Monday, December 08, 2008

one day on boracay

quasi-WTF:  tiny little sailboat with a swedish flag, seen off boracay, philippines november 2008.

vegging in the sun, pondering whether i would regret not having any sunscreen (i would) and whether we could order beverages on the beach (we could). a young man sat down nearby and began a friendly chat. we'd been approached many times before this...fruit, ma'am? massage, ma'am? island hopping? perhaps a little peace wouldn't hurt, i thought. and so i wasn't particularly open to the admittedly harmless-seeming young man.

he asked our names and where we were from. i glanced around to see if he had buddies that would grab our stuff (the only things of value i had were my nikon and my new havianas) while he distracted us. he didn't seem to. he was thin to the point of being a bit frail-looking, but very sweet and smiling. he said he was a student.  when i asked what he was studying he said, "the word of god." oh boy, here we go, i thought. we chatted on and he seemed to want us to come to a service at his church (7th day adventist), but he didn't really push it very hard, just indicated that it would sure make him and god happy.

he used his fervent belief to justify his poverty, saying repeatedly that he was poor, but happy because he had god. and in all honesty, he really did seem happy. he was taking a week off from his college to visit a friend who had a place on the island. it was his first trip there. he wasn't wearing shoes, but his white shirt was crisp and clean. in the end, we gave him what remained of our fruit (we had gone for the "fruit, ma'am" lady). he didn't eat it in front of us, but was effusively grateful.

he said he hoped to see us in heaven. i remarked that i hoped it wasn't anytime soon, since i thought we should all have quite long lives first. he confidently and cheerfully said that oh, no, he was sure it would be quite soon. on that note, we decided we'd had enough sun for the day. i'd just really hate to show up at the pearly gates with a sunburn.


tangobaby said...

You are a very nice and polite and patient person. And please do wear your sunblock and don't forget to reapply after swimming and/or getting sweaty.


Molly said...

I would be totally pissed if someone made off with MY new havaianas! (I have new red ones and black ones this year.)
And I remain deeply mistrustful of born-again young men, although I'm glad you had a good experience!
(My verification word: plobill - as in 'he was plobill angling to get lucky :P)


so you have been to boracay??:)