I was sitting in the living room with Ben one night, deep in the depths of the internet, drinking a Macau Beer (again), and dumbed down from the monotony and depression of my life. Neither of us had spoken for probably an hour. Not for spite or resentment or anything in that vicinity. At this point in our friendship, I think we had said every thought we had ever had to each other. “Let’s go to the Philippines. It’s been a while, and we have a three-day weekend coming up." Boracay it is.
We searched the internet and found a hotel we liked. We pulled up on a tuk tuk style taxi and paid the driver. The hotel just happened to be under water so we decided not to stay there. A very nasty storm was coming in. As we walked down the beach, sand pelted our faces, arms, and legs. As expected, the beach was beautiful, though it had an obvious glare of over-tourism. We walked the entire length of the tourist section, and found a beautiful little tree-house style hotel. Living in a tree-house rules.
Strangely enough, the best Greek food I’ve ever had in my life came in Boracay. Some fantastic seafood as well, as expected. It really was a beautiful place, but its reputation of being the party beach has certainly done it some damage. It was my least favorite place in the Philippines (besides the mind shattering mess of Manila) but that’s like having a least favorite Victoria’s Secret model.
Luckily I did get to change my mind a bit about Manila. Our flight was cancelled so we ended up with a free day and night in the city. It was interesting walking out of the airport with no trace, no passport stamp, and no immigration. Somewhere in my passport, I have two exit stamps for one entry. We did actually have a nice time. We went to the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, found a place with real American micro-brew’s, and even had the pleasure of eating at Wendy’s for the first time in years.
I’ll always love the Philippines, no matter where I am.