The human heart was—and remains—a mystery to me. But I’m learning. I have to. —Anthony Bourdain

Not bad, 29, not bad at all.

Bantayan Island
Not bad at all


The view from Bantayan island in Cebu was gorgeous. A sleepy tourist town, it is 4 hours away from Cebu City, with a 3 hour bus ride and 1 hour ferry ride to get there. It was my first time to visit my birthday weekend, after hearing about it for years, finally getting there for my birthday.

You will find it hard to get lost there, as it is small and filled with very helpful locals most willing to help. They have their own recommendations of course, and you will be offered a ton of services, but on the whole, they’re just nice.

It is also an island full of expats, seemingly German, who’ve married Filipinas and have built their lives there, with resorts, restaurants and other business that cater to those who just want to enjoy the island, no matter how short or long. It has become such a normal thing, that our sicad (pedicab) driver pointed out that a new, posh neighborhood mostly consisted of Europeans who have Filipina wives.

That is to say, this is not to be a commentary on the society of Bantayan, or the choices of women and men from different sides of the world.

It is an appreciation of where I was, turning 29, on an island, with who I was with, and what I’ve done so far to get there.

I dreaded 29, it seemed, OLD. I know if you’re older than me, you will roll your eyes at this, and if you’re younger, you’re probably nodding your head. 29 is the last of my 20s, of what is supposed to be, your formative adult years, where you can make mistakes, take your time, and explore. I have been, suffice to say, not much of an explorer. I have been wary of too much insanity, of too much risk, taking into account what my friends have done before me, and what limits me as a person of my own income, and responsibilities.

I do not travel a lot. I admit it. No matter how much fun it seems to blow savings and “figure it out later”, things have come up in my life that have prevented me from going away too long, or too far. I am also, a person very much attached to the person in my life, and if they do not want to go, I am embarrassed to admit that I would be quite disappointed to go without them (barring a few instances here and there).

I do like the beach, and staying in places where I can just sit, take a dip in the ocean, have a nice walk, and eat great food. It’s not much, compared to dreams of Paris or Rome.

So when I found myself doing just that, in a trip that someone else planned, executed and paid for, I couldn’t help but pat myself in the back and thank my lucky stars that I was there, I was happy, and I was whole.

It was, in my mostly down and up life, an amazing moment of peace and contentment that I was extremely grateful for, that I will look back on when people ask me how old I am, or ask when I’m getting married (no plans yet Tita), or how much weight I’ve gained lately (quite a lot), or the scars on my legs that have accumulated lately (bun life).

Not bad Jods, not bad at all.

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