The boy in the bubble.

Trip Start Aug 27, 2011
Trip End Jun 01, 2012

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Flag of Philippines  , Visayas,
Thursday, December 8, 2011

Boracay, Philippines - In many respects, this is my ideal of hell. Loud music, loud people, excessive drinking and not being able to hear anyone talk so I normally find any excuse to leave and go back to sleep. I spoke to a few people before I travelled to Boracay, discussing my concerns but we came to a conclusion, there would also be cultural travellers as well as party travellers in Boracay. Luckily, I met a few cultural travellers who made me experience completely opposite to what I expected!

The plan was to sleep, relax, read, eat food, swim, walk, meet some couchsurfers and chill. Well, it all changed when I got talking to Jeroen from Holland. We chatted while we waited for our delayed flight then chatted more when the flight landed. I had no idea we circled five times, the pilot indicated I should go to sleep as soon as we took off.

I was staying at Trafalgar cottages and the owner sent a son to come meet me. Seeing as Jeroen had no where to stay I got the son to help him get us to Boracay. One lands at Caticlan. Jump into a tricycle. Jump into a boat after paying three different taxed fees. Then another tricycle to the cottages. On the ride I offer to split my room with Jeroen till he found something else. This meant changing from my own double bed to two singles. The cottages were cute, a camp owner and the smell of paint in the air.

I had also arranged to meet a couple of couch surfers that night, so Jeroen and I headed out for dinner and beers before we met the CSs. I had local chicken Adobo for dinner, very tasty indeed! As I was very thirsty, I made the mistake of ordering a bucket of beer instead of water, three San Miguels did not last long at all, uh oh!

We met the others at a beach bar called Charls, drank loads more beer and chatted to Merji and Janice, two locals of Boracay. In waiting for them, a group of girls kept looking over so I assumed it was them. Nope, they were what the locals term, 'hookers'. Merji, Jeroen and I went to a Filipino club after that and within a few hours, I gained some consciousness and found I was dancing with a stranger. Turns out it was a 'hooker' apparently took me away from my group in my beered state. Jeroen rescued me and we were both knackered so headed back. It should have only took twenty minutes to walk back, but neither of us remember what the alley looks like that leads to our cottage. We stop off at an upstairs bar for a beer and for some help. We troop on, grab a kebab for norishment and find ourselves at a closed bar with an excited but pissed off young lady. I feel asleep at the bar while Jeroen investigated the whereabouts of our place. Eventually, we pay a motorcyclist to drive us. He firstly drives through a moat of sewage, before turning around and driving back through it. Then I recognize my street and we're back. The twenty minute walk took two hours to find the cottage! Oh boy!

We slept in till 230pm and after a wander, the process started again! We ate dinner, drank some beers at Charls, drank some more at Exit then heard about a Full moon party on the other side of the island. We jumped in a tricycle and drove through more moats of crap and piss! The party was at a bar called jungle, so not quite a full moon party but it was a cool venue that was located right on the beach. We bumped into a Belgium couple, Alexis and Veerle. They were on our flight the previous day but got bumped to an earlier flight. Although, this flight did not make it to Caticlan but instead went to Kalibo and it took four extra hours to get to Boracay. Veerle has been a couchsurfing host and we all hung out for the night. They were only out for one drink but left after we did. Jeroen and I headed back into town for some food then back to sleep.

The next day was pretty similar. We met some other people at the exit bar and I upset two people. The full moon party had the theme of fake mostaches, one girl looked awful, I told her she was an ugly man, she laughed and high fived me but her friend got upset?? Later, we met two young lads from Australia, one was on something and when he talked about Ants, I told him I'd given up listening and he went home upset?? Man! Jeroen and I shared a tricycle with the other Aussie kid who could barely hang on. Now this night turned into what normally happens to me, Jeroen was chatting away to an Estonian girl and I found myself bored and wanting to go home. Jeroen left to go back to the Estonian girls place so I could go home, well, not before some chicken for supper.

So, if you forgot, I'm in Boracay. With a postcard perfect 3km long white beach on it's resume and the country's best nightlife, it's not hard to figure why Boracay draws in so many tourists. Many are from Korea, Russia and Australia but there are also many European backpackers. The island holds Philippines most famous sun set. Parasails, sea birds and paraw (small bangka sailboats) cut across the technicolour horizon while palm trees whisper in the breeze and reggae wafts through the air.

I've been on the island for three days but I've yet to dip my toe in the water. During the day, it's so hot and humid, there is very little a gingerman can do. Jeroen and I hung out on the beach a couple of times (close to sun set) we went zorbing one afternoon, which was a fun and wet experience and on our 4th night took it easier drinking. Sundays are very chilled, we ate a cheap buffet of sea food and bad pasta but there was a bottomless glass of orange squash! Sweet! We played a couple hours of pool before meeting Merji, Tess and Krishna at BomBom bar. Sweet Janice called it boom boom bar. We had drinks there and still ended up in a few bars and clubs later. The girls are fun, Merji laughs at so many things and when she laughs, she'll stick her hand up in the air for a high five! Tess is fun and loves dancing and Krishna had been shot by cupid. Some lad from Finland, who was leaving soon, and apparently had met other 'girlfriends' on his journey. The one comment I felt sad about was the fact the girls always dress down so they are not mistaken for hookers. There are so many out each night, it's sad really. Very old men on holiday by themselves, mid life crisis or something, but the girls where normal casual clothes to keep their reputation intact. Merji has lived there so long she was constantly pointing out hookers and there were lots of ladyboys patrolling the streets late at night grabbing your arm and talking with a deep voice!

We promised ourselves on the last night we would not drink. We had dinner in a cool cafe next to our cottage, it had free wifi so we didn't have to talk. With all the drinking and shouting in someone's ear, we were both losing out voice. We played some more pool then met Janice at BomBom. Tess, Krishna, two German guys and Merji joined us. I even ordered a milkshake determined not to drink. Annoyingly, the 7 of us were talking when a hot German couple sat down and never ever had the courtesy to say hello, just started talking to their German friend. I mentioned it to Jeroen and he was a bit annoyed too. Well, Brad and Angelina didn't stay long.
Janice was the sweetest of all the girls, a little quiet but she collects European coins so I had some spare from my journey so far. She didn't believe Moldova or Belarus were countries. I had to show her a map on my itouch to show her where they were. She was very grateful and it was the least I could do seeing as she gave up her time to meet Jeroen and I.

Next morning, I was due to leave at 7 am to get a boat to Caticlan. But everyone kept going on about how it was my last night. We ended having five beers but somehow got home at 5am. I packed, slept for a little then left to jump in a tricycle for a king day of travelling back to Manila by bus and boat.

I was sad to say goodbye to Jeroen. We got on like a house on fire and were ribbing each other pretty quickly. He called me the boy in the bubble. Relating more to my white skin, avoiding the sun, some apparent allegies I have but I also take that term as to how I've led my life the last few years, just protecting myself and putting a bubble around me. An insightful guy but also a very funny guy. We listened often to the Ricky Gervais show and I think I drank more beer with him than I drank all year!! Before he went to sleep on our last night he was mumbling about how good mates we had become! I can't imagine what my experience would have been like without meeting Jeroen.

Next stop, back to Manila.
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Kimberly on

Great pictures...beautiful beaches and sunsets. Sounds like you met some good peeps there!

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