Monday, November 28th, 2011
No two sunsets are alike on the island paradise. One day the sky unleashes its fury in reds and oranges and the next day it splashes a bright shade of blue that one is compelled to capture each because it may never come again.
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Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011
Food is as much an attraction as the white sand and the beach. In fact, I’m having a hard time writing this because I’m still kicking myself for not bringing home a box of calamansi muffins.
But let me get down to it and take you through what made our tummies happy while on the island paradise that is Boracay.
Dos Mestizos Revolucionarios
We’ve read about Dos Mestizos as THE Spanish Restaurant to visit when in Boracay so we walked all the way from Station 1 to Station 3 to find it. It was our first night on the island and because it was a bit of a walk, the boys were all sweaty and grumpy when we got there. Dos Mestizos is beside the police station and while some of the locals were not familiar with the name of the restaurant, they sure knew where the police station was so you might want to use that as a reference. We ordered tapas (meatballs and croquettas), Sangria which is a house specialty and Cuba Libre. The grumpiness melted as the croquettas disappeared. Dos Mestizos is famous for its paella but we didn’t want to wait. Nevertheless, we had our fill of the tapas and it made our night. I’m imagining this place as a date place- yummy pica-pica, good music, and the sangria. If it had a branch in Manila, I’d be there on Friday nights.
Choriburger and Grilled Hotdogs
Choriburger and grilled hotdogs basted in sweet red sauce are best eaten with that powdery white sand between your toes. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be the same. Choriburger is a favorite of mine and I just love that sweet sauce around the burger. I dumped my vegetarian diet for choriburger without a thought once I caught a whiff of it being grilled and I didn’t regret it at all. And I confess, I had one every single day that we were in Boracay. It’s that good!!!
Never leave the island without visiting Jonah’s. It’s a required part of the Boracay experience. Each one of my family’s trips to Boracay included a Jonah’s shake. Mango Milk had always been my default order and just recently, my son discovered Mango Lemon.
Choriburger, Jonah’s Shake and Manana’s Tacos happen to be our family’s favorites. Of all the tacos I’ve had including the famous one from the Coffee Shop in Baretto outside of Subic, Manana’s version is the best! The taco shells are thin and crunchy and the medley of flavors from the vegetables and beef is pure heaven! We had tacos just as the sky was turning a bright shade of blue a few seconds after the fiery red sunset. Amazing!
We used to pass by Halowich without stopping. Besides, why choose to eat inside D’Mall when one can have the beach as a part of the dining experience? But we got curious. We guessed that Halowich came from Halo-Halo and sandwich and so we ordered a Halo-Halo and a potato salad pocket sandwich for our midnight snack. The Halowich Halo-Halo was creamy and the pocket sandwich was yummy considering that the potato salad was an unexpected choice for a filling.
Angel Wish, D’Talipapa
D’Talipapa is where one buys fresh seafood from the market to be cooked in one of the restaurants in the area. Our choice of restaurant had always been Angel Wish because Tawi, the owner and cook who used to cook for one of the huge resorts on the island, prepares a mean dish of sweet chili prawns and he never disappoints.
Calamansi Muffin, Real Coffee
Real Coffee either moved to Station 2 near D’Mall or it opened a new one in this location. It was a surprise to find it there. And because, we just ate when we passed by, I just got myself one calamansi muffin. Yes, the famous calamansi muffin! Only when we were back home in Manila that I realized I could have taken home a lot!
Anyway, there’s not enough space in one’s tummy to sample all the amazing options in Boracay. That’s why one has to keep going back.
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Sunday, November 20th, 2011
I’ve seen love that didn’t last, friendships that betrayed and dreams that went away it’s easy to say nothing lasts forever.
But I believe otherwise.
Because true friendships endure. My very best friends today were my high school best friends. After surviving highschool, that cruel period, we became friends for life. But, here’s the thing, you have to teach yourself to recognize who your true friends are.
Because true love never fades. Even if it goes through the hardest of times and sees the ugliest side of you. And, truth be told, the kind of love that rises above these is the kind that lasts.
Because a person never really dies. My grandmother passed on early this year but I know she will live on. She comes alive each time I utter an Ilocano word, get served a pinakbet, come across a glass of red wine and find an inner strength I thought I never had. She taught me how to speak Ilocano, cooked vegetables from her own garden, drank red wine like water and was the strongest and wittiest woman who lived past ninety.
