So, it’s a long weekend for me. There’s a holiday at work on Monday and we’re moving the Independence Day holiday from Wednesday to Tuesday. So, that’s a total of 4 days with nothing to do but stare at my computer (which has no Internet connection.) I knew I had to travel but I didn’t have the ‘resources.’ I was actually supposed to check out Shangri-la last Saturday (my friend Ludy had a reservation) but things didn’t push through. So, I was stuck at home watching old movies and getting bored. My wallet was practically empty and payday was lightyears away. Haha.
So imagine what I felt when I discovered a crisp 500-peso bill in my wallet. It was there, behind some old receipts and calling cards, waiting to be discovered. And although I didn’t really have a destination, I packed my bag, made sure I brought extra undies, and hit the road.
This spot is hidden for a reason!
By 9 am, I was in Carcar City. I dropped by to grab a quick breakfast and to think about my next move. While eating, I was busy tracing the map of Cebu in my head. I wanted to go someplace new and exciting. But nothing. I couldn’t think of anything.
Thirty minutes later I was back on the road. I thought that I’d just head towards Moalboal and hopefully I’d find something interesting along the way. I was somewhere in Barili when I remembered this little beach somewhere in Aloguinsan. A friend blabbed about it once on his FB wall. The place looked decent in the photos. So, why not?
About an hour later, I was in Aloguinsan. I went straight to the municipal hall to ask for directions to the beach. Luckily, this nice old guy was more than willing to help. He gave me clear directions on how to get there. He mentioned an elementary school, an orange sign, and lots of mud. Got it!
Around ten minutes later, I saw this sign. True enough it was just a few hundred meters from an elementary school.
Hidden Beach Resort in Bonbon, Aloguinsan Cebu.
Contant numbers in case you’re interested.
So, elementary school, check! Orange sign, check. And that looked like a lot of mud. Check!
More mud, baby!
That way. This sign was actually helpful because after driving nonstop for a couple of minutes through muddy dirtroads in the middle of nowhere, you kinda get that eerie feeling that you’re lost and that no one will ever find you. Haha.
And even more. What’s interesting is that the road is getting smaller.
Finally! A car. This must be the place!
I see a gate! Yoohoo!
Welcome! Pay first before you enter! Ten pesos only!
But there was no one there!
Just a bunch of big-ass red ants. Haha.
So, instead of waiting for someone to magically appear, I decided to go right in. The possibility of getting shot for trespassing is huge but heck, the trees beyond the gate look creepy. I’d rather get shot. Haha.
Suddenly, I heard the karaoke machine blaring. I followed the noise and soon, I saw four guys – three old men and a boy who looked like a grade 2 student. The two old guys were busy dancing while the third guy was singing Tom Jones’ Sex Bomb. The young boy was camcording this momentous occasion.
“Excuse me. Anhi ko mubayad sa entrance?” I asked.
The singing guy didn’t stop singing and the two other old men, although they smiled at me, didn’t stop dancing. The boy stopped what he was doing and told me, “Ari nako bai.”
Well, of course! It had to be the boy! Haha.
He told me to just go down the steps to get to the beach.
Hmm. This looks interesting.
At first the place didn’t look appealing to me. At all. It was just some provincial beach resort with nothing great to offer.
Tables in the shade.
And then I saw this. I think my jaw literally dropped I had to pick it up from the ground. Just marvelous!
Amazing view. So serene and quiet and lovely. Very natural. And there was no one else there!
I instantly fell in love with the place.
And just look at that. Amazing view!
Here are the ‘dressing’ rooms. Very clean!
Big cottages for big groups!
Grill station for each cottage!
I knew the sign read that I’d have to pay for a table. But there was no one around. So, I picked one. Hehe.
View from my table. A.Ma.Zing.
Now, it’s time to swim!
So, I was in the water for more than an hour. Believe it or not, the experience allowed me to closely examine my life and the things that I’ve been doing. And in that very short period of time, I was actually able to come up with important life decisions with a clear head. I couldn’t think of any other time in recent years when my mind was just free from negativity and worries. For a short period, nothing really worried me.
Now, here’s an interesting story. See those two people in the photo? That’s a white guy and his Pinay girlfriend. I can tell they really enjoyed the place because they were all giddy and bouncy. Haha. They were running all over the place and they were cartwheeling and piggyback-riding and stuff. I didn’t know how they got there but I’m guessing they got there the same way that I did.
So, anyway, I was swimming. You know, the long hold-your-breath kind. A few seconds later, when I looked around, they were gone. I scanned the whole place and then I noticed something. Behind the boat, on the ground, were two pairs of legs. I didn’t want to over analyze the whole thing but judging from how bouncy their legs looked, I had an idea what they were doing. Haha.
I don’t know. Maybe it was the place that forced them to do it. I mean, it was basically paradise. And they were probably in love and the sun was bright and the waves were soft. And, who knows. There were many factors. Haha.
So, while they were doing it, and I was still in the water, I noticed the ‘singer’ dude go down the steps to the beach. I knew that he would see the couple from the steps. So, I tried to focus on how he’d react.
I saw how his eyes nearly jumped out of their sockets. He giggled, looked my way, and pointed towards the people behind the boat. He was basically saying, “do you know what is happening right now?”” I pretended that I didn’t know what he was talking about and mouthed “unsa?” Immediately, he stopped giggling and walked back up the steps. Maybe he realized that we’re not even friends and that he’s not supposed to tell me things. Hahaha. I’m not sure.
Anyways, a few minutes later, the couple was back in the water. And after a few laps, they were gone. Just like that.
Let’s review. Yep, that’s the boat. Haha.
Now, I try not to think about that minor detail. I did enjoy the place after all. It’s peaceful and relaxing and just truly majestic. And there’s something about that place that absorbs you. Something that begs you to stay.
My heart was broken when it was time to go. I wanted to stay longer but it looked like it was going to rain. I was far from home.
On my drive back to the city, I realized why the place was hidden. It was hidden because it was amazing. It was hidden because it was special. It was hidden because it was meant to leave a mark in my heart. I’ll remember the place for the peace and calm it gave me. I’m sure the place gave that adventurous couple wonderful memories they will cherish forever, too. There are probably a hundred other reasons why this place remains hidden til today. But I know why I discovered that hidden 500-peso bill in my wallet. I have this feeling, funny as it may seem, that the real reason, just probably, is because Hidden beach simply wanted to be discovered.