Thursday, May 12, 2011

Boracay-bound

Two weeks just seemed to fly by and tomorrow we're flying to Boracay for a short getaway. I'm excited, yes, since it's been two years since my last trip there (we decided to skip it for some places else last year). At the same time I'm also anxious -- maybe upset even -- because this island paradise seems to be on an unstoppable downward spiral. And each time I'm there, I see the accelerating decline.

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The last time I was in Boracay was in June 2009 post-surgery. It was like a gift to myself and My Bibe after almost two years of stress and deprivation brought about by my medical condition (that one is a long story and I guess I'll just have to blog about it separately in time). I wasn't able to swim or go on a real vacation during that period. Anyway, back to my 2009 trip, I was really thin then -- and not in a good way.

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One of the things that upset me about Boracay is that the beach is becoming narrower each time, as you can see in the photo below. Even two years before that, the sea was already much nearer. When asked, locals would casually say it's just high tide. I've been there many times before and the sea was never this close even during high tide. Just take a look at Willy's Rock, how inaccessible it is during high tide and sometimes even when the tide has already ebbed.

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Oh, and I was surprised to see a Starbucks on the beach!

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And a Shakey's restaurant!

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A couple of years ago the local government of Boracay has banned dogs on the beach. I'm not sure of the extent since I haven't read the ordinance itself but I've heard and read a lot of horror stories about dog snatchers, impounded dogs that aren't fed or properly cared for, unclaimed dogs that are euthanized, that this ordinance has sort of become a "business" for some, etc. This is another thing that definitely upsets me because I'm so fond of all those doggies frolicking on the sand and swimming in the waters. To me it was an added charm to the island. But no more. And oh, now you need a permit to build a sandcastle? Crazy, right? Now I'd have to check about all of that while I'm there.

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Enough with all the negatives for now. Anyway, we'll be staying at The Tides (our first time there). I just miss Patio Pacific where My Bibe and I used to stay a couple of times. Our rooms were good, very spacious. I remember during our last time there, we were given a complimentary room upgrade. The only downside with Patio, though, is its distance from the beach although we really don't mind.

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Even the bathroom's spacious. I remember it opened to a pocket garden, which was cool.

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I also find their containers for shampoo and other stuff cute.

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Forget about breakfast, though, because it never was any delight. But on one visit there, our package included one complimentary lunch or dinner. We chose dinner and this was what they served for just the two of us (it's a lot!):

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Oh well. I must admit I still love Boracay. I just hope we'll have a good experience at The Tides and the island in general. How about you, when was your last visit to Boracay?

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