Olango: Back to My Island Home

"You cross my mind everyday.
Thinking of you makes me sway -
to a rhythm only you could see.
For together we dance, to forever we'll be."

I wrote these stanzas hours before I met the Manila guy. I admit that not a day passes by I couldn't think of him. Then followed by a sudden smile. My inner psyche brings out enthusiasm and glow in me whenever I am with him. It was even intensified recently when he went back to Cebu.
"The sky seems to know how the sea feels without her."

A Visit to Memorylane
Circa 2014. It was around September when the Manila guy told me that he would pay Olango Island a visit. As a kind friend, I welcomed him in the island with hospitality. We were harvesting corns, fishing at high noon and even organized a feeding program. The good memories were countless as we experienced Olango as locals. 
"Sunday well-spent in Sabang, Olango"

Like a tragic love story, our days in Olango had its final curtain. His job moved him to an Eastern Province while I decided to work at the Northern part of Cebu. Then he transferred in Manila. Driven by distance, our communication became blurry until it came to an end. 

A Twist of Fate
I reached out to him a couple of times but failed. There were moments when I thought only of the memories we shared together during his stay in Cebu. I knew I loved him years ago but I was too timid not to tell him. It was a silent admiration. A sweet sensation. 

Not until he said yes to my invitation in Mt. Pulag last November that our communication were less than obscure. Another visit came last January and March. Seeing him becomes my addiction. Being with him becomes my happy pill.

Rare Occasion
I made the first move to see him again in Cebu since I came across to a post which gave me an idea that he would be here. Like a desperate rat, I sent him a message if he wanted to revisit Olango. I was half-pessimistic and half-optimistic. But with his confirmation, I was glimmering with happiness. 

My endorphins were slowly dropping down as I was watching the clock ticking every minute. Before I could conclude that we weren't meant to meet on that day, he sent me a message - an invitation!

It was an invitation together with his friends. It was both rare and rewarding. I thought we only stopped there. He affirmed about our Olango trip together on that same day. To note, he only brought himself while we decided to cross the island and stayed there overnight. 

Olango is Our Happy Nest
Olango Island has a spell casts on us. Our first encounter was in Olango. Our memories were mostly from the island. My love for him blossomed in Olango. Everything we did in the island were remarkable. 
"At the Bird Sanctuary"

We were back to the island after almost four years. My heart was cheering with glee. My feeling radiated in my system. I felt that all of my cells were alive and rejoicing. I was grateful to the God of Heavens of the chance of spending time with him again.
"One of my favorite places, Maribagini, San Vicente, Olango"

We were reminiscing our past experiences in Olango Island. How biking years ago was only for locals. Nowadays, it becomes a "must-try" activity. Coconut vendors mushroom around Sabang. Tourism in Olango boomed as years passes by. 

A Reminder to Self
"What support do you still need?" he asked me after we were back in the mainland. 

We were talking about what I wanted in my life. How I wanted to publish a book. How I wanted to travel to different parts in the Philippines. How I wanted to become a motivational speaker. How I wanted to introduce Adventure Education to the youth. We were talking about how I wanted to live my life. 

I fell silent. I introspected his reply after expressing my dreams. 

"I am here even if you weren't a published author yet. I am always here to support you," it was the same reply years back. My heart melt. I was overwhelmed by his kind words. He never changed. Moreover, he matured through ages and got wiser through time. 

The Manila guy helped me reconnect to my dreams. With that, I was grateful. 

Significant changes in Olango Island:
1. Road widening is on-going in Sta. Rosa Wharf. A good sign of development.
2. Ferry fare is at Php15.00 from 12.00. I could sense the inflation. 
3. As mentioned, biking in Olango is an "in". Bike rentals are anywhere. From San Vicente, Sta. Rosa up to Candagsao, bikes are available at Php10.00 per hour. 
4. I stayed in Sta. Rosa across the school. Ate Huling, a good friend of mine is very accommodating. She owns the Kamalig store. She is very hospitable. She even cooked food for us and allowed us to stay in her air-conditioned room. If you are looking for a place to stay overnight, she is a good person to call. Everybody in Olango knows her. 
5. The entrance to Bird Sanctuary is Php30.00. I couldn't remember how much that was before since I got in there for free. Anyway, the peak season is from November to February. Though there are resident birds like Egret and Sandpipers to watch in the wetland. 
6. Capture the sunrise and the sunset in Olango. The island is one of the best location for this kind of photography. 
7. Enjoy every moment in the island with its laid-back feel. Olango Island fills me with love forever. I am back in my island home. 

Here is a contrasting article of my stay: Olango: Not Just a Bird Sanctuary. It is Home.
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About Marie Angelique Villamor

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