Mabuhay from the Piripines
Ah the Philippines! Like a cool breeze on a hot summer’s day. Like a lazy Saturday morning. Like aloe on a sunburn. Getting off of the plane in Manila was amazing. We instantly noticed the people were a million times nicer and more polite than in China. We immediately knew that we were going to like it here. That said, our plane ride to get there was a pain in the rear end. Our flight left at midnight from Shanghai and was only 3 hours to Manila. We had to wait around until six and then board a very dinky little plane to get to Boracay. Needless to say, there was not much sleep to be had by either of us. Boracay is insanely beautiful. Long palm fringed beach with dazzlingly white sand. Azure waters that almost look fake. The beach is lined with lots of little restaurants and bars that are right on the beach. Nothing says holiday like drinking a cold beer with your feet in the sand. Our first few nights of accommodation were spent at Roy’s Rendezvous, which was a tad on the rustic side, but very cheap. We arrived at 8am to be greeted by the owner; an elderly Pilipino couple, who were so nice and welcoming. It is very tropically warm here and we arrived still in jeans from the plane and we looked quite the sweaty messes. She sat us down, fed us breakfast and apologised profusely because our room wasn’t ready. Having arrived 6 hours before check in time, we had already figured that out. We changed into our bathing suits and headed out to explore the town. Our days quickly fell into a little routine. We would wake up in the morning and go for a run along the beach. The days would be spent lounging on some sun chairs periodically taking a dip in those oh so blue waters. The evenings would be spent with a few cocktails and sampling one of the many little restaurants along the beach. Life is good. After a few days of this, we had to bid farewell to our gracious hosts and move over to the Golden Phoenix. Mike was going to be joining us for a week and he put us all up (Thanks Mike) at a much nicer hotel. The one thing that Mikey neglected to mention to us was that it just so happened to be a Chinese hotel. After a month in China, I was not sure that I had the patience for that. As it turned out, it was not an issue. One of the bonuses is that we get yum cha for breakfast every morning. Again, our lives settled into a nice little routine. We had our favourite little beach chairs with attendants who would fetch us drinks or food if we wanted. They even had little nicknames for Mike and Joel. Joel was “Lady Gaga” and Mike was “Boom Boom”. We would usually have too many cocktails, eat an early dinner and then go to bed early. Not quite as wild as we would have thought, but it was great. It is so nice to have uninterrupted Mike time. Whenever you walk down the main street, you are constantly accosted by men trying to sell you all sort of water sport activities. After a few days on our beach chairs, we decided to take them up on one of their offers. We got a sailing/ snorkelling tour around the island. Our boat was a little bit dinky, but it was a cracking say with a steady breeze and not a cloud in the sky. Our first stop was a private island where our sailing crew put on an enormous spread of Pilipino food; roast chicken, pork and fish with an enormous pot of rice. We were perched on the top of a cliff looking out on the beautiful sea with a few ice cold beers. It was as close to heaven as we could get. After lunch, we made our way over to the snorkelling area for a little after lunch swim with the fishes. It was stunning. I have never seen so many colourful fish in my life. The sheer volume of fish was staggering. Unfortunately, we had spent a little too long on the private island so we had to cut our snorkelling a little short. On Friday night, we had decided that we were going to have a bit of a big night out. Our two favourite guys from our local beach bar decided to join us on our night out. We met them at a bar called “Summer Place”. We had a few drinks and then decided to have a tower. A tower is a metre high tube that is quite big around filled with your cocktail of choice. We chose long island ice tea. It ended up being about 4 litres of cocktail between 5 people. Joel and Mike had a good old boogie. I got a very ugly henna tattoo that got ridiculously smudged. All in all it was a great night out. Had a very lazy day. Woke up late and then went for some pizza breakfast. We eventually made it to our beach chairs around three to enjoy our last sunset on the island with Mikey. He would be leaving us the next day to return to Australia. We will depart the day after to make our way to Bali for our final stop on our world tour. I can’t believe that it is almost over, but I couldn’t think of two nicer final destinations. Thanks again Mikey! We had the best time. We’ll see you again in less than two weeks! UPDATE: Hi guys, Joel here. We’ve created a travel website designed to inspire your next destination. For a guide to Boracay, check it out.