Holding tight on the outrigger with one hand and carrying the bulky DSLR using the other, I tried to capture as swift as I could every colors of the sun drowning in the horizon of the West Philippine Sea. Just like an art painting, a thousand words worth, the sky was filled with shades of red, orange, and yellow, bursting against the altostratus clouds above us. I kept my balance as I watched the silhouettes of Paraw drifting across the wide ocean lay.
I knew it would be rare to witness this kind of panorama, so maybe it was a good idea that I decided to skip my classes for Boracay.
Cliché as it may sound, I found Boracay as paradise. With its powdery white sands, thriving nightlife, and moving sunsets, no wonder it landed one of the world’s top islands. As first-timers, aside from adoring the beach all day, we tried some popular tourist activities like Pub Crawl, helmet diving, and fly fish. We also wanted to experience parasailing, an activity where one is towed by a boat while attached to a parachute. But the sudden turn of events led us to the alternative — Paraw sailing. It was at the time when the day turns into night, the light turns into dark, when everything was calm and quiet, like I had no troubles inside.
To be honest, I had qualms about going. Even if it was I who originally planned and booked the trip, I thought that school load for the first semester was too heavy I had no right to any form of leisure. My classmates also discouraged me at first when I told them about my plan of taking a leave from school because they knew how deleterious it can be to my class standing especially I was enrolled in three critical law subjects. Blame it on the school calendar shift for giving me headache, it was supposed to be our semestral break already!
But still, I made my choice. Because I knew my values and priorities, I just had to accept what I might forego.
Being absent in Taxation class waived my incentive for a perfect attendance when it could have had exalted my borderline class standing. Also, I risked failing Civil Procedure again for being absent. Our beadle said the dreaded professor checked the attendance because many were absent, but at the back of my mind he never really considers class standing and attendance. I still believe he plays darts when giving grades. And missing a day in Succession, which was our last meeting, conferred me a low mark of 60 in our quiz and recitation which for sure pulled down my class standing.
At the end of the semester, despite choosing occasional #YOLO over studies, I still managed to pass all my subjects.
The day poignantly turned into dusk, and the colors had gotten brighter. The remaining light fused with the warmth of the breeze brushing my skin. I dropped my camera, left it dangling from my neck, to better bask in the moment, held tighter using both hands on the net where I sat. I felt my heart throbbing… and it was not about studies.
Our sailboat was carried along by currents of the wind.