Back from Boracay!

I’m back! I’m still feeling the residual holiday languor though, so kindly pardon the slow posts. Our Boracay getaway was filled with sun (it was scorching!), sand, sea, delicious food, and wonderful company. Right now I’m in the middle of catching up at work (why is it so hard to get my worklegs back?) but I’ll leave you with my highlights for this trip…

Hot sun, cool shakes – Boracay is famous for its shakes. Everything from “choco-vanilla-peanut-banana” (of which I was a big fan when I was younger) to simple fruit shakes. When the mercury rises there is nothing like an icy cold, fresh fruit shake – my favorite being ripe mango (heaven!). We also had watermelon, cantaloupe, and mango-strawberry. Mmmm…

C’s Mexican fix – Mexican food is one of C’s favorites, and none of the Mexican restaurants in Manila excite him. Strangely enough, this little island is home to one of the better Mexican restaurants we have come across, Mañana. Listening to C try and sales-talk the manager into opening a branch in Manila was also part of the fun.

New sunnies – I have this unhealthy obsession with cheap sunglasses (I always lose the expensive ones!), and in Boracay there are always hawkers going up and down the beach with racks of their wares. Buying new sunglasses is always a part of my trip.

Discovering Discovery Shores – The newest resort on the strip…and the only hotel from the Philippines to be included in the Small Luxury Hotels of the World guide. No, we didn’t stay there…we just poked around, and tried to absorb the swanky-ness.

Fried doughnuts for 3 pesos apiece – Move over Krispy Kreme and all the rest…my favorite doughnut has always been the cheapy kind that they fry up in a big kawali (wok) of hot oil, and then coat in regular white sugar. I have loved these dense and chewy local doughnuts since I was a kid, so you can imagine how pleased I was to see the little cart selling them…at 3 pesos each! Let’s see, that’s either .06 Usd or .04 Eur.

“Room Service” – Our favorite “on-the-cheap” joint in the market, called Smoke, makes great value-for-money rice dishes, which also happen to be delicious, and they deliver. In the blazing heat of high noon, it was no small relief to have our Chili Chicken (I have sworn to replicate it!) delivered to our resort, to be wolfed down in bed.

Doing nothing – Looking at each other and saying things like: “What do you want to do now?”, “Let’s take a nap!”, “Ok!” Aaah! The luxury of it!

Our anniversary dinner – The best meal of the trip! All the more fantastic because we shopped for it ourselves. We headed out to the wet market in the morning and came away with a talakitok (trevally/jack), some clams, some prawns, and three lobsters. Also a bunch of eggplant (aubergine), native tomatoes, and red onions for a salad. The clams (halaan) were turned is to an incredibly tasty soup. The prawns were steamed, the talakitok grilled, and the lobster was served with garlic butter. We had steamed rice and all manners of sawsawan (dipping sauces): calamansi (calamodin), toyo (soy sauce), sinamak (vinegar with garlic, ginger, and chilis), sili labuyo (bird’s eye chili)…the works! The seafood was amazing…so fresh…but the lobster was the real star. This was definitely one of the best lobster meals I’ve had. The lobsters themselves look quite regular. But once cooked and cut in half we saw that it was literally bursting with meat. The soft white flesh was pushed flush against its shell like a film star’s bosom in a tight bodice. The meat was unbelievably sweet and tender and succulent. Even the resort staff (where we had our bounty prepared) approached us to ask where we got the lobster. This feast was eaten kamayan-style (with our hands), under one of the resorts beach huts. After the food was gone we went for a stroll on the beach to walk off (hopefully!) a bit of our overindulgences.

Perfect beach weather - Unlike last year, the weather behaved beautifully. It was so sunny that the light turned the sand an almost blinding white and the sky a brilliant blue. The heat did make us more lethargic…but, hey, we were on vacation, so it’s ok to be a bit slow…to lag and tarry through scrumptious meals, outdoor naps, and cool dips in the ocean.

The best highlight of course is having a partner-in-crime with whom to enjoy this all...Happy anniversary C! :)