Joe (continued) …
I was somehow on an existential search for them, the others. I didn’t want a boring, miserable life because I listened to some guy on television telling me how to live my life (that life lesson courtesy of Frank Zappa); as a result, I traveled to 37 countries. The Philippines was #37 — and after 6 years, I’m still here. Sometime in 2020, I’d decided to make the move permanent, not look back, and invest everything I had — money (of which I had very little), and my time, energy and heart (fortunately having an abundance of each of those things) — in the country and in its people.
So why Manila Bay Beach and manilabaybeach.com? It all started when I learned about the beach at Manila Bay. Although strongly hesitant to the point I had never followed through, I had long debated leaving Manila and relocating to an outer island to seek and hopefully embrace the stereotypical beach lifestyle — you know: salty hair, ocean breeze, tropical smell in the air, swaying coconut trees, crashing waves, sun-kissed nose, like that. When I heard about the Battle for Manila Bay, well, I was energized, an instant believer … I was, as they say in the USA, in. I contacted Jane (that beautiful soul you met above), and together, we decided to purchase some strategic domains, copyrights and trademarks; relocate to a different Roxas Boulevard condo in Malate; brand ourselves; and start to create, prepare for and live that life-on-the-beach of which I’d long dreamed. Everything after that was synergistic and evolved into what you see right here on your screen.
But mostly — and I was legitimately fearful of doing so — I didn’t want to lose that magic Jane wrote about above; and as depressing an admission as it is, I was. Slowly, in an almost unrecognizable manner, akin to a frog unaware he is in a pot of boiling water, I was unmindful and oblivious to the reality that I was losing my magic. Although I had — throughout most of my life — taken a figuratively violent beating from society, I didn’t want to further regress during my evolution as a man. I didn’t want to one day look in the mirror and see the reflection of a grumpy, sorrowful, elderly man drained of his magic. I did not want to be that person. I had never before been that person … and I had to stop that certain transformation.
And that is why the Philippines; that is why Manila Bay Beach. It’s as personal as it may be benevolent: Manila Bay Beach is my Shire, my Never-Never Land, my Emeral City, my Xavier’s Academy, my Chocolate Factory, my Wonderland, my Hogwarts, my Pandora, my Central Perk, my Narnia (and if nobody else sees what I see after walking through the wardrobe, and I am further branded as a “baliw na tao” … so be it). The beach, the bay and it’s sunset has emerged as my source of magic. And that is why Manila Bay Beach. That is what all this effort, all these loooong hours and endless days building this project of passion has been about: maintaining or restoring the magic in me, while witnessing first-hand and directly participating in the restoration of the magic, glory and magnificence to Manila Bay.
I’ve given it everything I have. It’s important to me. And it’s terrifically personal.
So here I am, living across Roxas Boulevard from the Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach (I am Manila Bay Beach Joe, after all — haha); embracing my best life, while also trying to make everything around me beautiful.