The rain had its way with me this morning, keeping me from a much needed run with my roommate, Emily. But I welcomed the extra hour of sleep. This week I have been sitting in on a series of roundtable discussions for the Destination Marketing Project I will be working on for the improvement of Metro Iloilo-Guimaras Tourism.
It’s weather Wednesday! – Emily Rosen
On the jeepney ride to the conference room this morning – (jeepney [jp ‘ n ] noun; A customized twin-bench open window jeep, made with random scrap parts, and used for public transportation at 7 pesos a ride – equivalent to .17 cents) – Emily told me it was weather Wednesday. She explained, “On Monday, you talk about what you did over the weekend. Tuesday, you’re still pretty pumped about what you did and energized for the week. On Thursday, you’re thinking ‘Cool, it’s almost Friday, let’s start planning for the weekend’. Then Friday comes and you’re just stoked…But the only thing to talk about on Wednesday is the weather.”
Clouds parted, mind blown.
Okay, so it’s true. I clearly started this post with qualms about the weather. But that is not all I have to talk about because there is still much to be shared about last weekend spent on the island province of Guimaras. From the 15 minute ferry ride, the soft white sand, and our small hut on the beach, last weekend is still very much on my mind.
My roommates Emily and Savannah, along with Mike (a former CUI intern) and I, left our house in Iloilo early Saturday morning, eager to swim in the ocean, lounge on the beach and eat some mangos (which the island is famous for). After a jeepney ride from the port, and a tricycle (tricycle [trI-si-kul] noun; a motorcycle fitted with a passenger cab called a sidecar.) into town, the four of us arrived at Raymen Beach in Alubihod, Nueva Valencia.
With a beer in hand, great company, and an unreal view of neighbouring islands, this day was the most carefree I felt in a really long time. After a long week, we each felt the contrast from slowing pace. When we found a room available, it was a no brainer we would be spending the night here. No more than 10 steps from our hut and you could touch your toes to water. When night came we made friends with local long boarders, telling jokes and sharing stories inside a benched cabana. A late night dip in the ocean was mandatory. Only one of us thought to bring a towel. Sand was everywhere. Ants too! We didn’t care. We had someplace to sleep at the end of the night, and that was good enough for us.
I wish I could relive – everyday – what it’s like to wake up to the sound of the ocean. We spent another great day just floating around and soaking in some sun. We offered our new friends some blanket space to sit on; smiling, they politely shook their heads, “It’s the island way.”
By 4 o’clock we packed up and hailed a tricycle to drive us down the long and bumpy road back to the port. Seated in the back of the sidecar was an experience all on its own. Friendly faces waved as we passed, and crazy motorists got a kick out of messing with me (an obvious tourist) by getting too close for comfort.
This was the first of many weekend trips to Guimaras. I am told there are other wonderful parts of the island to explore and excursions to take advantage of. Lucky for me this is a stop on the tourism circuit I’m working on for the Tourism Development Project. Who would have thought mountain biking and island hopping would be research?