Here's another guest post from Scott H., a follow-up on his trip to Boracay. Another great adventure in the Philippines. Thanks to Scott for sharing his story. Read on and find out how much "island hopping" the big guy actually gets to do.
After a nice dinner at one of the many local eateries, we retired early for we had a big day coming up. ISLAND HOPPING! Now I know that there are over 7000 islands that make up the Philippine archipelago, I just assumed we would be visiting several different islands the next day and wander among the palm and coconut trees and enjoy some pleasant solitude in this tropical paradise.
Well we all know what ASSUME really means! Especially when you connect ASSUME with KANO in all things dealing with the PHILIPPINES. Let’s just say that I did not see many different islands.
We got up the next morning in the uniform of the day, shorts, t-shirts and flip flops and made our way to the beach to the “restaurant”. We were served with Longanisa, rice and eggs (got to love the food).
After chow we were approached by a skinny little guy who spoke to the Boss in Tagalog. Fortunately my Father-in-Law came from Panay so the wife understands the local dialect. After a brief conversation the fellow started jogging down the beach, while we enjoyed another cup of coffee (instant naturally). Soon a small pump boat came chugging up the coast and beached right in front of us. The wife said, “That’s our boat, let’s go.”
We climbed in the boat and off we went, roaring at what must have been all of 8 miles an hour, hugging the coast of the island with a beautiful view of all the hotels and resorts. (As an aside, Boracay is fit to accommodate all taste, from the informal place we were in to 5 star class resorts, so if you are more into the bow tie and tux scene rather that the shorts and flip flops that I like you can still find it there.)
As we approached the end of the island I expected us to keep going across the straights to an island in the distance. But to my dismay we rounded the point and continue around Boracay. Not that the scenery was not beautiful. But I wanted to go “hopping”.
Naturally when I asked the Wife to inquire I got the “Look” so I sat back and enjoyed the ride. We were passing houses worth millions, saw very small islands with modern buildings and we were told that they were privately owned islands. I made a note to myself to start playing the lotto again.
After awhile we pulled into a secluded cove with a white sandy beach and surrounded by nothing but jungle and was told that this was the “secluded romantic getaway stop” where we could go snorkeling (our skipper just happened to have masks and snorkel available to rent for P20) and enjoy lunch. So we jumped over the side and explored the underwater sights.
Now I am not much of a diver but the water was crystal clear with many different types of fish and all that other underwater stuff to look at. Swimming has always made me work up an appetite, so when I hauled myself back up onto the boat and pulled the wife aboard. I asked the simple question, “Did you bring the lunch?” Guess what I got? Yep, “The Look.”
She said something to the skipper, who put his fingers to his mouth and gave a loud whistle. Much to my surprise, the jungle started moving. A portion of what I thought was pure undergrowth was being pulled aside to reveal a fully stocked Sari-Sari store and Café. So much for privacy and seclusion! They were there the whole time!
Remember this was my first trip to the Philippines and it was slowly starting to dawn on me that I wasn’t in Kansas (San Diego actually) anymore and things were done just a bit differently than in the States. And know what? I found it refreshingly informal.
We had some great hamburgers (at least that’s what they said they were) and ended our day by cruising back the way we came, grounded on the beach in front of our hotel, grabbed some mango shakes and walked back through our “jungle” to our room where we relaxed, an took a nap for tonight we were going to have dinner at the beach restaurant. Little did we know that we would have a surprise visitor inside our room upon our return.
(More to follow…)