December 12, 2008

To the Beach!

After a week in the city, we went to the airport to fly south to Caticlan. Our visit to Manila has been wonderful, but I am very excited about seeing a another part of this country.

Checking in at the Cebu Pacific baggage counter we were informed that there was a problem with our reservation. It seems – the agents informed me – that even though we had successfully made the reservation on the company's website and paid for the tickets, we did not really have a reservation. Interesting! I was informed that this was a common problem with the airline's reservation website. (So, if their reservation website does not really make valid reservations, what is it for?) I was informed that our tickets were unconfirmed (because of the website glitch) and I would have to buy new tickets. I explained to that I had already paid for tickets, but they kept telling me that my tickets were not confirmed and the flight was oversold so there was no room on the airplane for us. I wanted to scream. After discussing my frustration with several agents – and any other Cebu Pacific employee who would listen – a duty manager finally said he would be able to help me. He instructed an agent to issue confirmed tickets for my husband and I on a later flight. So, we would get to Boracay a few hours behind schedule – but at least we did not have to buy another ticket.

Landing in Caliclan it was very apparent we had been transported from the city to a rural area of the Philippines. The Cebu Pacific ATR-72 touched down firmly on the pavement and came to a stop just before the end of the runway. We disembarked the airplane and walked across the tarmac to a very hectic little terminal where we had to push through the crowd of passengers and porters to get our bags. Next we headed outside to find the hotel representative that was awaiting our arrival. This did not take long and soon we were in a van headed to the beach to take a boat to Boracay.

At the beach we waded through the waves to climb and up a walkway onto a small boat. Our hotel guide and the boat's crew placed our luggage, along with that belonging to the other passengers, on the roof of the boat and the pushed away from the shore. The boat ride to Boracay was short, but not uneventful. Our small boat rolled along the waves and raced right in front of a very large ferry at a much closer distance that would seem prudent in other countries before reaching its destination. In addition, upon boarding I noticed the passenger capacity painted on the side was 20, approximately half the number of people actually on the boat. Oh well, we still made it to our destination safely!

Once on the island of Boracay we went to our hotel, dropped our bags in our room, and walked out on the beach. The sand is pure white and water is crystal blue and warm; it's beautiful.

The seashore has always been a relaxing place for me. The island of Boracay is no exception. It is a stunningly beautiful place with lush foliage, volcanic rock shores on one side of the island and sandy beaches on the other, and a warm tropical climate. As we stood at the edge of the waves the sun set where the ocean meets the sky.

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