Unplanned trips, as they say, are the trips that actually happen. Our trip to Masasa Beach was one of them. I, along with my other five learning team members, was in Mabini, Batangas for our Rapid Area Assessment (RAA). RAA is a five-day course work where the students immerse themselves in the community to access the development issues present in the area. At the end of our research, we took an evening off and travelled to a beach nearby. Zal and Brang accompanied me to a visit that would eventually become a night to remember for me.
The adventure didn’t start the way I expected though. We started with a ferry ride that took almost two hours for a one-hour ride. Indeed, the heavy traffic of Manila followed us to the sea in Batangas as we could see many ferries lined up for our destination “Masasa”. After reaching the place at almost six in the evening, we felt like the beach would not welcome us the same way it would have, had we come a few hours earlier. But to our surprise, the beach welcomed us warmly and had several enthusiastic travellers, many with sleeping tents to spend the night at the beach. The sea was beautiful and inviting. I wanted to take a dip in the swirling water and immerse myself for eternity. But first, we had to find our stay for the night. We had a long tiring day and needed rest for the adventure of the next day.
We managed to find ourselves a bamboo hut with a dining facility at unbelievably reasonable price. There were several cottages, owned by a single owner, and all the travellers seemed to know each other as they were singing and dancing together in a space that was quite small for the huge number of people it accommodated at that moment. Friendly street vendors tried to lure us with delicious cuisine they prepared, and small kids wanted to make money by selling to us souvenirs from Masasa. And we didn’t disappoint any of them.
Finally, we went to the beach and took a dip in the sea. Few groups of teenagers and families were also enjoying the beach. It was nothing like the crowded beaches in the coast of Carribean with flocks of tourists. Most of the visitors were locals, and it was only me and my friend who don’t speak the local language. But it didn’t matter because we were already mystified by the language of the sea – the sound of the waves and the whispers of the air above the surface.
We stayed on the beach until midnight lying on the sand, counting the stars, and revealing some parts of our lives to one another. It was serene, and we loved the way it was making us feel. It almost felt like we owned the beach or just the other way around. It felt like we had all that time to ourselves, not thinking of anything else. It was hard to leave the beach and its magnificence that night due to the peace we felt there. We went back to our cottages only after the date changed.
As early as 8AM the next day, we were back to reality with all the issues surrounding us. But the dreamy night that we spent at Masasa was undoubtedly a night to remember.
About the writer – Jigme Sherpa is a student of Master in Development Management at Asian Institute of Management located in Manila, Philippines. He is from Nepal.