Siquijor Diaries Day 3 — Residual Hauntings

I want­ed to spend my last day in Siqui­jor by the beach. No heal­ers, no witch­craft, no weird stuff. I booked at Blue Wave Inn. It’s a quaint resort with an awe­some beach. My ex and I used to stay here fre­quent­ly, and I was wary I might run into some old acquain­tances. How­ev­er, the resort has a new infin­i­ty pool, and the call of the waves was deaf­en­ing. Mem­o­ries be damned, I need a beach fix!

Mer­ci­ful­ly, I didn’t see any­one famil­iar. There seemed to be a change in man­age­ment, and the place was ren­o­vat­ed too. I was giv­en a wel­come drink while wait­ing to be shown my room. I was the only local checked in, as the oth­er guests were for­eign­ers.

I thought I made the right choice in going there until I was shown my room—it was the room we usu­al­ly used. The Uni­verse and her lit­tle jokes. I refuse to let that damp­en my mood. The room looked the same. I wish they ren­o­vat­ed it too. I decid­ed to go swim­ming, and let the water wash away my trou­bles.

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After the pool, I saun­tered on to the beach. Ah, my hap­py place! Alone, by the beach, gaz­ing at the wide expanse of blue, the pow­dery sands in my toes, I didn’t want to leave. I wish I had a mil­lion dol­lars. I’m gonna buy this place and live here! I sat at this plat­form by the beach, lost in thought and star­ing at the hori­zon, wait­ing for the sun­set while lis­ten­ing to my beach chill out songs when out of nowhere, an old man came. I was a lit­tle star­tled but I IMG_9827returned his greet­ing, nod­ded, and smiled. He stopped to chat. “It’s nice to see you again! It’s been a long time,” he said. I was con­fused. Sure­ly, he must have mis­tak­en me for some­one else. “*Manong, do we know each oth­er?” I asked. He didn’t look famil­iar. I suck at names, but I’m pret­ty good with faces. “I used to see you here all the time, with your boyfriend. Where is he?” he asked. Nosy old man. I had no plans of telling my life sto­ry to some stranger. “He’s in Mani­la,” I replied curt­ly while putting my ear­phones back, as if to say this con­ver­sa­tion was over. I was a lit­tle weird­ed out. Just as he was walk­ing on, he called out to me, “He sat there in that very spot too, you know, last year after you broke up. Star­ing out to sea, lost in thought. The very same thing you are doing now.” What the…? “What are you talk­ing about?” I asked the old man. “Calvin of course. He, too, was torn up like you, Jen. You had the same look,” he said. My mouth sud­den­ly went dry. I remem­ber want­i­ng to say some­thing but the words got stuck in my throat. Odd­ly, I couldn’t remem­ber what I did after. All I could remem­ber was climb­ing down the plat­form, try­ing to fol­low the old man but he was nowhere to be found.

There was a for­eign guy loung­ing a few meters from me. I walked up to him and asked if he saw the old man I was just talk­ing to. He said he didn’t see me talk­ing to any­one. I prob­a­bly had this look of utter bewil­der­ment that he asked me if I was okay. But what could I say? I wasn’t going to insist I was just talk­ing to some­one or he’d think I must have lost my mind. I told him I thought I saw some­one. He start­ed talk­ing to me about his excite­ment for being there, how mag­i­cal the island is, asked me about heal­ers and oth­er weird stuff. I nod­ded absent­mind­ed­ly, told him I had to go. “Hey wan­na grab some beers lat­er? Tell me sto­ries about this island,” he said. “Yeah maybe, if I’m not too tired,” I replied. He held out his hand and shook mine, “Nice meet­ing you. My name is Calvin, by the way.”

*Manong — a term for the elder­ly

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