Last March is a past I would rather skip if given an option. To say it was stressful would be an understatement. Without disclosing specifics, the best word to describe the events of last month is “pruning.” Don’t ask me here what it is, maybe I’ll tell you over coffee. The gist is it zapped the spark out of me over feeling all sorts of emotions for things beyond my control. I needed a respite, I needed to go somewhere, or I would go bat shiz. Thus, I started envisioning a secluded beach with white golden sand, the sun setting on the horizon. And do you know where I’d been just last Monday? On the exact beach that fit the descriptions down to the tint of the sands. It’s a pristine small beach in Buruanga, Aklan called Hinugtan beach.
Five times I’d been to Aklan but never have I shown interest beyond Boracay. In my most recent trip, I shoot for a change. Aklan is a big province, there are other places to see.
After checking out from Henann Regency, my friend, Cai and I went to Hang Out Beach Resort for an overnight stay. The sun was high, the weather was sweltering, I would have wanted to deepen my tan, but the heat was oppressing. Cai went to the common area to do some online work; I went to our room to catch some zzs.
At around 4:00 p.m. Cai came into the room and called out my name. I opened my eyes and saw him putting away his laptop, he said it’s time that we go to Buruanga, one of the staff would be taking us there through a motorbike.
The staff is named Angel, a short girl with short hair, donning a shirt too big for her frame. Cai who fears riding motorcycles was sandwiched between Angel and me. I told him to relax if there is anyone who is more at risk it was I, not him.
The road is in good condition with some gentle slopes and steep inclines, especially toward the bend going to Hinugtan beach. There were some parts where the slope was too high, I thought Angel wouldn’t to get us through, after all, she was carrying two passengers. But she deftly maneuvered the bike, revved up the motor, built up speed, and slowly engaged the clutch. She was just as good at conquering the downhill curves.
A few meters away from our destination, Angel parked the motorbike on the side of the trail. One last hurdle to get to paradise, we went down the newly built concrete steps beside the dirt road. Pass that is a path through the forest in which we walked for about 5 minutes until we saw the beach.
This is a lot better than I imagined, the sea glistened under the descending sun, the golden sand felt warm underneath my feet. I spotted some locals enjoying a late-afternoon swim, on the side of the beach are some cottages and lodges that tourists can rent.
I walked down the shore where the small boats are moored. I have just left the beautiful chaos that is Boracay where I sought some peace but came to nothing. I never thought I’d find the serenity I was looking for on another beach, just a few kilometers away from Boracay.
It was the day before my flight back to Manila, where I exist virtually on autopilot. I tried not to feel dispirited over the fact and told myself all is good. I had the rest that I longed for; fleeting but enough to help me breathe again.
Finally, Angel said it was time to go. I took one last look at Hinugtan beach and thought that it was a beautiful ending to this short sojourn.