After an uneventful flight from Perth to Hong Kong (I slept the whole way) we took a shorter flight to Manila. We’re back in the Philippines!
We were here in 2009 on a Kombatan camp with Great Grandmaster Ernesto Presas. I remember the airport as utterly chaotic from that trip, but that was absolutely not the case now. Everything went smoothly from arrival, through baggage claim and customs.
We had booked a flight to Boracay, but not as a connecting flight. This meant we took out the baggage in Manila and rechecked it into the next flight. We might have had to do that anyway due to customs though.
Anyway, we were earlier for our next flight and asked if we could get on an earlier flight. Absolutely. Cool, when does it leave? Don’t know, should have left already, but planes not here yet. Oooooookay.
But then again, when we had checked in and paid for the baggage we went straight to the gate, right onto the plane and forty minutes later we were (almost) in Boracay. These minutes include the rounds we circled the island for about 15 minutes. We got too see the whole island from above, and it is quite a small island.
Our hotel had not received our mail from the airport telling them that we came in early. So we stood there stranded on the grandiose airport of Caticlan. The airport is actually crossed by a road for the local community. It is closed during landing and
take off, like a railway crossing back home. We got hold of the hotel, they organized and we got shipped to the ferry. Cause you have to take a ferry to get to the Boracay island. It takes about 15 minutes, so it’s super close. We got shuffled through the ferry terminal and suddenly we were boarding the boat. But of all the tickets we had received we lacked the ones to board the boat. “The man inside took them”, I tried. “Nobody takes white tickets but me”, was the stern answer. It concluded any discussion, we needed to find the white tickets. Katja ran back over the jetty to the terminal building and left me, ME!, to go through her purse in pursuit of these missing tickets.
Holy Macaroni! So much crap it’s possible to put in one purse. I looked and swore and picked up even more crap from there. It was like a horn of abundance with never ending content. At last I gave up, stuffed everything back in there and started thinking instead. Katja had given me som papers she got in our hurried walk through the terminal. Maps of the island and brochures. I found them in the backpack, together with the missing boarding passes: the now famous white tickets.
As Katja came running back from the terminal building I was just handing the chief his tickets. All on board, let’s go to Boracay.
We found the hotel nice, but they only had king size beds on ground floor. We talked to them and got a room on the second floor with two queen size beds instead. Better light and more private. So now we will be here for a little over a week.
We rapidly unpacked and went down to the beach. Boracay is divided into three zones, named after the old boat stations that were there. We stay at the most commercial area at Station 2. It’s crawling with shops, restaurants and bars. And street sellers. They are not to pushy, but you grow tired at relating to all of them. Still, the place is beautiful in every extent. The sand is white and fluffy, the water almost free of seaweed (on the west side), and the water is turquoise and warm. I can easily see why people return here.
We were pretty exhausted from the trip and decided to do dinner at the hotel. We ended up drinking some beers, the free welcome drink, and then some more beers. Crashed in bed at eight. Woke with headache from hell at eleven, and cursed, drank water and finally zoned out again a little later.
Welcome to the Philippines. Oh, and happy birthday, Sis.