In June of 2008, my family and I went on a trip to the Philippines to visit our family and friends. After spending two years living in Texas, I was more than excited to go back home for the summer to reunite with everybody and spend time at the beaches.
For one of our beach trips, my family and I made plans to spend three days at my grandpa’s beach house in Anda, which is a good five hours away from Manila, the capital. Anda is the best place I’ve been to during that summer. It was a very enjoyable stay because the weather was so nice and sleeping in my grandpa’s cottage made me feel so close to nature, a feeling that I don’t get much of in Houston. Because he had two kitchen and dining areas built, we get to choose whether to eat indoors or outdoors, and I always opt for outside. His house overlooks the ocean, and four little huts are lined up by the shore. The steps that lead to the ocean look like fossilized coral that have been worn away by time. There’s also a nearby marketplace which is a really nice place to check out. An aspect of the marketplace that I really like is that it has yet to catch up to the present. The things that are being sold are mostly hand crafted and some people even have water buffalo pulling their carts that are laden with products to sell. It’s fun to just take a stroll and see the shops and stands and restaurants. The beach in Anda looks really nice. The water is really blue and the sun’s effect on it can make it look like it’s sparkling. When it is low tide, one can walk about a quarter of a mile or so before the water reaches the waist. Because of the water’s clarity, it is easy to be able to observe the abundance of starfish that rest on the sea bed, sometimes with colorful tropical fish making an appearance.
After our trip to Anda, we went on a different trip to White Sand Beach in Subic. As nice as I thought the beach was in Anda, what was really nice about the beach in Subic was that it had more of a shore than Anda did. The sand on the shore was white and very fine. The water was really blue, and because school starts in June in the Philippines, my family and I and a few locals were pretty much the only people on the beach. Despite the heat, the water was cool to the skin; it wasn’t warm, but not cold either. There were no rocks on the ocean floor, but the sand felt like cushions to our feet. The weather was perfect. The sun was beating down our backs and faces, but several coconut trees in the area provided ample shade. There were also huts and picnic tables that were useful for eating and gathering. The locals were very nice and cooked us up a traditional meal of fried fish and sea urchin adobo. The seafood was fresh because one of the men had just come back from fishing farther off into the ocean and brought back fresh fish and edible sea urchins.
That trip to the Philippines was really memorable, and being in a tropical country, the trips to the beaches were the most fun. With my time spent in the city, in rural areas, and in beaches surrounded by my friends and my family, it’s definitely a trip I’d like to make again.
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