By Sebastien Lai
Is Guimaras a Paradise island untouched by the sins of consumerism? The answer would be no.
Ones first impressions might be that the beaches are, for some parts littered in rubbish, and just as in most developing countries there is little to no irrigation. First impressions are important but if you use it to pass judgment then you would be left in a world of black and white, stuck somewhere between anger and disappointment. It is the thousands of little things that makes a place unique and beautiful. The lost church on top of the mountain, the mosaic of melted candles under the statue of the Virgin Mary, the thousands of wishes and prayers those melted candles would have signified.
Sometimes even the smallest gesture of kindness can light up your day, like a smile from an unknown stranger that you might never see again. It is a nice surprise when you can walk through a seemingly unpopulated area to suddenly find a crowd of people playing basketball and in a little stall by the corner, a lady grilling the undesirable parts of a chicken. The parts that, only if you gave it a try, would you realise how wonderful they are, what food and indeed life has to offer.
Being able to buy a kilo of the mangos off a street stall while waiting for a group mate who is trying to find his phone that dropped out of the motorcycle onto the road can really stop boredom from setting in. The mangos are, by the way, wonderful on this island, in every bite you feels like Mother Nature is letting you on a secret that only a few people know.
From the sign of the cross that the tricycle driver does right before going into a busy intersection and how every time you enter someone’s house you are treated to food and drinks, I am looking forward for the days to come and the people I will meet on Guimaras.