When traveling, there are days when I experience some not-so-great things: delayed flight, unsatisfied itinerary, etc. But there are days when heaven showers me with more than enough reasons to smile. This particular day is one of them.
I was happy to be on the boat which set out one early morning to tour around Lake Sebu. My first encounter with the lake was through a magazine, back when I was in grade school. Though it was just a vicarious experience, I have been fascinated by it since then.
One of the things I was looking forward to in Lake Sebu was seeing its lotuses. The lake, after all, is known not only for its abundant harvest of tilapia, hito, and freshwater shrimp but also for its beautiful lotus flowers.
After about an hour, we were greeted with pink flowers scattered on top of lush green leaves which look like umbrellas floating in water.
The boatman stopped the engine. “We can’t go any further,” he said. He explained that there are many fish traps and nets in the area and our boat, a big one, might destroy them. “Only a small boat is allowed to maneuver near the flowers.”
So I just had to content myself pushing my lens to give me the closest shots it could take.
Then came a T’boli man on a small native wooden boat. He paddled his way to our boat and helped us get into his boat. “Balance lang, Ma’am. Balance lang po,” he said. We politely asked for his name but he declined to give it. He just smiled at us.
The man slowly maneuvered the boat through the stalks and as we got nearer and nearer, I appreciated more the perfectly sculpted blooms of the lotuses.
On our way back to our boat, the T’boli man asked if we would like to bring some lotus flowers to the resort. Of course we said yes. So he picked three stems for us. “Ma’am, the flowers will close its petals at 10:00am,” he said, reminding me that lotuses in Lake Sebu bloom only in the morning.
I politely asked the man if I could take a picture of him. But he declined and again just smiled. He also declined the money we we were giving him for his snacks.
I went back to the resort with a full heart. Not only did Lake Sebu give me a glimpse of the beauty of its surroundings. It also made me experience the inner beauty, the kind nature, of man.