Skip to main content

Bali, Sunset, and A Sudden Happiness

I keep telling people that I enjoyed my stay in Bali and I keep getting questions in return. Why? What's in Bali? If there's one reason why you should visit Bali, the answer is in that photo. 

We could always argue that we have a better sunset by the beach in Boracay, with the finest, white sand, but Bali makes up for it with its endearing, laid back and never-pretentious vibe. 

No permanent structure can be found on the wide stretch of sand, but vendors are allowed to pitch umbrellas, bring plastic chairs, and sell ice-cold Bintang from their ice boxes. The beach is separated from the streets and the restaurants by a tall, white wall, effectively isolating the beach from the rest of the traffic. 

One of the entrances leading to the beach, built in Balinese-architecture style
Most restaurants have roofdecks facing the beach for people who want to see the sunset but do not want to get sand on their feet. Who does that anyway? The best place to catch the sunset is by the beach, sitting on the sand, with a Bintang in hand.

On the first afternoon that we spent on Kuta Beach, we luckily found a bunch of spirited Indonesians. The owner, together with his crew, lives in a hostel just like everyone else you meet on the road.  The guy is from Jakarta but he moved recently to Bali after realizing that all life is not about money and possessions. He made the move after it dawned on him that he feels most at peace in Bali. My heart was glad when I heard him say that. This type of people, I call them the enlightened ones, never fail to awe me. Few people have realized this, and even fewer have done something about it. So we bought a couple of beers, waited for the sunset, and sat there until it was late. The night ended with candles and guitars and singing. My heart was soaring with unexplained calm and contentment.

The next day, we went back to the same spot on the beach and found a huge gathering of people seated in a circle, taking turns in singing. They organized a cocktail afternoon, where everyone chips in cash and someone runs to get drinks from the grocery store. Add a little bit of mixing here and there and then there's cocktails for every one! So from 7 people the previous night, the group ballooned to almost 30 people of different ages and races, sitting on the beach with candles on the sand, singing whatever song that comes to mind. 

I could go on forever about about my sunset experience in Bali, but my point here is that there are pockets of time when you feel sudden, arresting happiness and one of mine happened in Bali, by the beach, while watching the sunset and while singing random songs with people I barely know. I'm not saying that it will be the same experience for every one, nor am I saying that it won't. For some reason, the universe conspired, all became clear, and it happened to me. Bali has made me happier in a personal, beyond words kind of way. 

Because of that, I shall find my way back.


Popular posts from this blog

Tinglayan, Kalinga: Sleeping Beauty, Tattoos, and Babkals

To meet the last tattoo artist Fang-od in the village of Buscalan, one has to board a bus to Tabuk for 12 hours, and take a 3-hr ride from Tabuk to Tinglayan.

There are regular trips from Tabuk to Tinglayan at 7 and 8 in the morning, but since misadventures seem to love us, we missed both trips. At 10AM, we stood at the jeepney stop waiting for any form of transportation. I asked around if there were jeeps stopping by anytime soon but I was just advised to sit and wait. And so we did.

Luckily, thirty minutes later, a jeep stopped in front of us, the driver asked the people where they were headed, and finally, he nodded and decided to go to Tinglayan. On the way to Tinglayan we were greeted with sweeping views of the mountains with the endless flow of the Chico River at its feet. The jeep went further upstream for 3 hours.

It was late in the afternoon when the jeepney pulled to a stop and told us that we were finally at Sleeping Beauty Inn. Francis Pa-in, our guide, came out to meet us an…

Face Your Fear: Mt. Makiling and the Bloodsucking Limatik

Coming from a one-year hiatus, I'm back with a pretty hardcore post. Go ahead and watch the video at the end.

I have a long-standing fear of small crawling or flying insects.. generally anything so small that can go and play inside bodily orifices (nose, ear, eyes, and all the other 'holes' we've got). Thinking of these things gives me the creeps. 
Naturally, stories of leeches (locally known as limatik) scare the heck out of me. Limatiks are widely known in the local hiking groups and there are thousands of horror stories that give me goosebumps. Last July 4, I had the chance to.. get acquainted with the little bloodsuckers.

2016: On Things Other Than Traveling

Photos from 2016 show fantastic things that happened to me this year (throwbacks included), but the real best things weren't caught on camera. Traveling was still a huge part of my year but more than these experiences, 2016 was a year of self-discovery. I'll call it the year I came to terms with my own titahood.

The Best of 2016 The gift of VipassanaThe best thing I gave myself this year was a 10-day Vipassana Meditation course. Years ago, I was looking for a meditation class knowing that I had to go deep in my mind as a form of cleansing.  I knew what I wanted: non-sectarian, in-depth, and stay-in. This year, I finally got myself a slot at the Vipassana Meditation Center Philippines
Ten days later, I felt like a different person. Vipassana is life-changing. The practice taught me to embrace impermanence and to make mindful choices. Vipassana was the catalyst that helped me to finally act on my beliefs. Mastering your mind (or at least the attempt to do so) is liberating. Waki…