I Just Can't Say Goodbye

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The Research Lab

Located between the south China and Sulu Seas,  the island of Palawan contains one of the oldest,  largest and most diversed rainforests in Southeast Asia.

This forest covers more than half the island and harbors remarkable concentrations of endemic and endangered species.

While many areas in the Pacific Nation have suffered extensive deforestation,  the rainforests of Palawan remain impressively intact. These forests are ranked as one of the 15 most endemic ecoregions in the world.

Palawan  is an archipelago that stretches from Mindoro to Borneo and is known as the Philippines' "last ecological frontier" due to its high levels of biodiversity, an abundance of natural resources, extensive flora and fauna, and vast expanses of mangroves.

It's vegetation is one of the most diverse in the Philippines and includes tropical lowland evergreen rain forest, lowland semi-deciduous (seasonal/monsoon) forest, montane forest and forest-over-limestone.

With these high potentials and possibilities of rich resources available for their studies,  the Ybañez family build their mega research lab somewhere in the outer area of the forest. While it is closer to the resources for their research samples, it was also accessible to the highways leading to the city. It was also the home of the research team consisting of ten outstanding scientists who made their names known worldwide through their different patents related to their discoveries.

The choice to house their research in this place was also mainly related to their greatest objective that the first discovery of the most potent cancer cure source must be in the Philippines by Filipino scientists themselves.

To help in the conservation of the forest, the Ybañez family poured out great funds into the movement with the concerted and systematic coordination with the Philippine government.

Recently,  through the leadership of Dr. Aijhon, their vision to be the first discoverer of the most potent cancer cure and the inventor of the most accurate cancer mapping apparatus,  would soon be proclaimed to the world!  

The mega research lab was still held confidential including its location. The research team named their place as "Layag", which meant,  'sail'. 
A sail is a tensile structure—made from fabric or other membrane materials—that uses wind power to propel sailing craft, including sailing ships, sailboats, windsurfers, ice boats, and even sail-powered land vehicles.

They chose that name which could define their unstoppable determination to sail into the mighty waters and raging storms of impossibilities and hindrances to achieve success.

One day soon,  their accomplishment which was woven through tears and sweat,  through threats of life and death,  through immeasurable sacrifices would make the greatest medical breakthrough all throughout the world. The painful sufferings of their loved ones and all the people in the face of the earth who were plagued by the hopeless and fatal claws of cancer would then be put to an end!

The nearest landmark of Layag was the municipality of El Nido, Palawan. Everytime the research team would take its break from the pressure of workloads, the breathtaking scenes of El Nido were one of their ways to unwind.

 The place was known for its white-sand beaches, coral reefs and limestone cliffs.

In fact,  El Nido was ranked #4 in Conde' Nast Traveler's list of "20 Most Beautiful Beaches in the 

CNNGo has called it the Best Beach and Island destination in the Philippines for its "extraordinary natural splendor and ecosystem."

Dr. Grace,  together with her parents arrived at one of the best hotels and resorts somewhere in El Nido. The whole research team was already there to welcome them.

Before their arrival,  the Ybañez couple announced in advance that they would be treating them to a beach adventure as a reward. Aside from that,  they would be meeting their investor's daughter,  Dr. Gracienne Ybañez.

The couple had secretly wished that their only pride,  no other than their beautiful daughter,  would take part in the research endeavour.

The truth was,  a daughter of theirs who was not introduced to their world,  was a great part of the success. The apparatus and the pill got its name from her upon the insistence of Dr. Aijohn,  in honor of her tragic dedication to this study, which  cost her life in the end.


Before Dr. Grace left from Georgia,  she ordered custom - made sets of dress from her favorite and famous designer, Miss Maxine. Aside from being a designer, they were also closely - knitted by friendship. She called her auntie Max,  as her mom's bestfriend.

But the friendship that was once adored by many of their circle of friends as inseparable,  had been destroyed. All because of a man.

However,  Miss Max did not hold any grudge to Grace, as she was never a part  of whatever conflict she had with her mom.

Grace knew that they were once bestfriends,  but she did not know that apart from distance and their busy lives that separated them,  there was a deeper and stronger reason that ended the friendship.

While waiting for the dinner party to begin, she went out to take a better view of the hotel's backdrop scenery.
She wore the peach, silk dress that auntie Max designed for her. The design was simple but it fitted her very well. She looked sophisticated and so beautiful!

From where she stood,  a towering limestone cliff enhanced by lush greeneries surrounding it was such a breathtaking sight. It somewhat gave off a romantic atmosphere for lovers who chose to spend their precious moments here.

Her thoughts then took her to a world of fantasy with Jim. One day,  they would spend one of their unforgettable moments here.

Marilyn Lucero

Edited: 28.08.2019

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