I’ve always been a tropical boy. The beach has always been something akin to a spiritual home for me. I just love it there and I could always find my bearings in the ocean and in salt water. Really, it’s my favourite place to be.
Having been born and raised in the Philippines, I’ve always swam in the waters of the Pacific. From the beaches of Zambales, Batangas, Bataan, Quezon, Palawan, Iloilo and Guimaras, Negros Occidental, Davao, Cebu, and Samar; all these beaches have water that connects to the Pacific. The Pacific Ocean is like a parent. I swim in its waters and it’s comforting and caring and tender and loving.
Just this weekend, my brother took me to Algarve at the southern most point of Portugal. The beaches here are connected to the Atlantic Ocean. This is my first time, ever, to have swam in the waters of the Atlantic.
In Rocha Baixinha-Nascente, a beach in Algarve, a bit off of Faro, I stood at the sandy beaches and looked out into the Atlantic Ocean before me. I was reminded of Nocturn by Kate Bush:
We stand in the Atlantic
We become panoramic
That’s exactly how I felt when I stood there and looking at the grand expanse of water before me. My brother warned me it would be cold. I dove in. The cold enveloped me and I could feel the rush, the electricity of the coldness circulating through my bloodstream. I felt so alive at that moment.
If the Pacific Ocean is like my parent, the Atlantic Ocean is like a lover — someone I just met but as I lock eyes, the familiar feeling of a kindred spirit settles in the back of my head. That’s the Atlantic to me, right now. A stranger, but not a stranger. He’s my lover but we just don’t really know each other just yet.
I know it’s strange to talk about the ocean like that but that’s how I’ve always felt about the sea and the saltwater and the waves and the surf.
It was a terrific weekend that my brother gave to me: bringing me to Algarve and bringing me to these beaches and to spend the whole day in them.
I swam in the Atlantic. I’ve become panoramic.