Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Panic in Boracay

An hour late from Manila to Boracay. GREAT ! Okay, fine I am used to delayed flight anyway as long as we’ll wait under a good condition. The waiting is finally over…. we’re then off to Boracay. The escapade started to get hard...damn hard! Arriving Boracay….POWER FAILURE…twice GREATER….take note during our stay and until when…I don’t know! Poor tourists. We were accompanied directly to our hotel room to put our stuffs then off to find a restaurant because our uncontrollable rumbling stomach were complaining. A few steps away from hotel we have found an authentic Filipino restaurant. Good quality service, clean and easy on the pocket. The plates are in an ideal form, the original native plates and banana leaves to complete that extra ordinary service. Delayed flight and power failure, are unimportant as we have compensated ourselves with that scrumptious lunch we have had. Good thing, everything was arranged for us by our tourist agent from ticket to hotel pick up/transfer and breakfast included. On that part, it was excellently well arranged.

Went back to hotel and get some relaxing moments. Later that afternoon we have strolled around the vicinity to check what possible activities we can hold during our 4 days trip. Just beside the hotel we have found a great diving shop managed by a French-German origin. We have also asked from our hotel receptionist for other activities like island hopping and snorkeling. The hotel offered us P1,800k for a day of island hopping and the use of snorkeling gears for free. Island hopping which turned into a total nightmare as it was windy and had big waves. For those who knew me, the motion sickness is becoming a handicap everytime we travel. Imagine me taking 2 tablets of Bonamine which unfortunately did not take effect. So will spare you that disgusting details. The second day was spent in swimming, relaxation or just simply enjoying the white long stretched white sand beach.

I have heard a lot of good ratings and reviews from Locals and Foreigners about Boracay. I’ve been to a lot of beaches in Quezon, Batangas, Cebu and Bataan Provinces and it was my first time to visit Boracay. It’s true that Island of Boracay is a mixture of crystal blue clear water, sugary sand beaches and abundant landscapes which becomes an ideal sanctuary that will certainly captivate every tourist’s expectations. I won’t over describe Boracay anymore everything has been said and proven. The thing is, I was quite disappointed of my first experience in Boracay when I saw few plastic bottles and other stuffs floating on top of the water surface. If I can remember, before we boarded on the boat from Caticlan we have paid 50pesos for Environmental fee per person whereas kids are free. The amount was not that big though but I was probably overrating Boracay. Just to get some information, I then asked the caretaker of the hotel. He was honest to tell me those were caused by typhoons. Now, that is comprehensible. A lot comes from Caticlan where some people does not care about the environment which apparently affects the beautiful island of Boracay. I must admit that it will be difficult to clean the water of the island if there’s always this thug mentality of the people. It’s not impossible to clean but it’s just unfair for those who respect the environment ! We went farther until to that famous Grotto of the island to swim and snorkel. But to my surprise we were advised by snorklers not to go near the Grotto because there are a lot of broken bottles. I also blame the tourist for irresponsible behaviour that is. I was also a witness of this disorder when a woman who’s obviously living in that island (she was wearing a halfly-cut jeans and t-shirt while swimming telling to her child they need to go home) smoking in the midst of the beach. When she’s done smoking she just flicked the butt under our noses into the water . What can I do, I just threw her a killer glance and she just ignored me. That night, even we had have this impression we still appreciate the beauty of the island itself. The white sand beach, the hotel, the service, the people, the nature are irrefutably great. It’s just sickening to see some of them having primitive attitude and that there is more and more unconcerned of what pass off around them. They don’t obviously realised the chance of living to a some kind of paradisiacal island. Okay enough of my whingy, yet heart-felt rants.

Once and for all another journey that turned almost into a mishap. One night we were dining in one of the restaurants between Station 1 and 2. I am sure you can imagine the tourists everywhere. My son asked me to accompany him to the toilet which I did. My daughter asked me the same thing wherein I told her to wait patiently because Sébastien is still inside the toilet. I even asked her to play while waiting for her brother which she did. So before I went to check out on Sébastien she was beside our table playing with the sand and I asked hubby to look out on her. When I came back, asking hubby about Mayumi he told me that she followed me to the toilet . So I went back to check on her if she went to the same direction (still Sébastien inside the toilet). Asking if he saw her sister and he said no. A mother’s instinct is rarely wrong I don’t know why but I had this bad presentiment. I hastily went back to the table and told Bernard that Mayumi was not there. GREATER and GREATER…. Mayumi went in a different direction. We asked the waitresses and waiters if they saw our daughter in which they confirmed she was playing sand a while ago. But at that instant she was nowhere to found. We panicked as we decided to go in separate ways in search for Mayumi. I asked Sébastien to stay put and not to move until we get back. I saw my son crying because he was upset about losing his sister. I also asked the staff to keep their eyes on him. We were running mad in search for my daughter. I started to pray….pray really hard! It was not easy as it was crowded and it was quite dark. 5 minutes….. 10 minutes….. had passed no traces of Mayumi. My heart was thumping so hard I thought I was going to die. It scared us really bad thinking that someone took her because she was alone. Intrusive thoughts started to disturbed us. Hubby decided to positioned himself out from the crowded place. He went off near the seashore as it would definitely easier for him to see the people from there. Hélas, he saw Mayumi trying to find her way back to the restaurant with her stuffed toy tucked in her arms. Husband ran swiftly into her direction and when their eyes met he took Mayumi in his arms and securely embraced her. Husband nearly wept over her from the fear of losing her. As soon as I saw them with my hands still trembling it was like I just woke up from a nightmare. What was funny, Mayumi had no apprehension, no sense that something was amiss at all. As if she did not understand what was happening around her. She only understood after we have explained that we were looking for her thinking we almost lost her. Back to the restaurant, Sébastien wiped away his misty eyes as he gazed at her. He ran to meet us….rushing out to hug his sister tight and said “Tu m’a fait peur… Je ne veux pas te perdre parce que je t’aime ma souer ” ! (You scared me ... I do not want to lose you because I love you my sister). End of panic !

Friday, May 15, 2009

Exclusively for singles

I didn't know about this tradition until I read it from Le Monde. The street festival which is the Feast of San Roque dates back from 18th century, when the citizens of Valenzuela initially gave gratitude to their patron saint, San Roque. Women from different barangays (neighbourhoods) of the city come simultaneously to dance in a street procession which lasts day and night.

The legend says it that if a woman wishes to find a boyfriend or a husband she needs to join the street dance before her wish could be granted by San Roque. Thus, this Saint's Day serves to separate single women who are searching from those who are already taken. Apparently, much easier for men to select the woman of their dreams ! As anticipated then, the parade of dancing ladies is the source for grand animation and the ambiance is always joyful.

So singles out there men and women, foreigners and locals...visit Valenzuela Philippines and find your luck biggrin !