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Jessica Orquina discovered the beaches of the Philippines because she married someone from there. Today she shares her memories of Boracay Island and its beauty with us.
I grew up in New England and every summer my family drove to Cape Cod or took a ferry ride to Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, or Block Island to spend some days at the beach. New England beaches are beautiful and wild. Grasses and flowers adorn windswept dunes. Cold, dark blue waters crash against sand and rocks.
As I got older I had the opportunity to travel to different seaside destinations around the world – California, Florida , Caribbean Islands, the Pacific Northwest, Latin America, and Spain. I began to notice that every seaside resort insists their beaches are more beautiful than all the others on the planet. As I visited new places I saw that each area had distinctly different shores and it’s own beauty. However, New England beaches remained my favorite seaside vistas.
When I first met him he told me about the Philippine archipelago and insisted the beaches there were the most beautiful in the whole world. I smiled, I had heard that before…
My husband is from the Philippines. When I first met him he told me about the Philippine archipelago and insisted the beaches there were the most beautiful in the whole world. I smiled, I had heard that before…
After we got married I finally had the opportunity to travel to the Philippines. The first part of our visit was spent in Manila on the island of Luzon. I had the opportunity to experience this vibrant city, see historic Spanish forts from the 1500s, and visit the surrounding countryside. It is an amazing place with kind and welcoming people.
After a week in the Filipino capitol we took a flight to Caticlan Airport on the island of Panay. From the airport we took a short car ride to a small beach nearby. This tiny and dusty stretch of sand was home to an open air terminal where small boats come and go from surrounding islands. After the rush of Manila walking across this windswept beach to the ferry felt like entering a different world.
At the edge of the water we had to remove our shoes and wade through the surf to board the small ferry. Our boat quickly traveled the short distance between the islands of Panay and Boracay and soon I was standing in the door of our hotel room looking out on towards the ocean. I was on White Beach, a long stretch of sand on the west side of Boracay Island. Most hotels on the island are located at four stations along this shoreline.
It was unlike any beach I had seen before – long, wide, and flat. The gradient of the beach was shallow so once you step into the waves you can walk a long distance before the water gets deep. And the water was a bright, sparkling blue color. The sand was very fine – like baby powder – and white as the name of the beach suggested.
I stood there and watched the gentle waves lap against the sand and took a deep breath of the warm ocean air. Small boats traversed back and forth across the horizon. The color of everything was intense in the tropical sun. And I had to admit, this was the most beautiful beach I had ever seen.
It has been two years since I was in Boracay and I hope to return someday. Since our trip my husband has told me about other beautiful beaches in the Philippine archipelago that are even more beautiful than White Beach, in particular on the island of Palawan. (Again I just smiled, I’ve heard that before…) But, I hope to have the opportunity to visit these destinations someday and see for myself. I would highly encourage Travel Belles visiting southeast Asia to consider adding a week at a Philippine beach resort to their itineraries!
BEST BEACHES IN THE PHILIPPINES
Header Photo by Belle Co