Hainan is known as the “Hawaii” of China. Haikou, also known as the Coconut City, is a major port of the island, and has a domestic airport for flights connecting to various major cities in China like Guangzhong and Beijing. As soon as I arrived at Haikou, the sights and scents welcomed me as if I was returning home. Really!
Quite interestingly, within my short stay of three days in that island, I was able to sample native “Filipino” dishes like adobo, lechon kawali, and even the intricate kare-kare. Of course there are also other dishes available, but those dishes caught my attention because of their familiar taste. Not exactly cooked the way we Filipinos cook them, but the resemblance is still striking. And if you’re wondering if the said kare-kare dish was served with bagoong(shrimp paste), the answer is a resounding yes. However, as with the dishes, the bagoong was a bit different from the ones we have in the Philippines. It was not too salty, and even had a spicy tinge to it.
More than the food, though, was the fabulous opportunity to have a glimpse of the sea. I love the sea. Everyday, from the balcony of my room, I would stand outside and take in the breathtaking view before me.
Sunsets were spectacular. Here is a photo I took one afternoon:
That black thing, which at first glance would instantly remind you of the Loch Ness monster, is just a fishing boat. Sorry to disappoint you.
Everyday I was busy attending lectures and talks, but on my last day there, I made it a point to go out and walk along the shoreline. It has been years since I last did something like that. So with the waves lapping at my feet, I took a morning stroll on the beach.
The whole place was peaceful and serene. The sand, although they claim it to be “white sand,” didn’t entirely look white to me at all. It looked reddish, in fact. At low tide, the sea appeared tame and shy, with a few rivulets claiming the shore here and there.
Along the way I chanced upon a fisherman with his first catch of the day. How simple life would be, if all we did everyday was catch fish, just enough for us to consume in a day? No more angst about the complications of life.
Of course, I left my mark on the shore, even if I knew that the sea would later reclaim that part of the shore and erase what I wrote there, never to be seen ever again.
But isn’t that the way life goes? We leave our mark, even if we know that time will erase all traces of our efforts. The only time we can claim, the one that is truly ours, is the present.