9:21 AM Somehow gently pulling me awake, the relentless sound of rain falling outside like the second coming of Noah’s Ark signals another typical day in paradise. Carolyn’s already cooking us breakfast.
9:35 AM By the time I get out of the shower, the sun is blazing like no tomorrow with rays of light spotlighting my steaming sunny side up breakfast.
10:04 AM Oh look, there’s a family of geckos on the ceiling of our bungalow and a massive crab hiding from the sun on the balcony. And yet, we’re laying in our hammocks with the air conditioning blasting enjoying the Wi-Fi.
10:12 AM And suddenly… The AC is out, the internet is out and all other power is out. Constant outages are expected on tropical islands. So time to get out and about.
10:16 AM We hop on our ATV buggy and start cruising.
10:40 AM Boracay is one bipolar island. The short ride from our beach bungalow to the main road is tranquil with almost only foot traffic and entirely covered in shade from the beautiful overabundance of flora. Then it just takes one turn to introduce the kind of street madness that Vietnam is most notorious for.
10:41 AM But we’re not in Vietnam or a dense urban city… This is a bonafide tropical paradise island. But even paradise (sometimes) has traffic jams, and we’re in it.
10:49 AM However, I’m not complaining. It’s quite a sight slowly moving along in our open air buggy up and down these crappily maintained roads. Dominated by motorbikes, tuk-tuks and electric taxis trying to get to their next fares. It’s loud and frantic but exciting.
11:13 AM Before we know it, after turning and driving up a windy road, we realize it’s quiet along the now cliff road, overlooking most of the island.
11:29 AM Buggy parked.
11:48 AM After what feels like a thousand steps, we make it to the top of Mount Luho, the highest point in all of Boracay… Photo time.
12:10 PM Before leaving, we hit up the mountain juice stand to savor some whole coconuts.
12:23 PM Just minding our own business strolling around in our buggy, another couple in their own buggy roll up right next to us and gives us the universal “let’s race” nod… I happily oblige.
12:27 PM Unable to overtake the rival buggy for the last 2 kilometers, I finally find a window and I zoooooom… They foolishly try to drift around us but loses control and spins out into the dirt. Victory! Looking back, I see the girlfriend yelling at the driver boyfriend.
12:40 PM Just as Carolyn and I celebrate our win, Boracay’s temperamental weather rains on our parade. Getting completely drenched with dropping water and mud getting all over us from driving through potholes, it actually feels refreshing against the hundred degree plus Fahrenheit temperature.
1:01 PM “Rain, rain, go away…” Just as we arrive to Puka Shell Beach, the rain went away. We park.
1:07 PM We have a nice lunch right on the beach. I have adobo and Carolyn has a sisig, complimented with a watermelon shake and ice coffee, respectively.
1:32 PM Unlike Boracay’s main beach, White Beach, Puka Shell Beach is not littered with shops or even any sort of modern infrastructure… Just beautiful handmade wood shacks operating as bars, restaurants and chill spots every few meters owned by locals.
2:20 PM Walking along the nearly deserted beach with our feet getting hit by waves, we have a hard time choosing which hut to lounge at as they’re all welcoming and charming in their own islandy way.
2:28 PM For no real particular reason we settle for one of the more isolated huts and we crack open some ice cold San Miguel beers. Cheers.
2:51 PM And here comes the rain…
2:56 PM And there goes the rain…
3:02 PM And here comes the sun.
3:29 PM As the only and consequently best customers, the owner of the hut chats us up in the kind and genuine way Filipinos are known for.
4:27 PM That. Hit. The. Spot.
4:43 PM I’ve been to some of the most beautiful islands and beaches the world has to offer and Puka Shell Beach is one of them. Now to get into that sexy water.
5:21 PM Returning from snorkeling, we are greeted with some complimentary Cassava Cake waiting for us at our lounge chairs. Nom nom nom.
6:02 PM We have our last San Miguel beers, say goodbye to our host and we make our long beach walk back to the buggy, in the rain… Then sun again.
[All photography shot with a Hitcase Pro equipped iPhone.]