From The Editor Island Fever
The first Time i went To Boracay was in the early ’90s. Back then, you had to take a boat from the popular (perhaps only) resort to the virtually untouched beaches with their famed powdery white sand. As I sat on the beach, there was nothing but clear water in front of me, and a smattering of thatched huts behind me. This was pre-internet, pre-mobile phone even, and all you could do was relax on the sand or take a dip in the water and enjoy the quiet. The other kids and I would giggle, seeing the occasional foreigner sunbathing topless—there was barely anyone else around.
I’ve been to Boracay many more times since then, and the island has changed so much: There are so many restaurants (a lot of which are from Manila), hotels, even an amusement park ride. You can’t get away from the traffic—tricycles often find themselves in a jam on the main road. And while I appreciate the convenience and wide array of accommodations and cuisines to choose from, I really miss old Boracay.
Being in Coron, Palawan gave me a taste of the Boracay of my youth. Many of the scenic spots in the Philippines have so many tourists, but we scheduled our shoots for this issue so that we would avoid the crowds. We arrived at Kayangan Lake bright and early, leaving just as the throngs started to arrive. Then we headed to tiny Kalachuchi Beach (also known as Bulungan Beach), which we had all to ourselves. We had lunch in a thatched hut, not unlike those from Boracay of 25 years ago, then had a leisurely shoot. The signal was strong so we couldn’t help Instagramming, but the day trip reminded me of what it was like to just escape. (Never mind that it was for work!)
In this issue, we feature a number of scenic spots in Coron (page 81)—but keep in mind that you don’t have to go see them all. Sometimes we want to make the most out of our trips and cram as many sights into our itinerary as possible. But a couple of choice spots where you’re able to truly unwind can be much more priceless. And maybe 25 years from now, your kids will also look back fondly at that time they spent a day on a pristine beach, doing nothing.
Cover model Danda putting a starfish back into the water at Kalachuchi Beach.
Our tour guide from Calamianes Expeditions and Ecotours took great photos! (That’s art director, Theo, posing.)