Often times we fail to realize how good a person can be. Sometimes, we travel to search for the true meaning of kindness, because it is when we are strangers that everything seems to be unfiltered. And more often, with this mindset, we forget to appreciate and even neglect that it also exists close to home.
Having traveled solo for most of my previous trips, to be somehow taken care of gave me a refreshing sense of comfort. Mind you, it wasn’t that I was babysat or treated like a princess. I was in the comfort of one of the most beautiful families I have ever known.
Grateful for the recent holiday, my cousin decided to go to Narra, Palawan to spend a meaningful holiday with her loved ones.
As I was traveling indefinitely, I took the opportunity to tag along.
Besides, Palawan has always been one of the places that I’ve wanted to see for myself. Next, my aunt is someone that I’ve always wanted to visit since she went back home to Narra. And lastly, traveling with close relatives is always good, especially if they are locals.
I could really use a vacation from all the guessing game as to where to go.
While for the world of tourism, Narra is one of the yet-to-be-commercialized, still undeveloped places in Palawan, for me, it’s a place where some of my closest relatives call home. Ever since, I’ve always associated Narra as the hometown of my Ate. It’s where her parents met. The place where she was born. The place that twisted her mother’s fate and the place where they’ve started all over again and eventually grow.
As we arrived in Narra, I immediately felt that sense of familiarity.
Perhaps it was the warmth from my aunt and the tons of kids that surrounded her.
Perhaps it was the refreshing breeze that had easily blew through the open doors and windows.
Perhaps it was my uncle’s cooking.
Or perhaps, it was the lack of any expectations that made me feel every sliver of their hospitality and every ounce of their kindness.
It was then that I knew, this is home.
If there’s a trait that Filipinos are generally proud of, it’s being very hospitable and accommodating to the best of their abilities. I might have not looked into it deeper before, as I found my friends’ and relatives’ kindness and hospitality a norm. There’s no denying that I’ve experienced it countless of times, and for that, I will always be grateful. But I guess sometimes, we fail to acknowledge the general act of kindness by other people because we expect nothing less. We expect.
Maybe it was all biased because I was in the comfort of the the people I know. But it was in those days that I’ve spent in Narra, when I had no expectations, that made me truly understand deeper how genuinely kind and caring some people can be. It is something that you can feel within your heart.
And in that moment, I could only hope that I will never again ignore any of it.
I wasn’t just someone visiting. They took me under their wing and yes, I was taken care of–a feeling that I’ve almost forgotten. And more than the beauty of what Narra has to offer, to have seen it with them was even better than what I could hope for.
Near the playground at the Plaza
One of the schools in Narra where my cousins used to go to
My goddaughter (in the middle) and her cousins
A beach 5 minutes away from the house. Brown sand beach–One of the finest sand that my toes had ever experienced
This long stretch of beach faces the eastern side, thus, the silhouette during sunset
Family of family enjoying the almost empty beach
I know it isn’t just a Filipino trait but it something innate to humans from all over the world. Often times we fail to notice this, let alone acknowledge the goodness bestowed upon us by both strangers and loved ones.
But let me tell you this, for me, that was one of the experiences that dignifies the traditional Filipinos’ trait of genuine hospitality. If not, then at least the definition of family.