|almost taken away by the storm|
to date, this was my very first unorganized trip. although i have secured the payments for the photography seminar, i have forgotten to arrange the two most important things of all in trip planning -- accommodation and air fare! in my previous trips, i had everything planned out at least a month but because first quarter is quite hectic for both my regular and freelance jobs, i barely had the time to organize my trip. i was quite lucky with air fare because i got a good deal from air phil express. accommodation is quite tricky since february is the start of the peak season.
knowing that i am going to the beach, the easiest way to get myself an accommodation is through a diving operator. without a second thought, i googled "diving in boracay". since i'm already at the beach, i might as well dive, right? so i emailed 5 websites and the fastest one to reply was lynette of new wave divers. i thought she wouldn't accommodate me since i emailed at 3 in the morning when everyone is mostly asleep and with my email referring to rates posted in another website! at that time, i was panic-inquiring since i was just 3 days away from my flight so my inquiries are all messed up. nonetheless, lynette was kind enough to answer all my silly questions and sort out some things for me including my logistics.
to justify my unpreparedness, i left at 10:00 from my night shift job when i was supposed to leave at 08:00 to finish my work list. i took a cab hoping to shorten the trip but the rain made it all worse. i arrived home at 11:30 leaving me only 30 minutes to change to trip clothing with only 10 minutes spent to pack my stuff. since this isn't mountaineering, i just stuffed my 30-liter backpack with whatever clothes i could grab yet leaving the largest space for my laptop, which was needed for the seminar. i left my diving gear since my photography equipment plus my backpack with a laptop is way too much to carry for a solo female traveler. in this trip, i only had my pair of flipsters as footwear.
despite living near the airport, i did not want to risk my travel time. i hailed a cab and was lucky enough to have an airport taxi pick me up. the cab driver assured me that i will make it on time since my flight will most likely be delayed or cancelled because of the storm (i'm not sure if i found that funny but i laughed anyway). i arrived at 13:00 just a few minutes before the check in time cut off. i dashed towards the terminal for kalibo only to find out that my flight is delayed. from 15:55, my new boarding time is 16:55. good thing for naia 3, there's national bookstore. i bought books to keep me pre-occupied.
after reading ramon bautista's book (yes, it caught my attention so i bought it!), there was an announcement. new boarding time is 17:55. at that time, i was quite anxious because i haven't a decent sleep, my flight was delayed, and flights before mine were being cancelled one by one because of the storm. cebu pacific even offered one free plane ride good for a year for those who are willing to offer their seat to others because a certain flight of theirs was overbooked from accommodating passengers who were bumped in the previous flights (tsk!). i prayed hard that the universe won't smite the kalibo flights or else i'll flip. i guess my prayers worked when at 17:55 we finally boarded.
i was asleep the entire flight that my ears almost exploded upon arrival at the kalibo airport. i haven't had a decent sleep yet and was walking like a zombie merely following my co-passengers towards a place with more people. then i saw someone flashed a whiteboard with my name written on it. i approached and poked him (not joking) lifelessly. he sensed my half-conscious self so he stamped stickers on my bags and on my shirt and escorted me to an orange bus, where i boarded and continued my sleep. several hours later, we arrived at the port, at that time i regained a bit of energy. another person escorted me to the terminal and to the pump boat, which transported us to boracay. the terminal people told us that they weren't supposed to operate at that time but they had to extend because of the delayed flights.
after 45 minutes, we finally arrived at boracay. as soon as the shuttle brought me to niu ohana i immediately dropped my items in my room and bought my provisions and extra clothes. from station 1, i rode a tricycle to d'mall which costed me 8.00 php along with some korean passengers. after buying the stuff i needed, i walked back to my hotel since it was not that far.
back at my room, you could hear the subwoofers from the clubs nearby. my friends told me the "noise" is quite worse when you're in station 2. boracay is quite different from the beaches i have visited where all i heard at night were crickets, waves, and wind. indeed, it was not a place for people seeking solitude. but no noise would hinder a very tired person with a very big next day to look forward to!