The First Step: Leaving Coron Behind
Kuya Arthur said be ready to go at 5 am. It was still dark but the drumming had started already. It was the fiesta of San Augustin and the celebrations were starting. Outside in the dim, kids were out and about and gathering in the streets. When was the last time you saw a kid get up at 5 am at their own will? Amazing. That’s exactly what this trip has been.
As we drove out of Coron on the National Highway for the very last time, having been on this road many times on tricycles, motorbikes and vans, my heart grew heavy. There was mist hanging over the fields and the sky was streaked with red from the rising sun. If it wasn’t for my friends sitting next to me I think I would have cried.
It’s been exactly one week since we’ve been back. It feels strange to be home. In fact it doesn’t feel like home at all. I’ve been on many adventures and many trips and when I return home I’m always happy to be back. This is the first time I’m not. I notice ‘the Chef’ looking subdued and melancholy. I ask him what’s wrong and he simply says, “I miss Coron.” It’s just hitting him now. That’s how we feel.
It’s September and that means The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is in full swing. We should be downtown, watching movies, stargazing and partying with friends. I see the smiles on my friends faces on Facebook. It no longer feels relevant to us. It feels kind of empty. I’d rather listen to people tell their stories in Coron. Now, that’s real and better than any movie.
Four weeks flew by in a blink of the eye. They’re so much more I want to write. The last week we spent on an island camping expedition with friends before returning to the big city of Manila. We then made the long journey back to Canada. I’ll be writing more about our adventures and experience in Coron in the upcoming weeks.
Step one is complete. We found our happiness.