It was in one of those backpacking trips I had with Kilua that I decided I will not grow up or grow old. I will forever be young, or I will die enjoying life as if I am a teenager.
I had my life backwards.
When I was young I was very responsible. I was CEO of a company in Manila when I was still 24, that was way too young. I carried the burden of running a company, providing services for Asia and the Pacific, I trained people twenty years older than me, I managed a group of professionals which included doctors and lawyers, and I solved the problems of 234 organizations in a span of ten years. 234 fucking organizations whose problems I had to diagnose, assess, intervene and solve because I was THE consultant at the top.
I had to act as if I was 60 to do all that. Never mind that I did not like what I did. I hated it. Hated every moment of it! Yes, it brought me to practically all provinces in the country and many countries abroad, but I hated it.
I woke up one morning – after my mother died – that life is too short to tie myself down to what? A boring life in a condo unit where I have to face the traffic every day and the flood every other month? NO way!
I decided to be an anarchist, someone who will break the rules and the law. I wanted to give the dirty finger to the whole society for its sham and destructive force that destroyed nature and the innocence of people. That was the original plan.
But having rediscovered my passion for writing, and my love of the sea, I lived a life of a backpacker.
That 2007-2008 backpacking trip with Kilua changed my life. I just came from a dismal failure; that Diagon Alley store across Kong Hua was not doing well. The Manresa café and restaurant we put up was earning a lot but I screwed it up, intentionally screwed it up. I owed money to the investors which I had to pay in one year (which I eventually paid). Anyway, Kilua and I went to Cebu for Christmas because I needed time and space to think things over.
But in Cebu, we got bored. Honest to god, Cebu is a very boring city. So, out of the blue, we decided to go backpacking across the country with the goal of reaching Baguio City in one month.
We decided to go to Boracay from Cebu first. We took a barge from Talisay to Escalante, Negros Oriental. From there, we hitched a ride to Bacolod courtesy of a tired medical representative we met in a videoke bar in Escalante. I was doing some reggae and country songs and he kept on clapping his hands. I smiled at him. He took that as an invitation and transferred to our table. He said he was driving alone to Bacolod and could use the company, so he offered to take us with him.
He was gay and also wanted obviously some release before the trip, so Kilua and I took turns with him in a nearby motel. We didn’t have to do so much. We just lay there naked and he did the entire job. I had a pack of Marlboro Lights after that. Kilua’s semen was in his face but both of us were not courageous enough to tell him.
So he drove us all the way to Bacolod with Kilua’s semen in his face.
Med Rep guy did not only give us a ride to Bacolod (Honda civic but his music was Backstreet Boys, oh well), he gave us a place to stay for the night – his guest room complete with a cable TV, one case of cold beer and chicken inasal.
Kilua stripped naked again and was kind enough to ask Med Rep guy if he wanted to suck Kilua for the night but our host politely turned him down saying he was tired. We consumed the beer, the chicken, and slept right away.
He took us to the pier early morning the next day and paid for our fare to Iloilo – one hour long across the sea in a fast craft with a Fernando Poe Jr. movie showing that I totally ignored because I was sleeping the whole time. Although I remembered it was Panday.
Kilua and I toured Ilo-ilo just walking around. We went to La Paz because I wanted him to taste the original La Paz bachoy. Kilua said he wanted to see the Iloilo Sports Complex because he wanted to see a real rubberized race track (Kilua is a sprint runner). While there, we decided to swim in the pool and rented a swimming trunk: mine was red and Kilua’s was yellow. Ewww.
That night, my good friend Maita – a girl from Manila who decided to live as a bummer in Iloilo before becoming a big time administrator in one of state universities there – offered us a place to stay in her beachhouse near Barrio Obrero. She bought a sack of oysters for 100 pesos and brought three cases of beer. We grilled the oysters. We had a bonfire while the guys in Maita’s neighborhood sang songs to entertain us. The next day, Maita cooked an early breakfast and asked Nonoy, her friend, to take us to the terminal. Kilua and I took a bus for Caticlan. Again, I slept the whole time while Kilua – being his first time – enjoyed the changing landscapes as the bus moved from Iloilo to Capiz to Aklan. We then took a boat to Boracay.
It was my sixth time to be In Boracay, so I knew the place to go: a backpackers’ room called Frendz near Station 1. We shared the room with four other backpackers – an Australian, a Swede, and two Nigerian. They smoked pot the whole time while Kilua and I explored the island which surprisingly was filled with tourists despite the fact that it was off-season (the sea is very rough in Boracay during the Christmas season).
