Monday, March 21, 2011

Boracay Bliss, January 10-12, 2011

Finally, after a flurry of failed or foiled plans to take a trip to this world-famous island, I was able to step on the powdery white sand of Boracay on January 10-12, 2011. This was our wedding gift from the Apostol sisters. Thanks very much guys!

My wish of getting in Boracay before we leave for DC came true a few days before my departure! :) I really wanted to get to this island so that I can fully perform my duties of promoting the beautiful sites of the Philippines. It will be quite ironic for me to be promoting the country's most beautiful white sand beach without having experienced going there. I could even imagine the conversations if ever I get to boast the Philippines...
Me: You should try going to the Philippines. We have plenty of beautiful beaches!
Foreigner: Yeah, I've heard a bit about Boracay Island and I heard it's really beautiful!
Me: Yeah, It's really beautiful! You should go there sometime!
Foreigner: Yeah, I will. have you been there?
Me: Hey, look, dinner is served. Let's eat, shall we (silence afterwards, then I end the conversation with a smile)?

Thank goodness this scenario will no longer happen because I can now boast the Boracay experience because I have been there! :) To my Filipino friends: For the Nth time, please don't shorten Boracay's name into Bora. As the municipal government fervently reminds us in its series of stickers and posters, "BORACAY IS NOT BORA." Respecting the name is followed with respecting the place. Amen to that!

I was lucky to be billeted in Station 1, the relatively peaceful and more quiet side of Boracay. We stayed at the Sea Wind Resort. The resort was beautiful and native-looking. I loved their slogan, "Boracay as it should be." Amen and Amen!

The powdery white sand is not an exaggeration. It really is powdery! But kikay ladies, don't try to put any of the sand in your faces. But of course it's a free country. :)

Most of the time, Bubbles and I would walk towards station 2 to eat and see the beautiful sights. We were amazed to see that the tourist population on this time of the year is higher on foreign tourists than local ones.

It's good to see that hawkers and vendors have good business, and they adjust to their market. When they see foreign tourists, they shout "Sir, you want to ride the banca, go snorkeling? how about massage, do you want massage?" And when they see local tourists, they shout in native language. When we passed by one of the restaurants, a masseuse shouted at me and said "Boss, masahe gusto mo?" And when she turned to Bubbles, she also offered her, "Ma'am do you want massage ma'am?" Ouch... Key learning is that our vendors are flexible with the type of people they meet and greet. Ouch again...

One good thing about Boracay is that it is like a beachside mall, where you get the perks of a mall, while enjoying the warm sun and the beautiful waves. You can even see a branch of the overpriced slippers of All Flip-Flops in  Station 2! We ate at MaƱana for lunch and Don Vito for dinner on Day 1. We missed eating liempo at beachside so we decided to eat at Gerry's for lunch on Day 2. For dinner, we ate the great Ilonggo meal, La Paz Batchoy at Deco's in Station 3. All the places we've eaten at served great food! My favorite was Deco's original La Paz Batchoy. Solb!

Boracay is also a place for lovebirds who escape from their busy routines of work. Some couples, though, want to show to the world that they ARE couples by wearing the same piece of clothing. Kudos to couples who got the guts to were his and hers clothing! But what I don't understand is how they can wear his and hers JACKET in the hot weather of Boracay?! I must write this amazing information to Ripley's.

Good thing I was able to see Boracay in time. I just hope that when I come back, the beauty of the beach and the cleanliness of the island is restored even if there is garbage accumulated everyday. I hope that Boracay will remain to be the premiere island paradise even in the years to come.

There are still a lot of places to see in the Philippines. When I come back, my journey to the other 7,000 islands will continue.

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