I Hate Sundays but Yesterday was Very Exciting

I hate Sundays.

When my wife was alive and my children were young, Sundays were spent on picnics, going to the movies, and long drives.

We had special lunch at home and dined out evenings.

Now that my wife is gone, and my children are gone, Sundays always find alone. It’s not the loneliness that pains me but the memories of the things we did as a family. And they come back in torrents in my loneliness on Sundays.

It makes my small house smaller; even claustrophobic. And my disposition is far from sunny and bright. On Sundays, my blues are bluer.

When I was young, we were taught that Sundays are for the Lord, Yesterday, it was mine and I spent it my way – by going to Banban Beach, in Marigondon, Mactan Island.


Philippines, a country of Beaches:

There are more than 7,300 islands comprising the entire Philippine archipelago, and each one boasts of a beach that, on Sundays, are brimming with foreign and local tourists alike.

Because of this, the Philippines has been thrust into the international limelight for such places like Panglao, Boracay, Coron, Malapascua, Bantayan Island and Mactan Island, to name a few and all in central Philippines.

These places have resorts and hotels way beyond the reach of local residents, except the very rich.

But if you want to have fun, if you want to know the soul of the Filipino, go to a public beach, like Banban Beach.

Here you can find the true nature of the Filipino, i.e., friendly, resilient, fun-loving, and always willing to share with his meager resources.


Banban Beach, Marigondon, Lapu-lapu City, Mactan Island:

At first I planned to go to one of the more exclusive and expensive beach resorts but changed my mind at the last minute.

I’ve seen so many of them that they are boring me already. The crowd is the same – rich looking dudes and dames, with their signature swimwear.

They are either hanging out in restaurants, on lounging chairs with dark shades on, a book on one hand and an ice-cold drink on the other, or sprawled on a beach towel under a large umbrella.

They are cold and haughty and are nervous in having their photos taken.

A public beach is more topsy-turvy, more colorful, aroma-rich, noisy, the people are friendly, and are just too happy to pose for a shot.

Still Marigondon Beach for old timers, now Banban Beach.

Marigondon Beach for old timers, now Banban Beach.

It has both changed and stayed the same through the years. Now the beach front is shorter and the fine, white sand, has given way to a breakwater to prevent erosion.

The same ramshackle cottages and same kinds of locals.

Same ramshackle cottages and same kinds of locals.

But some things never change. More than 20 years ago, we sheltered in the same dilapidated cottages, and ate from bamboo tables which could collapse anytime.

The kinds of people, too, are the same: below average income, like we were then. We came with family and friends, on street clothes or clothes we wore the previous evening – as they do now.

In a public beach nobody cares, which ordinary folks are more so at home and at ease.

I did this, too:

I did this, too:

Public beaches don’t have the amenities found in the more expensive ones. There are no swimming pools, much more diving boards. So we had to improvise, like this kid diving off a ramp.

Different platforms, the same fun and enjoyment.

Clean and fresh air for Grandpa

Clean and fresh air for Grandpa

We have very strong familial ties. Our elders are not sent to nursing homes or hospices. We take care of them (I hope my children will of me). We even bring them to public beaches to breathe clean and fresh sea breeze and to enjoy.

Is the grill done?

Is the grill done?

We always brought along our food and cook them on-site.

You can do this in public beaches, which makes it more cheap and fun for large families.

Do you have seafood?

Do you have seafood?

Public beaches are also full of vendors plying their trade, like this woman selling fresh seafood.

Beach goers normally go for this on the belief that they are fresher (not always the case).

A guitar and drinks make good company:

A guitar and drinks make good company

The Filipinos are a fun-loving people He is easy to smile and be friends with.

But the most distinguishing trait of a Filipino is his love for the guitar and his drink. Give both to a Filipino and he becomes the happiest guy in the world even is he has practically nothing.

Time to go home:

Time to go home

This family had its fill of sun, sea and noisy neighbors. Now it’s time to go home as they pile inside a motocab for their way home for lunch.

Going to Banban Beach was like a walk in memory lane. There was a time when it was the only beach in Mactan Island and everybody was going there. We did and we had fun.

But the best thing that happened in my short trip was to get my mind off my Sunday blues. The experience gave me something very important – that there are so much out there to see, to explore, and to enjoy, if only I would not be so self-absorbed in my loneliness, of the past.

My wife died more than seven years ago. She’s gone and I cannot change that.

My children are married and go out with their spouses on Sundays. They have their own lives to live. And I cannot change that.

But I can change my mindset. I can go out and do my own thing rather than imprison myself in my room which is still reverberating with the echoes of my 37 years of marriage.

And that is one of the very important reasons why you, too, should go out of the comfort, and boredom, of your home and take a short drive or book a flight to anywhere that intrigues your imagination.

It will do you good as it did for me.

Any comment? Please let me know.