The stresses of daily chores and the occasional yearning for my past adventures popped in my mind on certain dull days. So inspired by the movie EAT, PRAY, LOVE (Julia Roberts & Javier Bardem), I made plans to dedicated a long weekend all to myself. After a few discussions with my loving hubby and talking things over with some of my girl friends, I booked a flight in October to go back to a place I had once gone to, to escape the craziness of everyday life...the island called BORACAY. A friend of ours from the island found out about my plans and asked me if I could teach her a thing or two in painting and the arts. One thing led to another and voila - the Boracay Art Camp was born! I then had more reasons to travel and I quickly prepared for my mommy vacation-slash-beach art camp.
Next to sharing my love for the Art masters and play painting with toddlers, I told myself to sample Boracay's popular cuisine. Since the island's popularity to tourists everywhere around the globe, a lot of business establishments have sprouted - along the beachfront and inside the town. Restaurants unique to the island and branches of popular food chains from Manila can be seen everywhere. My first meal on the island was at the SUNNY SIDE CAFE where they served hefty servings of breakfast food and freshly baked breads, pizza, cakes and other desserts. I had a taste of their I REGRET NOTHING PIZZA (filled with ham, cheese and candied mangoes. Not to be missed, I also made sure I passed by JONAS FRUIT SHAKE and ordered a tall glass of Banana-Peanut Butter- Choco drink. As expected, it was heavenly! I also had a chance to visit the BORACAY STEAK HOUSE with some very close friends where I slowly enjoyed their Rib Eyed Steak over some vegetable salad and honey mustard sauce. But one of my most memorable meals was after my last Art class on Saturday when my room mates at CASA PILAR and I went around the D'TALIPAPA and tried the super fresh seafood catch of the day. We had a filling lunch of Sweet Chili Crabs, Prawns with Lemon Butter sauce, Ginger soup with Clams, Steamed Oysters, Grilled Parrot Fish and fresh Seaweed Salad. GAAAAAHHH!!! I felt like I died and went to heaven! You'd think I'd put on a lot of weight after all this binging...but not really! I think all the calories I got from these filling meals were compensated by all the walking from the different stations, bargain shopping for pasalubongs and the dancing in 5 different pubs! Which brings me to another interesting chapter in this trip.
But as the weekend was nearing, I was experiencing separation anxiety, dreading to leave my young sons and feeling depressed at the fact that I will be missing my husband. Partly also because I was also disheartened at the slow feed back the Art Camp was getting. Eventually, I had a handful of inquires and a couple of early registrants, plus a planned fun Friday night with some of my girl friends! So off I went with a close friend feeling optimistic about my trip again. In the first few hours in Aklan, I met old and new faces, trekked the long road trip to the port, saw the crystal clear water from our banka ride, smelled and felt the cool breeze and touched the soft, powdery sand...I was finally in paradise!
Nothing beats creating masterpieces outdoors. So for my Boracay Art Camp, not only was I privileged to be sponsored by CASA PILAR BEACH RESORT, I was also given a lush spot surrounded by singing birds and a lovely garden, overlooking a sweet looking infinity pool. This was where I play painted with toddlers and their moms, taught some of my favorite Art Masters to kids and kids at heart alike. I excitedly shared how to combine the different elements of Art and the abstract styles of Mark Rothko, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock and our very own Pacita Abad. It was refreshing to also meet families who lived and breathed art and creativity in their everyday lives. From my toddler class, I learned a thing or two as well in raising bilingual children like my 2-year-old student Alia and her mom Pauline.
Though I started on a very relaxed pace, I also had some heart-pumping experiences as well. Missing my dancing days, which started in college, I promised myself that I would not leave Boracay without immersing myself in some serious clubbing. So with a handful of my friends, we joined the BORACAY PUBCRAWL where party people are brought around the island's popular clubs with a goal to "MAKE STRANGERS INTO FRIENDS." Interesting enough, I discovered some strange things about my friends as well. We were given 45minutes to dance and mingle in each of the 5 designated pubs for the night PLUS a free shot at every place we entered. Looking at the photos from the PubCrawl online site, I am surprised I was able to pull off such a fast paced activity after being absent from the dance floor for almost a decade already. I had a lot of fun - but not too much though. I kept sober despite the constant offer of shots, and I kept to my dancing whenever lurking eyes wandered around the dance floor (And that’s the truth!)
On my last morning in the island, I was greeted with a cool breeze, fresh salty air, and clear blue skies that perfectly matched the beach water. It beckoned me for an early morning swim before I packed all my stuff and hurriedly rode the ferry and van to the airport. While on the plane I felt refreshed and ready to face the daily grind with more determination and with an inner strength. I saw, touched, tasted and heard a lot of things during my mommy vacation and it made me more appreciative of what I already had in me. It made me appreciate my life back at home more as well. And it gave me a more determined attitude in facing the future.
I AM TEACHER NANAY DINDI :)
To be honest with you, I'm more of a visual artist rather than a writer/blogger. So "author" to me seemed kinda scary and I couldn't think of any other "tag" to write in this portion than NANAY (mother in Filipino language). Because that's who I really am, a Filipino mother first and an artist-teacher second.