Sunday, November 11, 2012

My First Beach

I've never been to the beach before. There, I said it. You see, I don't know how to swim because I have the biggest fear of the water. In my 22 years of existence, each pool party meant lurking on the edge of the pool hanging on for dear life or staying on land manning the grill while my friends splish and splash.

So last October, my girlfriends Ate Noime, Badz, Kat, Wendy, and I went on a trip. It was also Ate Noime's birthday. We stopped by their home and met her family in Bataan. Then, we headed north to see the beach. It was nearly dusk when we arrived at Elmolina Beach in Olongapo, Zambales. As the salty air whipped on our faces along the jeepney ride, my friends excitedly pointed out, "Martha! Look!" and I swear, I'll never forget what I saw... The orange sky, brown sand, palm trees, and sparkling blue water... It was breath-taking.

After eating a hearty dinner, we went for a night swim. Although my friends were a bit scared (I was very scared), we eased up upon finding the beach safe since it was structured to gradually, not suddenly, deepen. When they taught me how to back float, I was a painful student but my friends were patient. Bless them. It was only when I actually relaxed and let myself go (and let God) that I finally did it! After all these years! It felt amazing just floating and looking at the moon and the stars.

The five of us played Icebreakers  before going to bed. We swam again in the morning, soaking up the sun this time. We all got darker skin but we didn't really care. Like Ate Noime said, our tan lines are our battle scars. When we went home, it all still felt surreal to me. I'm so grateful to those four ladies and I'll cherish how they made what I feared my entire life into one of the happiest experiences I've ever had.