“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber
The morning was uneventful, except for a church visit to the Black Nazarene of Sinait. It was believed that two boxes were found at the sea near Sinait and Badoc, one big and one small. When the Badoc fishermen tried to get the bigger box, they found it too heavy. However, when the Sinait fishermen took their attempt, they easily retrieved the box. On the same token, when the Sinait fishermen tried to grab the smaller box, they found it difficult. When it was the Badoc’s fishermen’s chance, they didn’t find it as a daunting task. So the two groups went home with each of their boxes – the smaller one turned out to be a sculpture of Mama Mary, while the bigger box contained the Nazarene.
We intended to have a picnic at the beach, but since we didn’t have a vehicle by lunch time, we opted to stay at home. My uncle’s family was generous enough to provide a very hearty lunch, boodle-fight style. Banana leaves were spread across the table, where rice and several dishes were distributed on top of it.
There were grilled fish, warek-warek (a.k.a. dinakdakan), seaweeds, and grilled eggplants among others. It was a feast! The warek-warek alone was enough to stuff me, as I don’t usually find this dish in Manila, and was happy to indulge in it as much as my stomach can contain.
We headed to the beach shortly after lunch, after our borrowed vehicle arrived. Like a lot of towns in Ilocos, Sinait has its fair share of the coast. Though the sand wasn’t white, it was powdery nonetheless. It was the perfect reason to stay at the beach, at least for me. Feeling that soft sand against my tired feet was very relaxing, along with the breeze that seemed to cradle me to sleep…except that I couldn’t sleep at the very narrow bench in the hut. I wasn’t prepared to lie on the sand and have my skin burnt to golden brown. Yes, it was one of those times that I actually cared about my color. Ha!
What I particularly loved about this beach is that it’s completely devoid of the presence of tourists. It was such a local beach, where families hang out to spend their weekends – where kids swim in their shirts and shorts (yes, that’s how we swam as kids too), where the courageous sing their hearts out in the karaoke machine, and where the older folks chill out to drink and be merry.
After a few hours, it was time to go home and prepare for our departure. It was a long yet fruitful weekend.
Until next time, happy travels! 🙂