The municipality of Mamburao in Occidental Mindoro will always be memorable. Because it’s here on an empty beach where my journey to finding life purpose began.
It’s easy to say, “Be happy, you only have one life.” But the truth is that there are many people living with emptiness in their hearts.
Life has a purpose, of that I’m sure.
Do you know what’s yours?
Finding Life Purpose Seating on that Empty Beach
On August 2014, I found myself alone in the provincial capital of Occidental Mindoro.
It’s been two years and now I have vague memories of the town center. With a population of over 40 thousand, Mamburao is not a small municipality. But for the life of me, the only thing I remember was arriving past midnight and sleeping in the cheap hotel.
The following morning, I found a beach resort on the outskirt of Mamburao and decided to stay there.
For the next two days, I was pretty much alone on the deserted beach. In fact, I was the only guest in the beach resort.
Seating alone on that empty beach, I felt the wind touch my face as I stared at the vast sea. I listened to the sound of waves and closed my eyes.
Instead of clearing my mind, questions came flooding in.
“Who am I?”
“Why do I exist?”
“What’s my purpose in this world?”
“How did I end up here alone?”
“Where do I go from here?”
For most of the two days, I sat on that empty beach and the same questions kept coming back in my thoughts.
Alone for a Long Time
Alone on an empty beach, I lost myself to the vast space. I could hear the sound of leaves rustling behind me. I also listened to the melodic chirping of the sparrows.
It was then I realized that I’d been alone for a decade.
Unknown to me, the realization of being alone would be the catalyst to finding life purpose.
Emptiness in the Heart
When everything was going well, people came flocking. But all good things must come to an end. As soon as trouble began, so did the exodus of the flock.
So, I began to question my existence.
I doubted if I could ever return to who I was.
I may not remember much of the town, but on this deserted beach, I remember the feeling or the lack of.
Once upon a time, there was life. But seating on that empty beach, there was only an emptiness in my heart.
Defeated and bitter, that’s how I felt.
“Not knowing and without finding my life purpose, what’s the point of returning to the city?” I asked myself.
Living life without a meaning is not living at all.
Failing to See Life Is Beautiful
In a past life, I was an avid scuba diver. As a matter of fact, I became a dive professional and taught scuba diving when I lived in Boracay.
Looking at the sea, I know what lies underneath. I have dived all over the country and knows how mesmerizing the aquatic world is.
Those years I was scuba diving were among the best in my life. I remember the exhilarating feeling of floating weightless underwater. I can’t count the number of times my heart raced whenever I see exotic and rare marine animals.
The underwater world is teeming with life and colors. But all I see is the empty surface of the ocean.
“How much of myself had I lost that I could not see the beauty that life has to offer?” I asked.
I’d always thought that I could have the life I wanted, but I failed.
Broken, alone, and miserable, that was how I felt while seating on that empty beach.
Is the End of Life in Sight?
As the sun sets, it created some of the most spectacular scenes in nature. I wish I could have appreciated the colors of the sky, but I was thinking of how the day was ending.
And then I asked, “What had I done?”
I’ve lived more than half of my life expectancy, and this is where I found myself.
I begged the heaven to take away the regrets and hatred that I have been trying to cast away. There has been too much pain and suffering and I’ve had enough.
As darkness fell, it was as if I started dying.
Perhaps ending my life is a good thing.
Forsaken and Hopeless
“My God. My God. Why have you forsaken me?” Jesus asked.
I could ask the same question too, which I did.
Alone in the dark, the familiar feeling returned, one of despair and hopelessness.
They say misery loves company, but I chose to be alone. Solitude was my best friend. For a decade, I lived in solitude even in the company of people.
Finding Life Purpose on a New Day
No, I wasn’t going to kill myself. I almost did a few years back, but not on that two days on the empty beach.
In the darkness, I knew a new day would begin.
For two days and nights, I learned to embrace my reality. I closed my eyes and mind to the truth and fooled myself over and over again.
Consumed with the senseless, I lived in a state of confusion that I lost myself.
But as I started to find a better understanding of myself, a new sense of calm enveloped my body.
Finding life purpose wasn’t what I planned for, but that was when it began, with the sun setting down.
Looking at the glorious colors of the sky, a new day would soon begin, and with that comes a new hope.
One day, I shall fall down like an old withered tree. When I do, the last thing I would remember are the beautiful colors of the sky.
Over the next months, I would continue to seek my purpose in life.
Note: Photos taken at Paradise Beach Resort, Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro. I used an iPhone and retouched using Photoshop Elements and Google Nik Collection.