“I have always loved the beach. The smell of the salty water, the wind in my face, the gentle roar of the waves all combine to create a sense of peace and calm.” –Anonymous
I grew up in Cebu, surrounded by blue skies, sunny smiles and the deep blue sea. The beach was always a family activity every weekend. No ritzy mall or entertainment centers during my childhood days circa early 1960 to distract me. The picnic by the sea is what I called fun. Mom prepared a picnic basket containing our lunch of roasted chicken and apple pie and it was off to the most popular beach destination, Talisay just 20 minutes away.
There was just something magical at the beach. Time doesn’t move hour to hour but mood to moment. It is as if I live by the currents, plan by the tides and follow the sun. The beach is probably the only place children actually entertain themselves without parents having to think of million ways to distract them.
Perhaps my dad noticed these frequent trips and decided to buy a small property near the beach in Talisay and in Mactan Island. How we loved the bahay kubo nestled under the coconut tree.
College years brought me further away from Cebu. Being based in Manila, the beach was just too far away to travel even once a month. I miss the memories of joy in a summer breeze and sinking my toes in the sand.
I often tell my children these stories ..how as college students, we would just get to the car and travel to the beach. The pretty little fishes swimming by the sea shore. How fascinating it was to spot the sea horse or sand dollar during low tides.
Everyone in our family returns to the beach instinctively, just like the sea turtles. Robert Henri asks himself, “Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.”
Each one of us looks at the sea differently. For me, the sea represents my roots. Appreciating its beauty, breadth and power is appreciating my existence, who I am and why I am here. Like the ocean, all of us are connected and interdependent yet each person is significant in its existence. Even John F. Kennedy felt tied to the ocean. “And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came… ”
“Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on around me.”
“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
Photo of El Nido by Anna Oposa
“Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone.”
Let us all act now to save our seas, what’s left of our coral reefs and to protect our marine life so those beautiful and important natural resources are preserved for our children and future generations to enjoy.
The ocean is a mighty harmonist… (William Wordsworth)