|Live from the paradise island of Boracay!|
The road to paradise...
Actually I was a bit hesitant to go Bora at that time because I recently have been to Puerto Galera. And to be honest i don't have money to spend as I already splurge my savings in "PG". Take note I "slurge" in Puerto Galera. But my mom told me that it was may dad's threat so I won't spend any money plus its a chance to have an outing together with my family. So I went... with excitement as this has been a dream place for me to visit. I have been already wondering what is it really in Boracay because it has always been the buzz of all people when it comes to summer and travel. So much stories I've heard about this fascinating place so it would be an experience of a lifetime to explore and travel this world famous tourist destination.
First destination - Iloilo! We leave on an the first morning flight to Iloilo at 5am. Why Iloilo? My father was already there. He will just wait for us to come and together we'll go to Boracay. By the way, he is an Ilonggo native and our grandmother and cousins is living there. Seeing from the window of the plane as we descend, Iloilo was really rural. You can see the native provincial houses, wide rice paddies and even a "siga" in their backyards. There were a lot of green fields (rice paddies, trees and harvest plants). I said to myself - at last Iloilo after 10 years, I'm visiting it again. My last visit there was in 1998 - exactly 10 years, now its 2008. The new Iloilo airport was impressive. Truly world-class and I can say it is in international standards. A lot of improvement has been done and all the facilities is complete - ready to cater to influx of passengers. The last time I've been there, where the airport is still located in Mandurriao, baggages where being tug as there are no baggage conveyor plus the building was so busy in structure and small. Now, the new Iloilo airport in Santa Barbara can accommodate 5 planes at a time, no more stairs as there are jetways already and the airport ambiance is spacious and clean (design and concept were quite similar to NAIA Terminal 2 with all the glass concept). Its quite far from the city centre of Iloilo, I think 40 minutes to Iloilo City. It was built in a spacious place and remote area like Incheon of Korea and Narita of Japan. But there were constant shuttle from airport to Iloilo City and vice-versa, so no worries in commuting for transportation. My dad fetch us at the airport and rode a shuttle to Iloilo City.
|Flight to Iloilo.|
|Road scenes on the way to Caticlan.|
|A scenic drive to Caticlan.|
|The road to Caticlan or the road to paradise?|
|Boracay Beach - one of the world's best beach.|
|Willy's Rock at Station 1.|
I wake up early so we can enjoy a good morning swim. The white beach was still resplendent as ever. The bright sunlight reflects the sand more brightly white. Swimming in the morning was a supreme experience! The water is so clear... and it was seagreen!!! Now its my favorite color. The color complements my sleeveless shirt which is also seagreen but far in the distance the color of the sea turns blue. The water is so clear you can see clearly see your feet in the water and even the fish! Yup, the are fishes, I think 2 to 3 that keeps on swimming around our feet as if they are not afraid of human contact. I am delighted by these fishes because it is a rare experience to see fishes in the wild not afraid of humans. Actually I am the one who's quite nervous because when you shoo them away they came back! Quite nervous because it might be a pirahna or while we frolick in the water a shark might be the next one who is swimming around our feet. But they were harmless. You can also clearly see the extension of white sand in the water. While the sun was up is wasn't quite hot to be burn. We take photos while in the water and then swim... swim... swim... The water is cool and its so good to swim. Morning is the best time to swim. Aside from few people, the heat of sunlight is not burning. Boracay has also a good view from the water. The beach is so wide! We rest in the bench and later we play like kids in the white sand. Mind you, your Boracay experience won't be complete if you don't play in the sands like a kid you used to be.
We went again to the center of Station 2. We saw again the high-end resorts and visited the *D Mall and other souvernir shops that is like mushrooms who sprouts everywhere. T-shirt souvenirs are nice in Boracay because the textile is qood quality. As I have mentioned, price here are double than in *D Talipapa and other shops but overall items prices are still double compare to Puerto Galera. You can also shop for bags, bracelets and other accesories around. Henna tattoo is also a trend in the island but the price is ultimately double. Even the water activities like island hopping, banana boat riding and snorkeling are double in price. What unique water activity in Boracay is the sail boat ride. You can rent a sail boat for a bargain of 500php. You can ride it at your disposal... be it in the morning, in the afternoon but the best time to take it is during the sunset. Under the shades of palm there are masseuse offering massage services. You can have massage while laying in the sand.
|The sunset starts to fade away...|
|Nighttime in Boracay.|
|Like kids again, we played sand castles.|
Moods of last summer...
We return to the hotel room and packed our clothes. I think its around 8:30am when we left to the port. While the ferry is driving us away from the island, I said, "I'm going to miss Boracay and I will surely go back!" Borrowing Mc Arthur's word - "I shall return!" While on a ferry we took some souvenir photos of ourselves and when we arrive at the Caticlan Jetty Port. The Ceres Bus Line was waiting for us in the port. As the bus leaves Caticlan, it made me sighed, "The road trip to Iloilo has begun"
It was again 5 hours on the road. I saw again the rural places of the Panay Province espacially of Aklan in the towns of Caticlan and Kalibo. I even see rural houses near the shores. As we get near the highway from Caticlan to Kalibo, there were numerous cliffs with coves near the seas that I saw around. I took some pictures of it. We had a stopover in Kalibo. I got a glimpse of the town again. Everything was picturesque. There's a different feeling looking on the rural towns of Kalibo. There were vendors of roasted corns in the area - trying to earn an income from the tourist visits.
We ate at a local cafeteria in Roxas City. It was one of the stops of the trip. It was 2pm when we arrive in Pototan, Iloilo. This is where my grandmother live. Much has changed in Iloilo but the feeling of quiteness that everyone longs for remains the same. The breeze of air was cool though the sun is high up that gives the summer heat around. We went to the "kubo" in the backyard. But that kubo was just small and made just for a resting place not a real house to live. We were joined by my cousins who are Ilonggos. Of course, we took shots for memories. I took a rest and feel the cool air of the province. My parents, uncle and grandmother had exchanged conversations in the house terrace. While Pototan is literally province, my grandmother's house is a modern one. But the backyard of native plants, orchids and fruit-bearing trees plus a vast view of rice fields around leaves an imprint of the rural life.
Iloilo revisited after 10 years