Why Boracay

Why Boracay

07/11/2012 Off By Bryan Ocampo

I haven’t written much about Boracay considering that it’s one of the top destinations in the country. I remember my first visit in 2004(?), when I had to do a site inspection for a media event. My group arrived in the afternoon and had to leave early the next day. I didn’t have a chance to take a swim. I also remember that despite the presence of  moss on the shore and a lot of construction happening the place still looked amazing.

My first stories about Boracay (not Bora, please.) were from a former boss who’s made it his favorite vacation spot for years. He told me about this drink called “Death by Coconut” in honor of the man who slept under the coconut tree; his plane rides just to get there; and his very brief stint as a DJ during a New Year’s Eve party there.

Sounds like he had great fun so I decided to come up with my own list of memorable experiences.

1. My first time to see a topless woman on the beach. Too bad it’s not how I pictured it in the movies.

2. My first time to be in a beach wedding. I was with my wife and close friends last year to witness Mr. and Mrs. Acidhouse get hitched.

3. My second time to see a topless woman on the beach. This time with my wife and yeah, I wasn’t looking. Yeah.

4. My first try on the Flying Fish. The grip really hurt my hands and I was tossed out a couple of times.

5. Comforting and assuring a group of Australian women that the tsunami won’t reach the island. The earthquake in Japan last year made us panic a little.

6. Same group of Australian women at the Kalibo Airport getting me all misty with their thank you’s. What a great way to celebrate my 31st birthday!

7. Trying to find my hotel room in the middle of the night. It was also my first night in Boracay. Too drunk to remember.

8. Korean couples and their matching shirts. There has got to be a photo collection of this.

9. Meeting a talented Filipino actor named Bembol Roco and having a photo taken with him. We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy! <bows>

10. The sand. It’s like walking on powder — well, almost. It’s fine sand!

The Philippines has a lot of great beaches but with the list above, Boracay continues to be a personal favorite.

* * *

I’m posting some photos from a recent tour. It was one for the books because it was my first time to take a nine-hour ride on a passenger ship for Caticlan. My guest and I were supposed to take the same way back to Manila but the Coast Guard made a last-minute call not to allow sea vessels to leave. A typhoon was spotted in the Visayas area.

Puka beach, Boracay. The island on the left is Romblon.

Puka beach, Boracay. The island on the left is Romblon.

Quick thinking is essential in circumstances like this — especially when in the company of guests who need to fly out of the country soon! It’s a good thing then that the agency I worked with on this assignment was efficient and helpful in arranging an alternative mode of transport. From the planned nine-hour ship ride back to Manila, we ended up just waiting four hours for our flight out of the island. Quick thinking — and a cool head — saved the day!


Many faces I have seen
Many places I have been
Walked the deserts, swam the shores
(Coming closer to you)