Walking on Sugar | My Family Travels
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Growing up in a society that embraces technology, my experiences in Boracay have opened my eyes towards a different kind of beauty. I had never been to a place of such pure bliss and extraordinary scenery until I indulged in Boracay’s nature with my mom, brother, aunts, and grandparents, during our summer vacation in the Philippines.

Sunday, August 8, 2010
Beauty is difficult to get a hold of. Our whole morning consisted of traveling: an hour-long flight from Manila to Caticlan, my first motor tricycle and Bangka boat rides, and a truck drive. The weather was hot when we finally arrived at White Beach, and we were welcomed to the Red Coconut Beach Resort with sweet orange juice. We settled in a nice family lodging that had a verandah and three bedrooms with air conditioning which would shut off during random brownouts.

The resort was the perfect spot to relax after the forthcoming long days at the busy beach and restaurants. We enjoyed spending time on the shores of one of the best beaches in the world; walking on soft white sand, floating in bright blue waters. My aunt said you can see fish in shallow water during the dry season, but we were lucky the weather was so nice while we were there during the rainy season.

Monday, August 9, 2010
You’d encounter all sorts of people in Boracay: desperate street vendors, talented adults, bustling tourists. Most travelers were Koreans and Americans, so I felt more welcomed there than I did in Manila. But I wished my cousins were there with me after seeing groups of people having fun together. I almost felt lonely, though nothing can ruin the exhilarating feeling of being in paradise.

That night, our aunts introduced us to Moroccan cuisine at Kasbah. What could get better than that? An exotic dinner on exotic land completely isolated from worries. I tasted new kinds of flavors that reminded me of African rhythms. Interestingly enough, we experienced yet another brownout while eating outside. It wasn’t a big deal because candles added to the colorful ambiance as we listened to the nightlife around us: a loud party, a nearby bar, the ocean breeze and waves.

To end the night we stopped by Zuzuni for Chocolate Sin, the most unforgettable dessert. We all dived for our plates to cool off the enticing hot fudge with ice cream. Somewhat small in size but huge in flavor, the chocolaty delight is something to run back to.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010
My mom, brother and I went around to different shops that final night to buy souvenirs. We took a quick stop at a small store with no customers where I decided to try something new—I wanted to engage in a conversation with someone. (Although I could at least understand Tagalog, I never got around to practice speaking it.) I found a tag-less keychain, and I nervously went up to the saleslady. I asked, “Magkano ito?” She answered in English, “Two dollars.” I was embarrassed and rushed out after a quick “Thank you.” My mom wouldn’t stop mocking me after that.

That was the night I decided I couldn’t and wouldn’t speak that language. (Until I get down to serious learning, anyway.)

Reflection in Retrospect
The overall experience has rekindled my passion for new adventures. Yet there’s still more I’d like to do when I return in the future, like go sailing and build my own sandcastle. Ultimately, it makes me wonder what more the whole world has to offer after seeing how rich and diverse one small island can be.

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