It wasn’t my first heartbreak.
I like to believe I’d live a long life, so I’m sure it wouldn’t be the last.
However, while the decision to separate had my fingerprints all over it, I spent the days that followed the breakup in a surreal state. Every single day was longer than the last, yet passed by at the speed of light. Before I knew it, we had been broken up for months. I still constantly surprise people whenever I inform them that we had broken up because there was barely a trace of it happening on social media.
While I don’t always know what I want, I’ve always been pretty decisive. Hence, I had made sure not to initiate any contact because I felt it would be cruel to somehow lead people on when I’ve already made up my mind. I never would have imagined it would be that hard to stay away. Some days I’d come across a chicken nugget meme and my fingers hover at the Share button, only to end up simply scrolling past it.
But in my mind, I felt slightly proud (and frankly, a little arrogant) at how well I thought I managed my feelings.
I had not cried.
I had not done anything crazy like getting bangs or having my hair dyed to some funky color.
I refused to drown myself in work, and my workload stayed the same.
I still spent my free time the same way I’ve always spent them – exploring whatever it is I find interesting, drinking with friends in Poblacion, playing The Sims 4, and trying to work out consistently.
I did download the usual dating apps while I was out drinking with friends and had them swipe left and right for me (finding me a date has weirdly become some of my friends’ side job haha). And I now get the occasional message – from friends with hearts in the right places – of “your type are usually the funny ones, right? This one also likes to travel solo, maybe you guys can go together!”. (A friend even brought her fiance’s brother along because we both bake lol) I have yet to go on a date with any of those matches.
But essentially, my life went on as usual.
It was on a spontaneous trip to Baguio. As the bus sped through TPLEx, memories of that 600-kilometer drive to Baguio from our very first trip alone together flashed through my mind. It was the key to opening my floodgate of emotions. I cried the entire 6-hour drive.
While I seemed okay – and even happy – at the outset of moving on, the idea of the life I had wanted to live was still a bitter pill to swallow. Our forever home will remain a blueprint, we’ll never get to meet the children we’ve already named, we’ll never get around to going on all the cheesy vacations on our bucket list, the three dogs that will run around our yard will hopefully be adopted by a happy family that would have been ours.. The future has never seemed so uncertain.
The ideal future I had worked towards for years and influenced so many of my decisions will stay that way. An idea. And when I looked into the past, every memory, good or bad, seem to be tainted.
So the following weekend, I found myself with a suitcase filled with unread books and swimsuits, on a plane headed to Boracay.
The moment I stepped inside my room in Henann Prime, I immediately felt lonely. It was admittedly a nice room. They had great service too. But I was trying to get over my heartbreak, and being in a room with a queen-sized bed and a single bed emphasized the fact that I was on this trip by myself.
So instead of staying in that huge bed alone, I either went to the beach to hang out or stay in the bathtub until I get all wrinkly from the water.
Then I used the single bed whenever I’m watching anything on the TV. Different beds, different uses. Haha!
I was asked by the staff that was checking me in whether I was on this trip alone and recommended one of their hotel bars if I was “on the lookout to meet people and make friends”. She should get a raise for that smooth promotion. Haha!
I barely used the hotel pool since it was a beachfront hotel and I often just swam at the beach instead. Since the hotel was located at the part of the beach where it was less crowded, sunbathing was a true joy. Staying in Station 1 had also gotten me my required 10,000 steps a day (I averaged at 16,000 steps per day during my entire stay) since I simply walked back and forth between wherever restaurant/bar I came from and the hotel.
When I go back to Boracay (either by myself or with friends), this is the hotel I’m staying at again. 🙂
Halfway through the trip, I decided to move to a different place. Initially, I was contemplating whether it was worth the hassle to transfer accommodations but I thought I’d probably be bored if I simply stayed in one place. I booked a Digital Detox villa which meant that my villa had no wifi or TV. I thought it would be fine since I have mobile data. As it turns out, I truly would go on a digital detox since I could barely connect to the internet while inside the villa.
I couldn’t help but wish I was with someone while I rolled around in this king-sized bed. Also, once you get inside the villa, it truly felt like you’re in a world of your own. The service here was great, too. They cleaned up the room while I was having a lengthy breakfast and they also prepare the bed for sleeping (by rolling down the blanket and fixing the curtains). However, I was not aware that they would do so that on my first night, I had to call the reception out of sheer fear that someone else had mistakenly entered the villa I was staying in by myself. Needless to say, I got paranoid and scared myself shitless (have I forgotten to mention that the books I brought are mostly crime novels) so I headed out again for drinks until I got wasted enough to be able to sleep without thoughts of being murdered in my sleep to hinder me.
