Monday, August 21, 2006

Boracay: Back in the Arms of a Lost Sweetie

Home sweet home!
If the title strikes you as a bit something straight from a soap opera, then I've already succeeded in conveying my sentiments. I approached my recent trip to Boracay two weeks ago with the same melodrama attached to telenovelas -- yearning, apprehension, suspense, jubilation, love. Granted, a beach is a beach, nothing more. But when that beach is part of your home province and was your regular haunt -- was, because you haven’t visited it for an effing decade already -- then a little melodrama is justifiable.

The Kimpos have touched down. Yeah, we had the entire frikkin' boat to ourselves.
Yep, my family is from Aklan, proud mother of Boracay, and that is why in my childhood years I was able to enjoy the white sands almost every year. But somehow since I stepped into high school, I couldn’t find the time to visit my old love. My trips to Kalibo, capital of Aklan didn’t stop, which just made the yearning for the beach grow stronger -- I often found myself just a two-hour ride and a short ferry trip away from Boracay!

So you could just imagine the almost surreal feeling I got when I disembarked from the rickety boat
Landfall. See the seaweed?
onto the fine, ivory sands dotted with...seaweed. Yeah, the whole (extended) family made the trip in Boracay’s off-season -- the merry month of August when tourists are relatively scarcer, the winds are fierce, the suntan is a near impossibility, the rain is intermittent, the waters are choppy, and the waves are huge (you’ve got to experience being slammed back onto the shore after wading chin-high in the water just two seconds earlier!). At least, you’ve got the beach all to yourselves.

Approaching the beachfront from the place we stayed in.
How was world-renowned Boracay from the perspective of someone who went AWOL for ten years? Great, as always -- the beach was magnificent, the nightlife was crazy, and the food was sumptuous -- though I took some time to absorb the changes that have marked Bora’s landscape since the last time I roamed it. Here’s a trifecta of them:

1) The small bamboo/nipa cottages have almost gone the way of the dodo. Most of them have been replaced by concrete inns and apartelles, not to mention the sprawling hotels (some of which have been developed by Koreans to accommodate...Koreans).

2) The windscreen/sandscreen/whatever installed on the beachfront wasn’t pleasing to the eyes at first glance -- hey, I want a clear view of the beach from
The cousins strolling around in stormy Bora.
the open area bar! -- but you’ve got to thank their presence when the wind’s slamming the shore and (1) the sand’s not getting into your eyes, (2) the sand’s not getting into your food, (3) the sand’s not getting into your booze, and (4) your clothes are still on.

3) D’Mall. Or D-Mall. Or D*Mall (that’s what the beach sign says). Heck, let’s just call it “The Mall”. You and I might spell it differently, but we’ll agree that this shopping complex makes Bora more sophisticated. Great shops, great buys; just make sure you’ve got dough, as many products here are priced for the foreigner and his almighty dollar.

All in all, Boracay became more mature, more hectic, more urbanized. The Boracay I had known ten years ago was a bit more rustic. But of course, ten years ago I was still in grade school, so it might just be me.

The view from the balcony of Paulazaros Inn.
The family (oops, I forgot -- the extended family) split up and stayed in two separate places. The oldies had the privilege of lodging in the prestigious Fairways and Bluewater Resort, while the young ones checked in at the Paulazaros Inn. While not exactly a luxurious suite, the latter offers great rooms at an affordable price suited for mid-income vacationers. (I’m beginning to sound like a holiday plan salesman, so I’ll stop.) The inn is also a mere twenty seconds’ walk from the beachfront, so I guess you can call the location convenient. While it doesn’t have a view of the sea, you have a superb vista of the island’s little green mountain to compensate (why, you thought Boracay was flat?).
When cousins go to the bar...they get drunk, what else? That's me in the white shirt.


What’s a sojourn at a tropical paradise without the booze and heart-thumping music? The two nights we spent at Boracay found me and my cousins drunk and dazed at two hubs of the island’s night life -- the famous Cocomangas and Summer Place. Considering that the night before our trip to Bora was a tequila-laced one (at a wedding reception in mainland Aklan), that made for three straight hangover days for yours truly. Ah, the good life!...ends quite abruptly due to a wrecked liver, I guess.

Back in Manila, with a slight suntan (?). I probably included this pic because I didn't want you guys to remember me in a drunken pose, hehe!
Three days and two nights. Flew past my face so fast I can’t even play back a good rewind. Therefore, the only option is to repeat those three days and two nights. They more than made up for the ten years of absence, and heck, they convinced me enough for a return trip...soon.


*You can also read this piece at Boracay.com.ph, a great new site created and maintained by my friend Jason Torres of Enthropia, the company I work with. (Yeah, the Corsarius is now a...yuppie.) If you've got the time, be one the first people to share your experiences and reviews of Boracay. Thanks, guys.

26 Comments:

Blogger ia said...

