Summer is that place in our hearts where we are absolutely happy, free and so at peace with ourselves and everyone around us. It is that magical time when for a moment, we feel like a little child all over again. So, today, let me take you to that special place in my heart and join me in Summer paradise where you can be a kid all over again. I promise it’ll be a Summer you will never forget. First, let me take to your very own sanctuary that will sure bring a huge smile to your day. Go ahead, unpack, unwind, relax, leave all your worries and baggage behind. You are in Summer paradise, remember? It’s a problem free, drama free zone. Do you like the ocean view from your balcony? Ready for a swim? How does Boracay Island crystal clear warm blue waters sound? Fun? Invigorating? Yes, it’s everything you’ve ever dream in a Summer paradise and more. Dive right in, indulge, laugh, let go… Amazing doesn’t begin to describe the sugar-like powdery white sands that feels so nice and soothing to one’s tired feet. Every step one ache gone. Every step one worry forgotten. Imagine what miles and miles of sand will take away. Island hopping, snorkeling, play time by the beach or simply just spend hours by the infinity pool surrounded by palm trees as you gaze upon the ocean below. Here in Summer paradise anything is possible. Who wants young coconut juice delivered to their boat? Perfect Summer hydration drink! Are you in for a bit of a thrill? How about jet ski on open deep waters?
I silently screamed as I reached the farthest part of the safe limits. The waves high and rough, bouncing us forcefully, my son’s excited screams of “This is so much fun,” drowning my fears. Then just when I thought we’re halfway through and can finally take a deep breath of relief, the engine stopped. Here in Summer paradise, you are awaken by a blissful sunrise, healing you, hearing you. Every heartbeat heard. Every prayer answered. Heaven feels so close, calming every life’s turbulent storms.
Every morning, I wake up excitedly to watch the sunrise by the beach front of Asya Boracay, one of the very few resorts that kept the spirit of being in a secluded island. As the Sun slowly ascends, I could feel God’s presence…then his voice. Never been so at home, at peace. Many years ago when life was simpler, humbler I used to walk in this same beach for a year. Miss those walks…so are the times I felt so close with my Creator. Looking back now, he blessed me with enough memories of Summer paradise to prepare me to the harsh realities of the outside world. Every journey has its reasons and purpose. So, thankful he brought me there, even if it was only brief and temporary.
I will say to the prisoners, “Come out in freedom,” and to those in darkness, “Come into the light.” They will be my sheep, grazing in green pastures and on hills that were previously bare. – Isaiah 49:9 Whether for love, romance, serenity, solitude, soul-searching for purpose and meaning, Summer paradise has all kinds of Sunsets for everyone. Here, there’s one just for you.
If you enjoyed the beach, you’re gonna love the natural wonders of Tibiao. Old giant trees, exotic wild flowers and animals, cascading waterfalls, rolling rivers. Here, excitement takes your breath away as much as nature’s beauty and pureness. Mountain to mountain zip line, a walk along the hanging bridge, herbal warm spa inside a giant “Kawa,” river kayaking, just some of the many adventures that awaits for you. Just don’t fall asleep when inside the “Kawa,” as water can turn from warm to boiling. “Dinner’s ready!” LOL.
Summer paradise is never paradise without tropical fruits. How about Durian, Mangoes and Lanzones straight from the trees. All you can eat fiesta. My son ate 4 pounds of sweet, ripe Durian. I ate 8 pounds. Never thought I could eat that much but it was so good that I didn’t realize I finish 4 whole Durian fruits. Here, try a piece. I bet you can easily finish a pound or two. After the fruits comes the main meal…charcoal grilled Bacolod Chicken Inasal. Every bite is a taste bud delight. Add garlic rice…”Ooh La La!” How about a visit to my mom’s place in Capiz for her famous Chicken Tinola. My son got us wild berries for dessert. They’re so sweet, he finished half of them. No worries, there are more at the tree, ready for the picking.
Been to so many beaches but there is one beach that has a door to my childhood where Summer paradise still holds its pureness and innocence. Today, I will take you there too. We’ll swim under the rain and dream to our heart’s content as we marvel its glorious sunset. Then seafood dinner with my family where you will always feel warmly welcomed.
Now, let me take you to my wife’s beautiful hometown in Iloilo for Lapaz Batchoy, Taho dessert and some strong freshly brewed Kape Barako. How strong? If Red Bull gives you wings, this one makes you run like The Flash! Great for jet lag and constant travelling.
Summer paradise is a place where you can be yourself. It’s a place where you feel at home, are home. It’s where people welcome you with open arms, unconditionally, without judgement as part of the family, embrace you so tight that it’s so heart breaking to say goodbye and celebrate you for being you. It’s where you feel tremendous love and joy in your heart that you get to bring with you anywhere you go.
I wish to thank my family and good friends in the Philippines for a Summer paradise that reminds me always of who I was and who I hoped to be. A Summer paradise where I know I can always go back and begin…
All images and memoirs were from my Philippine Summer of 2014. Yes, a year has passed but the memories remains vividly alive and real.
Thank you all for joining me to my little escape…our little escape. Hope you took your very own Summer paradise with you. Till our next Summer adventure. God bless.