Stephen Craton

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  • iPhone 3G
  • f/2.8

Boracay, Philippines

Aug 1, 2010 Boracay, Philippines 3 min read

Long before I’d cared to really focus much on photography, I’d had the opportunity to see some truly remarkable tropical scenes. It’s just unfortunate the best I have to share now is a pic I snapped while walking along the beach using a now defunct iPhone 3G.

Boracay is one of the tropical destination hot spots in the Philippines. Many locals and foreigners alike descend upon the beaches here to do everything from party, relax, and go on fairly wild adventures.

Some local coworkers had invited me to go with them for a weekend of the former. Partying and relaxing. I’d never been much for partying, but relaxing on a tropical beach sounded awesome. After much coaxing from friends to get me over my introverted nature, I hopped on the most budget airline you could ever dread to be on. As I found out later, Zest Air used to be called Air Asia who had to change their name due to a string of airplane crashes which crashed their reputation.

We spent our days lounging on the beach during the day, hitting back plenty of San Miguel Light beers while lounging out in the sun. Wading in the warm ocean waters, being pushed and pulled by the gentle waves. You know how you see those Sandals commercials and think, “no way is there anything as peaceful as THAT”? Boracay proved there is such a place, provided you’re on the right beach.

By evening, my coworkers decided to have fun with the uncultured American (me) and get me to try just about every strange filipino food under the sun. Somehow I ended up eating barbecued chicken intestines on a hamburger bun. It was there I learned the value of not knowing what you’re eating exactly. It was actually quite tasty, until they told me. Then I was disgusted. But for some reason craved more.

For dinner, we’d walk up and down the beach looking at various vendors’ catch of the day. Fish and crustaceans of every shape and size. We’d pick a couple of what we’d want and how we wanted it to be cooked, then chow down. Conversation would slip in and out of tagalog, leaving me only about 50% confused as to what was being discussed.

Perhaps the most memorable portion of the trip was to share deep dark secrets of our lives with each other over a spirited drinking game of “Never Have I Ever”. As it turns out, Filipino culture and American culture have wildly different views on what is socially acceptable behavior. Who knew kissing a girl after waiting 6 months would be “too soon”?

Written April 17, 2016