On normal days, the waves in Tali Beach, Nasugbu, Batangas would have been more bearable, more calm even. But this was not that day. The waves seemed stronger, angrier. The rocks, made slippery by the onslaught of sea waves, glistened like sharp fangs. It was a monster — heaving and turning. Waiting for the next fool to accept its test and plunge into the unknown.
As I prepared my ascent to the 25-foot cliff, my mind was going places. “Kaya ‘to kahit mataas. Kailangan ko lang tumalon. Paano ‘pag nadulas ako at tumama ang ulo ko sa bato? Pwede namang mag-backout eh.” (I can do this even if the elevation is step. I need ot jump. What if I slip and my head hits a stone? I can still back out).
The way leading to the cliff seemed innocent enough. There were stairs carved from the rock that led to the jump off point. It was a hassle-free ascent. So I went up. Then I reached a flat area that faced the sea. The horizon, broken by parcels of land, formed a plane on the verge of flatlining. My heart beat slower and louder. My breathing became tense. Everything was silent.
I stayed on the cliff for what seemed like an eternity, arguing whether or not I should jump. Everybody there was cheering me on but I could not hear them. I was only hearing the angry crash of the waves and the fizz of sea foams against the rocks.
The waves seemed to get stronger as I stood on the cliff. I looked straight down and the sea was moving farther away. It was becoming even more distant; the height was becoming even more disorienting. This was it. The monster in the closet. The abyss in all its fearful glory. It was heaving, staring, judging me with its deep blue eyes and scrutinizing my fear. My fear of heights. My fear of drowning. And my desire to flee.
For a while, I thought about it. The easy way out. But then, I pulled everything I got, held my breath and took off. I felt the wind rush on my skin as I tried to comprehend what I was doing. But there was no reasoning to what I felt. The drop just seemed endless. “Will this end? Will I survive this? Will I be okay?”
Then splash! Everything was cold. But it was different. It was the cold that could not have felt even more warmer. It enticed me to stay there for a brief longer as the bubbles rose around me. Then I lifted my arms and started swimming up.
I swam my way to the nearby rocks and lifted myself out of the water. Everybody was worried at first but was glad that I was okay. We headed back but not before stopping by a gutter because I suddenly felt throwing up. The rest of the vacation went by smoothly. Everybody was chatting, having fun and wishing for the weekend not to end. Who would want that to happen? After all, there were no monsters here.
[Entry 27, The SubSelfie Blog]
About the Author:
Justin Joyas is a contributor for SubSelfie.com and was part of the original roster that founded the site. Presently, he is a User-Generated Content Producer for YouScoop and GMA News. He also studied Mobile Journalism at Konrad Adenauer ACFJ. He’s a newsroom ninja and protector of the realm who also wanders a lot. Literature 2008, DLSU. Read more of his articles here.