The island club had closed for the night and I hit the beach with reckless abandon. As I lay on the beach, I did not care one bit about the sand that had completely covered the back of my shirt and my arms. There I was, dragging my drunken butt as my new friends watched me almost make a fool of myself. I, however, was just drunk, not wasted. I could still feel just how fine the sand was and appreciate just how starry the night was. Boracay had been a surprise, a pleasant one.
What a difference a trip makes. Before the trip, I was one to always dismiss the idea of flying to Boracay. I was more of a secluded cove kind of guy. I had always pushed away any chance of experiencing Boracay in favor of the hidden beaches of El Nido and the isolated lakes of Coron. To me, Boracay was overrated. If I wanted to party, I’d hit a club in the city and not fly to a far away island. That was then.
I received an invitation from Tattoo to attend the launch of their new website in Boracay. It was an all expense-paid trip. Boracay hotel booking was arranged by Tattoo. Who was I to refuse a big, fat, juicy offer like that? Soon, I found myself packing for my very first trip to what many consider Asia’s top beach destination.
Together with other bloggers from different fields, I immediately checked out what the buzz is about after a sumptuous lunch. The first thing I noticed was how wide the sandy beach was. As my toes dipped in the fine sand, I knew I had never felt anything like it. Yes, Boracay should boast its fine sand and crystal clear, turquoise waters. That was enough to win me over. The island’s true charm, however, takes form as soon as the sun kisses the horizon. When the artificial lights start to get a life of its own, Boracay shows just what makes it special.
It was my first time to meet most of the bloggers I was with. For someone who had always been outside of many blogging circles, I was intimidated at first. But they would prove to be extremely friendly and fun. It wasn’t long until we started exchanging funny stories and strong ideas. We swam, sunbathe, and explored the island together. We dined together. We laughed and laughed together. We had gotten close within such a short period of time.
But nothing beats bonding when you have a drink in your hand and you let go of your inhibitions. We danced. We drank. And danced again until all the alcohol sank in. It was not the embarrassing kind of intoxication. There was no puking, no breaking anything, no unnecessary drama. Just pure, unadulterated fun.
As I looked at the starry night sky while a half-inch of my body soaked in the soft blanket of glowing dirt, it suddenly dawned on me what makes Boracay the addictive destination that it is. It is not the size of the grains of sand or that hypnotic sound the waves make when they slap the shore. It is not nature per se. It is the relationships that the island nourishes as families, friends, and lovers choose to strengthen them by the bay or at a nearby restaurant or at the dance floor. The music in the background and the laughter from the big crowds have become part of the island’s character. The charm of Boracay is that it has something for everyone within a few yards from nature’s liquid whisper.
I still prefer the quiet, sedating beauty of a secluded cove and connect with nature. It wouldn’t hurt, however, to join the crowd and connect with others — whether they are old loved ones or new friends — and get lost in a paradise where the beach itself comes to life.