I had no intention to wake up early. But hearing the aircon shut down after its rationed 5-6 hour run at night nudged me out of my sleep. I couldn’t get back the zzzs, so I looked out the window to see what’s outside and saw the sun in a good mood, painting the clouds with warm colors. I grabbed my camera and went to the patio of Hotel Maya to see the day unfolding in this little town of Culion.
A curious two-story lodging beside La Immaculada Concepcion Church is filled with history as well. The ground floor used to be a dormitory for destitute and orphaned girls afflicted with leprosy run by the Sisters of Saint Paul de Chartres and Department of Health which they call then the Hijas de Maria Dormitory. The second floor is a Loyola College School. These days the place operates as Hotel Maya, formerly called Ateneo Loyola Hostel – Hotel for the Study of Ecotourism and Livelihood. No wonder most of the staff are young as they are trainees, tourism students for the Loyola Collage of Culion.
Don’t be put off by the young staff, they may be gaining experience but they are friendly and enthusiastic. The place is well-kept. Water may be a problem sometimes but they’ll find a way. I like the breezy dining area. Food is very good too. There’s solar-powered light and socket in each room. Not to mention the scenic patio with an access to a stairwell going down the main street which I took.
Time moves slow and people here savor their time. I already see folks up early, walking by the roadside to wherever their headed. I did notice a couple of rubber shoes doing their walks by the breakwater. Such a touching site of people growing old together, in a place so quaint and close to nature. The waters by the stilt houses grew astir by the movement of people waking up to another day. Culion Town is unconventionally attractive, perhaps to people seeking refuge from the chaos of city life. A place to retreat for a time. Or better yet, retire.
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Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.