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Because I wanted a break from the current coronavirus crisis crisscrossing the globe, I decided to post some pictures from our Boracay vacation in late February 2020. While President Duterte’s Press Secretary recently opined that the Philippines is on the “precipice of annihilation,” I decided to take a lighter tone in this article. Hence, today’s post “Sensational Soulful Boracay Sunsets.”

Have you ever been to Boracay and witnessed the sensational soulful Boracay sunsets? My loving asawa and I have visited the white sandy beaches of this paradise on three different occasions. This was our first trip without any nieces or nephews as a result of the kids still being in school. Hence, we were able to leave before any quarantines and lockdowns.

I’ve witnessed amazing sunsets in Yellowstone National Park and my favorite national park in the States, Montana’s Glacier National Park. I’ve seen sunsets at the Badlands and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. Sacred sunsets soothe the soul.  They’re a time for personal reflection.

Therefore, I present this collection of some of my favorite photos taken with my new Nokia phone. My Sony CyberShot passed away after several years of use. The Nokia is certainly not a professional grade camera but it serves its purpose and it’s portable. Above all, I still use an “old school” photo editor Picasa, which Google retired years ago.

Paint.net is another handy photo-editing tool I use. For advertisements such as sales pages for my e-books, I use Spark Adobe which has special features. All of these programs are free though Paint.net accepts donations and Spark has upgrades that one can purchase.

The “Kano” Negotiator & the Parasailing Package

My loving wife wanted to go parasailing on our trip to Boracay this year. Our two nieces and nephew had gone parasailing on our last trip to this tropical paradise in the Philippines. Consequently, when we visited Boracay this past February, I wanted my asawa to go. She had expressed a desire to try this water sport adventure when she saw how much fun our nieces and nephew previously had.

Since Chinese tourists were already banned from entering the Philippines because of the COVID-19 crisis, tourism was down in Boracay by 40 %. My spouse was going to get a hot stone massage so I wandered the sandy white beaches to see what kind of deal I could get.

The Art of the Deal

At Station 1 I saw an outlet selling tour packages including parasailing. I asked the young lady at the store’s entrance how much they charged for parasailing. The cost was 3,600 pesos (72 USD) for two people. The boats are equipped to handle at least two people parasailing at the same time for the 15-minute excursion.

Since I can’t swim and just had my gall bladder removed a week earlier, I asked how much the cost was for one person.

“2,500 pesos, sir,” came the reply. (50 US dollars.)

“Is that the best you can do?” I politely inquired.

“2,200 pesos, sir,” the Filipina replied. (44 US dollars.)

“Too much,” I said, “can you make it 2,000?” (40 US dollars.)

“No, sir, I’m sorry,” was her answer.

I said “thank you” and walked away. With tourism already down, I figured I could get a better deal even though I’m a foreigner. While at times, expats can be subject to a “skin tax,” paying more because we’re all “rich foreigners,” I can still can negotiate better deals occasionally.

Negotiation #2

I walked down the myriad of outlets lining Stations 1, 2, and 3 on Boracay. It wasn’t long before I encountered a Filipino man, perhaps in this 30’s, who was also selling watersport and tour packages.

He offered the same price for two customers, 3,600 pesos and the same price for one individual, 2,500 pesos, as the previous outlet. However, he wouldn’t budge from the 2,500 quote even though I told him I had received a 2,200 pesos offer. I made my way down the beach area.

“Be careful of hidden charges,” he said as I walked away.

“Do you think I’m going to pay any hidden charges,” I replied.

We have a Winner!

As I approached the Station 2 White Beach area, where our hotel room was located, I saw a group of vendors on the beach. So I walked over to see if I could get a better deal than 2,200 pesos.

I was able to receive the same 2,200 peso offer I had gotten earlier. However, the man in charge was reluctant to accept my 2,000 peso bid for one person. Consequently, I lifted up my shirt to reveal my recent incisions from my gall bladder removal surgery.

“See these scars from my surgery?” I asked in an apparent attempt to win some something. “That’s why I can’t go parasailing but my wife really wants to go. Is there any way she could go parasailing with you guys for 2,000 pesos.”

“Let me call my boss and check, sir,” the lead person replied.

After a couple of minutes of talking with the boss, the lead man was able to secure a 2,000-peso price for my asawa to go parasailing the next morning.  I thanked the man and waited in our hotel room to tell my wife the good news after she finished her hot stones massage.

Let the Adventure Begin!

Hence, here are a few pictures of my better half’s parasailing adventure in Boracay. It was quite a windy day, but my brave wife went out for ten minutes of the scheduled 15-minute adventure before being asked to be let down.

The winds were buffeting her and moving her back and forth, 75 meters high, 246 feet. The boat crew swiftly got her down safely and onto the boat.

My spouse had a great time. She thoroughly enjoyed her adventure in Boracay.

I would love to go back to Boracay after things return to some stage of normalcy and see some more sensational soulful Boracay sunsets.

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