Fun Vacation in the Philippines, Part 5

Hi ! Renxkyoko Iglesias here .

I am  having  bad days lately .  I don’t feel like posting , but it’s almost the end of the month,  and I’ve had just one post for April.  I had promised to myself I would post at least twice a month , so though I’ve been feeling a bit angsty  , a promise is a promise.

So, here’s my  Fun Vacation in the Philippines, Part 5, as promised.

My Boracay Island  vacation  had been fun, albeit the disappointing scenes that we saw there. I’m not supposed to say that because we have a vacation house that we plan to rent out  to tourists. See the house HERE.  We went there with high expectations and so much enthusiasm to see  the new house . What we saw instead  was too much commercialization of the island…… hotels, restaurants, , tatoo and massage parlors,   mobile vendors selling cheap souvenirs and ” street food”, everything right there  at the beach front.  I’m not complaining about vendors plying their wares, per se, but they ‘ve turn the place into one chaotic place.     I understand  the locals need to earn a living, but …….  They are not even ” locals”, and that’s our relatives’  issue.    As late as 1980, the  small island was unpopulated.  The only people living there were fishermen and they were  my great grandma’s tenants. My maternal great grandma used to own  more than one – half of the island, but had sold off  the bulk of the land to big developers.  Then  after the sale,  these big developers  started building hotels, and  resorts.  People from neighboring island  started coming to look for work in construction  but  built their residences  illegally.  Our relatives didn’t sell to individual buyers .    In fact, we had to pay off a family whom we found residing on our property, more than $3,000, cash.  I have so much to say about this state of affairs in the Philippines without sounding like the lord of the manor overseeing  his fiefdom. So, I won’t.  But if you’re from the Philippines reading this, I’m very sure you know what I’m talking about.  It’s a sense of entitlement  bordering on lawlessness, encouraged  by  a politician they call Barangay Chairman, in exchange for votes. Even the Barangay chairman himself  is a squatter.  My mother’s first cousin once went there to check  on her properties . She brought along some people from the Land Management office. They were met by an angry man residing on her property, and he was  carrying a machete.  The government  employees ran away, never to return . ” You’re on your own, Ma’m.  Next time, bring the Army.”11 It’s reverse social injustice in action.  On our end, we just want law and order to prevail.  They have already run the beautiful , pristine island down  to the ground.

Good thing our piece of real estate is on the quieter part of the island…… still nice.  Most importantly, we were able to kick out the trespasser without too much trouble. Aaargh.  I do not know how I can talk about this social dilemma without sounding like an asshole.

Moving along……..

Here are some older  photos, with my father in it.

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And here are some photos we took, with me in it.

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.Photo below is the only  restaurant at the beach, owned by a relative.  We ate our lunch here, free, courtesy of said relative. Lunch consisted of crabs, shrimps , and grilled fish, covered with banana  leaf,and coconut juice, straight from the fruit.   The  dishes were simple, nothing was added, except salt, but  they tasted heavenly. Very fresh. We even saw the fisherman who delivered  his  morning haul  to the restaurant.

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The following photos were taken at the other part of the island  where tourists and vacationers can have fun .Restaurants are everywhere, hotels, inns, shops  and at night, music  and entertainment.

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.We donated  100 pesos ( USD 2.50 ) for the  boy’s handiwork. … and for the ” photoshoot. ” . Ha ha.  No, he didn’t ask for anything, but we voluntarily  gave something for the effort. DSCN0112

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On  above  photo, you can see the storm clouds, low tide and me in the middle , that  hot girl in bikini, he he.

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Ice cream !  Yumm !  The hearty lunches and dinners and  constant snacking  had started to  fill up my waistline and cheeks.  I thought one more week of this , and I’d just float in the sea like a beach ball.  I think  the flabs are already  showing on photo below.

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Halowich was where we hang out everyday.  The ice cream was the best I had ever tasted.DSCN0186

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.I had banana mocha.

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.I bought a beach wrap here.

