Sunday, February 10, 2013

Boracay - The Paradise Next Door

I was more curious than excited when my friend and I booked a flight to Boracay. Growing up in the Philippines - where everyone is just two hours away from a beach umbrella as they say - I believed I've seen enough beaches in my lifetime. I thought Boracay was just like any other white beach I've been to, only with cooler parties. Thankfully I was wrong.

The island may be tiny but it's packed with long stretches of Nat Geo cover-worthy scenery. At early mornings when the tide is lower, the scenery is even more surreal. My camera just couldn't handle it. It's more than just a feast for the eyes: the powdery white sand is so soft and just lovely to step on. Despite the tourist crowd that somehow takes away the idyllic-ness (idyllicity?) of the place, it still gives off that special vibe that takes your worries away. Watching the sunset, hearing the sea and the birds, is like a warm fuzzy blanket for the soul.

By the third day of our vacation, what peace the island had was even more disturbed by the ruckus of drums and shouts of "Viva Santo Nino!". It appears we have just arrived in time for the Ati-Atihan Fiesta (and to think I have left Manila amidst the chaos of the Feast of Nazareno). It seemed like an entire barrio paraded on the beach, and tourists have no qualms joining in for photo ops. Tropical beach, fiestas, and people having fun - heck, it almost felt like we were on a set of a tourism ad.

Enjoy these photos of seemingly endless stretch of luscious white sand beach...

....and crystal clear turquoise waters. 

It gets crowded in the middle of the beach and the water is green with algae, but it's still not that bad.

The sunset isn't bad either.

The grotto is the island's iconic landmark.

A parade along White Beach kicks off the province's week-long Ati-Atihan fiesta. 

The other side of the island stays serene.

Just me, helmet-diving, and pretending that I'm enjoying feeding the fishes while I'm nervously holding on to dear life.

Very nice looking, and very expensive, tribal trinkets sold by the beach.


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