I squinted towards the horizon, noticing the faint, soft glow of the sun as the clouds cascaded over it. It was a misty morning in Cebu, and it was nothing spectacular – but a scenery only morning people could experience nonetheless. It was nothing spectacular, except it was my first time in this city.
The port was already filled with life while I was still trying to brush off sleep out of my system. The speakers blasted off with the announcements of sailing schedules. The sound of printers permeated the air as we waited for ours to be called. Either going home or traveling like us, everyone carried these huge, loaded luggage with them.
People arrived and departed until it was our turn to leave too.
With slow, apprehensive steps, I followed my friends and boarded the OceanJet. I haven’t been into one before. It felt wobbly, obviously, and I was a little bit frightened—that fear of losing your ground, instability.
I love the ocean as much as it scares me.
I got less afraid when we already settled inside, though; I got the window seat, so I was happy about it.
One of our friends said that it would only take us about an hour to reach Tagbilaran. I thought it wasn’t that bad. It was just like our flight from Manila to Cebu.
The engines finally sparked to life as a couple of men removed the rope from the dock. The OceanJet gradually glided forward, away from the safety of land. Puffs of rain-cloud still perched on top of the sun – one ball of dull, gloomy orange. The weather was indeed terrible.
It was quiet, perhaps because it was still early. I, myself, just wanted to savour the view—alone with my thoughts and some music to accompany me. It was a relief that no one was up for a chat. So I just watched as islands after islands eventually disappeared until we have reached the open sea. And in that instance, I had this surge of overwhelming feeling. Maybe it was the thought of traveling. I always have mixed emotions about it. I’m not too fond of the feeling of leaving or going. It makes me feel like I forget something really important behind. I am also looking forward, however, to the adventure ahead. Or maybe it is because of how beautiful the ocean was. It was a massive canvas of blues with patterns of greys and subtle hints of whites from the crashing waves. To say that it was breathtaking would be an understatement.
I started to wonder as I watched a flock of birds soar high above the waters. Why did I use to associate them with freedom? Looking from afar, they looked free. But are they? It brought me back to when we were on the plane. It was raining when we took off, there was turbulence all throughout our flight. I could feel us flying.
‘We are resisting the wind,’ I thought.
Why do we, humans, try so hard to go against nature?
Or are we just resisting? Like the birds that need to steer through the strong winds to survive?
We have all these planes and ships that transport us here and there, crossing the skies and seas. We have all these roads and bridges that connect borders, paths, countries, allowing us to meet.
I wondered what all these things were for.
Maybe it is to experience life, literally outside our comfort zone, beyond the familiar—which reminded me of Moana, The Truman Show, and more stories with the same theme. Requiem encouraged us to take down the wall. The Runners tried to escape the Maze. Even The Little Prince left B-612.
Were we always meant to cross the line? Do we feel that trapped?
Maybe it is to live, to survive. With shaky breaths, we try to climb the mountains to have a broader view of things up high. Even the fishes underwater, they have to resist the current sometimes.
While I still didn’t have the answer, I noticed a familiar view. And there, amidst the tapestry of blues, patches of greens spread before my eyes. We were near our destination, and the fisherman in his tiny boat could attest to that. I observed how he was still, stable even, despite being alone. Is he still afraid of the ocean or he just learned to live with the fear of it? He has to live, and fishing is something he knows how—and maybe something that he is really great at.
Human resistance sounds like a blessing and a curse. It makes us resilient, yet it can also make us settle for less; for what is available now instead of what we actually deserve.
The world is only for the brave, after all.
I thought how fascinating it is that we are all so brave to venture this thing called life every single day—in our own unique ways. Like all the people traveling with us, we all carry this baggage that no one knows what’s inside except us.
We resist. We carry on—until we reach another shore. Until we have to go again.
And so after about two hours (contrary to an hour of sail according to our friend), we have arrived at Tagbilaran where we would spend the next three days of our 20’s.
Safe and sound.
At least for now.
Last year, in the middle of September, I traveled to Cebu and Bohol with my friends. So yes, I have these thoughts kept for more than a year now, and I’m glad to be able to write it down. I think that it’s also timely, especially now with the pandemic. We are resisting. We are all just trying to survive and live. And I think we are so strong just for existing.
Every time you pick up the phone even though calls make you anxious, every time you brave the crowd, every time you get out of bed, you are resisting the urge to withdraw, to back away. And for that, you are strong. I hope you don’t forget that. We are strong, and we will get through it like always. 😊
Thank you for being here. I hope you can support me and leave a tip here.
Here is our class picture. Lol! @ Blood Compact Shrine
Bonus! Here’s what I have written in my notes after I had these thoughts:
[Featured Image from Unsplash]