Doing it slow in the sands of Boracay

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Just lounge around, slow down and enjoy the beach

Do it slow. Don’t rush. Don’t mind the sand getting into your feet, thighs and hair. Just let people stare and look. The important thing is, you enjoy it very much.

I was invited by Nenette Graf as part of media to cover the 22nd Boracay International Funboard Cup, having written about it in CNN Go last year. Nope, I’m not talking about having sex on the sands of Boracay. Those are for dogs or doing it under the cover of darkness for the kick of it there as a New Year treat. I’m talking about enjoying Boracay on the slow. Where a walk, simple things and ordinary sights can add to a beautiful experience. Yes, Boracay on the slow. Just like how I want it to be.

Statue at one of the resorts near Angol
Fruits in ice cream's mint chocolate. Yummy.

I was solo in Boracay, having been invited to cover the funboard race event which CNN Go says is a must go at this time of the year. But I have another image of Boracay, a tourist trap formed during an accidental foray in this island. That it caters mostly to the party and beach animal of which I’m not.

But fortunately in the afternoon, when the funboard cup has finished for the day, instead of just being in my luxurious suite room, I get to explore, primarily White Beach. I had my trepidations but still kept an open mind. D’ Mall is really one tourist trap. No question about it. With the many shops selling overpriced items. But once you get past it, through the path leading to Station 1, it’s a different environment.

I walked barefoot. I wanted to feel the sand and the uneven contours, the small pebbles along the way. I just followed the pathway. Way past the beachfront hotels, the bars.

Camera at hand with the 50mm f/1.8 lens on, I stopped infront of a woman selling chicharon and chichirya. I clicked at a motorcycle parked along with others at one wall. I gazed to the waters and snapped at tourists going down from their sea cruise on a boat with a big sail. Or watched at foreigners and locals playing a round of volleyball.

By the way, you should try going barefoot in this place. It’s not only good for the feet and legs, it makes a beautiful beach experience too. If not, there are other alternative shoes that can be used.

Having fun at the sands

When I got hungry, I stopped to eat at some cheap siomai joint with gulaman. After having seen delectable bananaque, with caramelized sugar sticking, I had one. Not feeling sated, I stopped at Yellow cab and ate some baked potato wedges paired with soda, sitting on a chair near the main pathway and just had a kick looking at people, observing, gazing to the sea, snapping pictures and dip my hands into the carton to get a piece of food. Sipped soda and just lounged.

After almost an hour of walking, I get tempted with Fruits in Ice Cream and just had choco mint and caramel. Pure bliss. A few meters more, I came across MokkiLato, real artisan ice cream and got curious with their flavors that I got tiramisu. Ah. At the rate I’m eating, the more I spend time in Boracay, the bigger I will get.

It's better to just wander in the afternoon

It was a different feeling. Less tourists I guess but just letting myself wander and have an open mind made me appreciate Boracay for its uniqueness. For its tourist trap beauty. Simple things and sights, from a statue of a lady bather sitting infront of a hotel to the myriad items on sale by locals make this contemporary vacation island to one that is cosmopolitan and wordly but still with attached Filipinoness.

Would I go back again? Of course! It might not be some spectacular holiday but I fell in love with the place, and going barefoot and just let the world pass by.

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Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London).

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. Open for work, collaborations and inquiries for site features.

10 thoughts on “Doing it slow in the sands of Boracay

  1. There are those who love Boracay for the parties and there are those who love Boracay for its beach. To each his own. But nobody can argue that it’s one of the most beautiful beach in the Philippines.

  2. Hi Estan! We were there a week ago. With barely two days only to enjoy it (a badly made itin), slow was the last thing on my mind. I felt bad though because there really wasn’t enough time to even appreciate just Boracay itself and not the fandom, the glamour and the fanfare. Perfect excuse to come back then! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. @ayush, thanx
    @mica, yup yup, yung tipong you just linger and people watch and let your thoughts wander ๐Ÿ™‚

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