boy and his yellow boat

boat, malcapuya island

I first met him in an island where my siblings and I had lunch, a young boy who was about 12 years old. He gave me directions to a small store, the only one in the island, and I remembered that his hair was almost blond, naturally lightened by the tropical sun.

A few hours later, I saw him again in another island, raking some fallen leaves near the shore. Visitors were only allowed to stay there until 4:30, and when it was time for us to leave, our guide waved and shouted goodbye to him from our boat.

It turned out that the boy's job was to make sure that visitors come and leave the islands on time, like a gatekeeper of sorts. My last glimpse of him, waving and smiling from his yellow boat, with the blue sky in the background, is an image that stayed with me for awhile now.

I wonder what his life is like, living in the islands, and taking care of those pristine beaches. I wonder if he goes to school, if he knows how to read or write, what his family is like, if he swam and raced with his friends. I wonder if he also wonders about people living in faraway places, and the world beyond.

Photo taken at Malcapuya Island, using a Fuji Instax Wide camera


  1. this was so beautiful to read.

  2. oh man, I love this, thank you for sharing this boy and his story/your thoughts.