There are only three things that I wanted to do that day – drink alcohol, learn surfing and befriend someone. But what I received was more than what I have asked for – overflowing drinks, great fun riding and chasing the waves and a handful of new found friends. That day couldn’t get any better – that day is history for me.
It has been eight long months since I decided to leave the comforts of my home. It has never been easy and I know that it will never be. As much as I wanted to go back, sometimes it is the thought of still going places that inhibits me from taking a hiatus. This life-long journey of self-discovery took me away from home but the good thing about me being a wanderlust is the fact that I can associate anything as a piece of it. As cliche as it sounds, home is where the heart is and my heart is into places I have not yet set my foot on, people I have not yet met and memories I am just bound to create.
For my 22nd, I decided to tick one thing off of my bucket list – to try and learn surfing. With college buddies, a co-travel blogger and her friends we traveled all the way to Zambales to a little Sitio called, Liwliwa.
Off we go.
We opted to board a bus bound to Olongapo and that is where our adventure started. While on the bus, I was passing a glass of Mojito secretly around our group. Though I was suffering from a little motion sickness and though I know that it is prohibited, I still did it for the sake of doing it. We did not finish the bottle though, we only took a good amount to accompany us as we were on our way. During the course of the trip they were all sleeping while I was wide awake nagging whoever is available. We arrived at Olongapo after a close to four hours travel and with no time to waste, we rode a non-ac bus all the way to San Felipe, Zambales.
After an hour or more, we took another ride to bring us to our hostel. And when we arrived, my friends had their much needed sleep again while I stayed at the common area mentally laughing at the conversation of an African man with his two Filipino friends. 6 AM came and I decided to hit the sack.
Of frisbee and happiness.
The first thing that we have done that day was to play Frisbee. Though most of us are noobs we did manage to learn and have fun (Thanks Gene!) While we were out and playing, I have come to realize of how similar Frisbee is to life and to my pursuit of happiness. At times it will bring you to your highest and lowest but the important thing is to keep on chasing and to never stop. If life is playing on you, you might as well learn how to play his game.
Everything went well that day, we went to watch a skim board competition and during the afternoon, we were able to learn how to surf – the moment that we were all have been waiting for.
Riding the waves of life.
For us to be able to stand on a surfboard and manage it like a pro, we had our orientation. Every tips were given to us – from the anatomy of a surfboard to how we can safely maneuver it. A fast five minutes of telling us of the what and what not to do and then we were escorted to the sea. I was focused on getting it on my first try but as we were waiting for the waves, I can’t help but to be anxious of what’s going to happen next.
The wave was drawing near me and my instructor told me to follow the instructions given during the orientation. I felt the wave and his push. That time I was on my own, I slowly pushed myself up, with knees-shaking I tried to balance myself and be one with the waves. I was able to stand on the board and safely reach the shore. Being on that exact moment is incomparable, it was a natural high and that was one of the proudest moments of my life.
And as I continue with this journey, I promised to go and ride the waves of life. It may be turbulent at times but I know that all those hardships will only make me a better captain. I know that there will be days that I will fall, but each time I’ll fall, I now know how essential it is for me to get back up and fight even harder.
For the birthday boy.
During my younger years, I used to wait for my birthday in my room waiting for the first person to greet me on my special day, but never in my entire life that I get to have a welcome party. Though it wasn’t a welcome party for me just a small drinking session, I assumed it to be one. Bottles after bottles we were all having fun. Thanks to Atty Mike for being so generous and for giving us 2 more Empi Lights, a case of Red Horse Mucho and for the pulutan.
12 AM came and the birthday boy challenged everyone for a bottoms-up. Things became more fun for me and it officially became the best party of my life. There were some unexpected turn of events that led me to act as if I was drunk and mind you I was so convincing. After what seems to be a night of overflowing booze, after having one of the best drinking session with the locals, we settled in and bade each other goodnight.
Leaving a mark.
We spent our last day on the beach just bumming around and listening to feel-good summer songs. Though no one mentioned it, but the feel is as if we still want to have an extension. We fell in love with the community of Liwa and we found it hard to go.
We went back to our hostel and readied ourselves. We also took the time that was left for us to paint and leave a personal touch on the place that became our home. I was left wondering then on what to put and I remember our first day playing Frisbee and myself being on my early twenties. I sat for a while and think to myself, I still have years ahead of me but who knows? All I’m certain for right now is life won’t wait for me and I have been given another year and another chance to chase for my own happiness.
If I could I would press that pause button and never grow old but if this is how I get to welcome another year in my life, I won’t mind. That day was my freedom day and I drowned myself with love, alcohol and the sea and given the chance I would drown myself again.
This is what life is all about – memories. So don’t wait for them… create them. I’m Kenneth, at 22 I was able to go to places but it doesn’t stop there for I plan to go farther.