12 noon. Habagat is here, blowing its winds while the June sun bore down really hard.
We are back on the island, back on one of our favorite haunts, waiting for one of our favorite comfort food — a bowl of agedashi tofu, which unfortunately is prone to inflation, as is everything else in this place.
Exactly a year ago we were probably doing exactly the same thing, seated on the same table, famished but happy. We’ve come twice more between then and now, and Owen and I would always find ourselves in this spot.
Everything looks as I remember it from a year ago: the umbrella tree in front and the plastic lounge chairs surrounding it; foreign families just off the beach coming in — spattering water all over the floor in the process — to order fresh fruit shake to be delivered later to their spot under the tree; somebody kitesurfing on the beach; the beach’s sundry hues of blue.
But this year, there was something else.
There were giggles and laughter as the surf crashed into shore and the wind blew harder.
On the beach were kids — tiny specks of brown against the blanket of blue — swimming naked without a care in the world.
It was a perfect day in Boracay.
Words by Nikka, Photos by Owen
Other Boracay posts
Bone-shaped Boracay was not well loved. We have always thought it was a hostile place for the average Pinoy with the hard-earned vacation leave and even more hard-earned vacation money. We’ve had more fun for less in other places.
But we found ourselves staying in this island for a month, partly for work and entirely by choice. The people we had met during this time—people with easy smiles who welcomed practical strangers like old friends—compelled us to look at the island the way they do. And in this respect, Boracay the pricey island was shoved, and in its place came an island that’s easygoing, laidback, and generous. It was generous in its natural beauty, and even more so in its people.
But then again we also had to live with things that lead many to call the island a sh*thole. I won’t be calling anybody’s home that, but this doesn’t make the bad drainage, choking traffic (both vehicular and pedestrian), and many other unpleasant images, mostly at the expense of the environment, any less real. They are.
White Beach itself isn’t as placid as I remember it from two years ago, and the changes in the tides have become drastic. There were days when we could barely walk along White Beach from Diniwid, as crashing waves lent some parts practically impassable with the slightest rains.