Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Boracay on my mind

After stuffing our faces at the fiesta in Guimaras, we headed to Boracay, another island in the southern Philippines. (Debo Blue, don't have a coronary; I promise this is the final post about last week's beach vacation.) Boracay is arguably the most famous tourist destination in my country, and since I hadn't been there before I was looking forward to seeing what the fuss was all about.

Banana boat ride

Paraws (sailboats) at sunset in Boracay

I must admit to an initial feeling of perplexity during my first few hours on the island. Sure, the beaches were gorgeous, there's no denying that: they have powdery white sand on the beach itself and far into the clear, clear ocean (no need to wear beach shoes to avoid injury from stepping on submerged stones and various sea critters), warm sun, benevolent breeze and water, friendly locals. But so do so many other beach locations in the Philippines. A good mental image of me during those first few hours would see me with my shoulders hunched, eyebrows raised, brow furrowed in consternation: Why? Why is Boracay so popular -- not only among Filipinos, but tourists as well?

But after conversations with several foreigners, I found myself re-adjusting my viewpoint. A friendly (and not-bad-at-all-looking) guy from Australia told me he fell in love with the island, so much so that he decided to extend his initial plan to visit from one month to four. And this from a person whose home country has lots of great beaches. He said that Boracay has something for most everyone: if you want quiet and seclusion, go to one part of the island; if you want to party, go to another part; if you do certain watersports, they can be done on another part of the island, too.

Talking with a bikini-clad Russian beach babe. Pic's just for you, Matt-man!

Another tourist found herself so enamored with the island that she's seriously considering staying there for good. Her plan to stay a couple of months stretched to seven. She's from Russia and she said she was enjoying the island's warmth and beauty, as well as the night life. Plus, she fell in love with a local.

Shooting the breeze with a German couple at Panoly Beach

This German couple couldn't sing enough praises about their stay in Boracay: in the man's words, it's an "amazing" place. We were staying in the same hotel, which they loved. Plus, the hotel had its own private beach. The only complaint they had was about the neon lights in the hotel's bar! To partygoers, that stretch of beach (breathtaking as it may be) might seem be boring. But I guess it really is different strokes for different folks. This German man and woman weren't in Boracay for partying purposes; hence, it was no surprise they relished their stay in that quiet part of the "amazing" island. They said they want to come back soon to visit other areas of the Philippines; they even had me write down the names of places they could go to (read: non-tourist-y destinations, or at least, those slightly off the tourist-beaten path). They went parasailing and snorkeling, and visited the adjoining islands. (I want to do that, too!)

View from our hotel room's balcony at Club Panoly

Talking with these people, hearing their points of view, reinforced a lesson I learned while growing up: that you should never be so firmly entrenched in your views and ways that you close your heart and mind to discovering new things. Strange as it may seem, there are people who are of a certain mindset that goes something like: "Whatever you say, I am right and you are wrong. And you are a jackass if you persist in believing otherwise." Being receptive to others' viewpoints is a good thing, I think. Even if you don't agree with their opinions, you'll at least learn something new or find yourself looking at something from a different perspective.

Me? I learned that Boracay is deserving of its local and international reputation. May the island and its people prosper.

My friend Marnie feeding a monkey. Pic's for you, Odat!

One of the many bars at night on White Beach

Vendors showcasing their wares at White Beach

One of the numerous sandcastle creations on the many-miles-long White Beach

Still so much to see and do there, in that wondrous place called Boracay (and its island neighbors). I want to visit again.


NanNan said...

I was sold from the first pic,, now it's my dream destination-- let's have a bloggers convention there!!!

Lizza said...

Oh, oh, yes, Nannan! Sign me up! (jumps up and down and waves arms enthusiastically)

Matt-Man said...

Sweet Sandcastle Sanni. And bless you for putting up the pic of the bikini-clad Russian. Pass the vodka and call me Peter the Great, I'm headed to Boracay!!

Lizza said...

Woo hoo! Well, come on over! Both Peters are welcome. :-D

Tammie Jean said...

Oh, it looks like I'll have to catch up on the posts I've missed. Those beach pics look so wonderful, my mouth is watering. And that doesn't even make any sense.

Kiyotoe said...

sign me up for the blogging convention in Boracay!

just make sure the bikini clad russian....oops, nevermind. Counselor lurks around here sometimes.

Gumby said...

OMG! It looks absolutely beautiful! Although I love Columbus, I hate the fact that we have no a) mountains, or b) ocean nearby. I find so much peace just sitting on a beach and seeing and hearing the waves come in. Nothing on earth comes close for me.

houseband00 said...

Boracay really is something, Liz. =)

You should've been there a decade ago, too - less commercialized, simpler folk, and it was way cheaper. But that's just the 'tyane' in me talking. =)

Kaya, personally, the Guimaras pics looked more inviting/appealing than the Boracay ones.

Travis said...

It looks beautiful!

kyels said...

Now I can really see with my eyes through photos how beautiful Boracay is.


ian said...

