Back in the 70s, we would occasionally spend some nights at a tennister friend’s tiny house near Talomo Beach and sleep to the lulling sound of waves against the shores. The nights of Tuba and Tanduay, youthful follies, would then be followed by early morning swims before finally heading downtown to the local playgrounds. A good life it was, and at that age, we had little worries in the world.
However, reality for us temporary beach visitors were never at all similar with that of the shore-front residents’ because they, on a regular basis, have had to deal with the effects of bad weather in coastal areas, in particular strong waves that would then reach their houses and tear through some shanties, rendering many homeless. Experiences like these had for a long time been foreign to us as we all lived far away and safely detached, oftentimes contented into treating and believing that the beach was merely a place where pleasant memories are born from.
It is the same mindset that holds true nowadays whenever cityfolks head out to favorite beachside resorts during the planned weekends away from work and the stress of the city. Their reality and ours, lie on a never-ending parallel path, coexisting but with one totally indifferent of the other.
The employs in these resort establishments carry on with their usual service-with-a-smile and their untold tales are safely tucked away and hidden, as these are not our concern in their place of work. Yet for those city folks with islander-friends who now work at these tourist spots, tales of sadness, poverty, storm surges, fishermen-kin lost at sea, or islander woes in two words, are common, and they have to put up a brave front each time when dealing with guests who have come to relax and enjoy.
Yet I have seen patrons at dining areas snarling at apologetic and timid servers. Knowing a little about their plight, one could not help but be affected somehow. At the same time, I have likewise witnessed patrons and customers acknowledging their presence and valuable service with praises (and tips) and saw how their faces light up.
Their reactions on these two adverse situations lift the curtain somehow to reveal the cards that life has dealt them, and whenever, for just these brief moments, we fail to notice, then our parallel paths just continue on, no end.
This is why to everyone I know, I wish to say, be kind. Inasmuch as every one has their own lives to live, and cannot directly be responsible for how others lead theirs, the fruits and gains of our own blood, sweat and tears, do not at any time, entitle us to be above the status and struggle of others. Life is a beach, but our eyes only see one perspective.