Frendz in Boracay is home to backpackers and surfers around the world. That’s me in the billiards table
It was the New Year’s eve. We had barbeque in the beach and drank every drink given to us by tourists whose idea of a New Year celebration is giving away drinks for free to strangers. I think I had around 25 San Mig light before midnight. We also watched a magnificent fireworks display from three yachts floating a kilometer away from the shore.
New Year in Boracay 2008 (photo by paolo nacpil)
Afterwards, Kilua and I crashed a party and went dancing until 4PM when I couldn’t stand any longer because I felt so dizzy.
I threw up near the ocean and saw to my regret several shrimps in my vomit. What a waste!
We went to the beach near Fridays and there were bonfires and broken bottles all over. There were many drunken foreigners throughout – men and women – most of them naked. I saw the Australian backpacker and he was kissing a Filipina and fumbling her breasts. I suppose because it was New Year, nobody cared.
Around us, people were either drinking, vomiting, or making out.
Kilua became daring and stripped everything including his briefs and walked the whole stretch of Boracay with his thing dangling like Jingle Bells because he tied a ribbon around his penis, and it was erect. Kilua was drunk to the bone but had an erection. What a guy!
I couldn’t stop laughing. Anyway, a gay American offered Kilua money for sex, which without hesitation Kilua accepted (he needed money for our next hop to Romblon, he said), so I was left alone in the secluded beach. Kilua left me a pack of condom, “In case you get some action tonight.” Nothing!
The three pitchers of Boracay Sling took its toll on me, so I slept in the sand. When I woke up, the sun was up but it was so cloudy, almost raining. Someone shouted that a storm was coming. The wave was very strong, so several surfers were plying the beach. There were young ones, but also some middle aged surfers. Someone came up to me to offer coffee and cigarette, “Dude, happy new year man!”, he said.
I took the coffee and the smoke, and vaguely remembered that someone offered me weeds last night which I took three puffs.
Suddenly I was hungry. But the surfers were a sight to behold, so I forgot my hunger and spent the whole morning jamming with the surfers. They were having FUN! Some were surfing, others were skimming. The rest were doing what they call SOP or stand up paddleboarding.
That’s when it hit me. This is my life. I have found the kind of life I wanted to have. I will never get married – male or female – will never get a child – mine or adapted – and will never work in a company again.
I will write and watch the waves. That’s all I wanted to do. I already knew what I wanted to do when I return to Manila after our backpacking trip: I will call a friend (Noel) who works in ABS-CBN, and get a job as a writer. I could just email my work, and spend the rest of my life hanging out in the beach.
Kilua didn’t return until that evening. He sent me a text message that the American gave him three blowjobs until dawn he was so tired. Whatever! That day, I met Kenneth and Jeffrey, Australians who were there to skim.
For some reason, they trusted me with their bags as they met the waves. Two Koreans approached me, gave me a digital camera, and said, “Camera us” pointing to each other. It took me a long time to figure out what “Camera us” meant, until it dawned on me that they were asking me to take their pictures.
Okay, Korean English 101: Camera us meant take our pictures.
Anyway, Kenneth and Jeffrey returned shouting with glee like school boys. They were in their thirties but looked older because their skin were burned. Kenneth was obviously gay because he was flirting with me. Every time he made an awesome wave ride, he posed with his skimboard in front of me. Jeffrey was showing off his body to a group of girls in bikinis.
That night, Kilua returned and we had dinner with the surfer dudes. There were roast chicken and grilled lamb chops as well as shrimps and crabs. They also ordered beer and promised, “We will have tequila later in the sand.”
Ten bottles of tequila for seven guys! Three other surfers joined us. They did not know how to speak English (they were from Germany) but they knew how to drink, so it was okay. They were comparing the waves in the various surfers spots here in the country. And that was when it hit me: I will visit all those places! I will find a way to go to all that: La Union, Siargao, Camarines, Catanduanes, and Baler.
Kilua, again, was offered money for sex (boy, he is a hit here) by a foreigner who just joined us for a few shots. He took a look at Kilua and said,
“Hey, how much do you charge per night?”
Kilua shouted back,
“100 dollars! Blow job only, no anal.”
The guy said,
“50 dollars only!”
Kilua took a shot of tequila, opened his zipper, and shouted:
And that is how we lost Kilua again that night.
Kenneth noticed that I was trembling in the cold. He put his arms around me and drew me closer to him. And then he whispered something I was waiting the whole night, “Stay in my room tonight.”
Yep, I was about to have my first sex with a surfer that night.
Fortunately, when I went to his room, he had to take a shower. I hopped into his bed wearing my boxers, closed my eyes. When I woke up, it was already morning. Kenneth laughed at me the whole time we were having breakfast,
“Dude, you slept on me! I only took a shower and when I returned you were snoring.”
That was the last time I saw Kenneth. Before he left, he took this photo of me in Boracay.