Beaches white as snow, soft as flour – Boracay, Philippines

My way to Borracay led via Manila, to a little airfield close to Borroacay. At the counter of “Asian Spirit” I receive my manual boarding pass, with handwritten seat assignment. A small turbo prop plane is waiting to take me. After a short flight the plane descends towards the landing strip on the nearby, larger island. The friendly staff of our island paradise is picking us up for the transfer to the boat. A colorful, narrow outrigger is our transportation for the last leg of our trip.

As we pass the island of Boracay, we see mostly dense forest vegetation, only few houses seem to stand out. Soon enough the boat heads towards the beach were our resort is supposed to be. Only in the last moment can we see the low buildings among the trees…yet the boat stops about 50 yards from shore. With a smile, our skipper asks us to wade ashore. Fortunately, we are in shorts and sandals, the water is shallow, and we wade ashore. The staff is welcoming us with tropical drinks on the beach. What a welcome difference to the JumboJet arrival and mass coach transfer to a concrete hotel towering over beach and palm trees in too many resort destinations!
We settle into our bamboo built cottage, a hammock with a view of the ocean on the patio. We decide to explore the island and start with a walk along the beach. The powder fine, white sand is tickling our toes as we walk along the water’s edge. The crystal clear water is shimmering in postcard colors in front of us. As we walk along, we see more resorts and restaurants hiding among the trees, people enjoying the pools or beach. Sandy walkways lead inland, winding between the many low buildings.
To see more of the island, we rent a little motorcycle and head up one of the few roads, towards Mt. Luho. The road is steep and we clamber up the hill, sending the gravel flying. At the top of the road, we have to leave our motorcycle behind to climb a narrow footpath up the mountain. We are rewarded with astonishing views of the island, covered in forest and lined by white beaches.
We continue our tour towards Puka Beach. A wide beach with few visitors awaits us. A short walk brings us to our “private” island, rarely disturbed by people strolling along the beach.
Our next destination, Ilig-Iligan Beach is even further out and we find a deserted stretch of sand that we have all to ourselves. The wreck of a ship sits high on the shore, stranded in a storm long ago. Just the right place to forget time…
Back at our resort, we order some cocktails and take our seats for the last act of the day: Watching the sun set over the beach. We are not disappointed by the sun dipping slowly into the ocean, flooding the sky in red and orange. In our room, good night wishes are handwritten on a big, green leaf on our bed, with pralines on top, a sweet good night in paradise.

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