You're finally back (here, on Slippy, at least)... and the piece propose to leave and return elsewhere. Now that's fun. :P

"because I didn't want you guys to remember me in a drunken pose, hehe!"
Oh, and that isn't? Hehehehe. :P

9:25 PM  
Blogger J. Angelo Racoma said...

I just realized you're a deadringer for Tim Yap. Sans yellow (or insert-your-color-of-choice) hair, of course.

Angelo
http://racoma.com.ph

9:37 PM  
Blogger ia said...

@j: ewwww. that guy sucks.

10:11 PM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

ia, yeah, missed this space. work and vacation, while normally mutually exclusive entities, worked in harmony to deliver an almost double death-knell to this blog, hehe.

j angelo, no way! *recoils*

11:12 PM  
Anonymous mbacarra said...

while you yearn to go back to your birthplace, i try to avoid going back to my province for reunions. i guess i want to have that yearning like what you've had since you've been away like 10 years or so. yearly reunions became too boring, and unlike yours, my cousins and i aren't that close.

1:50 AM  
Anonymous mbacarra said...

... so there's nothing really to expect much in going.

1:52 AM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

mbacarra, yeah, when i was little i used to dislike reunions. but in recent years, i've grown to treasure them, maybe because i've also grown tired of the frenzied yet monotonous pace of college, and now work.

what's funny is that our pool of first-degree cousins is so large that one would think we won't exactly be tightly-knit! ;) we're 30 all in all, and i'm #22 (ninth youngest).

2:35 AM  
Anonymous Mia said...

Lovely view. :D

2:42 AM  
Anonymous mbacarra said...

that's good. your parents and their siblings probably have a good relationship back when they were young, and still do.

8:36 AM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

mia, it would've been better if not for my low quality camera phone :P

mbacarra, the funny thing is, my dad and his nine brothers (no sisters) aren't exactly in perfect terms with each other. it's just us cousins that kind of stick together. and i barely know anything about my mother's side, as i virtually don't have a mom :)

2:34 PM  
Blogger Abaniko said...

Good to know you're back, suntanned and posing for the world to see. Blog on, dude!

9:27 PM  
Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Nice shots. How come no smile? :)

7:29 PM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

abaniko, thanks for the re-welcome, hehe!

senor, i've got this belief that i look stupid when i smile ;)

12:01 AM  
Blogger vaN said...

U'r from Bora?!? Cool!!! it must like paradise to actually live there! :D

2:47 PM  
Anonymous bing said...

would it be one-post-per-quarter now? :-)

"boracay... when will i ever lay my eyes on you?" i thought.

"hey, pogi siya, ha," daughter said.

"hawig siya ni tim yap," son said.

"'di, a! mas cute naman siya," me and daughter echoed.

9:00 PM  
Anonymous gari said...

congrats corsi,

indeed you are timyap like but since you're yuppy na, ok na rin yan...anyway, don't worry. may nakuha o naretrievve akong pics mo na matino itsura mo...kasama mo high school friends ko.

gari

10:39 PM  
Blogger yayam said...

boracay! wow every year kayo sa boracay noon? heheh :D have a great week phillip! :)

1:38 PM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

nina, not exactly from bora, but the same province. ;) kalibo's still a relative paradise, compared to metro manila.

one post per quarter? tita bing, i hope not! ;) btw, i...don't know how to react to that conversation. hehe..

9:33 AM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

gari, what pics? from my i.ph account (ung up diliman gradball stuff?) o may iba ba akong pics sa Internet na naliligaw, hehe..btw, we have common friends? wow! sino-sino?

yayam, yep, from ages ago ;) thanks, have a great week too!

9:38 AM  
Blogger claudzki said...

INGGIT!!!!!!

ASAAAAAAR!!

CRAP...

SO JEALOUS....

cge, cge, definitley have to stop there when i go home next time around...

6:56 PM  
Blogger im_geo said...

Oi Phillip,

Mahilig ka pa rin ba sa fantasy games? Tama na ang bora! Hehe

Samahan mo ko sa game na ito: http://www.world-of-dungeons.net

Or kung gusto mo ko maging groupmate, dito sa link na to: http://world-of-dungeons.net/?link_ea_16081

3:14 PM  
Anonymous earl said...

I miss kalibo.


Ey, I have a question. May nagtanong kasi sakin last week (A girl from UP Los Baños). Ano ang Parser?

1:27 AM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

claudzki, on a side note, my mom once begged me to visit her. where? somewhere in the sandy deserts in your region. so maybe we'll exchange places -- you'll go here, i'll go there. though i'd rather stay at home ;)

geo, registered! do you have other groupmates?

earl, Parser, as in the newspaper? that would be the UP Parser, official student pub'n of UP Diliman's Dept. of Computer Science...i was its ed-in-chief for two years. Or do you mean "parser" the compsci term? :)

4:50 AM  
Blogger snst_blvd said...

*luha*

12:20 PM  
Blogger antonym said...

Boracay is postcard-pretty.

9:09 PM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

sunset, don't. i'm yearning for baguio, fyi. ;)

antonym, definitely. actually, all of aklan as well.

12:47 AM  

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