Summer in the Philippines is almost over, so it’s good thing to be able to embark in a mini-vacation this May before the rainy season start. Dre and I, together with some friends were looking to go to the beach when a friend suggested we go to this yoga/art/vegetarian event being held in Botolan,Zambales at Ambay Beach Resort for the weekend. I’ve been a vegetarian for almost two years now, and been doing yoga on and off for a year, so can you imagine my glee at attending this event? Beach + friends + yoga + vegetarian food – PERFECT! My friends are pretty awesome, because even though they’re not really vegetarian or into yoga they still wanted to go. So I was thrilled and very excited about the whole thing. After about 5 hour road trip, we arrived finally arrived at the beach, greeted by this view:
The sea was inviting and the sound of the lapping waves was soothing. The event was attended by more or less 30 people. Mostly young women and a few men. There were introductions from the host and the guests at the brief welcome gathering at the beginning. The hosts were very friendly, accommodating and made us feel right at home, our trip was all the more enjoyable because of them. After we were rested a while from the trip, our art activities started, we were to use natural materials that were found by the shore (shells and driftwood) to decorate a 35 year old clay jar. I noticed that there were a lot of handmade items around the resort that the hosts themselves made. I found myself really impressed by their work, it was a creative, environmentally-friendly and not to mention beautiful way to use the shells and driftwood. The events weren’t strictly structured, you could join if you want to but it’s not a requirement. Aside from the art and the yoga class, we were free to use our afternoon as we like. We spent it swimming of course, the water was delightfully warm, perfect for splashing and joking around with friends.
I joined the yoga class briefly after all the swimming around, doing yoga by the beach is a novelty for me, I’ve always wanted to do it because I see those gorgeous photos of people in yoga poses by the beach all the time. To my dismay, I find I didn’t actually like doing it by the beach as much as I thought I would, the sand getting into my clothes (I was still wet from the swim) and my skin was not very comfortable, the others though didn’t seem to have a problem with it, so maybe it was just me. The hosts told us that they are planning on building a platform by the beach for the yoga class soon. I think I’d hold off doing yoga by the beach until I can find an even surface to put my mat in.
After dinner on our first day, there was a classical guitarist who played for the group. I didn’t know what he was playing but it sounded very soothing. After that our friend, who is a musician himself who brought his guitar with him was asked to play, he played his original work plus some popular songs, in between he joked with the other guest. After our friend’s impromptu playing, we sat by the bonfire and listened to two other musicians ( one playing the guitar, the other the bongos) who played songs unfamiliar to me, I couldn’t understand it because it was in sanskrit but it sounded mellow and relaxing.
The evening was capped by a film showing by the beach. They first showed some videos about the advantages of vegetarianism and some footage about saving environment before they proceeded to play the movie Hachicko. Dre and I skipped this one, we’ve already seen it and was not keen on feeling sad about the ending again. It was a full day, so we took to sleeping early.
The next day we just opted to do more swimming, taking advantage of the sun, the warm water and our time together. We took lots of pictures, joked and played around more. We only have half the day left to enjoy ourselves because the other half would be spent on travelling back home. I liked the vegetarian food they served but I especially enjoyed the lunch that day. They served vegetarian sisig and green mangoes with bagoong that was made of beans instead of fish. The food was served on banana leaves and we ate it with our hands instead of using spoon and fork.
It was a fun and super enjoyable weekend. A break from routine and work, plus some bonding time with friends. It’s definitely included in my 100 Happy Days post smile .
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