Memoirs of a MasseurTodd Pequeen

Still the Best

I love Manuel Antonio. I sincerely do, with all my heart. In the past year I have been asked, more than ever before, about the validity of the community and its future. There are plenty of doubts, questioning, and sometimes negativity that gets filtered through me while I am massaging my clients, socializing with tourists, and sharing the many wonders of Manuel Antonio. Having lived in this little beach town for over two decades, my opinion on local happenings and the status of the past glory years are always in question. Typically, the questions revolve around construction worries, crowds, traffic, safety, and particularly the loss of freedom that once were focal points of the community. Three examples of change are the complete elimination of our once famed “gay beach,” the lack of night life up on the hill, and the new ultra-rich retirees that seem to think Manuel Antonio is an upgrade from Florida and not the beach getaway party town it once was. All of these concerns are valid and are things which I had to go through a personal mental process to stand where I do today, with absolute positivity. Change is important, natural, and fundamental to the point that if Manuel Antonio wasn´t experiencing growing pains, I would be alarmed. Evolution is occurring and has transpired everywhere on planet earth due to population gain and the internet. There is no running from it anymore, for better or for worse, till death do we part.

All of us, as humans and adults, can remember when change rocked our worlds, either by intention or by fate. I know for me the more drastic the change, the more I was forced to deal with it, eventually (sometimes a long, long time) it produced knowledge and wisdom. Often times exactly what I needed at that stage of my life. I could have gone on kicking and screaming and fighting what was happening, but that would not have altered reality no matter how hard I tried. Change is as natural birth and death. Very often I was unable to comprehend the benefits, joys, and wisdom that resulted in one door being closed, then being forced into another room. I feel this way about Manuel Antonio. I cannot resent, I will not be a victim, and my personal resistance with these matters will only lead to bitterness and dis-ease. I refuse to accept either of those things. Instead of being a downer, a depressant, I want to be a stimulant. I want to have the wisdom to speak wisely and have gratitude for this amazing location not only in Costa Rica, but in the world.

I choose to embrace the construction as housing for possible new friends, clients, and the possible missing links who may help to solve old problems. These people could possibly be the ones who may begin ambitious new community projects. Construction means a vigorous economy and is proof the pura vida style of life and love is spreading to more people, and they like it! The new establishments are giving this community a greater variety of night life, restaurants, and options previously impossible just a few years ago. The growth has added a growing sense of refinement and the possibility of more art and culture, as well as… yes, condos and traffic. No matter how developed Manuel Antonio gets rarely have I thought of it as crowded. Admittedly, a bar or bus may be full, but the jungle and ocean have ample room for decompressing. My favorite way to avoid the headache of gridlock is to move opposite of the crowds. Hit the beach at 5:30 am. Do your shopping when stores open. Avoid the rush hours and remain calm…what can be that important to anger, worry, or stress about? Whether a beach or a mountain, when money lays claim to a public natural oasis I cannot help to feel sad. However, I will not let that affect my comfortability, routine, and nature. I firmly believe that this alone is not big enough to alter Manuel Antonios magic.

Yes, change is in the air as it has always been. The beauty of the environment and the local community will never be altered. Manuel Antonio will always be recognizable and in my opinion, still the best.

Todd is available tomorrow for the best massage of your life. [email protected] –  WhattsApp: 8830-7727