Maya Maya, Batangas



This place doesn’t exist anymore. It’s secret garden paths to the big eyed Aussie neighbor, who used to cry every time Michael Jackson came on the television, isn’t there anymore. The marina holds faded boats. The yachts that are left show us that Maya Maya is still a few of the expats secret place. Two SeaDoos stay still. They remind me of an old Malibu Barbie collection I used to have when I was younger. I eye them as I walk by, thinking for a second, we should take them for a ride.




We poke our heads through the old yacht club. Sneak in between giant acacia trees and lush forgotten gardens. Our ghosts of us as little girls running around with sea water in our hair and seeping into our skin, of mango smoothies, any smoothies, shaking off floaties, and so much energy as we laugh or pout. The figures of childhood run around us. Later in those summers, we will race back to the house all the way uphill. We will even dare each other to rollerblade down certain roads. It’s Fourth of July and we just celebrated Daddy’s birthday. Daddy’s birthday is not on Fourth of July but close to it. It’s an excuse to have a cake in the summer in Maya-Maya. We will lounge lazily on the back porch, all sisters and cousins, in wicker furniture, soaking in the sun, reading Betty and Veronica. View1

Now, well into our 30’s, we hike up the roads of Maya-Maya searching for the perfect view. It’s this empty lot of land. No, this one now. Each one, as lush as the next. We find our way down to the secret rocky beach, tiny steep stairs to bring us back to another secret water place we know. Another sigh, another minute of quiet to breathe in the fresh air.

Bianca and I spent two days in Maya-Maya. Coming back the second day because we couldn’t get enough of the first.

There is something to be said about going back to a place where you are from. Of going back to something familiar, even if your memories there were just for one day, to unknowingly re-discover whom you are. Maya-Maya holds a very special place for me. White sand beaches and summer homes and family.


They want to build a hotel here. A strip mall. Another resort. Cut away all of this vast beach area? So condos can rise? I would love to see this developer do the opposite. Stir alive Maya-Maya (now called Yanarra) by renovating the yacht club, the tiki bar, the office. Sell the lots back to the expats and their families. For those who would appreciate and value this part of the Philippines. I could think of a few buyers.


Fingers crossed