June 2, 2007

same time next year

or, alternatively, the art of summers (in retrospect)

with the weather bureau saying the rainy season has officially kicked in, i guess itís about time i do a recap of summer 2007 ó definitely one of the best in recent memory. who wouldíve thought i could pack in as much beachineering in a little over two months?

my summer started in subic and my brotherís out-of-town math training ó started with getting lost in olongapo, zambales and (almost) bataan, getting caught past STOP signs at SBMA, hotel and beach hopping with dad and auntie and krista, and of course, going to the zoo AGAIN after more or less a decade. my summer started in subic, before holy week, thanks to grace called vacation leaves and skeletal force shifts and bosses who allowed such breaks.

and then there was the EPA outing, a.k.a. the Lucena-Laiya Connection, later would be known in the circle as Laiya Uno. this oneís by the grace of people in the editorial production pool, who let me in on their outing good conversation over drinks, splendid food, accidental discoveries, and yes, camwhoring till it hurts and until it doesnít. there was sea, there was pool, there was beer, there were cigarettes. there were wonderful people to pose with and talk with and how can good friday not be good when youíre on the beach, drinking lukewarm san miguel beer and holding a cigarette? no, itís quite impossible not to call it ďthe life.Ē

and that was where it started.

the weeks after were spent planning the second one, but in the middle of the planning there also was Sariaya, with gorgeous girls and an equally gorgeous budget. there was van, and there was seafood (oh there was seafood yum), there was sea and sunburn and waves ó the beach was ours. there were friends iíve known practically all my life (iíve said time and again my life began in high school) and there was good conversation in the middle of the sea. there was skin getting burned. there was bikini worn for the first time. and of course, photographs until sunset.

there was knowing that some things just need a little harder push to go go go.

two days later, there was laiya again, aptly called Laiya Dos. Or, the Daring Daylight Vacation. there were sexy girls everywhere (yihaa) and cameras in all directions. there was trampoline and there was buffet and there were jumping shots, bikini shots and hilarious poses. there were, however, no boys. except this adorable kid. still, there was beer on the beach and and there were cigarettes. there was white sand, there was terrific conversation that left me hoarse and terrific bikinis that left lines on my skin. there was a huge chevrolet van that looked sinister at first. and then there were even more sexy girls. wait i already said that.

there was knowing that a day canít be too short for people determined to stretch it out.

two weeks later, there was a birthday celebration. there was la union. in what could have been the best punctuation to all my summer escapades combined, there were six-hour bus rides that left me practically sleepless but unusually energized. there was bus-station-hopping at midnight and flirting with unnamed guys in pink shirts (hah) and chowking. there was surfing until you couldnít hear anything from all that seawater in your ears; actually, there was more drowning than surfing, water cure torture more often than actual execution. there was beer by the beach - endless beer. by the beach. there were huge cameras and evil jellyfish and terrrrrrific food (thanks kat) and reggae music (because the beach knows best). there was volleyball. there was running away from flying volleyballs, mostly. there was game trash talk and sand sticking to legs and arms. there was football until sunset. there were bruises everywhere. there were lungs almost getting punctured from all that sport and feet hitting legs and irene screaming kuyog (special mention). there were sore limbs after but there also were smiles wider than what couldíve been physically possible, given the events. and of course, splendid photographs and action shots (lost cams notwithstanding - oh how this crushed me so.)

that was the longest day of my life. i still have the lines on my thighs to prove how long iíd stayed out in the sun, and i donít really care that my skin wonít be returning to its original shade of brown anytime soon, or that the bruise on my right foot has yet to heal.

when the rains started a few days ago, i went back to my trusty old adidas shoes, and took down, one by one, the anklets around my right ankle. there was sand in their fibers still, perhaps never to be completely removed ever, but i donít mind either. nor do i care that my brown havaianas are now more gray than actually brown from all that sand and seawater.

because, you know ó guess who lived it up this summer?

that would have to be me, thank you all very very much.