Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Boracay Parasail Emmerson and Mommy

All along the beach their are fellows offering all sorts of things to do, basically, whatever you want to do that is tropical island related, they can hook you up. Alicia and Emmerson wanted to parasail so we got them to hook us up. It involved some monetary transactions and then a meeting place at an agreed upon time followed by a walk to a certain destination at which we would meet another party that would transport us out to another destination where we would again transfer to the event - which was the parasailing speedboat. Really fun for Alicia and Emmerson to do together and cool for Ada Mom and I to watch from the boat.

Nana and Emmerson on the way out. We had to be transferred to a speed boat in order to do the parasail. This is the speedboat. Note Nana's "no sun is going to get me" attire. My attire these days is much the same - full on long sleeve swim shirt - giant hat and long shorts. 

Emmerson all strapped up and ready to go. Ada not only had no desire to go but was not all that enthusiastic about the boat ride out - bit more reserved than Emmerson.

Emmerson and Mommy on the out.

And up ...

.... up

....up ....

... and there they go, 300 meters up in the Boracay sky.

One of my favorite photos from the trip. Workers avoid the sun like the plague. It was easily in the 90's in the sun and these gus were certainly in the sun all day long. In the States the huge amount of clothing would be odd. Here it is the norm. They simply are protecting there bodies from the sun, literally. Fully clothed, no sun. The face, in particular is protected - thus the cool looking masks you can buy - it has become a commercial enterprise - face protecting masks. 

Emmerson out and facemask man, helping Alicia out of the parasail.

Boracay Sunset

Out and about one evening and caught this impressive display put on by the setting sun.

Note the girl taking a selfy - definitely a new cultural experience for me - the volume and variety of selfies seen in Boracay was staggering and this is coming from someone who lives in the "selfie capital of the world - Makati, Manila".

Emmerson had just gotten her hair braided.

Sunset models.

Another Emmerson over my head shot to celebrating the setting of the sun. I'd say I've got about one more year of this - she is getting rather hefty. 

Ada is getting better at holding the pose.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Boracay Island, Philippines

For the Spring Break/Easter Holiday we went to Boracay and Hong Kong. Boracay is famous for its powder soft sand and stuff. The beach strand reminded me of the Kuta Beach section of Bali as it might have been a while back. The Boracay strand - restaurant, shop and hotel area that lines the beach IS the beach which is unique. There is no road or any pavement for that matter separating the shopping, eating and sleeping from the actual beach. It is quite packed and touristy which is fine since I myslef am a tourist. The hotel we stayed at, the Uptown, was quite centrally located and had a cool 3d floor "infinity pool" overlooking the beach which we enjoyed. The girls created an elaborate game where they "spied" on people on the beach who looked suspicious and might want to "invade"our pool. Each of these questionable characters were catalogued in their pool computer. We divided the day between the pool and the beach. The following are random images of our Boracay stay. Other posts will detail a few of the highs (and possibly lows if I can manage to relive the trauma).

Alicia posing outside of the Uptown Hotel where we stayed. Great location for those who want to be "in the mix". Right near the main walking/shopping streets, D'mall, and centrally located on the main beach strand. Only frustration was that when you walked off the beach with sandy feet, they had no way to clean the sand off before walking into the hotel. I am very particular about sand, not a big fan of it anywhere other than on my feet while on the beach. Seeing people rolling about in it and such makes me feel bad.

Beach scene in the direction of the marina.

And the other direction towards some of the bigger resorts like Fridays (one of the more popular ones in this area of Boracay)

A resourceful beach goer demonstrating the versatility of the newspaper. 

Palms providing very valuable shade.

Pictures like this make it seem like no one is on the beach and might be a bit misleading. Boracay was packed as is the beach but only at certain times of the day. The demographics of the tourist community explain this phenomena. Most of the visitors are Asian and many avoid being in the sun during the hours when the tropical sun is super intense. In the morning and evening, the beach is rocking. 

Competitive crew teams plied the waters just off the beach each evening. 

My two girls frolicking on a raft as the crew team coast by. Most mornings we hit the beach after breakfast. Mom and I played with the girls while Alicia did yoga in the upstairs area of the Indian restaurant. Then I would go for a run to one end of the beach and Emmerson would join me for a bit on the end of my return leg. She is quite a runner - jogging a mile or so no problem (barefoot in the sand). I love - qualify that - I don't love any form of running ... I enjoy beach running more than most other genres of running. Easy and interesting - no shoes and easy to coll off afterwards. After lunch we would relax a bit and then walk around the mall area or along the strand. The afternoon was typically spent at the pool followed by dinner and another walkabout. Pleasant schedule.

One of the popular things to do is island hopping via sailboats like these.

The beach is ideal for skim-boarding and a lot of the locals were quite good. The beefy non-locals here were filming some of the hot local riders.

 On the beach in front of our hotel. Each evening various parts of the beach are set up for outdoor dining. You go to a restaurant, order, and they bring your meal to your table on the beach.

Three generations of Duells enjoying the pre-meal ambiance of an Indian place right next to our hotel. Right on the beach, great view, comfortable, casual and nice food. We haven't eaten Indian at all since we've been in Manila so this was a nice option. I don't know what it is called but it's worth a visit if in the area.

Nana in Town

Mom/Nana came to visit for a few weeks. She spent a week with us while school was still in session and then went off with us on our Spring Holiday to the Filipin island of Boracay and Hong Kong. We loved having her. Here are the girls dressed as tour guides ready to give Nana a tour of the Rockwell complex where we live in Manila.

Tour guides Emmerson and Ada.

Guides with their tourist Nana.

And a random one of Emmerson with this crazy hairdo she likes to whip up every once in a while.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Walmart Pinoy Style

Captured this footage on the trip home from Laguna which is across the lagoon that borders the east side of Manila. Anyone want to go in on opening up a Kostko?

Fun Times at Jollibee

Every once in a while I will give in to the girls ongoing quest to eat at Jollibee. This was one of those times.

Ada being happy at Jollibee. She was quite excited to find this enormous fry and named it Fryzilla. Of course she wanted to keep it and add it to her collection of prized possessions but we talked her out of it and she ate Fryzilla.