Summer Fun in Boracay

Hi, this is Garrett. My summer has started a month ago, which is kind of late compared to others who start school in June. During that month, I mostly spent time with my sister in the house mooching around and doing chores. I mostly swam and danced to Kpop dance practice videos, so I’m not sure if that was me being productive.

What I wanted to write about is the Boracay trip that we went on to celebrate my aunt’s and my sister’s birthday. It lasted around 4 nights, and we spent most of our time swimming. All of us came back with serious tan lines, but it was a very relaxing and amazing vacation.

So the first day started really early because our flight was at 7 am. We got ready and all, but due to stuff that the announcer said that I forgot, we ended up leaving Manila at 8. The flight was uneventful, and it was only when I stepped out of the plane that the reality hit me: I was in Boracay. And I’ll be honest; I was awestruck, but that admiration slowly turned to horror when I kept hearing the prices of common goods. To foreigners, they might seem cheap, I won’t lie. Ice cream for like maybe 1 USD doesn’t sound expensive. But to Filipinos who normally buy the same ice cream for way less, that is quite a shock. It seemed like lots of items had a markup of past 100%. There are many various reasons why, and I won’t bother explaining. But do know that if you travelled to somewhere in Luzon, you would pay way less to get the same goods.

Once we arrived to our hotel via e-trike, we ate lunch and waited until 2 pm to check in. During that afternoon, we went to D-mall at Station 2, where my younger cousins and my sister swam at the beach. D-mall was mostly sprawled out, and we walked a lot just to check out most of the restaurants and shops they had to offer. The beach though is what I truly liked. The sand was so soft, and the waves were so strong. It may not sound impressive to others, but the only beaches I’ve been to so far were quite rough on the feet. That beach was what you would see in advertisements of Boracay. We ate dinner at a high-end restaurant, then we hit the hotel again to rest.

The second day was mostly spent at another beach. We woke up early to visit Puka beach via shuttle. Puka was a great beach, but the sand was kind of rough. I think my relatives liked it because very few people visited it. One highlight of that day was my mom, sister, aunt, and cousins getting their hair braided. Both my mom and my sister got Dutch ponytails, while my aunt and cousins got a diagonal French braid.  We had lunch, then went swimming until 2 pm. We went back to the hotel and rested for a bit.

Mom then took me along to Citymall via shuttle. There was a very loud Zumba class ongoing, which made me look at the foreigners and think, “Is this what you think we do all the time?” We went to Watsons to get some supplies, then visited a pasalubong store to get barquillos. Lastly, we visited Mang Inasal to get dinner for all of us, then we left for the hotel.

The third day was the most eventful. We went island-hopping in the morning, then we swam in Station 2 the whole afternoon. The island-hopping experience was magical. We visited 4 stations around the sea, where the boat would drop the anchor and we could snorkel. Snorkelling was a blast! The colourful aquatic biodiversity of Boracay was so breath-taking. Fishes, sea anemones, coral reefs, and sea urchins lured the eyes of the tourists, and made them acknowledge their ethereal beauty. It made up for my frustration at my 2 younger cousins who were a bit high-maintenance.  I managed to see shrimpfish! They’re fish that swim vertically, btw.

After the island-hopping experience, we ate lunch, then went swimming at Station 2. I had a lot of fun there, truly. The waves were strong enough to knock me over, while the sand was so soft. It was a bit crowded, but that was okay. I kept on swimming from noon to sunset, so you could already imagine the very strong tan lines I had. Even as I write this, my face still sports a tan line around my eyes. We ate dinner at Dencio’s, then we went back to the hotel.

We spent the first half of the 4th day at Station 2, and the other half at the hotel. We went swimming, and ate lunch at Max’s. I was so tired from all the swimming we did since coming to Boracay, and so I took a long nap, only to be woken up for picture-taking. Then we spent the night celebrating the birthdays of my sister and aunt with a nice dinner.

We woke up very early on the 5th day because we had to be at the airport around 6. The flight was uneventful, but it felt great to come back home. (It didn’t feel as great to do chores, though, but stuff had to be fixed.)

So that’s what happened during my vacation in Boracay, I hope you enjoyed reading this.

 

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Baguio After Summer (Part 1)

 

Hi readers. I’m sorry if I haven’t written for a long time. Really sorry.

There are so many things that happened this summer and I’m itching to write them all. First, let’s start with the most recent place we visited, Baguio. It started when our balikbayan relatives got back from Los Angeles to the Philippines. They were Ninong Butch, Ninang Jackie, Nikki, and Joaquin.

Nikki is my favorite cousin, she’s pretty, easy to talk to, and there’s this feeling she triggers which is impossible to describe (no, not the crush thing). Joaquin has a love-hate relationship with me. He loves me a lot (he hugs me all the time and always says I smell good, even when I fart) but I just can’t tolerate his naughtiness that I keep shouting at him all the time. He also needs a haircut.

We had a pleasant time in our dad’s condo in BGC (Bonifacio Global City). We went swimming, went to Mary Grace and other restaurants to eat, and had fun. We woke up at 3:30 a.m. and left the condo to go to Baguio. We picked up Tita AG and Tito Joel somewhere along NLEX and arrived at 8:30 a.m. It was raining when we arrived. Great reminder from Mother Nature that summer season is over. It took 5 hours. Me and Nikki slept for 3 hours in the car. The rest of the time was spent talking, confused that this curvy ear-popping road was Marcos Highway, arguing with Joaquin who was in front of me and Nikki, and telling Nikki the clouds are not snow.

We first went to the BenCab Museum, a place recommended by TripAdvisor. All those stories about Baguio being cold are so true. It was as cold as an air-conditioner’s coldest temperature. We explored all the rooms, and galleries. One room was full of things handmade by the native people called Igorots. The museum is nice, but the cafe was oh so better. The food is great, and their rice is different from the usual white rice. Then, even though we were minors, we entered the Erotica gallery, which was mostly about breasts and naked women. There was even a photo showing love positions. Then, my sister went near something made of wood. She posed beside it, asking for a picture, unaware of what it is.

I intervened.

Me: Gabee! Di mo ba alam ano ‘yan?!? (Do you know what that is?!?)

Gabee: Ano ‘to? (What’s this?)

Me: Tuli ‘yan na pototoy! (It’s a circumcised male organ!)

Laughter erupted from the minors, especially Joaquin, and Tito Joel. You see, Joaquin’s circumcised. Nikki mistook it for a belly. When we got out, the woman at the top said “Kids! Don’t go to the Erotica Gallery!” Too late.

When we all got back to the car, we were talking about what just happened on the way to Camp John Hay The Manor. I told everyone what happened in the gallery. Mom reprimanded me for I was the eldest. I protested, “It wasn’t me! Joaquin closed my eyes and led me in, saying walk, walk.”

Everyone reprimanded Joaquin.

This post is too long, so I will cut it in two parts. The next one will be coming soon. In the meantime, I will (literally)type about other trips and things that happened in summer.

 

Posing in front of the Igorot “bulol” carvings, said to symbolize abundance and fertility.

Eating together at Cafe Sabel, BenCab. It’s very colourful, and the food is great with an awesome view.

Beside my cousin Nikki at the BenCab’s garden.