I climbed on a coconut tree in the Philippines

[Emma, LI Dongyi]

Hemingway once described the beauty of Mauritius: “God first created Mauritius, and then heaven. Heaven is a replica of Mauritius.” I have never been to Mauritius myself but that’s exactly how I felt when I first stepped on the beach of this tropical paradise in Jagna Philippines.

In a quiet summer night, I saw fireflies dancing for the first time. If there are faeries live on the coconut tree, they must be laughing and clapping. The number of stars you can see here is amazing. Not a single time in the past 22 years of my life I’ve ever seen so many stars in the sky as that night.

I climbed on so many trees. One time for coconut, other times for showing off my tree climbing skills.

And I dived from so many places to the sea. Headfirst a few times. Bellyfirst most of the times. It was always fun and salty.

I stayed in a peaceful wooden house with the most beautiful garden in the village. The garden is so beautiful that when I do laundry in it I feel like I’m doing it for the Queen. Our homestay host Nelly is a smart, funny, beautiful and easy-going lady who can make the best bitter gourd egg pancake in the world. Everyday I wake up with the nice smell of breakfast. Nelly also has this huge nail polish color collection that no one I know can compete. We got the cutest neighbors too. The little ones will surprise us with candies or pizza leftovers the day after we bought them snacks or little gifts. I love the nice shack outside where I do homework and yoga. It’s a bit away from where people live but quite near the animals. Every time I call my boyfriend from there he thinks I’m in a zoo.

There are also quite a few fun road trips I would remember, sitting on top of the Jeepney that I got my head hit by random trees, riding a motorcycle for too long that I got suspicious marks on my inner thighs, fitting 10 people in a tricycle smaller than a Smart…

The most devastating thing to me was neither the extremely hot and sunny weather (which I really like), or the cocks that wake me up at 5:30 every morning (which I’m getting to like too), but the fact that Filipino people don’t use chopsticks! What kind of Asian are they! Kidding. But apparently as a Chinese I’m not supposed to know how to use spoons and forks properly, so I ended up eating most of my food with hands.

I wish I could ever love anything as much as the people here love basketball. You can always find someone on the basketball court. Kids can literally dunk with flip flops or even barefoot. I’m now thinking about buying Eboi ten basketballs when I leave so he can be the superstar among the kids. Oh did I forget to mention who Eboi is? He is this sweetest boy from my neighbor’s house, who eats our food, sleeps on our bed, and plays with our phones. Oh how much I love him.


I wish I could be part of this eternal beauty.

Seriously, I wish my parents had enough money for me to waste, oops sorry, to enjoy my life on the beach of this small town, forever.

Some say life is composed of lights and shadows. In the lights there must be Tuba, music and basketball.



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