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We bought barbecued chicken intestines, gizzards and squid.  The intestines tasted  kind of funky,  the gizzards were delicious, and the squids were chewy.

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The people you see were mostly Korean  tourists.  There’s a joke among Filipinos that South Koreans  are not worried about North Korea because 1/2 of their population are already living in the Philippines.  I’m surprised though that even at our subdivison in Manila, there are at least 5 Korean restaurants.  Oh, wait. There’s a Korean elementary school nearby , just walking distance from our house.

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The 2 scantily clad ” women ” in the photo above are actually ” males”…. transgender…… they are fire dancers.

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The band in the picture above was pretty good.  They played mostly Santana songs.  Oye  Como Va !

This is all for now…………. more Boracay photos on my next post.  Thank you for reading, and PEACE !

 

 

 

 

 

 

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124 responses to this post.

  1. Vacation! All I ever wanted!

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  2. You have some GORGEOUS captures – that water – beautiful! So glad the initial disappointment didn’t linger long and you were able to enjoy your vacation. Hope your “funk” moves on soon! 🙂

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    • My mother was the one mos tshocked . She was a able to compare the Before and After. The place was a little paradise then. I didn’t have anything to compare it with, but I think Iknew what it was.

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  3. Always a delight to view your pictures and the info on your vacations. Sad about how the island is changing. Make the best out of it at times, and try not to get down. Share when you are moved to share! Hugs and blessings my sister!

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  4. P.S. Thanks for always embracing my poetry and also your visits! It always brings a smile!!!!

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  5. Posted by Jackie Saulmon Ramirez on April 29, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    Ren, it looks like you did enjoy your vacation. It’s sad about developers ruining the place. It’s all for the love of money that they do these things. I had an island here in the U.S. where there were only about 105 residents; now that has risen and the land on the island is being divided up and marked for more businesses and homes. And to think, when I was a teenager, I could walk for two miles on the beach and never see a soul. That will all change.

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    • My Mom said that as late as 1975, the island was so pristine, and beautiful. She was most shocked , no surprise here.

      By theway, it wasn’t the developers who ruined the place…. it’s the migrants who did. They built shacks everywhere, on private properties.

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    • We enjoyed it , just the same, Jackie. You can tell, from our silly smiles. Ha ha

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  6. Wonderful post, Ren. 🙂

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  7. Great post, Ren! I always love your pictures. It’s too bad about the commercialization. People have to ruin everything! Unfortunately, it happens all the time. As Joni Mitchell said in 1970 in her song “Big Yellow Taxi” – They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot.

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    • Yes, something like that. We have pics of the island from about 20 years ago. The beach was empty of people… just white beach as far as your eyes can see.

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  8. Wonderful photos here, Ren!! Sorry to hear about the developers though. Sending hugs!!

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    • Christy, actually, it’s not the developers. They are okay…. the problem are the migrants , thousands and thousands of them who have taken over private properties , and won’t leave unless you pay them off , like we did, before we were able to construct our vacation house. The Barangay Chairman encouraged folks from neighboring islands to come, and allow them to build their houses on private properties, and then they vote for him on election day.

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      • Oh I see, thanks for clarifying that for me. That is sooooo not right about having to pay them to be able to construct your home. There is so much not right in the world. Want to know what is right though? How awesome you are, Ren!! 🙂 Hugs to you

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  9. I’m sorry your days have been so gloomy. Cheer up.

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  10. Happy to hear that you had some “time off” so to speak. Thanks for the lovely tour around this beautiful (yes, it still is) island).
    I don’t believe there are many places left around this beautiful Earth that haven’t changed because of tourism. enjoy a peaceful day

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    • It’s a pity I have not seen the place as it was 20 years ago. But I can imagine it must have been beautiful. My Mom said it was. Just imagine that small island with no people on it.

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      • Every where has changed in 20 years. Yes, it must have been very different. It still is quite beautiful.

