P.S. I Love You, Saud

“Everyone said we shouldn’t be together. They told me I deserve something better, something appropriate. They think they know what’s best for me so they shoved me into something they think would suit me. I listened to them not because I believed them, but because I don’t know where I was going, because I thought they know better than I do. The result was not even close to satisfaction. Although my decision provided me with almost everything I needed, still there was emptiness that must be filled. And I did not find it there.

I made efforts to at least get a glimpse of you, since my decision to choose something else has already been made. Right the next day I was on my way to you, full of wonder about what could have been had I given priority to you. Would there be any big difference?

Finally, I have come to see you but I was expected to linger just for a bit. Probably just to satisfy my curiosity, but that’s not what happened the first time I laid my eyes on you…”

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As I dipped my exhausted feet on the crystal clear turquoise water of Saud, the thought of what has transpired for the past six months spun in my head. Ah! I came here not to think. I came for a specific purpose – clear my head and indulge myself in the beauty of nature.

Saud white sand beach stretches for about a kilometer or so. You can take a tricycle from town proper for 50 pesos for a 10 minute ride. If you don’t have any prior booking, you may ask the driver to take you to the tourism office near the municipal beach gate to inquire. Otherwise, just tell the driver where you have booked.

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From end to end, one could see the spectacular view of different groups of windmills in three different municipalities. Facing the shore from the left where most resort hotels are located, you will find Pagudpud windmills. As far as I could remember, there were eight, or at least that’s what I have seen. From any point, you can see Bangui and Burgos windmills. Burgos is next to Bangui from Pagudpud but the windmills’ locations are too close to each other that you’d think all the huge fans are just in one place. Bangui windmills tower along the shore of Bangui while Burgos windmills are at an elevated area near Kapurpurawan Rock Formation.

With a pair of flip-flops in my hand, I walked in the sand barefoot. The sun was shining brightly with all its might, its heat piercing into my skin. The sand felt hot under my soles and it got uncomfortable walking, but I didn’t mind. The sky was clear and the waves were soft and subtle. The gentle breeze kissed my cheeks as if welcoming me to this paradise. The sound, the sight and the feel of everything all at once took me to another dimension, away from all the worries and stress of work and everyday life in general. Nature’s colors revitalizes my soul, calms my spirit. I have found a place where I could rest my weary head, breathe and smile for nothing.

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My fingers were more than enough to count the people I could see at the beach. There were a few from the other end swimming, sun bathing and flying a kite. A few fishermen were busy tending to their catch and fishnets while the rest went on doing their jobs in resorts I had passed by. Coconut trees swayed in the wind. A few birds flew and chirped, humming to the sound of the wind. It was music to my ears. The place was quiet and peaceful. I cannot ask for more.

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“…I fell in love with you right away. Your calmness and astounding beauty swept me off my feet. You are nothing short of perfection, in every aspect, in every way. I couldn’t keep my eyes off you. The mere sight of you makes my heart race like fast cars. It’s such a shame that I took you for granted. I wanted to keep you as a secret in fear that someone might take you away from me but I cannot contain this any longer. I am in love, with you. No one has expected. No one has seen this coming, not even myself…”

Nanding, the tricycle driver, patiently waited for me in a restaurant just outside the municipal beach. It is an area open for the public with an entrance fee that ranges from 50 to 100 pesos. I apologized since we agreed that I would only stay for a while to take pictures but it took me a good thirty minutes or so walking and absorbing the picturesque scenery. It’s time to leave Saud to continue my day tour, but I have one thing in mind.

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“…Right there and then I decided that we should be together as soon as possible. No one could stop me this time and tell me otherwise. I cannot let the time pass by without seeing you again. I might not be able to forgive myself if I do that.

20th of February, after all my unfinished business, I said goodbye to Blue Lagoon to be with you. My feet strode along the concrete down to the white sand of your shore. My heart was full of excitement and anticipation. Finally, I will be with you, Saud…”

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After scouting for a good place to settle in, I decided to stay at Arinaya Resort, somewhere on the left part of the beach (facing the beach front). The rate was fair enough for a beach front room for two overlooking the shore, spacious and clean, air conditioned with basic table and chair. It was hard to look for a room for two because most are good for large groups. The view was perfect while writing. While this is a good and a more convenient place to stay, there are also a number of homestays just a few minutes from the beach. Price range is from 300-600 per night depending on the quality and size of the room and other inclusions. Cheap food is also available in front of the municipal beach gate.

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Please excuse the watermark. 😦

The rest of the day was spent swimming, making sand castles, walking along the shore, admiring the view, capturing sunset and talking to locals. I didn’t mind being all alone. After all, this is what I came here for – to be alone, to not think of anything, to get detached even just for a while.

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“…My heart is full of joy every second that I spend with you. With you, I can be me – no rules, no restrictions. Your presence makes me come to life again; your colors invigorating. Your wind’s caress and soft sand brushing against my feet reminds me that tenderness is still possible in this harsh and cruel world. The roads that led to you might be long and winding but I wouldn’t have it any other way…”

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Darkness fell and the entire beach front was pitch-black if not for a few dimly lit lamp posts of beach front hotels. There is nothing to do here at night. Pitching of tents, making bonfires are not allowed. I woke up early the next day to catch the sunrise together with a few tourists taking their morning Instagram worthy photos and fishermen up early to start their morning grind. A few hours more and it’s time to leave.

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“…As much as I would like to stay with you for good, reality tells me otherwise. I have to go back to where I came from. Thank you for the time well spent together, for the beauty you have shown me and for bringing out the joy in me. Even if we’re not destined to be together forever, I will hold you close to my heart. You will always be with me in spirit. Memories of you will be kept until such time we see each other again. I will miss you dearly…

P.S. I love you, Saud.”

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