29.05.05; Buzzer Beater; 08:08

This month’s vaginal event: The arrival of Zoraya. Pilot bloopers: 1. "In behalf of Captain _______, attendant *loooooong pause* __________, this is ________…" 2. "We hope to see you again in our puture plights!" Boracay stealables I had the heart to leave behind: 1. The GenTxt bean bags. 2. A handful of sand (Would you believe?) Celebrity sightings: 1. Katya Santos; 2. Daphne Osmeña; 3. Patrick Paez; 4. Dianne Castillejo.

Dear Niwee,

I know you’re sick and tired of hearing this but I KNOW that there are still a (large) number of people out there who remain clueless about this uplifting thing that happened to me. So let me declare it one more time: I won for myself a Seair adventure pass! This means I have the ability to hop from one plane to another and tour the entire country for the next 45 days!

Don’t hate me dahlings because I’m too darn lucky! =P

On my 13th day, I finally decided to commence my expedition. I can explain why it took that long but I KNOW you wouldn’t want to hear it either. This Boracay virgin is overjoyed upon finding out Seair has 18 daily flights to Caticlan. And so it began: 24 hours of solitary fun in Aklan. Too bad, Mami, Hubs and my nameless camera can’t join me.

– – –

The winner takes it all, they say. Seeing my (misspelled) name on the newspaper as the winner gave me the greatest high so far this year. But I admit there were moments I feel like I won a trip for 2 instead when I have no company, or to be more accurate, no boyfriend to share the experience with. It’s more like a neck-breaking slap, isn’t it?

A good friend admonished me, "It’s time to find yourself,"

And so I plotted it to be.

Then officemate (still) Mark called up his Boracay-based friend and tasked her to babysit me. What a relief.

How I refuse to grow up, eh?

– – –

Boracay witnessed me contradict myself. First off, I arrived there wearing a brand-dropping shirt whose logo covered my entire chest. Before you cock your eyebrows for my startling evolution, let me explain that I have read somewhere, maybe from Celine Lopez’s column, that it is advisable to be overdressed in the airport. Why? This promises better treatment from the attendants! I even took a bath after shift to appear fresh and important for my flight. Guess what’s the first thing I did upon reaching Boracay? Shower – for the nth time – then off I ran to the beach for a plunge. Nagsasayang ako ng lotion!

Once upon a time, way back when I was still a wide-eyed girl listening to firefloss‘s travel tales, I vowed to get off the ferry by myself. Asking the locals to carry my big-boned self over their shoulders just feels wrong. Why else go to the beach if you refuse to feel the sand and the seawater greeting your toes? RIGHT? Little did I know leaving paradise poses a different challenge. When a bronzed man inquired if I wanted to be lifted up to the ferry, my head shook unconvincingly. I swallowed. The weight of my take homes is making my spine curve forward and the torn ligament somewhere in my left knee is starting to punish me. No protest came out when he made a comeback and positioned my lower limbs to his shoulder. No matter how justified I felt, the guilt resurfaced. We were literally dancing on our way aboard!

Looking for souvenirs never failed to make me pout. The perfect souvenir t-shirt is still non-existent thus I settled for a blue tank top that has the word BORACAY and the image of a shark with gigantic clenched teeth embossed on it. I wanted to add a comic balloon above it that says "GRRRRRR!"

Since claiming my adventure pass, I have long imagined falling prey to the hypnotic constellations. The fine sand, I promised, shall be my carpet. However, the hanging habagat was more punctual than I am. As a result, the shortage of stars made me drown my sorrows with fruit shakes and frozen margarita. But really, I don’t see the need for nightlife during a getaway. I just don’t.

– – –

The 35-minute flight back home felt slow. Which is good for a complete sucker for bird’s eye view. Which is bad for a financially challenged fool who dreams of buying her own island. Sometimes I had to blink and look away.

Since I was seated at the back and beside the emergency exit, the flight attendant informed me I’m automatically tasked to push it open if the need arises. My hand flew to my gaping mouth. She was quick to assure me it was OK if I decline to be useful for once in my life. Although it’s too late to feign my reluctance, I still managed to say it’s OK. Her finger pointed me to the manual. Did I flip through the pages? No.  But hey, I crossed my fingers!