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By Icoy San Pedro

I ORIGINALLY wanted to title this piece Crocodile Rock but I thought I might have to thereafter constantly look out over my shoulder for that happy guy, Elton Sir. A poor attempt at a joke I know, but considering the circumstances, I might just as well try to keep treading on, or tread on as one pal would always say as an encouragement.

In case you were wondering, “Hawaya” is his mutilated version of asking how I have been during all of our many exchanges. As part of a long-standing private joke, my regular response to this friend from overseas would then be, “Am good, Hawaiian?” and that would punctuate an end to the courtesies before the start of whatever short convo we were having at the moment.

Not so much of a talker this one is, but as all of you know, there will always be that particular friend who is regularly following up on how you have been, no matter what or how far away they are in the world. There’s always bound to be one in your crew. Who knows, you might even have your own special hawarya greets yourselves. And so, that was just how our talk went …and of course, I also started that with Hawaiian, after his Hawaya, that is.

For more than a year already, we have all but grown tired and dumbfounded at seeing friend after friend posting pics of their flight from Covid and other escapades. We thought, we could also do that if we wanted to, the problem was, we could not decide on where we really wanted to go. 

As always, with our cabin fever growing with each quarantine day, we’ve always been on the lookout for beach or mountain, but far from crowds, then accessible by a small car plus other criteria falling under and dictated by supreme pandemic rules. Then, from within our family member network, we discovered Crocodile Park. The place had not been open before especially in the two years since Covid, all except when it was used last year or so for huge vaccination drives. However, just recently, they did. And we were off.

We didn’t avail of the total package yet on this first try though. That would mean getting the full ticket, taking the tour of the whole premises and for a grand finale, have a close-to twenty-foot croc splash you with water mixed with pee, as your surprise baptism as payment for your visit. Instead, we just opted to have a picnic inside the fringes of the huge Santa Lucia estate where the crocodile park is located. Take note, without our masks on. Heavenly.

At our next trip, we have decided to set our sights farther, as if to compensate not only for lost time but also as a “washing” of sorts for all the trials and sad events that have befallen our way. I won’t say we deserve this, because as always there are those who should have more. Despite all, I only believe we should just count our blessings.


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