It’s 7:30 p.m. and night envelops us as we get into a fiberglass banana boat. The small engine sputters against the silence and the darkness of the night. Now I know what every navy seal feels traveling in silence, in darkness, guided only by the moonlight that glitters on the surface of a calm sea, the stars twinkling across the night sky, reflecting against the black sheet that is the ocean, disturbed only by the surreal glow of gas pressure lamps from single hull canoes fishing for squid. Each boat has one fisherman, tending a net. Our little boat purrs by, as the short 10 minute ride makes the crossing and arrives at a wooden pier jutting out from a sparsely lit white sand beach, the unbroken line crossed only by the occasional gas powered torch set on a bamboo pole, creating a line of light that reflects on the tables set on the beach.
I know it’s late and this trip was plagued with delays from the cab into the airport to the flight itself and the unusual traffic in Lapu lapu city. Then again just before Moalboal when we have a flat tire, the expected arrival at the pier at 4 extended to 7 p.m. But at last, just within my reach is the pier and as I disembark onto it, Ryan Rosell, their Front Office Supervisor, in his floral printed shirt and white pants greets me “Aloha, welcome to Badi-an!” and instantly all the pain and aches of the long trip drift away, and as a lei of kalachuchi is hung around my neck it works like a magic wand that dissipates the tension clinging to my body