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        • My mother saw it when she was a kid, and maybe several times after that, with friends, family, and oh, with Dad when they weren’t married yet. ^^ The last time she was there was in 1979 . They went around the island on a small banca , and she swears she didn’t see a single person on the beach.

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  11. haha may sexy na bumisita sa boracay. 😛

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  12. A beautiful and fun place for vacation! 🙂

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  13. Oye como va…Now I wanna sip cocktails while I watch the fire dancers!

    Here in the Midwest, we have some small towns which aim to stay small, and will not allow large corporations to build or acquire land, for fear it will change the vibe of their small town. Not everything should be commercialized, but tourism does seem to bring people who want what’s at home in a different location, which to me is a bit odd…not how I like to travel.

    Lovely photos 🙂

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    • My great grandma sold off the bulk to large developers, we don’t really mind that, but then comes population explosion, and I don’t know how the small island can sustain that. The rest of the population , those who came to work, have no means to buy properties there, so they illegally just build their house on private properties of ABSENTEE landowners, like my family, who had to pay off the people whom we found residing on our property . They wouldn’t leave unless we pay them off. It’s a sad business.

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  14. Beautiful pictures. Seems a Great vacation place.

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  15. Looks like a beautiful place, but it always makes me sad to hear when those “paradise-on-earth” places get overrun by tourists and hustlers. It sounds a bit like Patong Beach on Phuket in Thailand? I understand that you’re hesitant to talk about the country’s challenges, but I can understand from my Filipino friends that it can be quite a struggle:) Boracay still looks nice though:)

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    • Used to be #1 for so many years, now it’s just #7.

      Hustlers are not allowed, I grant them that, but it seems everyone except tourists wants to cash in… merchants all over…. I don’t even want to think if the island has enough resources to support the growing population. It’s a small island , Mitzee ! ! How about garbage, sewer, etc ?

      It’s worrisome because my family also wants to cash in, ha ha ha… but I have to vent about what’s going on there.

      You can still go and visit, by the way. Just don’t have high expectations. The beaches on other places are still pristine and beautiful.

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  16. Gosh, I haven’t been there yet but you showed how the island looks like back when all those ugly structures were not there yet. And you’re right, it has has become too commercialized. It is so sad really. Palawan may probably be next, Money is still the top reason why they are all there. Nakakaloka! They don’t know how to appreciate the gifts of nature.

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    • May I call you Tita Arlene ?

      It used to be uninhabited, except for a few fishermen. It was privately owned, the whole island , by our great, great grandparents. As of 1980, the last time my mother was there, it was still that way, pristine.

      Then big chunks of land were sold off to big developers… the land was never sold to individual buyers. The problem is, because of constructions and building activities, people from neighboring island ( Aklan ) began migrating to look for jobs. And Tita Arlene, you know what that means. They built shacks on private properties. Trycicle drivers, carpenters, workers at hotels….

      Meanwhile, we , who own the remaining land, are ABSENTEE landowners. And you know what happens with idle lands, It’s a sad social commentary, right ?

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      • There’s BLIGHT. What do we expect to see, beautiful mansions ?

        I’m okay with the idea of livelihood for them, but the locals don’t know how to take care of the place. My Mom says some areas look like ” slum ” areas, like what we see in Manila.

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      • It makes me really sad, reading this. You know what even here in Metro Manila. there are places occupied by squatters fro so long and the government finds it hard to evict them, the real owners can’t do anything. They are relocated in some far off places complete with housing facilities but they go back to because work is nearer and they squat again. By all means you may call me tita, I would really like that. I am commenting from my new blog by the way. in preparation for when my limits at Dreams and Escapes are fully utilized.

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        • * sigh * Do we know that ! ! There was a family living on our property. They wouldn’t leave unless we pay them. And guess what !!!!! It was the Barangay Chairman who set the price ! PhP 150, 000. What is your bet he got a a percentage from that ? What kind of nonsense was that that we had to pay for them to leave, on our property ? * shakes head *

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          • Why don’t you consult a lawyer and have them evicted? for sure, pinagkakaperahan yan ng barangay chairman.

