“Wow, Ever (Gotesco Mall)!” a four-year old girl gushed as her eyes sparkled widely (wildly). They were about to board Princess Paradise, a ship mistaken for a shopping mall by Lisa’s fifth sister. Her other sisters rolled in laughter and began a new round of banters.
It’s Lisa’s third visit to her mom’s hometown- an island of paradise as far as she recalls.Trembling, swallowing to prevent vomiting, she steps up the wavering roped ladder towards the white vessel’s interior, never glancing down the seawater.
Lisa has been to the place twice but those visits didn’t count since she remembers none but the colorful stones at her granny house’s beachfront. At that time, she was too young to learn swimming but she became acquainted with Camiguin’s dialect that her aunts likened her to a fast-talking bird- Pitpit.
Night ago, she eavesdropped of her mom’s and pop’s plan to stay a year in Camiguin. It made her excited, yet she still felt a bit of sadness as she parted with friends in her old school.
Before she could finish recollecting, the cruise was over. They landed on a place where buses abound. Her granny called a man to load their stuff to a bus where they were riding next. She never sleeps on bus journeys lest she’s too tired. Beside the window, she gazed at the changing stretches of trees, farmlands, seashores until they came to another port of smaller vessels.
The water was greener, the wind..warmer. On a brief sailing, they finally arrived at Camiguin. The jeepney ride brought them right in front of her granny’s home. A step down the vehicle, the dazzling 12-noon sky, the crystal-clear seawater, the impeccable stones under – all waved a welcome dip way too tough for Lisa to resist.
She gave in to a plunge.