-sky. I could sit and wait in the air-conditioned restaurant, work on my laptop while looking out at the infinite blue horizon. Someday, I want to have a name card that indicates what I do for work: Staring at the Sea.
. . . . and my office has a view like this:
P.S. Jollibee never fails. Neither does Cheetos or dolphins.
P.P.S. It was doubly good that our group went to Pamulaklakin forest because tourism in the area was affected by the Taal eruption so the skilled guides needed the business that the guests from China brought. The local guides made tall cups and spoons out of bamboo for each of us and made the jungle survival course possible, together with Marc Gana and his team of facilitators for wilderness adventure learning camps.