Archive for August, 2007


Monday, August 13th, 2007

Before I get back to Manila’s wonders, I’ll throw in a handful of the rest of the vacation pics. P and I came back to Manila for one night to go to the opening of Mawen Ong’s new gallery and design store, mo_space (more on that later), then left punishingly early the next morning (4:45 am on a hangover) for the only daily flight to El Nido, Palawan.

The flight from Manila stopped for about 20 minutes in Coron, where we all got off the plane and wandered around on the runway for awhile. Cause that’s just what you do in Coron.


(It was about 8 am on aforementioned hangover.)

The flight from Coron to little El Nido was another 40-ish minutes, where we arrived at what is, as far as I’m concerned the greatest airport I’ve ever been at in the entire world.


After tumbling off of our 18-seater, we wandered over to the arrival hut, and past the airport’s hammock garden:



Whereupon we took a 45 minute banca ride into the out-of-your-gourd beautiful Bacuit Archipelago, and the Dolarog Resort (this view, from the porch of our cottage):




Each day we went out on banca trips to various islands in Bacuit:






The problem with blogging from the Philippines is that it feels consistently impossible to articulate the utterly, surreally beautiful, over-the-top wonders this place has offered up this trip. Not so bad as an exercise in futility, though, actually. Thank goodness for photos, which hopefully fill in some of the jaw-droppers. And even the photos suck, compared to actually being there.

Every other image I took felt like somewhere I’d been dreaming up images from for a long, long while. A number of places felt like scenes straight out of the Point of Departure series I’ve been working on.

More photos still to come.


Sunday, August 12th, 2007

So I’m back in Manila now, after a good little vacation. The last of the other Galleon Traders, Megan, leaves tonight, so it’s just me here until the 18th…

Pirate and I took a few days and went to Boracay: gorgeous as ever, a bit stormy on the weather front, but a good place to begin to decompress from Manila–not too slow, not too fast.
Despite how ever over-run with package tourists and concrete it’s gotten, Boracay miraculously still manages to preserve its charm. It’s the kind of place you can keep hyper-actively sporty-busy at, party yourself silly at, or just chill out and do nothing at, without there being too much of a conflict. It’s definitely gotten a bit pricier as the luxury resorts have started muscling in, but it’s still tolerable.

We stayed at Francis Tayengco’s place, Angol Point, where I’ve stayed on previous trips: it’s just far enough out of reach of the nuttiness to be peaceful, and it’s right on the beach.


Breakfast and the best mango shakes in the world were next door, beach-side, at Blue Mango.



Yay, hotsilog breakfast!!

We wandered all the way down the beach to Diniwid, where P practiced his Robinson Crusoe:


And I did the Gal Friday thing…


Gotta love that full-signal on-the-beach thing…

Hey Jude in the evenings had decent cocktails and a great DJ, even when it was pouring rain one night:

I think that this might actually be my last trip to Boracay (er, don’t even ask how many times I’ve been there since 1996), but I’d still recommend it for most folks. It really helps to know where to stay, and how hectic that area is.