Boracay is a tourist island destination in the Philippines and my husband and I, together with his parents, two sisters, brother and a cousin went for a week, to attend the wedding of his youngest brother. We got to meet and spend time with the Filipino family of the bride, who were just delighted to meet us and know their sister/daughter was being welcomed into a family that loves her as much as they do. The brides nieces/nephews were excited to be in Boracay, which was the equivalent of going to Disneyland as far as they were concern, especially after a swim in our hotel pool....their first ever experience of swimming in a pool.
This was the view from our hotel, across the pool to the ocean. Yes, looks pretty, but the beach was vivid green with algae, so we only swam in the pool. Next door to the hotel we stayed in was a fenced block, with local people living in a tin hut with roosters. The power poles were dripping in wires, mostly connected illegally. The development of the island has not all been approved or constructed properly, resulting in untreated sewage going into the ocean, buildings not constructed to standards and a host of other issues you can see as you travel around.
The journey to the island was made on this boat. You paid a local porter to carry your heavy suitcase (he could manage two or three at a time, despite being shorter then me) onto the boat and he threw it up onto the roof of the boat!
There were many boats outside the hotel pulled up on the beach, for the many tourists who paid for a scubber diving trips, snorkeling or pleasure crusiers around the island.
Every night we could see a flotilla of local sail boats go past in the dark (without lights), seeking the safe harbour of somewhere south, or just going home after a long days work? The sunsets were spectacular but short.
The morning of the wedding we visited the local market to buy fruit. As part of the ceremony we presented the priest with baskets of flowers, fruit, a bottle of wine and a few peso's to bless the married couples union.
At the wedding reception we pinned money to the bride and groom.
It was a amazing experience and a great holiday....here we are in our finery enjoying the reception on the beach.
Boracay is a lovely place, but the government closed the island to tourism for six months the week after we returned home, so they can repair the problems (we hope). I suspect that means that there will be more big resorts, like the ones that we saw at the north end of the island.
Not a stitch was hand sewn in the week we were away, but sat in my suitcase, while I relaxed by the pool, enjoyed not having to cook, clean, wash or go to work! But it was nice to come home and be with our children. There will be time to sew today!
Happy quilting Sue.