Eric and I met up with 3 of our fellow CAT (Cadet Army Training comparable to the ROTC here in the US) buddies – Tong, Khen, & Martin at Manila's domestic airport to embark on a trip to Boracay. Our other CAT buddy and then commanding officer – Rene – has a house in Puka Beach. He had already traveled earlier in the week with his wife MaAnn (short for Mary Ann) to celebrate their wedding anniversary.
My string of bad luck continued as the small twin prop plane we boarded had inadequate air cooling system. So during the entire 60 minute flight, all the passengers were fanning themselves to keep cool. Nevertheless, we had fun as my other buddies' rambunctious behavior made the trip much more bearable.
Upon arrival at Boracay Airport (formerly known as Kalibo Airport), we took a short trike ride to the terminal port where we took a boat ride to the island of Boracay. From there, we took yet another trike ride unto Station 1 – the most popular section of Boracay. I am astonished as to what a difference 5 years make. The streets are absolutely jammed with vehicular traffic.
But more disappointing are the changes to the beaches itself.
Five years ago, the beaches were beautiful as they were in more pristine conditions. Now, there's hardly any beach left as the hotel owners built make shift structures to serve as VIP areas during the night. These structures are nothing but raggedy looking tents with stages for either bands to play live music or for DJ stations. They even had to build retaining walls along the beach so as to create a level spot for these VIP areas. It was just awful. This is definitely not the Boracay I once knew 5 years ago.
After the brief walk along Station 1 beaches, we then headed to Puka Beach, further south of Station 1, where Rene's house is located. His house is a mere 5 minute walk to the beach where we managed to take a group photo at sunset.
We then enjoyed an incredible dinner which included grilled items such as fish, chicken, pork, and oysters. What a way to end the day!
Being a Sunday, we went to a morning mass near Station 1. After, we then headed back to Puka Beach
where we spent our entire day on the beach drinking and eating. The big differences between Puka Beach and Station 1's beaches are that the waves at Puka are strong and the sand is littered with puka shells, thus its name. Because of that, there is minimum commercialism on the beach which is perfectly fine with me. I sure hope it stays that way forever.
Thanks Rene & MaAnn for allowing us to stay at your home, feeding us wonderful food, and giving me the opportunity to enjoy the pristine beauty of Puka Beach!
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