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            • Ha ha They had been evicted already, after payment, and the house is finished. Check out my post , the link is there. I have photos of the house . ” My Fun Vacation in the Philippines, Part 4

            • What I mean is , the other properties you have there aside from that one. Yes, I saw the pictures….love them all.

            • Oh. Our relatives”…….. Very problematic. I think they should just give them money, like we did. I don’t think we’ll get justice there. It’s also dangerous to fight it out in court of law. They’ll just pick up their machetes , unless we bring the Army.

  17. Posted by abyssbrain on May 2, 2015 at 8:31 am

    That’s interesting. So, your family owned half of the island before. Boracay is a very beautiful island. I’ve been there a few times myself. That’s why it’s a shame that Boracay is now under the controls of greedy capitalists and corrupt politicians.

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    • My maternal great great grandparents actually. When they died, the heirs inherited it, of course. And then sold them off to developers ,but left some to family members. The problem is, we are all absentee landowners. Mugrants took over and built houses on private lands, encouraged by politicians , and because they were the ones who allowed them to grab the land, ergo, the landgrabbers voted for them . Most of the migrants were relatives,… they came as carpenters, tricycle drivers, etc. Instead of going to court, we just paid them off. It would cost us more to pay a lawyer. That’s the sad state of affairs in the Philippines. It”s hard to evict squatters. they are also protected by the politicians.

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      • Posted by abyssbrain on May 2, 2015 at 9:03 am

        I have relatives in 5he Philippines so I clearly understand the situation there. That’s also what they are doing in places like Manila. That’s why 5here are so many squatters there. It’s worse if the Baranggay captain and the mayor of the area came from the same political party. And the justice system there is too slow, so yeah, you would end up paying higher legal fees if you take the issue to the court.

        Btw, just a year ago, I heard that there are many hotels and business establishments that were illegally built in Boracay. There’s no doubt that the politicians in Aklan, particularly in Boracay were given some “gifts” for them to build their structures there.

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        • Right.

          I heard some of them are professional squatters. My parents ‘ families have given up on some of their propertie in Manila. They can’t even sell the land because there are permanent structures on the property. O_O

          The old folks thought that wealth depended on how many land properties they owned. That’s how it was a long time ago. And it seems Filipinos don’t respect private properties… well, because they can get away with it.

          So, are you a Filipino?

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          • Posted by abyssbrain on May 2, 2015 at 9:59 am

            Yeah, those professional squatters are very hard to deal with. Even if there is a court order telling them to leave the area, they won’t leave without a fight. They have the “protection” of some of the politicians in that area, so they are not afraid.

            That’s actually the reason why there are always fires in squatter areas. Some of the more “impatient” landowners wouldn’t deal with the informal settlers’ BS, so they would just order somebody to burn the houses.

            My mother is from the Philippines while my father is a Chinese. So, I’m half Filipino.

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    • Oh wait ! You’ve been there ? Where? Which part of the island ?

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      • Posted by abyssbrain on May 2, 2015 at 9:09 am

        I have been there 5 times, I think, so I have already visited a lot of places there. The White beach and Bulabog beach are some of the beaches that first come into mind. The Puka beach and the other beaches are very nice as well. Also, the Bat cave is quite awesome since I like to see any animal up close.

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        • Wow ! 5 times !

          There’s another island nearby, Carabao Island…. . they promise that what happened in Boracay will never happen at Carabao Island. We’ll see.

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          • Posted by abyssbrain on May 2, 2015 at 10:01 am

            Yes, I’m aware of that island.

            Promises are meant to be broken especially in the political world, so it’s hard to tell if that would still be the case in the future.

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  18. sana dumating ang araw na masilayan ko din ang Bora, LOL

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  19. I always love your jaunts and the things they teach me about the Philippines. Those transgender ladymen would make it a trip fraught with potential for embarrassment though haha.

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    • Ugh ! It’s more like airing our dirty laundry, which I really didn’t like to do, SteJ.