And dreams? They stay however hard you shoo them away because they don’t seem to happen. And I keep hoping when I wake up the next day, it will happen.
Forever is a big, scary word. And somehow a contradiction in a world where love or friendship is as fleeting and easily forgotten as your last tweet. But it’s there.
Have a nice Sunday night.
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Wednesday, November 16th, 2011
It amazes me that I have readers in faraway Germany, Sweden, and Austria even. And it warms my heart that my family in the US and my friends in Canada and the Middle East keep on reading. This post is for you.
Boracay, one of the world’s best beaches, is a small island in the province of Aklan in the Visayas Region. The island of Boracay is about 7 kilometers long and 1 kilometer wide at its narrowest. It is 2 kilometers away from Caticlan, the mainland gateway to Boracay.
To reach the island, one has to fly to Caticlan from Manila. This is the faster route. The other option is to fly to Kalibo from Manila and take an hour-and-a-half bus or van ride to Caticlan.
In our life mission to teach our kids to travel on their own, we decided to go to Boracay without all the trimmings (read: airport and land transfers and luxury hotels). We figured we wanted to see the beach. After all, despite the crowd and the commercialization, the lure of the pristine white sand can never be ignored.
We flew via Cebu Pacific from Manila to Caticlan last weekend. Cebu Pacific is the pocket-friendly airline that keeps things fun even in the most severe weather disturbances by engaging the passengers in their in-flight games.
We landed in Caticlan after an hour flight and asked directions from an airport porter as to where to find the tricycle station to the Jetty Port. The Caticlan Airport is compact and clean. From this airport, we turned right and walked a few minutes to this terminal where we bought our tricycle and boat tickets for only Php50. I think last year, it wasn’t yet “centralized.”
A 3-5-minute tricycle ride brought us to the Jetty Port where we had to pay very minimal fees.
Here’s the Caticlan Jetty Port where each person was asked to pay a terminal fee of Php50 and an environmental fee of Php75.
Then we got on the boat. Each boat is equipped with life vests which everyone is required to wear. As a rule, boats are never overcrowded and there are three boats waiting at any given time so as to accommodate a deluge of passengers. Porters are there to carry your bags when asked and they’re happy with Php20 per bag.
The 15 to 20-minute boat ride never fails to create anticipation and one is bound to feel the bubbling excitement from fellow passengers. After the boat ride, we took a tricycle to get to our hotel. It was a good 15-minute ride to get to our hotel which is located in Station 1, just behind Obama Grill and Club Paraw.
A quick late lunch and a hasty hotel check-in and we had this wonder of nature to ourselves!
Boracay has 12 beaches with the White Beach as its most popular. The White Beach is divided into 3 stations- Station 1 offers the most privacy and quiet, Station 2 is lined with restaurants, bars, dive shops and souvenir stalls, and Station 3 is relatively a newer development with an abundance of hotels and restaurants. The finer sand is in Station 1.
Boracay is famous not only for its white sand and amazing beach but also for its rocking nightlife.
For me, its beauty is also in its people. The friendliness oozes out of everyone. Restaurant owners give a personal touch to their service. Local kids give skimboarding lessons. The stall owners dispense directions with a smile.
So, there we were, reluctant to leave the island. But holidays do end. We took the Cebu Pacific flight back to Manila via Kalibo. Why Kalibo? Because it was much cheaper. To get to Kalibo, we got into a van for the 1-hour-and-a-half ride to the airport that passed by oh-so-fast because the route was so scenic. Kalibo is a bigger airport that also services international flights. The Cebu Pacific plane we got on was bigger and the flight much faster.
It was an unforgettable weekend, sitting on the beach, barefoot, a drink in hand just staring at the beach and later on, the sunset. Nothing like it!
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Monday, November 14th, 2011
No photograph can accurately capture the fine, powdery white sand of Boracay.
In my dreams, it’s like stepping on clouds or marshmallows except that I don’t really know how those feel like.
In reality, it’s like stepping softly on baby powder.
No words can accurately capture the feeling of curling your toes around it.
It’s something to be experienced at least once in your lifetime.
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