Wena never liked the idea of traveling by dawn. She was not a morning person – never had been! Therefore, the idea of traveling to Dahican, Mati, Davao Oriental at 03:00 AM discombobulated her up to not joining the trip. But, she did.

She had been to Dahican a few months back. It was one of the trips she treasured the most. Yet the stars in the skies appeared to have aligned and drove her into going back to the place again. Considering that it was summer, she considered it would be the better time to revisit the place – she tried convincing herself.

Summer sure pressured the hell out of many corporate workers. In their endearing need to spend time away from the office, they scurried to any places hit by the sunrays. Maybe, it was what was happening here.

The genuine anticipation of going to Dahican again this time never woke Wena during the trip; not until she felt nauseated and hungry simultaneously. She never understood why those two feelings could be possible at the same time. Proving that her companions did not have the same hunger she did, she forced herself to go back to sleep. Not having a comfortable sleep and hunger was the formula to crankiness. Nobody wanted a cranky Wena – not even herself.

Mati scorched every single person who set foot in the city that day. The blinding rays of the sun offered no solace but the fact that people came here for the summer.

Breakfast happened before the Sleeping Dinosaur view deck. Wena wanted to drink Milo, but the intentional snubbing of the server made her think what she could have possibly done wrong for such a cold treatment. She never knew; nobody did!

Despite the now hellish breaths of the sun, the view deck with the Sleeping Dinosaur backdrop remained inviting – so inviting that only a few braved being roasted alive. Nevertheless, the magical view disappointed no one, except those who hoped for the dinosaur to wake up from slumber. Wena was hopeful. The Dinosaur remained sleeping. It disappointed Wena.

Just like any normal visitor would do, Subangan Museum was the smartest next stop. Wena was with smart people. But she never entered the Museum that time because it would have been redundant. Some redundancies were cool; it was not one of those.

Dahican, Mati, Davao Oriental Jeff & Cess

Dahican, Mati, Davao Oriental Kokok

Dahican, Mati, Davao Oriental Baywalk

Dahican, Mati, Davao Oriental Subangan Museum

The pit stop for that day was obviously Dahican. After that long drive, the sheer anticipation of dipping to Dahican beach became so rewarding; but not before segueing to the Municipal Baywalk Park.

It was noon. The sun was high and the heat waves, palpable. One could feel the heat emanating from the dry ground and cement of Mati. Despite the excruciating atmosphere, Wena found herself running in the Baywalk towards the landmark proclaiming a love to the city. The lone palm tree beside the landmark proved to be a strong shade provider.

After a very eventful lunch – yes, very eventful but everybody should be spared of the details – Wena and the group proceeded to Dahican.

Despite the obviously very intense heat, many people enjoyed the milieu of the beach. While some people were breaking the waves, others were busy playing in the sand. A few played beach volleyball sending sands and screaming flying everywhere. The place was festive and everybody seemed to have been having fun.

As soon as they entered Amihan sa Dahican, Wena instantly dropped everything and surveyed the beach. She always did that. Not that she had other motives – wink – but she really liked walking by the beach – alone! She saw a group of vacationers painstakingly balance on surfboards. Meanwhile, a few of the locals were smoothly skimboarding to wherever there were waves breaking.

Nothing much has changed, Wena thought to herself as she reached Menzi Beach Park. The bluish teal shades of the beach had been nothing but inviting. Yet, she rather got lost in the enjoying crowd.

Dahican, Mati, Davao Oriental Coconut

Dahican, Mati, Davao Oriental Merk & Marefe

Dahican, Mati, Davao Oriental Skimboarder

After a little while, she went back to Amihan sa Dahican and finally got a good look at the place. She wished she rather didn’t, because it dawned on her how the place needed so much improvement.

From the impossible-to-audit-due-lack-of-receipts-issued environmental fee collected at the gate to the dirty and waterless comfort rooms, and the insane fees of comfort room usages should there be water, the place screamed Nope!. But Wena knew how to shut up – and that made all the difference.

There were so many distractions around the place, though. Everybody sure had been having fun and what better way than to join in that positivity?

After a while, when the skies became rather a gloom because of the nearing dusk, Wena and company finally took a dip on the luscious waves of Dahican beach and experienced the brutality of its waves. They relished every moment of it; even concluding that chicharons were better consumed by the beach for the added saltiness. They concluded the day by sitting by the sand watching skimboarders do their suave maneuvers as they rode the waves to the shore.

Wena loved sunrises. She didn’t know why but she just did. The first time she saw the sunrise at Dahican, she became enamored! How the salmon rays of the sun caress the ivory water of Dahican beach gave her so much satisfaction. She knew the same sun could be cruel at noon but she couldn’t ignore how calming and lovable that sun was at dawn.

That day, Wena did not see the sunrise at Dahican. They had been traveling back since before the break of dawn – which made her lackadaisical, as usual. When they finally stopped over near the Sleeping Dinosaur view deck, the sun slowly peeked behind the horizon, waking the zest in her. That simple and magical start of the day made her lo and behold. She cherished the rays of the sun like a madwoman bathing in glory. That morning, Wena got what she came for! She vowed she would never get tired of returning for that enchanting sunrise.

Dahican, Mati, Davao Oriental Sunrise I

Dahican, Mati, Davao Oriental Sunrise II

Author: Mark Atong

If he is not taking advantage of his skills on full-time IT employment, he is going different places and hopefully making his mother proud. He believes writing is his passion; but it has yet to prove to pay his bills. He is a fun-loving individual who would rather stay at home reading books and catch-up on episodes of TV shows.

Tell us what you think