(This is the first of four planned posts about spending the new year in Boracay, December 29, 2007 to January 1, 2008.)
Ever since we first set foot on Boracay, I’ve always wanted to come back at a time when the water’s free of algae and the sand’s less populated with people and beer bottles. That time would be during the dry off-season of October to February. It’s a relative off-season, since in December to January people rush in to experience Boracay during their vacation.
We’d decided to welcome the new year on the island, so months before the trip our flights were already booked and our reservations had been made. Because of that, we arrived on the island without incident and immediately set out to get a tan.
Armed with our bottles of suntan lotion and sunblock, we laid ourselves out on the beach after a light liquid snack at Jonah’s Fruitshakes. Unfortunately, some cloud cover came and put our tanning on hold. Just at that time, some people tried to get a volleyball game going so my cousin Caelli and I joined them. Yes, volleyball. In our bikinis.
The game ended just in time again for my friend Trondz to invite us out to a sunset cruise sponsored by San Miguel Super Dry beer. (Now, Trondz owns the Ice Monster franchise and Glimmer glitter tattoo shop on the island, so I consider him pretty tuned-in to the happenings on Boracay.) He was able to get our names on the invite list, so we got on the last speedboat going to the M/V Vianelle, the largest sailing trimaran in the Philippines. It was a laidback cruise set to a live performance from a very able singer, who serenaded us with renditions of John Legend songs.
The cruise being a promotional event, it was being covered by 103.5 MaxFM’s DJs Johnny Z and Logan. Since we had come in on the last boatload with them and had made introductions all round, when they started broadcasting live from the trimaran (via cellphone call) it was yours truly who got interviewed. Then Caelli, Marielle and I were photographed as part of San Mig’s photo set to be used for advertising in fashion magazines. We qualified because we were wearing what their idea of “Boracay fashion” was. (You know what? We basically had thrown on what we were wearing at the time because that boat ride was so last-minute.)
That night we turned in early, tired from travel. But not before we caught a full show of firedancers facing off. I was fascinated by the lights and the risk involved, but my paranoia finally got the best of me and by the end of the evening I was sitting out on the sand far away from the smell of kerosene and the sight of flaming cans spinning out on strings.