If I had to pick my favorite part of nice hotel rooms, it would always be the bathroom. Doing #2 and showering with glass walls separating you from the outside was such an experience for me.
One is the toilet, and the other is where you clean your private parts after doing your business. I still personally prefer bidets.
The only downside about this is the location. It was located in Station 3 and a bit of a walk to and from the beach. However, if I ever become part of a couple again, this is probably where I’ll stay. The duration of my stay felt like I was on a honeymoon with myself. <3
I went on the Boracay Pubcrawl on my first night and met a group of people who I ended up hanging out with the next day. One of them was a guy who turned out to be living a similar life as I did (we literally live in the same area, work in the same area as well during the SAME shift), and we ended up hanging out for three days straight. Haha!
One of the things I had fun doing was getting a seat by the bar and chatting to bartenders. I’m 90%+ introverted (it never goes below that and I like to test myself randomly throughout the years haha) and whenever I’m traveling solo, aside from safety issues, the one thing I have the most trouble with is striking up conversations. So I try to remedy that by going to bars where I feel safe, sitting on bar stools to chat with bartenders. They’re usually great conversationalists and sometimes, you meet extroverts who notice you’re alone – just like the woman who took this photo of me (eating pizza after my nth cocktail because drunk me is also hungry) and who I now am Facebook friends with. 😀
Marah is technically not a new friend since we’ve been friends for years over Tumblr. However, this was the first time we met up in person. We ate chori burger, grilled hotdogs, and Jonah’s fruit shake while sitting on the beach, talking about life. I also met one of her best friends, Sheena, and made her promise to give me free ice cream if I ever get around to visiting their hometown.
Getting a nice tan had always been on my bucket list. However, my skin refused to cooperate and if I even make an attempt to sunbathe without sunscreen, I end up getting painful sunburns. So I went and sprayed a crazy amount of sunscreen and went to the beach by 3 PM (basically when I usually wake up while I was there) daily.
Conclusion: I got a tan that lasted for about a week. The only semblance of my beach trip is some weird tan lines on my back from donning on different swimsuits. Ugh.
Since I was already staying in a spa resort, I decided to get their Princess Treatment. It was aptly named as I felt like royalty the entire time I was there. You will be led to an isolated kubo, where you will get all the pampering you need. There’s also light food involved, so even if I spent half the day here, I didn’t get hungry.
I managed to catch up on a lot of sleep and read all my unread books. It was such a reward.
I’m not even gonna make excuses. This week may have done some damage on my liver, which I tried to lessen by making sure I drank at least two liters of water daily while I was there. A lot of the novels I brought are mystery ones (my favorite!), and reading them on the beach while boozing up was quite a unique experience.
There were also a lot of hot guys with toned bodies walking half-naked. *shameless tipsy shrug*
Sunsets by the beach have always been weirdly magical. Every day had a different kind of magic with it, whether that magic was brought by the pink skies, a dog watching it with you, or waiting for it with newfound friends. <3
“I’m spilling wine in the bathtub”, says my queen, Taylor Swift. So I went all bougie and drank the entire wine bottle from my villa’s bar while I watched RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10, submerged in a floral bubble bath.
If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s making Eat-ineraries. I love to eat. Even island vacations are no exception. *shrug*
Sea Salt Cafe at Henann Prime Beach Resort
Cha Cha’s at Coast
Prana at Mandala Spa & Resort Villas
I flew back to Manila, extremely tanned (the tan is unfortunately only visible as weird lines on my back now) and refreshed. While I can’t say I’m fully healed, I can say that giving myself actual time to just sit there and acknowledge all the feelings that I should have worked on did wonders to my mind. I didn’t realize how much pent up anger I was holding in, and how tightly I had held on to mistakes in the past.
But the biggest thing that I had come to peace with was the fact that while we both did wrong things, ultimately, there really is no one to blame. You can give love and get that love back, only to find that it’s just not the love that you need. And that’s okay. It does not tarnish any of the beautiful memories we had together. It was simply closing that chapter and opening the next.
Accepting that had been cathartic. I barely felt the shift until people started commenting how lighter my aura has been since I got back. I realized I had started eating normally again, I now sleep through the night, and I don’t feel as numb anymore.
I have had friends who dropped everything just to live by the sea, and I have always judged them (to their face, if that counts) for a decision I perceived was stupid at the time. However, I now fully understand why anyone would leave their fast-paced lifestyles and make the choice to live each passing day as it comes. Not a stupid decision at all. 🙂
TEESH || PHILIPPINES