CEBU, PHILIPPINES—I cannot write without facing a window, vain it may sound.
If not a window, then by open spaces—facing the sea’s vastness for example. The air thick with salinity. The wind teasing the ears. Perhaps it is my way to conquer the wall that scares any writer’s wit: the writer’s block—that moment when I stare at the blinking | in a rather bright and immaculate white screen. When that occurs, indeed it is scary. How can I be a writer without writing?
How do I fight the wall?
A literal space is my weapon of choice in defeating the metaphorical wall.
So I appreciate it a lot when I am invited to places abundant with open spaces, places that allow the mind’s wings to spread and roam free and wild. Places like Capitarise-Cebu, a new AirBnb space in Lapu-lapu City, Cebu. This place was my midweek sanctuary at the Mactan Newtown in a surprisingly sunny midweek last June.
When Menger, my financial agent and the marketing staff, ushered me into my studio apartment for the coming two nights, I knew right there and then I would love the place, I knew right there and then I would spend most of my hours either writing or reading, in bed, on the sofa, and in the dining area.
Before us was a floor-to-ceiling glass window overlooking Lapu-lapu City and the sea. To our right was a well-equipped kitchen, to our left was the dining table for two. Before the window was the living room and the queen-sized bed to its right. Some floors lower, the infinity pool teased the horizon. Admittedly, everything was a luxury for me. A much-welcome one.
Staying on the 18th floor is like assuming a bird’s eye of a place my human eyes consumed endlessly. From my condominium window, the city looked, felt, and sounded different. It felt a lot lighter and quieter. Only the tiniest hums of a city undergoing some construction and the motorcycles’ angry engine could be heard occasionally from the window. From a safe distance, Lapu-lapu City is not my friend’s cursed land, not a cursed city; rather it looks livable and green. At that very moment, it feels like a new town.
At four in the afternoon, when the light cast soft shadows and tones to the city below me, smoke would start to rise, from one corner of the city to another.
Somewhere down there, someone swept and gathered the fallen leaves and lit it to ward off the mosquitoes. And it was also said regular smoking of fruit-bearing trees could help in its abundant flowering. The thought brought a thin and nostalgic smile in my face. I could not remember anymore the last time I held a broom made from fifty coconut leaf sticks and swept the fallen tambis, sineguelas, or mango leaves and culminated the whole process with a healthy fire.
The scent of the burning leaves was rich and soothing to the nose, if my olfactory memory serves me right.
Except for leisurely walks to the nearby 7Eleven and Civet Cat Coffee Shop, I excelled at doing nothing. And surprisingly, I did not feel guilty. I feel guilty when I am not productive enough, not active enough.
I thanked the universe for reminding me that it is all right to be lazy, to let the mind relax, to put deadlines, worries, and anxieties away. Once in a while. Thank you, Capitarise.
Internet Strength: Great! I streamed Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises
Power Plugs: A lot! The dining area, the living room, the kitchen, and the bed area have power plugs. It is important especially for creatives working online like me.
Food: You can order food a day before. Nearby is McDonalds, Civet Cat Coffee, and Seven Eleven
Appliances included: Water heater, electric stove, washing machine, refrigerator (huge)
Bathroom: Spacious enough. It has a tub! And an ultra-modern Japanese toilet!
Accessibility: It is very accessible from the airport. A short ride away. I live in Cebu City, and it only took me a jeepney ride and a van ride to reach this place.
Average rate/night: Php3000.00 You can book them through AirBnb.
1. Initially, I planned to bring Katorse, my foldable bicycle. Next to the high-rises dotting Newfound Mactan was the port to Olango Island: a sanctuary of migratory birds. The island’s road is well-maintained and navigable. So a bicycle as a date is an option next time. Plus, every May, Olango Island celebrates the most peculiar festival I have ever witnessed: Baliw-Baliw Festival.
2. If you are staying long enough, squeeze a day of island hopping around Mactan: Pandanon Island, Nalusuan Island, Hilutungan Island, and Caohagan Island.
3. Come sunset, head to the old Mactan Bridge for an awesome view of the sunset.
8New Town Boulevard, Mactan Newtown
Contact Number: 0906 556 9801
Follow them on their Facebook page for more details: https://www.facebook.com/happylifewithcapitarise