playing Moses

Filled with loathsome La Paz Batchoy soup, we decided to move along to get to our next destination, the Beach. Finally…

We hopped on a cab to take us to the bus terminal in Jaro and labored about 2 and a half hours of sweltering bus ride to the isolated town of Concepcion. We unfortunately planted ourselves beside the window so when we reached the bus terminal, the skin color of our left arms were nowhere near our rights’. We found ourselves at the wet market where we rendezvous with our boatman. We bought meats, veggies and booze for sustenance and sailed for 30-minute to the destination.

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Above: Photo by Jeff Rios for FLIPTRAVELS.COM

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And then something happened… Sandbar Island Beach Resort happened… We have been eyeing this place for quite some time but we were not really sure which one it is amongst our 7,107 drops of paradise. We only had one clue at hand—that image of the island in our mind that we randomly stumbled upon some years ago while we were browsing google images. We weren’t really sure if it was the right place we were intentionally booking.

We spotted the correct beach and it was just pristine and crazy beautiful just like how we envisioned it to be. And because we got there on a Sunday morning, all the guests were heading back to wherever they came from and we ended up renting the entire island all to our selfish selves.

Kuya Sonny : Sir, your timing is just perfect, you’re the only people in the island, it’s gonna be like your honeymo…
(Jeff joined the conversation)
Kuya Sonny : …oh, so three people?
Ron: yeah, but Monette has to leave later this afternoon to catch her flight back to Manila.
Kuya Sonny : Ah, OK.
(Sonny turned to the boatman and softly but audibly uttered..)
Kuya Sonny : … I think it will these two guys’ honeymoon tonight.

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Every time we go to a beach, Monette’s staple menu is plain and simple: Steamed rice, Eggplant and Tomato Enchilada and charcoal grilled Liempo (Pork Belly). Try to suggest any other dish and there will be bloodshed for sure. I’m serious.

After adding some extra pounds from the hearty lunch, we slothfully sat under the hut, stared blank to the horizon with the liempo’s lard smothered all over our faces. Why? because there’s really nothing else to do, really. And that’s good, that was exactly what we all wanted… needed… To forget the time and enjoy the moment when we don’t have to worry about the training plans, audits and clinical reports.

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As the name suggests, its a small sandbar. Roughly around a size of two elongated basketball courts, with trees, couple of bamboo huts and two hammocks. It’s just like any ordinary small island in my third world Philippines. YES people, this ordinary by our standards… until the water starts moving.

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We waited…

At an hour past noon, the tide started pulling down, the soft splashes of waves on the shoreline started growing stronger and stronger until a strip of the island’s extension emerged from underneath the clear water. We ran towards the shore foam and felt like we were Moses, dividing the sea—Truly a Charlton Heston moment with a little bit of Gloria Diaz in cocaine.

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The day was perfect until we got annoyingly reminded by phone calls that Monette has to fly back to Manila due to a “business requirement.” So we made use of the remaining hours lazily lying down on the hammock under the shade of the miniature tree canopy, doing nothing.

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Monette left the island with a heavy heart. She has to go back to Iloilo city in preparation for her early flight the following day. She waved goodbye from a small motor boat as it drifts away from paradise.

That’s what you can call, Paradisus interruptus.

Exiled in the island, Jeff and I prepped-up some booze and we started turning shots while watching the sun changed the canvass sky as random patches of clouds played on its palate. It was the perfect Buddy-moon experience (Romance not included in the package). We talked man to man, took pictures, enjoyed some quiet time alone (separeately), walked around quietly thinking and not thinking. The only thing missing was the Chaka Khan song and it could arguably out-gay any of the Bonnie Tyler best hits collection videos.

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Sand blasted innocence.

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peeking corals

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sun or moon? try guessing.

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I woke up the following morning on a hammock, wrapped with a hello kitty blanket provided by the island caretaker. The morning sun slowly thawed my chilled face while I was trying not to move hoping that the arms of time will slow down for us to buy a little bit more time to enjoy this piece of paradise.

At two short to noon, the sandbar was slowly swallowed by the sea. Closing this one of a kind experience. We’re city bound once again. We were speechless…

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CREDITS: Photos without the RON CRUZ watermark were taken by JEFF RIOS