Continuation from Deserted Island


So there we were sitting on piles of white sand, joking we should have brought our sleeping bags as it seemed we were going to sleep with the crabs on the beach. I listened to my Father and Mr. Dube going back and forth, getting angrier and angrier, not sure who to direct his anger to, switching from French, English and Spanish.

My Mother began to slather extra sunscreen on me, it was hard to get any shade on the beach, and there really wasn’t anywhere else for us to go. We looked like quite the crazy troop of misfits, stranded on the beach.

There was a flurry of activity behind us, you could tell that there had been a big Fuck up, and it didn’t look very good that there was an Ambassador sitting on a bag on the beach, fuming slightly as he had no idea where his family was going to sleep or when we could all get back to the main island.

We must have been sitting there for hours, because by the time anyone came back to gather us, we were ushered to the Governor’s house.

In those days, Boracay was nothing but a few huts, there was absolutely no hotel. It was pristine, and absolutely stunning. The only restaurant on the island, was an open air one, with basic seating, and dance floor in the middle. It was my Father’s idea of perfection, there was absolutely no contact from the outside world, and anyone who needed to get a hold of him would have to get someone to go by boat from the bigger island near by, to Boracay. I believe his logic may have been flawed, as it was secluded, and booking a vacation on a remote island in the days of little means of communication would obviously cause some problems!

It was late, the sun was setting, and the governor was generous in opening his house for us for one night. I slept in the same bedroom as my parents, all the older kids were found accommodation around the island. When we went to bed, it was an uncomfortable sleep on a lumpy bed, while wild pigs were grunting underneath us. The next morning, I woke up to roosters cockadoodling, and pigs snorting, the slatted floors underneath gave sight to all the amazing animals roaming freely underneath us. I was 10, and I thought it was just about the coolest thing to wake up to, not sure my parents felt the same way!

We were all awake by 6am, dressed, and ready to go. My Father told us to pack our bags up, thinking we were going to be heading right back to Manila. There was a lot of commotion going on outside, when we finally came out, we were told they had found accommodation for us, but it was not the accommodation which my Father and Mr. Dube had actually paid for. My poor Father, having not had a vacation or time away from the Embassy for more than a year, was exhausted and did not want to argue, he just wanted to salvage the week-long family vacation he had so carefully coordinated.

The Governor and his family were incredibly generous, without a doubt, I have yet to encounter a more generous and welcoming culture. We were given a beautiful breakfast spread, we were then  brought on an island tour, and the Governor and My Father shared in a great debate about water purification and water well development. It turned out to be a wonderful day, and a glimpse into an island culture that was still very much intact, and not spoiled by tourism, like it is today.

We were then brought back to our new accommodation, not as pretty or comfortable as the original plan, but at least we were no longer a crazy band of white folk stranded on the beach!


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