Philippines Day 5 – Sun, Sand, Sailing, Swimming, Snorkeling & Shopping! 3-15-08


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Philippines Day 5 - Diniwid in the Morning 3-15-08

Friends:

It was my fifth day in the Philippines. No matter what time of the day you catch the beach, it is always beautiful! This is Diniwid Beach early in the morning. A great time to go walking and shell collecting BUT we had a date! It was time to get to our paraw (a bangka sailboat with bamboo outriggers). We were going island hopping, exploring parts of Boracay easier to get to by boat.

Here is a picture of Katrin and I posing in a small, beached bangka.

Philippines Day 5 - Katrin & Dianne in the bangka 3-15-08

Auntie Jovie, Auntie Espie, Katrin and I boarded the paraw, not knowing what to expect. Two of us sat on each side, on nylon nets secured between two bamboo outriggers. Two men (Tim and Dudes) operated the primitive sailboat. Tim steered the boat from the back while Dudes managed the sails and rigs in the front.

Philippines Day 5 - Sailors 3-15-08

Our first stop was Crocodile Island, where we went snorkeling. Rain and wind threatened our adventure but somehow, it seemed the sea god was listening and Poseidon  calmed down the weather and water for us. How I wish I could show you the splendor beneath the sea! Alas, I did not have an underwater camera! I saw an electric blue starfish, pink coral, orange sea anenome, black and white sea urchins, and an array of fish no landlubber’s aquarium could match. It was spectacular and strangely peaceful to swim with the creatures of the deep blue.

Here is a picture of Crocodile Island, a small desolate island shaped like a… you guessed it – crocodile! It is situated in one of Boracay’s best diving and snorkeling spots.

Philippines Day 5 - Crocodile Island 3-15-08

After our snorkeling adventure, we headed to Talipapa at Station 3. Take a look at this beach!

Philippines Day 5 - Talipapa Station 3 3-15-08

Here, I did some MAJOR shopping. I bought tons of handmade jewelry with pearls, mother of pearl, abalone, and capice shell at dirt cheap prices. I made sure to stock up for Christmas! 🙂 Here is the jewelry stand where I bought my priceless treasures. The jewelry was handmade by a woman named Chickitang. She even customized several pieces for me right on the spot! I made her the happiest woman on the beach. My aunt said that I probably fed her and her family for at least three weeks with the purchases I made that day. Wow… So humbling.

Philippines Day 5 - Chickitang’s Jewelry 3-15-08

I treated Chickitang and her daughter to food and drinks. I also treated our paraw sailors to drinks and pizza. Chickitang was so happy she even threw in some free pieces of jewelry! Our paraw sailors, Tim and Dudes, made sure our trip was phenomenal.

Next, we headed for Puka Beach, a private and protected beach where hundreds of thousands of puka shells can be found. To preserve the beach, tourists are not allowed to harvest any of puka shells. Unfortunately, the wind did not cooperate with us. It died down and walang hanging (without wind), we could not corner around the bend to get to Puka Beach. So the guys took us to Balinghai Point instead, the oldest part of Boracay. We anchored our paraw in the small, rock-protected bay.

Philippines Day 5 - Balinghai Point 3-15-08

The water was clear but it was quite rocky. Thank goodness for US made sand shoes! Here is a picture of the Boracay Beach Babes! Do you see a calendar in our future? LOL!

Philippines Day 5 - Boracay Beach Babes 3-15-08

Okay, not quite Baywatch… But we had such a great time swimming, playing in the sand, and exploring. Dudes took me up a windy staircase that hugged the side of the cliff. Here is a picture of the steep stairs.

Philippines Day 5 - Balinghai Stairs 3-15-08

After 50 million breathless steps, I finally made it to the top. The view from above was worth the exertion of the trip. Check it out!

Philippines Day 5 - Balinghai View 3-15-08

Nestled in a secret location at the top of this mountainous climb was a restaurant. Dudes’ wife worked there and gave me a gomamela flower for my hair. See, I really am an island girl!

Philippines Day 5 - Island Girl Dianne 3-15-08

After climbing down (gripping the railing I might add), I had to capture this beautiful view of the rocky path we just navigated.

Philippines Day 5 - Balinghai Rocks 3-15-08

We headed back to our hotel, enjoying the last of the water and the wind for the day. Here is a picture of us girls at the end of the day on our paraw.

Philippines Day 5 - Paraw Girls 3-15-08

What an adenture!  Yes, we were tired but our day didn’t end there. We swam for a bit in the pool and headed for D’Mall for a bite to eat and some entertainment. It rained a bit and scared off some tourists but it didn’t stop us. We ate Mongolian Barbecue and had fun anyway. Then Katrin and I headed out for some dancing at the local nightclubs. We ended up at Guilly’s Island and had a blast. We received first class service – our waiter even escorted us back to the hotel (on the back of our tricycle), just to make sure we got back safely. Thanks, EJ!

Here is a picture of me in front of a handmade sandcastle. Too cool!

Philippines Day 5 - Boracay Sand Castle 3-15-08

Until next time…

Warmly, Dianne