Because of the strong currents, I was debating with myself whether to snorkel or to just stay on the boat. After all, we were on the beautiful Crocodile Island located South of Boracay, known for its teeming marine life visible in crystal clear azure waters!
Maybe because of his age, my 5 1/2-year-old didn’t know the meaning of fear because he insisted in getting himself into the refreshing waters with the rest of the family.
When I was about to take the plunge, I was sidetracked by an unusual vision of a man on a surfboard. He was paddling his way through the waters in an attempt to sell coconut drinks to the snorkelers.
When he reached our boat, he said “3 for 100.” After Tito H bought the drinks, I began talking to Mr. Coconut Man. I asked him whether he was afraid of his job, to which he answered “NO” with a smile. When inquired on how long he has been selling coconuts, he said, “Noong 12 pa ako.” (Translation: Since I was twelve.) When I asked him further about his present age he said, “18.” I can’t believe I was older than him by around 24 years!
Here’s the hardworking “manong” in action. Please press the HD button for better quality.
Talk about a man’s indefatigable spirit not just to survive but to thrive in life!
I can’t help but recall these words while watching him:
“I watched a small man with thick calluses on both hands work 15 and 16 hours a day. I saw him once literally bleed from the bottom of his feet, a man… who taught me all I needed to know about faith and hard work by the simple eloquence of his example.”Mario Cuomo, 52nd Governor of New York
Amazing! Believe me when I say that I’ll never look at coconuts the same way ever again!