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Cebu Seaside Starfish

Updated on October 5, 2009

Cebu, Philippines

 They were huge, hard, and lumpy.  The children were picking them up and playing with them. Oprah Pearl was afraid to stroke one held by a little four year old.  The little girl proud of her bravery tried to convince Oprah Pearl to touch one of the starfish.  The starfish had come in with the tide and stayed on the beach to eat parasites and miniature sea creatures.

One morning Oprah Pearl announced to Sandy, “I’m going to the beach this afternoon with or without a swimsuit.  I know we have meetings most of the day; however, there will be leisure time, and I’m heading to the beach.  I haven’t seen a beach since I’ve been in the Philippines, except from a distance.  Do you want to go in on a taxi ride with me?”


“Yes, I want to see the beach too.  Chances are we won’t have time to change into swim wear and back into suits before the grand opening tonight.  So let’s dress casual with a dress or skirt so we can pull it up as we walk barefooted in the sand.  I’ll call a taxi with air-con to pick us up around noon.”  Sandy enlightened Oprah Pearl as she began to call for taxi service.


To the locals, an air-con taxi was for the rich.  They thought all of the Americans were very rich, so they put the Americans on a rich pedestal.  Oprah Pearl was uncomfortable with this kind of treatment; however, such high profile meant they were less likely to be abducted.  With this in mind, the ladies were not going to let it stop them from having a once in a lifetime experience by the sea in Cebu.


The starfish were ocean greeters as the ladies strolled down the beach with their dresses tied around their thighs.  The warm sand between their toes was a natural spa exfoliation.  When they saw 20 – 30 starfish in the shallow waters, they headed in that direction.  Little children were lying beside the starfish along the beach.  Obvious, it was safe to approach them.


“Do they have teeth?  Will they bite?” Oprah Pearl questioned.  The little girl turned one of the starfish, 12 inches in diameter, over so its feelers could be seen.


“It can’t hurt you.  See it’s not hurting me.  Here you can do it.  Take it.”  The little four years old said.  “You can pet it.  The lumps are hard.  Feel it.”


“Out of embarrassment Oprah Pearl reached for the starfish and one of its legs began to curl up.  “I can do this.  I can’t believe it’s moving out of the water.  I thought it was in a petrified state without water.  This is a real animal.  Mom brought miniature starfish home in a jar without water, and we would look at them for hours.  However, they wouldn’t move because they were dead.  This one is on a larger scale, looks and feels like the ones in the jar, yet, it’s alive“.


The thoughts were going through her head as she was letting go of the moving starfish.  It fell into the sand and slowly ran.  After moving in slow motion, it was in the water and out to sea.  One-by-one the rest of them appeared as though they had risen from the dead and in slow motion began to head out to sea.  Like stars in the sky at night, the starfish spotted the sand with their toasted shells, and the waters met them to assist their float.


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