Walking around the island, one could see some interesting sights and understand a little bit of the way people live here. During the day, the locals work in the resorts/restaurants or work as fishermen, while some of the women stay at home taking care of the children as full time housewives or sell souvenirs at the beach to the few tourists on the island (this one, reminded me of Bali!). At night, they love to gather together on the beach, chilling and sitting around the boats that are parked nicely by the beach, with the lanterns as the only source of lights.
As I walked down the beach on a starry night, I came across a group of people who were building a castle made of sands. They’re pretty good. They even built a pyramid and a “Kingkong” statue in which made me impressed! They must have been practicing this skills every night! :p
The village, in which located in the middle of the island, reminded me so much of the villages in Indonesia. The houses, the people, the trees and the environment. They even have small shops in which we called them as “warung” back in my country. These small shops sell all sorts of candies, snacks, cigarettes, drinks, etc, in a much smaller quantity than a mini market :). I just couldn’t figure out how this tiny island has around 4,000 inhabitants. Where are they hiding? The island doesn’t look cramp at all! The village looks pretty spacey. Oh, they must be invisible! 😀
How do the young people spend their weekends here? I was quite surprised when I found it out. On Friday night, after dinner, me and my friends had a few drinks at one of the bars. I was planning to go to bed afterwards as I wanted to wake up early in the morning for my last morning dive (to see the thresher sharks again, yes!). But.. all of sudden, we heard some disco music pumping out loud not far away from our bar. We were wondering what’s going on? We decided to check it out.
And there it was.. a scene in which I would never forget: a bunch of people dancing following the beat of RnB music from 4 huge loudspeakers on the beach. Two disco bulbs were hanging on the robe from one tree to another tree on the other side. Very creative, indeed!! This local disco was held in front of a bar which had a number selections of alcohol ready to be served to everyone. The DJ was hiding somewhere (yes, I couldn’t see where the DJ booth was!), but he played a fairly good RnB and hip-hop music ;), including some new tracks from Justin Timberlake as well :D. And guess what… these young Malapascuan boys were really good in dancing! They danced like real hip-hop/RnB dancers, with all the hip-hop moves and rapper style! They even dressed up like one! Oh, so cool!
In less than 5 minutes, me and my friends were already dancing in the middle of this local disco, right below the disco bulbs! Hahaha… We mingled with the locals and danced together with them. So much fun! They were very friendly and they definitely knew how to create fun in this beautiful tiny island 🙂
Apparently, one can find this local disco every weekend. Every Friday, it’s held on this spot, but on Saturday night, they hold it at another place, in the village. Everyone invited us to come to the disco again the next day. And you wouldn’t believe how good their memories were. The next day, every time I bumped into the locals, they smiled and asked, “Are you going to the disco again tonight?” Hihihi… I felt I was one of them now! 😀 *lol*
The next day, we were ready to dance at the local disco again! It was easy to find the venue as they played the music to the max. So, we just followed where the music came from. Passing through some houses, there’s no proper walking path (no asphalt, of course!). We had to walk in a dark under the moon light.
After walking for a few minutes, finally we got there. We were stunned. The Saturday’s local disco was held in a big hall with basketball court in the middle. Around the basketball court was some food stalls selling barbeque and satay: pork, chicken, lamb, sausages, eggs, etc. But there was one thing that attracted my eyes… KETUPAT!!! Omigod.. they have ketupat here! (ketupat is a rice cake wrapped in coconut leaves). Suddenly my mind traveled back to Indonesia. On that day, it was an “Idul Fitri” day, a holy day where Moslem celebrates the end of Ramadhan, the fasting month. Every year, on Idul Fitri day, we eat this “ketupat” with some other Indonesian dishes, such as beef rendang, sayur labu, fried chicken, etc. Even though this year I didn’t eat ketupat, seeing it in Malapascua, miles away from Jakarta, was enough to make me happy. I took a deep breath and smiled :).
This local disco was so much bigger than the other one. Seeing a lot of people dancing on the dance floor and chilling around the basketball court answered my question on where those 4,000 inhabitants living on this island were. It was easily 1,000 young people here! Impressive, eh?
The DJ played different types of music, including local songs as well. And once the local song was played in the air, suddenly everyone walked into the dance floor and danced cha-cha-cha!!! So funny! It was very interesting to see them dancing cha-cha-cha, happily. The girls moved their hips in such a way, they looked so flirtatious, while the guys followed the steps and smiled. They definitely knew the songs and all the movements by heart :).
So yeah, it was fun to see how the young generation of Malapascuans spend their weekends. One thing I knew, the warm of the Cebuanos made me feel at home, even though I realized I was miles away from home… 🙂