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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Looking back…

 

Once this post is uploaded, either it’s 2018 already or we’re really close to it. There are two ways we can go. Either we look back at what 2017 has been for us, or we look forward to what 2018 has in store for us.

2017’s quite a ride for me, but it cut me some slack in terms of emotions. I have more control over how I feel, and I can easily not give a damn about stuff I hate that affects me. (Not sure if it’s a good thing or not, but it’s either that or I care too much). When it comes to academics, well, I might need better work ethics to pull some grades up, but I’m working on it. Also, I did things I didn’t expect I would. I ran after a dog owner to ask about the dog. (The dog’s name is Fritz and he’s a Pointer). I tried being a bit of a thrill-seeker by choosing really scary rides. (It was fun, but man, my vocal cords need to rest). I raised my hand to audition for a role in a school play. (It was really fun.) I also managed to have awesome conversations with some lower year students too. It was quite a relief to know that they were just as weird and brilliant as my batch, too.

2017 also brought new challenges too. More tests, subjects, teachers, make-up classes, responsibilities, and social etiquette developed or discovered. (I have gotten myself in sticky situations because of this. ) Also, I had to learn to keep my mouth shut and not snark at teachers when they say something ignorant. (Not worth the trouble, believe me.)

I also discovered new interests (and friends!!!) in 2017. I found shows and books worth binging until the early morning. I found people who share the same interests with me (and introduce me to their own). I’m quite excited about what could happen next with my old and new friends in the upcoming years.

Speaking of 2018, I’m not exactly sure what’s coming. Well, I do know what’s on my school calendar. And on other people’s calendars too. But, with a supportive network of friends and family, well, let’s see what happens this 2018!

Happy New Year, everyone!

The Polarity of Sibling Relationships

As you all know, I have a younger sister who I love and hate at the same time. If you don’t understand how people can feel like singing songs with someone and throwing eggs at them simultaneously, you might be an only child. My sister can annoy me and love me at the same time. The polarity between our moods whenever we’re together is quite insane. One moment, we’ll find ourselves kicking and screaming just to get her up to eat, and the next thing you know, she’s telling me the latest stories about her well-off classmates as we laugh.

My school calendar was a bit later than hers, so she was teasing me the whole time I still had school and she was enjoying summer, and then the tables turned. I had fun rubbing in the fact that she couldn’t watch TV while I could. She had fun reminding me that I had to help her with Kumon worksheets because Mom said so.

Do we agree with each other? Often. We do like watching cooking shows together. Do we fight with each other? Most of the time. I won’t even start on what makes us fight with each other because the list will go on until Hogwarts stops changing Defense Against the Dark Arts professors.  Do we introduce new stuff to each other? Of course. I introduced her to Miraculous Ladybug. She introduced me to Minecraft. We show each other new YouTubers to enjoy.

I teach her stuff she’ll need in life. That’s what an older sibling does. Therefore, I teach her what school glosses over, like dealing with different types of friends, different types of teachers, and later on, how to flirt with people, and how to ace a job interview.

I suppose the hardest lesson I’ll learn later on is that my sister will grow up, and make decisions for herself that I cannot interfere with. I can’t hope that my sister will stay the same to me, because we’ll grow up, and eventually distance ourselves from each other. It sounds sad, but that’s the truth. She can’t always be the young, naive sister that I know right now. All I wish is to know that we still have each other’s backs when we need it, no matter how old both of us are.

It’s Hard to be a Student

If you’re a student in school, then you know that you feel as if you have two lives, one at home, and one at school. It’s best if the two are kept separately, otherwise, it becomes embarrassing. When your parents come to school to pick you up, all your classmates, even the bullies, become very nice to you. You know they’re only like that because they’re afraid of your parents, but you can’t do anything about it, it’ll just make the situation more complicated.

Same goes for the giving of report cards. Your parents complain about the low scores of your subjects to your teachers (not my mom, okay?). You, witnessing it all, are too ashamed to say it’s because of that unfinished project, those quizzes with down-to-hell scores, etc.

You see, your parents have the best intentions and are earnestly trying to help you, but you’re too ashamed to say what’s really happening to you, those dirty jokes that make your classmates open-mouthed and mentally practicing the line ” Yuck! I’ll tell you to Teacher (put name here)”. Those crazy pranks in school, “Where did my bag go again?”, your classmates’ reactions to just about anything, that chaotic last-minute review of a subject, etc. This world of school in your classroom will vanish as your parents come and pick you up.