It wouldn’t be an understatment to say that the Philippines has nailed what we call Beach Life. Whether it’s surfing in Siargao, partying in Boracay, enjoying the scenic view of Palawan, or being a beach bum in any of the country’s many beaches, Pinoys really are their beaches. Coming from the City of Bangalore, the nearest beach is about four hours away. I had no idea what Beach Life really meant. But having lived here for eight months, it’s evident how inherent the Beach Life is for Pinoys.
If you’re coming from places in India like Delhi or Bangalore, you probably don’t get it either. We usually go to Goa perhaps once a year, rage like maniacs, chill on the shacks, and get back nursing hangovers. The Philippines, however, is refreshingly abundant with opportunities to explore accessible beaches and try out a number water activities.
Even if Filipinos have super hectic lives, like being an MBA student at AIM, they are happy to get even a short vacation to get their beach vibe on. Since we’ve started the program, we’ve had limited opportunities to catch a long breaks. But as soon as students get even a three-day weekend, they’re off to the beach making the most of it.
Looking in from the outside, it’s hard to capture the essence of this unique way of life. So what’s the best way to do it? Immerse yourself. Ask your Filipino friends and LT mates for suggestion. Or better still, get them to take you. Having a Filipino travel buddy can be a real asset, because you get to experience things that you wouldn’t as a foreign tourist. Island-hopping in Siargao, for example would have never been this fun (and cheap) had we, the Indians, gone by ourselves.
The whole work-life balance is a tricky thing here in AIM, but we like to think that we’ve mastered it over the months. That’s why these small vacations are super rewarding, like a beer after a long day at work. This is just the 16-month version of that. Every vacation feels well-deserved and more enjoyable, because we’re aware of what’s waiting for us when we get back.
The Indians in Cohort 12 seem to be killing it where travel is concerned. While some just experienced their first solo trips, others are getting their diving certifications.
For all those future AIM students coming from other countries, you might come here for different reasons. Shifting careers, figuring yourselves out, quarter-life crisis, looking for that one last hurrah before life takes over. We’ve heard them all. But I would definitely suggest you make exploring Philippines a part of your experience. I was never a travel enthusiast, and I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I’m a convert, but my AIM experience wouldn’t have been the same without the beaches.
Tanya Kapool is a student from Master in Business Administration 2017.