Sun, sand and sea
We awoke early morning the next day to find people already in the beach, mostly guests from the resort where we are staying. The water is calm and warm, perfect for a swim. Meanwhile, local women were going around selling whatever fishermen had caught earlier in the sea. We bought fresh squid, turned them into adobo and grilled the rest. What a filling breakfast to start our day with.
While researching for this trip, I found out Gumasa was the staging point for the Friendship Kayak last August 31. It's being undertaken by a Singaporean-Filipino team that hopes to paddle all the way up north to Ilocos Norte in just 100 days, a distance of some 3,300 kilometers. They're currently somewhere near Leyte as I write this.
Feeling inspired by this archipelagic adventure, I wanted to paddle as well but, of course, not to the full extent as the Friendship Kayak - only within eyesight of Gumasa beach. We rented a two-person kayak for 250 pesos an hour. With my brother behind me, we paddled parallel to shore going towards areas we haven't seen previously. From what I see, there's only a handful of resorts and thankfully nothing like ugly buildings in sight. At its core, Gumasa is still a fishing village.
on a perfect spot in Gumasa beach
As we paddle back to shore, resort employees were cleaning up after nature's mess. This being the Habagat season, prevailing winds from the west kicked off the waves that brought natural debris onto shore overnight: mostly seaweeds and coconut husks (and not plastic bags thank you!).
Gumasa in southern Mindanao may have been blessed with a gentler weather while we were there but I can't help thinking about Manila and the nearby provinces up north reeling in the wake of Typhoon Ondoy. We know the Filipino is resilient. We'll all do our part in cleaning up after nature's mess - a mess that we help created.