Category Archives: Aklan

Isla de Boracay

By far the easiest and most accessible major tourism spot I’ve ever visited in the country. It took us less than three hours to get to the island.

Aside from its world renowned beauty, the islands accessibility is one of the reason why people, both locals and foreign, flocks around the island all year round. With the expansion of Caticlan’s runway, expect the number of visitors to balloon more in the coming years.

While this is not the first time that I visited Aklan, this is my first in Boracay. The main attraction aside from its long powdery sand, white beach and clear turquoise water, on both side of the islands, is that the place is teeming with activities that are tailored to suit, well, the active and those who just wanted to “parteeh”.

Unfortunately, for me, I’m not into drinking and partying, I’m more of a country boy you see. But you’ve got to see the islands “naturalesa”, its so beautiful that it can make you cry.

We stayed around the Station 2 area, a few blocks away from Talipapa (d*talipapa). Now, here my friends, is where I enjoyed my life in Boracay. Talipapa have market stalls at the back that sells just about anything they catch in the waters. We would buy crabs and shrimps and have them cooked at food shops in the area for a fee. You can have them fried, steamed, spiced with chili sauce or have those big fat shrimps made into sinigang.

We stayed at the house of a family friend who has been inviting us for sometime. We still had to pay, of course, but they gave us a sweet surprising discount. And we’ll be forever thankful for it.

The first day we got a fair but cloudy weather. We had a chance to see the the island – walked until we got too tired to continue – thanks to the summer solstice, we had an extended view of the islands surrounding until around pass 7pm (there was still a little daylight).

The second day, we bought some stuff and ate until we got bloated. Walked some more, exploring the islands but it rained the whole night, but the next day it was OK again.

I visited Bulabog beach, thinking that there would be less establishments and shops there compared to white beach. Well, lets just say that every prime spot in the island had been occupied.

The succeeding days the weather was alright. Not sunny but better than a rainy day. This continued until we left.

I heard that during summer tourist population in the island could reach up to a million! That’s just crazy…

Though I don’t see myself coming back anytime soon – one thing that I can say is that the place, the whole island, is as good as advertised.  The locals were generally nice – they’re the real gem around here.

What I’m worried about is the rapid development taking place in the island. The new constructions: buildings, shops, water piping projects, road expansions, increasing motorized vehicles – I wonder if the small island can hold all of these.

How solid and liquid waste are being handled? how the pollution are being minimized? I hope our local government guys there are watching all of these.

I’m happy for the people that are employed by the success of Boracay. From the airport porters to the bangkeros, the inn owners to the tricycle drivers – people makes decent living out of local tourism. As long as they’re treated fairly, I’m happy with it. More power to them.

Boracay is a perfect example of what tourism can do to our provincial towns economy. Lets just hope that we don;t neglect taking care of “inang kalikasan”, these are gifts she allows us to enjoy.

The plane started to descend in less than half an hour after taking off MLA. It cruised, the highest, at around 20-23k feet. This ones a quick flight.

Touch down Calivo (Kalibo)

Man people are everywhere here. Even in my shots where they're not suppose to be.

The taxi's of the seas! Heavy traffic on the main route!

That's me, I think I'm smiling. The surf was amazing.

Off to some place remote... is there still such a place around here?

Local hanging out. Its pass 6pm and there's still daylight! Summer solstice...

I don't drink but these two bottles caught my eye... Boracay Rhum...

Buying food at the market. I've employed my "kakuriputan" even in a place where they're use to high paying tourist

The days when there was a storm in Luzon, the skies around the island were always cloudy. There were nights that it rained so hard the streets around Talipapa were flooded!

A couple enjoying the strong splashing waves of "white beach". When the waves are strong here, some people go to the other side of the island.

Locals waiting for tourist.

These dark stormy clouds scared us!

Going back MLA

June 2011

Off to the Next Stop

While I was about to board my plane I saw these hueys escorting what looks like the presidential chopper. I was thinking that Noynoy probably decided to take a break amidst all the controversies regarding his leadership during the floods that ravaged the southern provinces. Turns out that he was there inaugurating the extension of Caticlan airport’s runway.

The weather was already fine down south the past couple of days but back in Manila I heard that rains are still causing trouble. I think the guy originally intended to take a quick swim in Boracay but cut his trip short because of the flood situation this time in Manila. It must be tough being the president.

Nice looking choppers. Those Huey’s are tough machines. These helicopters had flown hundreds of mission during the Vietnam war.But it was not originally built for deploying combatants in the fields but rather as a medical evac aircraft. But the American war in that part of SE Asia changed her history forever. There was around 7000 huey produced and deployed in Vietnam. We received a lot of them after the Americans were defeated by the Viets.

The presidential chopper is either a Bell 412 or 212. Its too far for me to tell. Both models are available and are part of what is called “Code One”. The division of the helicopter support dedicated for the president is called the 252nd Presidential Helicopter Squadron.

We experienced heavy turbulence on our way back due to the weather. But like what people who know some things about planes will tell you, “turbulence has never brought down a plane”, but still heavy turbulence drives me to paranoia. The flight also took longer (+1 hr) as there was congestion in Manila airport.

Ok, enough of my geekery.

I’ll be posting pics later this week of my visit to Boracay.

June 2011

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