If you've ever seen the Darjeeling limited, you'll be able to get a pretty good idea of what the Manila Domestic Airport looks like. It's very similar to the airport in India in the movie... except instead of an altar to Ganesh, it's to the Virgin Mary. It's very crowded and hot, electric fans hang from the pillars, and the back wall is lined with little stores selling food, drinks, magazines, postcards, and by golly... cinnabon!
In one corner of the small room is a large sign that says "comfort room" - which is actually the same thing as a restroom. Public bathroom ettiquette is really strange here. Instead of forming one line to use the next available stall, you have to choose a stall in advance and form a mini-line in front of that... which really sucks if the person in the stall is going #2. I was pretty jealous when the stall next to the one I was waiting for went free before mine. What a stupid and nonsensical thing.
Our flight to Boracay was delayed a half hour. We left at about 1:30 in this tiny charter plane which I thought was going to come crashing down after it hit some turbulence. Luckily, it didn't crash and I'm still alive. The flight was really short, perfect for listening to Act I of the TV episode of This American Life.
After landing at the Boracay airport, my dad paid a couple porters to carry our luggage for us to the bangka (tagalog for boat). We had two guys... who carried more than 60 lbs. of luggage each on their backs. And they were pretty happy when they received about $1 each for the service. Then we got on the bangka, and it was about 15 minutes across the water to the tiny island where our resort is.
We had to take motorized rickshaws (here, simply called tricycles) to get through the town to our resort. The town is mostly rural and absolutely beautiful. It's lush and full of tropical plants. And the people here are constantly burning leaves, and it makes the air smell like camping. Little kids run through the streets whenever they please, and most of the locals live in huts made out of grass and bamboo.
The beach here is a real sight. The sand is white and is as fine as baby powder. At night, the stars are extremely bright. We're actually going to go back to the white beach tonight. We have to take tricycles there because our resort is on the other side of the island. Right before I came to the resort office to use their 1 public computer (100 pesos for 1 hour), I had a 1-hour full body massage that cost about $10. My brother Josh is getting his at the moment.
I'm actually running out of time now, so I'll have to update again soon. I think some nightlife is in order. The white beach has a bunch of bars and maybe we'll have to order another cocktail pitcher of "Weng-Weng."