After our adventures "island hopping" and, well, eating on our second day in Boracay, we got a good night's sleep. At least we did until our roommates had to wake up early to catch the first flights out that morning. We were booked on the last flight out, so had the luxury of sleeping in and enjoying the beach and more before our flight would leave at four.
I had a good friend in college named Noi, a student from Thailand. He was an extremely nocturnal person and disliked mornings to the extent he set his schedule so that all his classes began after lunch. He would have loved our room at the Boracay Tourist Inn. It seemed much like his dorm room in college after he outfitted it with an opaque shutter system behind the curtains over his window to keep all light from entering the room. Noi may today be one of the owners of the Boracay Tourist Inn, as you can see here:
In questioning others in our party, we found all rooms had the same scenic view! What can you expect from a place who's slogan is: an affordable place to stay?
After breakfast, we set out along the beach to catch some sun and more of the great sea air. The waves were still quite strong, as you can see by this jetty awaiting its group of divers for their excursion.
A bit further down the beach we came upon Mañana Mexican Cuisine.
We didn't eat here, but I have to mention it for two reasons:
1. I question the reason for the name of the place. Is it just because that's a Spanish word and the alliteration with Mexican worked for the owners? Or does it have something to do with how long diners can expect to wait for service or their food?
2. I finally learned how to insert tildes over letters and here have reason to show off this newfound ability.
So where did we eat? I know you must all be terribly interested in that.
Well, even if you aren't, I'm going to mention it.
We had mild chicken pocket sandwiches at a funky little Korean-run restaurant at D'Mall.
They were wrapped in these wrappers with interesting Engrish print:
They were very tasty, er...good taste, as were the mango/pineapple/banana tropical shakes all made from fresh fruits. Ironic, isn't it, that what turned out to be one of the most fun, tasty meals of our trip was so simple, cheap, and just a couple hours before we left to catch our plane!
Before we left the island I thought I should capture some video to share with you. Here's the windy day as we saw it:
When we did make it off the island of Boracay and to the airport and this is what I saw:
I thought I'd include it here for all those in the states, since we haven't seen these in many years. Isn't the Marlboro Man dead? I thought I read that somewhere.
Remember a few bloggings ago I mentioned the problems being encountered with the new Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3? Well, those problems affect all flights on Cebu Pacific, the airline we were ticketed to fly. Many of Edson's officemates were scheduled to fly out at one in the afternoon. When we arrived at the airport at two for our four o'clock flight, they were still there. They had been re-booked for the our flight, and ours was canceled.
We were to spend an extra day.
But not in Boracay.
Kalibo, a city two hours away (by car/van/bus) that real airplanes (jets, Airbus, etc....a.k.a. not turbo-props) fly out of.
The airline would feed and provide accommodations for us.
I was wondering how much worse the accommodations would be compared to the windowless room we left behind. Plus, there were two of Edson's officemates who were also booked on our flight. Would we all four have to share a room?
We had a two-hour van ride ahead of us before we would find out.
Our accommodations for the night turned out to be the Sampaguita Gardens Resort. It was a truly unexpected place. Firstly, the name is quite ironic, in that we found no sampaguita garden or flowers anywhere on the property; which truth be told, is rather large, so perhaps we missed it. It was also unexpected because at Sampaguita Gardens it is Christmas 365 days a year.
Thankfully there was no Christmas music playing. It's still too early for that, though the decorations will begin going up nationwide in a month.
Here's what greets you upon entering the gates of the resort:
As seen at night:
That's Jo Jo's Christmas Cottage.
A three-story Queen Anne large-as-life dollhouse a "cottage", you and I both ask?
But the "best" part is what's inside:
Oh my God.
Yes, this is here in the Philippines.
Precious Moments everywhere (and all, interestingly enough, priced in US dollars!).
Well, it seems Sampaguita Gardens Resort is owned by the man who made his fortune from those cutesy characters.
Now, for as tacky as the place is, I must give them credit for outstanding food, nice rooms, good service, beautifully tended grounds, and amenities galore. Mercifully, no room's window looks out upon the Christmas Cottage lit up at night. All windows face the ocean instead!
The resort has a convention center, spa, fitness center, art center, pool, restaurant, the SJB Family of Companies corporate office (owns Precious Moments), and the Samuel J. Butcher mansion ('cause the guy's got to live some place when he's visiting, right?).
While the resort boasts circus rides, it seems they haven't operated in some time, as we found them rusted and tattered. Here, a carousel horse looks on at the dilapidated ferris wheel.
That's enough for now. Stay tuned for tomorrow's exciting conclusion to our adventure out of Boracay!
PS: Edson and I had a room to ourselves.