Dawn a few hours ago. As we walk below the threshold forest of coconut trees, we are surprised to see dozens of couples engaged in patient photo sessions.
As we see, most are on their honeymoon but, even in other cases, little changes in the servitude with which young Japanese, Chinese, South Koreans and Taiwanese surrender to the whims of their partners.
Embellished in summer mode, these assume pose after pose and wait for the respective camera shots.
Whenever the device's displays reflect a defect, they ask for the process to be renewed. With no alternatives, boyfriends, boyfriends or husbands indulge them with smiles on their lips and elegant flirtations.
There is an obvious parallel between the adulation of the young models and that of the immaculate coast that welcomes them.
It is using another cosmetic touch-up during the rainy season. habagata and the self-confidence of past praise that White Beach revalidates, year after year, the title of Princess of the Philippines Beaches.
White Beach, Boracay: Filipino Secret…
Until the 315s, this end of the island of Boracay, located XNUMXkm south of the capital Manila, remained a refuge visited only by intrepid travelers to whom the great secret of the Sibuyan Sea had been revealed.
In 1970, Robert Aldrich directed Michael Cayne and Henri Fonda in “Thus are Heroes Born”, shot in Boracay.
In the film, Sam Lawson plays a Japanese interpreter who had avoided combat in the Pacific theater of war in World War II. His commander (Henry Fonda) deploys him to a British base lost in the jungle in the then New Hebrides (now Vanuatu).
There, Lawson not only finds himself forced to fight, he conquers the status of a hero, after, according to Tosh Hearne – a Cockney doctor and a superb member of the company (Michael Cayne) – he killed fifteen Japanese, possibly thirty, on his own.
Rather than the plot of this feature film, Boracay and the much greater Panay have always remained peaceful. On the sidelines of the political and military chaos of the neighboring southern island of Mindanao – which was then home to the Islamist, separatist and terrorist groups MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) and MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Force). And that today, it is still home to the resistant BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters).
One of the most influential Western visitors to follow the film crew of “Thus are Heroes Born”, a German named Jens Peter, praised these islands and in particular White Beach in one of his renowned travel guides.
The honorable mention unleashed an almost continuous influx from then on of curious backpackers and unreturned fame.
to… Asian Beach of All Dreams
A decade later, the beauty of Philippine coastlines, in general, ran the world. White Beach stood out from the crowd. In the 90s, already endowed with countless resorts of all types, it frequently appeared on the lists of best beaches in the world prepared by reputable travel publications.
Unsurprisingly, in neighboring countries – Japan, Taiwan, China and South Korea – travel agencies started to sell it in tour packages as a cheap paradise right next to their Asian destinations.
Until 1980, the only sounds that were heard were those of the sea and one or another distant blender in full production of smoothies.
Today, there is a fleet of motorized boats of different types anchored along the white beach sand for whatever comes and goes. Customers abound.
In between their many photographic moments, romantic couples – like Asian tourist groups in general – strive to be as fearless as possible.
Diving Classes That Mirror Asian Group Psychology
At White Beach, taking scuba lessons became fashionable.
As we followed from the edge of the seductive Sibuyan sea, the adventure of experience is contained. But according to the famous group psychology that runs the Far East, it's for everyone. Literally.
Like an early riser army of clumsy ninjas, hundreds of figures in dark neoprene suits roam the sands led by an instructor. Arrived at the projection on the beach of a large barge, they form a circle and receive an exhaustive briefing that they memorize and start executing with the precision of automatons.
This is followed by a no less flamboyant foray into the water to begin the submersion exercises. And, finally, the journey towards the high seas that haunt the beach.
In addition to the insignificant surf, dozens of bangkas (the typical Philippine boat) and paraws (other picturesque sailing boats) remain moored, which, as soon as the wind breaks in, holidaymakers will charter.
Many other outsiders remain in the shade of the coconut tree line, sitting in bars and restaurants. Or entertained with the trifles – sunglasses, jewelry, watches, clothing and tours – that a swarm of vendors based in the open-air market named d'evill try to foist them.
The man on duty at an esplanade where we rested, from Manila, respects the mission and the almost guerrilla effort of his compatriots, but does not refrain from pinching them: “They are moros. In high season they migrate here from Mindanao, Jolo and others sulu islands, further down. They are also one of the most annoying sellers who have ever set foot in the Philippines. I even feel sorry for some tourists.”
To relieve them of this inevitable stress commercial and the surprising tiredness of bathing, a regiment of resident masseuses are on hand to apply the magic of their hands to bodies still to tan.
White Beach Dragon Boat Fever, Boracay
As a rule, in the middle of the afternoon, the wind and Filipino resident and foreign sportsmen take over the beach.
Along the water, windsurfers and kyte surfing fans make the final preparations before heading out to sea while two international and multiracial platoons race along the beach and finish their fitness for a dragon boat race to take place in the days to come.
They are led by proud young men, some obsessed with their images, with sculptural bodies, irreverent bathing suits, earrings, piercings, sunglasses, bracelets, as well as gaudy scarves or headbands that match the outfits.
After the warm-up, the group returns to the starting point and splits up. Each team raises one dragon boat over the head.
In a solidary effort, they conquer the sand widened by the low tide, deposit them on the sea, embark and set sail with vigorous paddles.
Nearby, resort employees do their own daily exercise: carrying hundreds of Asian guest suitcases into a truck bed.
For baggage owners, White Beach's brief Filipino treat is about to end.