“It was an easy triumph. One that needed no justification of whether the odds were stacked against us or if the game of catching fish was rigged.”

jil diamante

Bolinao, Pangasinan | Philippines

Our night at the beach was capped by a few drinks and an onslaught of trivial stories. I turned in quite early much to the dismay of my best friends. And they cursed me for only consuming two of the supposedly four bottles partake of the night.

I tried, man. Even mindless scrolling on Facebook didn’t keep me up. So as expected, strings of profanities from the jeering crowd got lost in the sound of the waves and howling wind as I walked away from the dimly lit cottage. That was their version of a good night, love.


Come morning, the sea breeze was familiarly cold and the sky was expectantly colored with tamed blue and a tipsy orange. The waves, shy as always in the morning, ebbed to make way for that little kid to play. Still dressed in his sleepwear, the sea fed him with curiosity by generously exposing those tiny lives that reside within and behind those rocks by the shore. It can be the kid’s love at first sight. 

Or breakfast. Come on, who knows?

The sea can be that kind.

As I stooped down and picked up shattered shells, I vividly recalled a memory from childhood. Together with my cousins, we would go by this beach in Cebu during late afternoons then and look for those fish that took a mishap of getting too close. Too many unfortunate fish for our little hands! And oh our smiles were stretched for miles! 

It was an easy triumph. One that needed no justification of whether the odds were stacked against us or if the game of catching fish was rigged.

For us, little kids then, it was unadulterated bliss. No ifs, no whys, no buts. No existential rubbish to spoil nor to liven the joy itself.

Just a bag of fish to bring home and brag to the adults!

Well, hello, hard-earned dinner! Ssh.

Author

Either on the streets or top of the mountains. Jil is a hodophile and a storyteller in pursuit of colors.

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