Monday, January 24, 2011
Red sky Boracay
Last year I passed into the New Year in Boracay; this time around I gave the holiday a miss and came a few days afterwards. (Thus avoiding “super-peak season” prices.) There’s little to be said about Boracay that hasn’t been said before – or, more specifically, that I haven’t said before. Since my site was only a few hours from the island, and since some travelers used Iloilo City as the entrypoint to Boracay, I’ve said a lot about it. It’s too crowded. Too commercial. Too much of a non-Filipino enclave.
But it does have a pretty beach and good food and, like all beaches in the Philippines seem to do, it faces west.
Boracay is at its best when sun, sand and waves are all that exist – or when they are complemented by young locals placing their carefully lighted candles into sand lanterns, or busily shuttling cockroach passengers along the beach in toy cars. There’s a lot of ugliness on the island, but it still shines on occasion.
I knew this second goodbye to the Philippines would be more definite – I won’t be making another trip there anytime soon, though I certainly hope to get back someday. This time, unlike in November, I had a ticket back to the US. But I still had two weeks before I would be making that last series of flights home. In the meantime, I had one last country to explore, and a little after midnight on January 20 I touched down in Ho Chi Minh City to begin a long crawl up Vietnam’s coast.