At the seashore

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Maria Victoria Rufino

Beyond Brushstrokes

Sun and surf, sea and sky. These are a few of our favorite summer things.

Whether one is in Boracay, Bohol, Palawan, Waikiki, Cote d’Azur, or Ibiza, there are colorful, amusing characters at play.

Chilling, one can observe the parade of people in various stages of undress or overdress. Here is a composite collection in the local section.

The CEO or boss is clad in designer beach shirt with matching sun hat, loafers or beach sandals. He carries the smart phone or his aide carries it discreetly with a security two-way radio.

His toys are: a yacht or speedboat with a power notebook or tablet, wave runner, zodiac dinghy, scuba or snorkel gear, binoculars, fishing rod, kite and fishing rod. He moves around with a retinue of gofers, a safari of well-dressed staff to carry his safari gear.

The Environmentalist wears earth and sea colors — a straw hat, white cotton t-shirt and cream shorts over mint green or cobalt swimsuit. She carries a basket of homemade goodies, bamboo straw, recycled paper bag with biodegradable disposables. She sips juice out of the coconut shell, eats her food on banana leaves during her picnics. She abhors anything plastic and reptilian — (including the two-legged species).

The Golfer can only enjoy a beach resort where there is a 9-hole golf course. On a forced family vacation, he spends time on the fairways and looks somewhat displaced without his clubs and woods, spike less shoes. He sees the beach as a giant bunker with a water hazard.

The social fashion plate uses waterproof makeup with SPF70, coiffed hair, displays a slinky sarong over her maillot or a billowing caftan with a huge hat and a matching parasol. The spa and masseuse beckon and she can relax in the Jacuzzi or in a luxurious gazebo with a cocktail.

The beach kids are a diverse bunch.

The well-mannered, environmentally friendly kid who follows the rules on safety and cleanliness is the role model for our own kids. He picks up any scattered bottles and plastic debris to help keep the shoreline clean and safe.

Congratulations to the parents who raise and discipline their children to become the future ecologically respectful generation.

The rowdy, temperamental, uncontrollable brat is a specimen for the concentration camp or a zoo cage. He scoots around on an over speeding Jet Ski and threatens to run over anything in his path. His neglectful parents are oblivious of the pint-sized hazard.

The Tourist is a camera bug who records the people and the changing weather. The only thing that could be wrong is that he and his troupe are not ecologically aware. He tosses and leaves a trail of discarded fruit peels, styro packs, plastic bags and cigarette butts. He feeds peanuts and chocolate bits to the fish. (This litterbug should be fed to the sharks!)

Recently, some beached whales have been found — with plastic trash and items in their stomach cavities. They agonized probably for days before they expired on the beaches. It’s tragic that their painful deaths were caused by garbage from insensitive and careless people on passenger and cargo ships.

There is a code of politically correct behavior for la grande vacance, an updated list of do’s and don’ts:

• Thou shall love, protect and preserve Nature/Mother Earth. Do not litter the ocean and shore with non-biodegradable materials: plastic, aluminum, tin, rubber, glass Styrofoam, cigarette butts. Pick up debris and dispose in the appropriate designated garbage bins. Some are bins for recycling.

• Do not deface rocks, cliffs with atrocious carvings, and paint graffiti. These notorious scribbles and dudes belong to another millennium of cavemen hunters. (Anthropologists do not appreciate crude etchings of hearts, arrows and initials.)

• Thou shalt enjoy the scenery in silence, Listen to the symphony of the sea. It is good for the soul and mind — after all the noise pollution of the urban jungle. Beach subdivisions, try to observe silence before 9 a.m. and during lunch break (1 to 3 p.m.), at sunset and after 10 p.m. unnecessary noise (jet skis, dune buggy). Thou shalt maintain a safe distance from boats, one can get severe injuries if one is run over or slashed by the propellers.

• Thou shalt keep a low profile. Act with decorum and good taste. Loud, boorish behavior, fighting, heavy drinking are not allowed. Noise such as jet skiing, rock or heavy metal music disturb others who are resting or meditating between 1-3 p.m.

• Thou shalt practice safety procedures. Follow instructions of lifeguards. Wear a life vest or floater. Swimmer should stay away from boats. Accidents happen.

• Thou shalt wear the appropriate attire. No swimming in denim jeans. Wear hats, sunblock and decent swimsuits that flatter the figure.

• Keep a low profile. Keep the yacht at a safe and discreet distance.

• At sea, bring the essentials, life vests, flashlights, first aid kits, sunblock, lotions to cure sunburn, jellyfish and sandflies bites, lots of fresh drinking water, healthy snacks. Stay close to the shoreline.

• Thou shalt protect thy face and skin with sunblock, hat, visor, sunglasses, and umbrella. Avoid exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. To prevent premature aging and melanoma. Shower to rinse but don’t waste precious fresh water.

• Thou shalt educate the children and staff to be respectful towards others and the world around us. Set a good example so that they will learn the values of good manners, consideration and concern for the environment.


Maria Victoria Rufino is an artist, writer and businesswoman. She is president and executive producer of Maverick Productions.