"So what is it like, living in an island?"
I get asked this question a lot, mostly by curious people from Manila (who somehow forget that Luzon is also an island, but I know what they mean). I guess for most of them, living in a province by the beach can be either boring or too good to be true.
I almost always answer: life is simple, life is good.
See, I was the girl who worked in a multi-national company, spent my money in malls for "retail therapy", paid hundreds of bucks to get into bars, spent half my life in traffic and was bombarded by glaring billboards and all forms of intrusive advertising every single day.
Then I traded it all. Shoes for slippers, asphalt for sand, my big salary for money just enough to get me through the month. Like any spoiled city girl, I had to learn to do my own laundry, pay my own bills and take care of myself when i get sick.
Was it worth it? Hell yeah.
Where else can you walk to the beach at the end of a long day? Find a quiet patch of sand to sit and count shooting stars? Wake up to fresh air and the sound of birds and waves? I found a place so quiet, I can hear my thoughts. A place where the beauty around me isn't man-made and where people take time to watch the sun set.
Sure there are things I miss about the city, like watching my favorite bands play live, going to the movies and of course my family and friends. But the island is catching up. With internet shops, bars, clothing stores (and to my disappointment) a Starbucks in the island,a taste of "civilization" is only a tricycle ride away.
The thing is, I didn't come all the way here for that. I came here to free myself from all the things that seemed to suffocate me in the city, to live without cubicles and stoplights, and to explore what's out there.
And so I treat everyday like an adventure, a long vacation. I've put myself in a 7 kilometer stretch of sand, yet sometimes it feels like it's bigger than the city where I came from. Obviously it's a little hard to explain, but that's what it's like.