Down? Depressed? Badly beaten up by life?
“Few things in the world are more powerful than a positive push. A smile. A world of optimism and hope. A “you can do it” when things are tough”-R. Devos
Visit Guimaras to get a dose of Vitamin O-ptimism that most of us desperately need. A little bit Vitamin O is certainly helpful in regaining your once positive view of life which had been altered by life’s failures and disappointments.
“No matter how Guimaras was affected by the oil spill in past there is always hope for recovery in the future”
These are the words of Rosie (pictured above), owner of Guisi Clearwater Beach Resort; and by the looks of it Guimaras is indeed recovering.
It is just unbelievable how optimistic Rosie’s outlook is, given the magnitude of past events.
Talking to her would make your everyday whines, such as a random stranger releasing a silent and deadly fart petty.
Her genuine belief in everything positive oozes to all aspects in her life.
It is reflected on how she tries to improve the facilities of her resort bit by bit, with whatever income she earns with the vision that each off the small and slow improvements are significant steps in attaining the resort of her dreams.
She has even become some sort of Filipina MacGyver, as she found a way to grow beautiful ornamental plants despite the unsuitable salinity of the ocean breeze. It was indeed ingenious on her part to install towering nets around her resort that would filter salt from the breeze.
Thinking that more Filipinos would care and travel to her place someday motivates and makes her believe that her persistent efforts to would not come in vain.
Desperately talking to her during midnight, I never thought that I would be meeting a woman that could only be found written in mythological stories and sung in local folklore. [I was then looking for an accommodation which didn’t allow all night karaoke singing, and can promise me a goodnight sleep]
As a testament to her greatness, she even told me that for a period she successfully ventured in taking care of turtle hatchlings to set free in the wild, educating herself on how to properly handle them. All of this happened until the local government, upon noticing her successful activities, decided to stop her on claims that turtle possession is forbidden by law.
Rosie is indeed everything you would wish for a resort owner. She is even an early morning alarm clock who would knock on your room door so you wouldn’t miss the motorcycle service that was arranged to bring you to transport terminal on route to the airport.
Unfortunately for me I disregarded her knocks, telling her I’ll find my own way when I wake up. This caused me to walk to the transport terminal for miles in the middle of nowhere, under the steaming sun with nothing to see but thick and tall molasses.
Take my word for it, if want to get away from the urban environments rustling and buzzing, go to Guimaras and visit her resort. Rosie believes that partying and in my case loud all-night karaoke belongs somewhere else except in her resort.
All you need to do is relax, take in nature and she will take care of the business of confronting loud tourist groups before they can even hold a karaoke microphone.
Other than Mrs.Incredible Rosie, Guimaras has a lot of places for you to see.
Although some parts were affected by the oil spill there are places deeper which are left untouched. Best of all they are far away from all the touristy areas so you can be assured of peace and silence. Unfortunately I haven’t seen these places due the lack of time.
Go, discover beyond what I saw and more than the ordinary pictures of Guimaras available in the internet.
Don’t forget to tell me about it so I can visit these places when I come back.
My advice for those who plan on going are not to forget to pause in order to watch the sunset, ride on top of the jeepney transport to see the all the magnificent scenery and grab for yourself the world’s sweetest and finest mango, Guimaras mango.
Visiting would set the tone for Guimaras’ recovery. Just like Rosie’s resort being built bit by bit, one person visiting would be a small step in restoring Guimaras back to being a perfect paradise.
Increasing the number of travellers would be a critical step in pushing responsible entities to engage in environmental conservation and prevent human caused destruction like oil spills from happening at the first place. If by any chance it happens, the large number of travellers would certainly prevent perpetrators from getting off the hook easily.
Send a message to the world that places in the Philippines are treasures that no one should mess.
Let our collective action be the source of our optimism. If people like Rosie, the ones who were badly affected by a tragedy, can be optimistic then we have no more excuse not to be in our daily lives.
(Nicco Lampa visited Guimaras, Philippines from July 6, 2012 until July 8,2012)