      Re the ” ladies” ….. psssst, * looks around* * whispers* SteJ, they’re * cough* sexy . I actually thought they were women.

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      • I’d like to add, transgender folks are women . * My transgender friend will kilee me if she got to read this “. She’s all woman.

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        • Blimey, I’m sure those ladies had an interesting story to tell in regards to their transgender status, it is impressive that people can’t tell the difference though.

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          • Two days ago, I watched this political show , and the topic was about transgenders. Of course , there was no doubt the guest was a transgender, and I couldn’t believe she used to be a male ( and she is from the Philippines ) OMG ! She’s gorgeous ! ! !

            The Philippines is one of the top 10 most tolerant country , occupies #5, could have been higher if marriage equality was allowed. Spain is # 1, then Brazil, the Netherlands, I forget what else … oh wait, Italy. One thing, I notice majority are Catholic countries, including the Philippines. Believe it or not, the US and the UK are not even in the top 10. When we first came in, my parents noticed the Americans were intolerant of gays…. it surprised them because the Philippines was extremely tolerant, and didn”t think of gender as an issue. Over here in the US, it was ( and still is ) so my Mom was like, ” Huh” ?

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            • That is fascinating about Catholicism, a religion not known for it’s tolerance in so many areas. I think it pays to be progressive, countries and cultures need to move forward whilst keeping a framework of ‘themselves’ as it were. Perhaps the US and UK are still in a mindset of isolationism and longing for ‘the good old days’ which in a global world is always going to be a failure.

          • The Fundamentalists are in power now here in the US. These so- called Religious have quite incomprehensible mindset. I’m not talking about their homophobia…. it’s their aversion to the poor and love for war. If you ask what evil is, it’s a Republican politician. It’s almost mind-blowing.

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            • It’s no coincidence that all these politicians have links to the big companies that need wars to keep the profit rising. The Republicans seem to do their best to sabotage their own party constantly, it is amazing that they hold as much sway as they do.

  20. Hope those bad days are turning around, Ren. The pics are wonderful, and it’s lovely to see more of that fantastic trip.

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  21. Awesome pictures. Thanks for sharing!

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  22. Posted by ~REBECCA DAWN~ on May 4, 2015 at 1:38 am

    If only every part the world was just as beautiful. I guess paradise is different to everyone point of view!!! 😀💕

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    • Rebecca, my Mom had seen the island when it was a real paradise, in every sense of the word. There are still parts of the island that remain untouched by ” progress”. You better go and see them before they disappear entirely.

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      • Posted by ~REBECCA DAWN~ on May 4, 2015 at 2:35 am

        It would be wonderful!
        See all that natural beauty not touched by man or civilization.
        Its sad when we have to destroy something in order to appreciate it. When we realize, that over population is killing us not helping us.

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        • Overpopulation is the culprit. the small islands’ resources cannot suppost that many people.

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          • Posted by ~REBECCA DAWN~ on May 5, 2015 at 9:11 pm

            Yes it is. Very disgusting that people think its OK to pop out 5 to 10 kids when the economy everywhere is so crappy!

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  23. An interesting read. So sad to hear that. I was in Boracay in 2003 ish and it was lovely then possibly just beginning the downward slide. There are some places like that in Thailand too, places I visited very early on before they became the place to be and on return they were sadly unrecognisable. Appreciate the honesty!

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    • and thank you for visiting my blog!

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      • You’re welcome, and cheers !

        We’re going to rent out our vacation house there. It’s a 5 bedroom house. I don’t want to hype it and then for vacationers to get terribly disappointed . The commercialized area is in one small part of the island , anyway. There are still parts of the island that are beautiful., and relatively untouched by ” progress”.

        And I don’t want folks to demand a refund ! Ha ha ha

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  24. I always love your holidays, and the zest with which you record them I’m really sad to hear you’ve had some “bad days” recently as you are truly one of my favourite blogging friends and I like to think of you as happy and fulfilled. Hopefully the clouds in your sky will clear soon, and you will return to your natural sunny self 🙂
    .

