Paradise long found

Summer is well on her way and I am more than ready to jump in, what with the shortest hair I've had in forever and my unusual sunburn after being out in the field weekend after weekend (intended spoilers, eep!). Consider me a proud daughter of the Sun! In the Philippines, Boracay is the go-to place not only during the summer but for any chance tourists and locals alike could get. The clear, pristine waters and the white sand beach is what the people have been coming back to in this little yet self-sufficient and fun-filled island.

These Bora features have always been familiar ground to me as my family vacationed there almost every other summer back when I was a kid. Over the years, I grew out of the usual family bonding to be spending a good few days in the famed white sand beach with different crowds. That had been an experience on its own.

Last year's March visit was truly unforgettable. When I applied to the travel magazine company I worked for same time last year, I knew going places would be a huge part of the job. But never did I imagine that there would be time for "play" as well. I recall coming in on my final interview only to be told that I got the job and asked if I wanted to join the staff outing in Boracay three weeks from then—now that's what I call instant benefits! Besides enjoying the company of such interesting strangers/soon-to-be-friends, we made the most of the perks which came with working in the publishing industry. Of course we still had to squeeze in some work while we're at it. It pays to be productive and keeping your head in the game, we had an impending deadline to meet. Anyway, back to the party...

As the sun sets and happy hours commence, the paradise that is Boracay transforms from a treasure trove of days you will never forget to one of nights you wish you remember. Though the memories are a blur, the good times you had can easily be patched up with the few souvenirs you gathered:

Your unruly hair after taking off the braids you've been wearing for more than three days, the faded henna tattoo of some dramatic phrase (perhaps in French) on your shoulder or the small of your back, the obvious yet all-over-the-place tan lines after being under the sun practically all the time, truckloads of photos especially as you engage in Boracay-known activities such as paraw sailing and schooling in the mermaid academy, and the boxes of calamansi muffins you can't go home without, along with the accumulated white sand annoyingly tucked in all possible folds and pockets of your clothing...all those together with your insane hangover.

Despite the mishaps and mayhem, rest assured, Boracay will keep you coming back for more.

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