Holy cow, Lizza, you've got me totally ready to come visit you. I promise, my first international book tour will come there if I have any say at all. You can be my local representative! :D Are you my Huckleberry? ;)


H said...

Liz, now it's no longer envy or salivation... it's this deep achy feeling in my stomach. I HAVE to visit.

the sea just does something to me. and these last few posts [topped off with this last one] are just haunting and taunting and goading me to get my arse up and moving on a plan to explore the philippines.

Thanks for these lovely posts.

H said...

For Nan: Hawwww! what happened to the Delhi convention?

Daddy papersurfer said...

Blimey your blogs are taking ages to load - try and do less next time. I'm with you about listening to other people - I've always sat on the fence 'cos the view's better and I'm always changing my mind anyway and I think that's why people say I'm a pain in the arse......not sure.

Lizza said...

Tammie: Thanks, they are mouth-watering indeed. I have lots of catching up to do, too.

Kiyotoe: Bring the Counselor, there's lots of eye candy for the ladies too. :-D

Gumby: Makes every trip to the beach even more special for you then.

HB: That was one of my major gripes about the place: Manila prices! But it is a beautiful place, I agree. I just wish the girls and I had more time to go explore the other things it had to offer.

Travis: It certainly is.

Kyels: Next time you come visit, you can take your own pictures. I know they'll be awesome.

Ian: I hope that happens! (You coming here, I mean, because we all know it's only a matter of time before you go on that book tour.) I will be your Huckleberry (Hound, lol).

H: I hope that arse comes to visit. And don't worry about the Delhi convention, we ain't giving it up. :-D

DaddyP: Apologies, it's all these pictures in the last few posts.

You're a pain in the arse? Really? I never would've guessed in a million years. :-)

Pinay in Barnsley but hoping to be Pinay in Boracay soon said...

Paswit....ineng...bat naman parang blair witch project yung shot ni Ozzy boy?

Kuyut sha...pero ika mo nga iisa ang sinisigaw ng iyong heart.

To all of Lizza's commenters planning a Boracay convention: esp H and Kiyotoe: Could you wait til I get my sh*t sorted and have relocated to island paradise meself? It's our master game plan and not a question of if but when... promise...Drinks will be on the house!

Witness Street said...

You're not being fair. While your week was spent in Guimaras, and then Boracay, I was stuck at home with my infertile dog watching election news. Eck. :P

Anyhoo. The photos are very lovely indeed, and more so the stories. I'm sure you had a wonderful time. Cheers!

Turnbaby said...


Lizza it looks wonderful--and my philosophy is stay open minded about things--you never know what you'l discover. Save my seat at the convention sugar!


Natalia said...

Hello Australian hottie!!! And those are some amazing pics. You are so making me wish these weeks before my trip just disappeared.


Photo Cache said...

inggit ako to death. you really had a great time. it is also nice to feature the views of foreigners who found the island "amazing"

lizza said...

Pinay-in-boracay-to-be: Eh kasi gabi yan kaya Blair Witch project ang dating. Lalong kuyut siya sa personal.

Drinks are on the house? Naku ati, malulugi ang negosyo niyo sa ating dalawa pa lang. ;-D

Migs: Poor dog you have, infertile na, watching election news pa. :-D Thanks, Migs. But you had fun sometime ago with a certain lady in white, that was a fun read.

Turnbaby: Great philosophy, and oh so true. Seat saved!

Natalia: The anticipation makes it all the more sweeter. Good thing about time seeming to crawl by now is that it'll probably do the same thing during your trip.

Photo: Yes, it was good to learn that they were enjoying their stay in Boracay. Halika na, uwi na. :-)

ZoeyBella said...

Wonderful pictures. Love the sandcastle one!

Lainey-Paney said...

Wow. That place looks awesome!


CS said...

Took me some time to work my way through the travelogue - looks just wonderful, every bit of it. Sign me up for the blogger's convention, too.

Debo Blue said...

These pictures look so nice and peaceful I think even I am tempted by your pictures.


Wendz said...

Oh it looks fabulous! I can see why people are drawn to it - even in the photos it has a magical quality!

iz said...

Sigh. take me with you. I'll be good I promise!

pinay in BBC said...

inday check mo blog ko,

may in give an interview daw ang atcheng mo with the bbc!!

o diba? ichura nila???

Lizza said...

Zoeybella: Welcome, and thank you!

Lainey-painey: Thanks! I hope you drop by again.

CS: Thanks! It sure would be nice if this blogger convention was real.

Debo: Gasp! There are many pools too, so no worries about having to spend time on the beach. :-)

Wendz: You're back! Thanks, maybe I'll see someday just what that extra special thing is about the place that draws people to it.

Iz: Okay, but don't leave all your naughtiness home. :-)

Nay-pi in BBC: Ang sosi mo 'day! I had fun listening to that. Galeng galeng!

Odat said...

Wow...I've been thru two blogs today and both are filled with awesome pics from trips taken....It's like i'm on a mini vacation here at work (oops, did I say work?)lol, I smiled when I saw the monkey pic!! Thanks!!!
Then I was looking for hot guy in the bikini..but I didn't see him!!!