When my friend Journeying Pinay mentioned in passing that she might set foot in the isla, I was restraining myself to ask if I could come. As sensitive as the area was, Spratly Islands was not even included in my bucket list. When I look at it in the Philippine map, it was like staring in an old, black and white photograph. Worn out, hazy and fading around the edges. Fragile to the touch.
But still there. Alive and breathing. Close to the touch. So when she did invite me, my brain and heart agreed for such a rare instance. I knew I had to be there. I wanted and needed to be there with her. And so it happened. I could never thank enough the good heavens, my friend and the brave men in uniform we were with. It was more than that. We were there to give our gifts to the little kids. An opportunity that I could only describe as a blessed one.
|This small bird is called Nomad|
We woke up before 4 in the morning. We were advised that we will be picked up before five. Our plane left Puerto Princesa City airport promptly on time. I stopped myself from literally shouting. I think I was in a daze until the time our small bird was flying up there in the heavens. The floating clouds greeted us as we passed by. So pure and white that you would be tempted to reach out and touch them.
The trip lasted for two hours. Everyone dozed off for a while. I guess I slept for a good 30 minutes. But the bright sunlight kept getting into my sleepy eyes.
Jittery as I already was, I had my first glimpse of the islands. It took my breathe away as I my eyes were glued at the scenery for a while. I paused. My mind buffered. Then I suddenly remembered that I needed to document every moment for we do not know if we will get the chance of being in the same position again. I grabbed my camera and aimed at the views outside.
Eager to soar, eager to fly
Together we feel hope
And we feel love
There in the Isla called Pag-Asa
Then all of a sudden, we were there. With the help of everyone, our GIVE project became a success. Then we were allowed to have a little bit of fun and off we ran towards the shore. Like little kids having been told we would go to Disneyland.
As always, I transformed ‘magically’ into a mermaid. And it seems they were all curious on why I even think of being one. Isla Pag-Asa gave me knew a renewed hope. A strengthened faith that there is always a second chance in everything, including love. Seeing the isla renewed my broken spirit and made me believe in the power of love anew.
I love the waters like you do
While I sun bathe lying on the shore
I wish to fly with you
To the moon, to the stars
I do not have any clue
You are the one I will pursue
I hope you like me too