A few weeks before the elections Smoketh, Aia, and I booked a flight to Boracay, where we met Frichmond, who was there to attend a social gathering, and Queen Mum who practices in Kalibo along with her husband, Sir Vim. As soon as our feet touched the sand we all gushed “I can’t believe we’re here!”. When Frichmond finally saw us her first words were, “OMG I can’t believe we’re here!” It was our first flight ever since the pandemic struck, and at the back of our minds we were hoping that there wouldn’t be a sudden surge from a new variant that would maroon us in the island for months, or suddenly kill us.
The last time I was in Boracay was in 2007, when I moonlighted (moonlit?) as a general physician (something that I’ve blogged about multiple times in the past DECADE, or were those entries decimated along with Friendster?) Much has changed, and I seem to remember that we used to eat in restaurant that was super close to the shore, like the entire establishment was on stilts. It was a particularly memorable dinner, because five minutes in I got a referral for a local tourist who was having a stroke. I dashed to the resort where the patient was staying, bemoaning that I haven’t even tasted the gourmet chicken and fried rice which where just being brought in, and discovered a woman in her 60’s with left-sided weakness. Of course she needed a tertiary hospital, so in the middle of the night we boarded a tiny boat all the way to the port, where we then boarded an ambulance. The ambulance maniacally weaved through the zigzagged roads of Kalibo, and at some point I told the driver to pull over, I didn’t care, I had to get off. I left the stroke patient for a while and hurled in the pavement.
This time this was all vacation. Or so we wanted to assume, as we would periodically get on our phones to talk to nurses, patients, and so on. As we watched the magnificent Boracay sunset I asked everyone,
“Quiz: If this were Instagrammed, what would be the most common, most trite, most irritating caption hashtag of all?”
“Uhm, hashtag: finally?” Frichmond guessed.
“Well, good guess,” I said, not really meaning it.
“Uhm, hashtag: blessed?” Smoketh said.
“Yes, if this were 2015!” I said with much judgment.
“Uhm, hashtag: first trip after two years?” Jeffrey said.
“Possible, but not trite enough!”
Finally Aia, being the only one in touch with her millennial self, uttered the correct answer, which made us clap, cheer, and cringe. Altogether now:
“Hashtag: Vitamin Sea!”