Feeling Fat On The Islands Of Guimaras

Did you gain weight?

My friend, Cai, asked after taking my picture as I lie down on the hammock. I kind of suspected that I did, so there goes my confirmation. I looked at my photos and frowned; I had a double-chin, my jawline barely visible, my cheeks are too plumped, and my tummy protrudes from my shirt. Holy cow I am fat!

I think I am skinny fat, which according to an article means, “looking slim and fit dressed, but dreadful naked.” I have been doing weight training at home for several months now, but my dream muscles are still just that, a dream. And I have unsightly fats in some parts of my body like my back and my tummy. Having confidence in my body is one of my long-standing battles ever since I started gaining fats in my midsection. And because Cai reminded me of my biggest insecurity, I didn’t take a lot of pictures of myself when I went island-hopping in Guimaras.

Island Hopping Activity

Staying at Nature’s Eye Beach Resort includes an island-hopping adventure. On our second day, we had to be up early, eat our breakfast, before proceeding to our day’s activity. Thank god I brought a monokini, imagine if I wore a two-piece, oh the horror!

According to Cai, who by the way, is now the manager of Nature’s Eye, the island hopping is scheduled once daily, at 9:00 a.m. We had to go down the slippery muddy hill to get to the beach where the boat was waiting. My friend, Alchris and I, were joined with a couple who were also guests of the resort.  

The boatman is quite talkative and made an effort to give us a background of the islands that we are passing through. Some of the islands are resorts, some are shaped like animals, and there is one that has a grotto. Most of the time, I couldn’t hear the boatman through the noise of the motor. I just nodded, feigning comprehension. 


A few minutes into our travel, I moved to sit at the foredeck of the boat so I can take better pictures. We passed through a mangrove forest, called locally as bacuan. The view of these shrubs and trees is simply fascinating.

The weather was cloudy and the waves were slightly strong. There were times when the boat would pass through a big wave and I was there in front of the boat feeling like I was riding a roller coaster. It was both scary and thrilling at the same time. I’m insecure with my body yes, but not suicidal. I held on to the rope that was tied on the foredeck so I won’t fall off the boat.   

Floating Cottage

Our first stop is the Floating Cottage. The boatman asked us for our permission if we wanted to go there because it has an entry fee of ₱50. We all agreed, besides, as Cai mentioned, we wouldn’t be visiting a lot of islands.

Our boatman said that the floating cottage was donated by Gina Lopez, the incumbent Chairperson of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission. We saw three cottages in the area, one is non-operational. And because it’s the off-season, there aren’t many tourists around. 

There are several flags mounted on the sea circling the area where people can swim. Alchris skipped swimming so I went to the water alone. I’m not sure how deep the water is, just to be safe I used a life vest. 

Taklong Island

Taklong Island is a national marine reserve covering an area of over 1,000 hectares of coral reefs, mangrove areas, and seagrass beds. There is an entry eco fee of ₱60.

This is where you can find what the locals call as The Tower, a 5-story steel building that offers an amazing view of Guimaras islands.

My friend was having fun using his new mirrorless camera, sometimes using me as his test subject. Whenever I caught him taking pictures of me, I’d reprimand him, “Stop taking my photos, I look fat.” If I use the same line with my other friends, they’d be quick to tell me that I am not fat, but this friend of mine is different. He loves fitness, he knows when I gain extra pounds and be the first one to tell me so. I used to be offended but I have learned to appreciate his honesty. 

It started raining when the island trip ended. The waves have become stronger that Alchris was slightly agitated. I told him that these waves were nothing compared to the ones that I experienced in Romblon several years ago. It seemed to have calmed down his nerves a bit.

I know I may be hard on myself, there are people who have it worst yet here I am complaining about my body. But I think with body issues, being heavy or being skinny are not mutually exclusive. We all have it, one way or another and we have different ways of dealing with it.

When we went to Guimaras in July, I didn’t restrain myself from eating, which is what I usually do when I travel. Sampling the local cuisine is part of traveling and I don’t want to skip it. But every time I let go, I feel the guilt. And then I’d hate myself because I have deliberately let myself pushed myself further away from my body goal.

The battle between the will to be fit and the lure of the food is still ongoing. Until I reach the time in which I am fully confident about my body in whatever state it may be in, I will keep taking pictures of myself to a minimum. And for now, we call all just enjoy the view, of the places I go to, that is.

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