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    • * sigh * I think I’m going to blog about these bad days. Another one came, so I guess it’s time to talk about it. Anyway, cheers, Peter Wells.

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  25. Sounds like a real vacation. Peace.

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  26. Wow. Wish I was there.

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    • Make your wish come true. Go to Boracay, and ask where ” The White House ” is, just across from the elementary school. Ha ha * I’m advertising *

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  27. What a wonderful trip you had! I have never been to Boracay, was thinking to visit it last year but we decided to skip it because we heard how crowded it could be in the New Year period.. 🙂 maybe next time..thanks so much for the insights!

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    • I heard about that. Even our vacation house there is booked the whole of December, 2015. Come after the new year. Cheers, Indah Susanti !

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  28. Looks like you had a great vacation at Boracay Island. And what a gorgeous place. I hope your bad days have long gone by now. 🙂

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    • yes, thank you. The bad days are gone.

      . I still think the island is gorgeous and postcard pretty and untouched by the brazen commercialism present at some places.

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  29. Your vacations always look like so much fun!

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  30. sana i can email you, where can i email you pala? 😛

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  31. You’ve been away for a while. Everything okay?

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  32. Posted by equinoxio21 on May 27, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    Looks like a small corner of paradise. (Think about it when you feel moody)
    🙂

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    • A small corner of paradise thousands of miles from home. I wish it was a mere one hour drive . It makes me feel moody. lol Cheers !

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      • Posted by equinoxio21 on June 9, 2015 at 4:02 pm

        Yeah. I’m thinking of buying a house on the beach. Anywhere. But the Philippines are a bit far away! 😎

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        • And very expensive to go there. I’m being negative here, but you may want to rethink about living on the beach….. climate change , y’know, and tsunamis. Ha ha ha

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  33. Posted by ~REBECCA DAWN~ on June 4, 2015 at 2:22 am

    How are you, my lovely Ren?! thinking about you! Hope you are feeling great!:)

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  34. Posted by abyssbrain on June 4, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Sorry, I have to refollow your blog, since the “unfollowing bot” of WordPress is active once more and it graciously unfollowed your blog for me…

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  35. Great post. I liked that it wasn’t all vacation pics, but that you wrote some incredible commentary, all based on first-hand experience of how the Barangay chiefs and other d-bag politicians basically screw everybody in the Philippines, including Mother Nature. I found the same in Coron. Tons of money being collected for the parks and so on, yet zero going back to infrastructure for the locals. I suspect, however, that all of the Coron Barangay dudes have new pools and hot cars up in Barangay. A lot of my own posts are about the Phils, where I’ve lived off and on and love to bits. But the short-sightedness of the politicians, and to be honest, the willingness to exploit just about everything by the rich, is always a sore spot. With a bit of common sense, the Phils could be THE tourism and business hub of Asia. The best beaches. The most adaptive people in the world. Awesome live music! (OK, that’s just my own personal fave). And AMAZING scenery that is like nowhere else on earth. So I definitely do feel your pain about Boracay. But I still love it and can’t wait to go back 🙂

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  36. Posted by Ryoko on June 9, 2015 at 4:08 am

    Oh, vacation! Looks so fun !

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  37. Looks like you had a very good time there! 🙂

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  38. Great photos – I want to go!

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  39. Amazing photos! ❤

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  40. Great post. Respect for property is important. Without it we have no civilization. Your property is gorgeous.

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  41. This definitely looks like a whole lot of fun.

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  42. Reblogged this on James' World 2.

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  43. Posted by kybedard on September 9, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Netflix? You should watch Narcos. It is very faithful to the Pablo Escobar story and to the facts. It was shot on location in Colombia, its cast is largely Latin American and the dialogue is equally balanced between English and Spanish. Very cool series…

    Reply

  44. Paradise …. *Sigh*

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  45. Thanks for visiting my blog..glad I came across yours! All the photos are beautiful…looks like you guys had a lot of fun! 😊

    Reply

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