Posts Tagged ‘island life’

Borawan is a play on two words – Boracay and Palawan. It’s an island named so because, as some people claim, it has white sand reminiscent of Boracay and rock formations the same as Palawan’s limestone cliffs. If one gets the chance to have the Boracay and Palawan experience in one at a measly price, one grabs it.

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My friends and I boarded a bus bound to Lucena, got off at the Grand Terminal. Got on a mini bus and alighted at the town of Padre Burgos where we got on tricycles that brought us to the port. From there, we rented a boat that would take us to Borawan Beach. Someone gave us a tip that people usually do the Borawan to Dampalitan route so we decided to go against the flow of people and camp out at Dampalitan Island instead.

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Upon arrival to the island, we pitched our tents and settled down for the day.

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In all fairness, Dampalitan Island’s sand could pass up as Boracay’s shores from afar. While the sun is shining its brightest, the white sand seems to glow it almost hurts the eyes.

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After lunch and a quick nap, the water level went down low enough to reveal a little sandbar. We walked on the sandbar and took photos farther out into the sea. That entertained us for about 30 minutes until it got too hot to be enjoyable. We went back under the shade and napped some more while waiting for the sun to go down. When it got a little cooler, we explored the opposite side of the shore and came across some sea friends.

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We watched the sun set and it was beautiful. It was made better by the absence of a big crowd. Guess going against the norm paid off, after all.

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When it got dark, we cooked and had our dinner. We built a fire and drank and danced around it. We also roasted marshmallows for our s’mores. It was a great night. 🙂

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The next day, our boat came by and brought us to Borawan Beach.

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I had to agree that the cliffs do resemble the limestone formations in Palawan albeit being miniature compared to the real thing. When we got to the island, there was a group of rock climbers uhmmmmm climbing the rocks LOLOLOL. We contented ourselves in climbing on top the less intimidating ones and swimming around the clear waters. We didn’t really do much at Borawan Island and I have to say that I liked Dampalitan better.

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Borawan is being marketed better than what it actually is. But if you’re looking for a new beach to explore this summer, it is still worth the try.

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It has been a tradition for most Filipinos to escape somewhere during the annual observance of Holy Week. Some go on religious excursions and take part of traditions observed by their church. Admittedly, I am not much of a religious lot so instead of going to church, I mostly go out-of-town and relax on the beach. This year, I tagged along with some friends on a trip to Polillo Island.

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The first half of our group went ahead on Holy Thursday. I was flying home from my Indochina trip on the dawn of Good Friday so Chris had to wait for me and we would just travel a day behind. Upon landing, I went home, swapped backpacks and made my way to Quezon.

Now, Good Friday in the Philippines is called “patay na araw” which literally translates to A DEAD DAY. Everything stops – shops close, malls close, and worse, no transportation. We overlooked this fact and that led to a lot of misadventures. Long story short: we were not allowed by the Coast Guard to travel to Polillo that day.

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Through all the commotion, we met a bunch of surfers who were kind enough to take us back to their surf camp. It ended up as a happy accident after all, will tell you the story in a separate post. We spent the night in tents and made our way back to the port at the crack of dawn. We finally made it on the first boat out to the island and literally met the rising sun.

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The boat had an upper seating area and as if by some magic, everyone in our group gravitated towards the front deck. We put on some reggae music, dangled our feet down and watched the rising sun. It was so calm, a stark difference from the previous day’s chaos.

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After over an hour, we finally reached Polillo. We reunited with our other friends and sadly had to part ways with our new-found surfer friends. They were in search for waves and weren’t really interested with island hopping. Our group continued on with more travel and rented tricyles that would take us to the town of Burdeos where we would board another boat to take us to the islands. When we got to the pier, I got super excited to get back to the water upon seeing another huge boat.

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Imagine my disappointment when the boatmen insisted that we take the small ones instead.

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See what I mean?!? We got the dinky, little boats instead of the fancy looking bigger one. Oh well…

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We spent quite a while in the ocean, circumnavigating island after island after island. I was honestly getting bored after some time and I was just itching to be on land. Finally, we moored on the shores of Anilon Island.

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According to our boatman, Anilon Island is the best beach in the area and a favorite place of many locals for picnic and beach excursions.

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It is a beautiful island surrounded by fine sugary sand. Its waters were calm and had the most beautiful shades of blue. The other side of the beach was much more rocky and the ocean floor dropped down more abruptly.

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The part where our boats were docked was much more friendly for an easy swim. I spent a sizable amount of time here after lunch, wading in its clear water. I was enjoying myself too much that the sun bearing down didn’t bother me at all.

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When the sun was about to set, we piled ourselves back to the boats and made our way to another island. The setting sun gave the beach a different kind of charm.

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At this point, I actually didn’t care anymore where we go next so I missed the name of our next stop. This is where we watched the sun set.

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When it got dark, we gathered up some dry branches and built our small bonfire. We passed the time swapping stories with our boatman and his wife,  sipping on hot coffee.

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When the last embers of our bonfire died down, we bid goodbye to the island and headed back to mainland. Sailing in the middle of the ocean at pitch dark with only the moon guiding us was part terrifying and mostly enchanting. The water glistens like silver as boat cuts into it. What a great way to end our unforgettable Polillo experience.

 

 

I just came back to the Metro from attending my sister’s high school graduation in Ilocos. Separation anxiety is hitting me big time so I guess I should just blog about the places I got to visit for the very short time that I had to spend with my family.

I touched down at Laoag International Airport late Saturday afternoon, no thanks to Cebu Pacific Air’s perennial delayed flights. Hay naku, what’s new. That day was put to waste because of a delayed flight. Tsk. So anyway… On Sunday, my mom finally brought out the lobsters that were frozen for a long time (coz they were waiting for me to come home, sweet! ♥♥♥), and decided to go out of the house and spend the day at the beach.

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We drove for more than an hour to get to Blue Lagoon in Pagudpud. I have been to Pagudpud many times over the years but I’ve never really been to Blue Lagoon before. We always used to go to Saud, mainly because it is relatively nearer from where we live. Driving further up north was worth it, though.

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The weather was so nice that day. One thing I love about being in the province is that it was still very breezy despite the sun being all out Mr. Bright. We rented out a small hut where we could feast on our lunch. After filling up on lobster and watermelon (yum yum yum!), the oldies settled down for siesta time. The young ones, including me lol, opted to bake under the sun.

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The best part is that we felt like we had the beach all to ourselves. Apart from our group, there were only a few others who were around that area. I guess most tourists were drawn to the more famous and much more crowded nearby resort – Hannah’s. I especially loved watching those three kids play around the water.

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The water at Blue Lagoon is so mesmerizing. The varying depth of the sea resulted to a beautiful mix of blue hues. The clean, white sand provides a perfect base for all the blue colors. One needs to be wary when getting in the water, though. It might be scary for non-swimmers because the waves could pull you in farther into the sea really fast and this could be disastrous because the sea bed dips low so suddenly.

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The waves are so strong I actually saw this girl lose her bikini top. LOL. And I might have seen a few too many buttcracks that day. O_O

Two other tourist spots to visit will be featured in my next entries. Stay tuned!