Some have made Sugar Beach their regular getaway; Some, their second home.
And there are those who have made it their main home — the resort owners, mostly Europeans.
And much to my delight, the majority of those who visit Sugar Beach are Europeans as well. Or foreigners, at least.
Ok, before I come across as discriminatory or judgmental, why “much to my delight”?
Because I am unlike the typical Filipino tourist. Actually, the typical Filipino. Period.
And what is it about the typical, average Filipino tourist that I don’t resonate with, even detest, admittedly? Why am I pleased that the majority of those who visit and live in Sugar Beach are Europeans or foreigners, instead of Filipinos?
Now, I’m not implying that what I’ll illustrate is unique to the Filipinos. I know there are those from other cultures who behave similarly.
But, talk to an owner, manager or a staff member of any resort or similar establishment, not only in Sugar Beach but elsewhere — what I’ll describe about the majority, typical, average Filipino tourist is widely known. Maybe not quite well accepted or acknowledged, but it certainly is common knowledge.
The average Filipino tourist can easily rid a place of its cleanliness and purity, transforming it into a huge garbage disposal — out of sheer habit (unconscious, I hope), lack of awareness, care and concern.
The typical Filipino tourist can get quite antsy with the quietness. “Too boring”, “The silence is deafening” — preferring instead, endless activities (do-ing vis-à-vis be-ing).
The typical Filipino tourist can effortlessly turn a tranquil haven into a noisy, chaotic setting. Silence, stillness can easily be replaced with loud music — music to them, noise to me.
Ahhh…The average, typical Filipino tourist — can’t be without loud conversations, loud music or a karaoke equipment, a Filipino staple which I find annoying. Thankfully, it’s non-existent in Sugar Beach. Yay!
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I loooove to sing, and I can sing quite well. I sure had my karaoke days.
So, why do I find it annoying?
I believe there are settings more appropriate and aligned with karaoke singing. Certainly, not a tranquil, serene getaway where people come for the peace and quiet. Hey, if I want noise, chaos and the frenzy of urban living, then the city is where I’d be.
But such is the average, typical Filipino tourist. Rather than truly communing with Nature, the pristine surrounding simply becomes a backdrop. Getting away from the city or stressful living, coming to tranquil, rural, natural settings isn’t for the purpose of retreating or going within.
Sure, to each his own.
So, back to karaoke.
When you’re listening to those who only have sheer guts and the strong desire to “sing”, and whose courage and confidence are boosted by alcohol, it can be very agonizing! I kid you not.
And when you’re subjected to it on a daily basis, at times beginning in the early afternoon lasting until the wee hours in the morning, as is the practice in the countryside, sorry, but that’s just not my definition of fun. That’s torture! You’ve got to be a sadist/masochist, or just as drunk, or both, to enjoy it. It’s a pain!
A bit of karaoke trivia…
Did you know that “violent reactions to karaoke singing have made headlines in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, with reports of killings by listeners disturbed by the singing? In the Philippines, at least a half dozen killings of people singing [Frank Sinatra’s] “My Way” caused newspapers to label the phenomenon “My Way killings”. (Click here for more.)
So, you see, I’m not exaggerating. Listening to karaoke singing can be agonizing and torturous. Imagine…killings! Scary, huh?!?
Anyway, enough ranting about the Filipinos’ love of karaoke.
So, those drawn to Sugar Beach come because of the peace and quietness of the place, to relax and unwind.
We’re not here to party. We have a different definition of fun, of what brings us joy.
We’re not here to disrupt the serenity of the surrounding. We’re not here to disrespect the sanctity of the place or spoil the environment — be it through littering, screaming or loud music.
All these do not quite fit the profile of the typical, average Filipino tourist.
On the other hand, they are what makes Sugar Beach so attractive to me.
Do I see myself living here more permanently? To feel and experience being a resident and not merely as a vacationist?
Quite possibly. But I’m being cautious and conscious, and taking as much time as is necessary, before I decide or say anything with finality. Oh yes, I certainly have learned my lessons from my previous travels.
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