Amid and ablaze the heat of summer is the ideal and expected scenario: just that whole stretch of the beach, the water-plunging, the seafood, the drinks, island hopping, swimming, snorkeling, treading along the shorelines, and best yet the awaiting of the sunset. This has become the sole perception of what summer really is.
In the country, being a tropical destination with hundreds of “hot spots” for some summer vaca, it is inevitable. When a tourist comes to the Philippines, wherever he or she goes, there would always be a beach site. In some other countries, the beach will always be that symbol of the said season. The beach is summer itself, and that’s about it.
Well, this entry isn’t to resound and agree to the what is normally believed. I may actually be seeking for shoreline pastures for this impossibly-changeable heat, but in hindsight, I do think that such “ideal” of what summer is has become more of a cultural construct more than just an option. The idea of going to beaches is essentially to cool off from the highest temperature ever felt, and this presupposes that there are other activities to do besides the beach. But then, the idea of going to the beach has become more of what people ought to do more than just an alternative.
Probably media has something to do with this, or better yet, the people themselves have embedded in them such idea. And this goes on and on every year. I am not saying that there is something off about this. From an objective point-of-view, going to the beach has solely become the prime perception of summer when in fact there are other things to do. People just lock-in to the thought of the sands and sea, and the drinks, and getting tanned possibly just so to experience summer.
Now, how is it a norm?
First, people have programmed in themselves that the only destination is just the beach. Most likely, the dictates of media and the workings of consumerism with a good relationship with tourism, had established this since time immemorial. The symbiosis of the relationship between the people and consumerism has been feeding in a cyclical manner without any halt. The demand from the people lets businesses go on. People continue to hold on to the beach dream for as long as media and marketing continue to expose summer in such state. And this becomes a predisposition to behavior. People act and respond in such ways because of how the notion has been established.
Secondly, a good point to mention is that this has somehow become a status symbol, that this is one goal to reach for everyone to have that genuine summer experience. It is not merely to put an individual a class higher, but it is to set a standard as to what people should be and do when the season comes. There is that sense of collective achievement, which brings people along as time goes by. If you don’t go to the beach, then you miss summer.
In reality, there are other, far more interesting options. One can go to the lake and just enjoy the view while resting in a cottage. Probably, going to a cold province or city will do. Or if one wishes to just stay in the city, he or she can enjoy spas or go to water therapeutic salons. Enjoying an ice cream party at home can be nice, while perhaps resting at someone’s home. There are a lot of activities that can be done.
For this summer, explore everything in response to the heat. Who knows what one can discover?