• Mal

Buko on the Beach

August 21

It happened.

It finally stopped raining for like half a day! So naturally, I hurried to the nearest beach to drink a coconut before the next downpour falls (which could literally come at any moment).

Luckily, my friend and I had the day off of work, so it was the perfect opportunity for me to experience the South China Sea for the first time!

We ordered fresh buko on the menu (coconut in Tagalog) and I was pumped! I had never had fresh coconut before.

The waitress brought out our buko and I was amazed---these things are huge! I couldn't believe I had an actual coconut in front of me that someone just put a straw in. It's like the coconut is a cup and a drink and a snack all in one.

We should all drink from coconuts.

Now, there is a system for eating fresh buko, which my friend gladly taught me:

Step 1- Drink the coconut juice: Fresh coconut juice is hard to explain. All I can really say is that it is light and refreshing and tasty, even though it hardly has a taste? Just go try it for yourself.

Step 2 - Open the coconut: Once you have been drinking the juice for a while, you take off the top of the coconut to see the inside. You keep drinking and then move to the really cool part, eating the "meat".

Step 3 - Eating the coconut: When you have drank enough of the juice, you can start digging out the "meat" with a spoon. It's soft with a jello-like texture, with a light and refreshing hardly-there taste, just like the juice. For me, this was the best part! I could sip the juice and eat the coconut at the same time--kind of like a watermelon, but cooler.

After eating our buko until we couldn't eat it anymore, we went down to the water to walk along the shore. We didn't swim because with all of the rain, the water was a bit cloudy and dirty, but it felt so good to bury our feet in the sand and let the waves wash over them, again and again.

In the distance were the mountains, barely peeking out from behind rain clouds that we knew were coming our way.

"How lucky am I!" I thought. "Not only do I have the ocean here, but I have the mountains."

A lover of the outdoors really couldn't ask for more.

We stood and watched the rain clouds roll in like the waves while we sunk deeper into the sand--even a clouded ocean is gorgeous!

I picked up my first piece of coral on the beach, which I have never seen in real life before. I took it home with me to mark the occasion of my first time at the beach. I decided to take one piece of coral or a seashell from every beach I go to from here on out.

I even recycled a used pasta sauce jar to put all of my beach treasures in when I got home! Now it happily sits in my living room, just waiting to be filled up with little beautiful trinkets from my future adventures.

So, my first time at the beach was not a time for swimming, but it was beautiful just the same. In the meantime, I'm hooked on coconut juice and counting down the weeks until typhoon season is over and the sun shines for GOOD.

- Mal